How do You Doctor an Aging Body?

Regular readers know that I exercise every day, mostly in the form of riding my bike. In addition to that I eat intelligently, tracking my calories. But what about doctoring? With all the exercise and good eating, surely, one doesn’t need a doctor much outside of annual check ups? But no. At 76 years old, this organic machine I live in needs servicing.

Just as love is a many-splendored thing, this month for me will be a many-doctored thing. I had a dental appointment for teeth-cleaning on Monday. In my check up afterwards, my dentist discovered a small amount of decay just under one of my crowns. So I will be seeing him several times over the coming weeks to have the old crown removed and a new one fitted and constructed. This means about four weeks of dentist visits. Finally, I deal with the arthritis in my hands on a daily basis. I take trace minerals, sometimes use an NSAID ointment and sometimes take non-aspirin painkillers.

This vintage machine was hot stuff when I was young …

This morning instead of getting out on my bike after walking the dog, I walked just over a mile to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to visit a dermatologist. I have had a growth on my face for years and about a month ago the top came off when I ran my electric razor over it shaving. I thought a doctor ought to look at it. He did this morning and decided it needed to come off.

This is an outpatient procedure. In prepping, the doctor asked the nurse for something to use to cauterize it. Now I always felt I vaguely knew that cauterize meant something to do with sealing off, but as we were talking about my face, I realized I needed more specific information than that. Turns out I was on target about the ‘sealing off;’ I just hadn’t realized they did it by burning.

I know it wasn’t my imagination that I smelled burning flesh when he did it.

Long story short; I lived. It was relatively painless as these things go. I need to come back in a week or two and they will call me after a biopsy.

I hope I haven’t left you with the impression that I was complaining in any of the foregoing. I certainly didn’t intend that. I am getting around in a body that has lasted me over 70 years. I have nothing to complain about. I am still able to ride that body around on my bike daily. After all, even the best machines start to break down after a while and plus 70 years is a while in anyone’s book. I liken myself to driving around in a vintage car (see photo). It needs regular maintenance, but still gets me where I want to go.

I am thankful that I live in a major metropolitan area like Chicago where there is a first rate medical and teaching facility like Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Regular readers may remember my cycling wipeout last September. Again, I was thankful that I was able to walk to the hospital and get emergency room treatment on a Saturday evening.

I get an annual physical check up every year and have separate blood work done in October when I get my flu shot. I recommend an annual check up and flu shot for all our readers. Keep that vintage machine of yours sharp.


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Filed under aging, calories, Exercise, flu shot, men's health, walking, Weight

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