Friday, July 13, 2007

The Merits of 'Fine, thank you'.

Have you ever wondered when one becomes officially "old"? I think I have it figured out. It's when someone asks how you're doing, and you actually tell gory detail.

Yesterday, we had lunch with some older relatives, and they spent about 80% of the conversation talking about their ailments, medications, doctors visits and medical tests.

Now I understand, this is a huge part of their lives at this point, and I really do not want to be insensitive to that. But as I sat and listened to this conversation, I marveled at how people who used to be able to have fairly well-rounded conversation were now so focused on names and purposes of specific medications, their generic versions, dosages, and potential side effects of them all. They also had no shyness in endlessly discussing all the medical tests and their results. I really don't wish to be that familiar with a colonoscopy procedure until I have to go do one myself. I'll pass on the details, especially during lunch.

I wondered -- sooner or later, does it all come to this? Is this what we have to look forward to? I shudder to think.

As I get older (God willing), I am going to try very hard to not slip into that mode of spending entire conversations focused on aches, pains, and pills. When someone asks 'How are you?', I'm going to try very hard to smile and say 'fine, thank you'.

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