I am now past one week since my oral surgery and feel like I am recovering nicely, thank you. You can read details of the operation here. One of the most difficult aspects of being 79 is that I don’t have a lot of people that I can share experiences with to give me a perspective on mine. In the past few days I have managed three bike rides. It took more than four days to feel that I had enough energy to ride at all. I had to wonder is that normal (for someone 79)? None of my bike riding friends is within decades of my age. I can only go by how my own body feels.
In the past month I have come across a super resource for general information on aging – the book Successful Aging, by John W. Rowe, M.D. and Robert L. Kahn, Ph.D. It is from the MacArthur Foundation Study in the ’90’s. Regular readers who know me might be asking why I did not know about the book as I was working for The Foundation from 1990 till 2000. Good question. I think it came out back 20 years ago when I was in my ’50’s and didn’t have much interest in the subject. Duh. Old too soon; smart too late.
One of the ways I know I have been still recuperating is my sleeping. Usually I am up around 4:00 – 4:30 AM and on the web for an hour or so. Then, I get into my cycling outfit and head for the pavement. However, since the surgery, instead of dressing, I have climbed back into bed and crashed for another hour or so. Not at all typical. Then, I rose around 7:30 and started the day. By that time, normally, I am just coming back from my first ride.
I did find some interesting info on aging and fighting illness in the MacArthur book. they compare a 30-year-old with his 80-year-old grandfather afflicted with pneumonia. Here is the part that interested me most, the course of the senior’s illness “might be very grave indeed. This is because the average 80-year-old non-smoker has only about two-thirds the lung function of his 30-year-old counterpart. And, his immune system is impaired as well. ” So, what I drew from this is that my recovery from the surgery will be slow, but is probably on track. (I am writing this Easter Sunday and I rode 15 miles today, the last five with the dog in her basket. So, I am clearly getting some energy back)
I limited myself to 15 miles today although my energy seemed fine because my girlfriend and I went out for Easter dinner that afternoon and I didn’t want to fall asleep in my dessert.
Update: Friday 26 April, some 15 days since the surgery. Yesterday I rode 25 miles on the bike for the first time in my recovery. Felt great, could have gone farther, but thought better of it. Slept about an hour longer last night and didn’t get out on the bike till after breakfast. Still recovering.