DIAGNOSIS: NEGATIVE

By November 27, 2018 Longevity, Random/Rants

I pretty much know the answer ahead of time, but I ask anyways:

ME: My lower back aches a lot lately? There are a few new skin discolorations on my leg? This cough has been lingering for weeks? Spicy food just wrecks my stomach? I’m more irritable nowadays, especially with rude drivers?

DR: There could be multiple reasons for your “disorders.” We’ll check everything. But, you know, you ARE getting older. Things change.

Since when did “aging” become a diagnosis? Or an excuse — to accept lessening physical and mental functionality and diminishing quality of life? The universal goal of “healthy and purposeful longevity” is being highjacked by apologists.

I try not to accept the explanation of you’re just getting older. I feel that each time I do, I die a little. Or at least creep a little closer to the end. Like being nudged inch-by-inch off the pirate ship’s plank, one age-related concession at a time.

Instead, medical professionals should be challenged to treat our conditions — and quality of living — as agelessly as possible.

In addition, my personal response to “aging” is to self-medicate with a steady diet of denial and defiance. Also, try to eat healthier. Take a steady regimen of Advil and statins. Go for longish daily walks. And distract myself with music while driving.

The fact is: aging is not a disease. Aging is not an inevitable ailment or illness any more than youth is an all-purpose elixir. Aging is a state of mind. Don’t let a doctor or your body try to convince you otherwise.

 

 

10 Comments

  • ed witts says:

    Yes ! Have you read “Younger next year”, a doctor and his patient tackle this together. Great read.

  • Gary says:

    I try to stay positive. It’s getting harder.

  • Strling says:

    Well said!!

  • jack says:

    As a doc I had a tendency to take a read on a patients mind before their body. I do that for myself now that I’m retired, from medicine at least. A young mind was able to drag the body to heal itself so many times. Modern medicine is over burdened with too many complicated issues –we need a specialists in clarifying and improving wellness as much as a patients’ LDL. Great post Stu

  • Steve Castle says:

    Ageism in medicine is a BIG problem, that has not received the attention it deserves.

    Chronic conditions are more common and accumulate over time but as Stu states are not the same as aging. Understanding what you are up against and developing strategies to address and work around chronic conditions are necessary but run up against barriers of silos and ‘doing no harm’…maybe stop exercising and wait for your back, shoulder, knee to get better…..the standard response.

    The answer is better integration of primary care, therapy and community-based exercise programs…Identify where you are with regards to fitness, what are the chronic conditions and develop a strategy that includes stretching, appropriate weight resistance training and cardio. You are never too old to get fit and it is never too early to #MaximizeMomentum!

    Hopefully, Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits that will include wellness programs will allow this melding of primary care, therapy and community based exercise programs to be developed.

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