I’m a little behind this week, partly because Mom had a medical issue that caused her to spend the night in the hospital for tests. She’s fine, just exhausted and a little down. Of course, the experience prompted a lot of discussion of age and mortality.
One thing that was sort of funny was the ER doc asking about Mom’s medications. He’d look at the computer screen and say the name of one to me, and I’d look at Mom, and she’d answer. But she wouldn’t just answer. She’d give the ten-syllable generic name and the number of milligrams involved. After a couple times of that, the doctor realized he was dealing with a sharp cookie, and stopped looking to me to interpret.
Mom and I had a good laugh over that. My brother says she’s a lab rat. By that he means there aren’t very many people in her demographic who act like her. The doctors are learning, though. There are more of those sharp old people around, and it’s going to change how we see aging.
That was the fun stuff. Less fun was that her age, 89, is no joke. You can’t wish her younger with some breezy line about 90 being the new 70. Age takes a toll. When she broke her leg 3 years ago, it was incredible how slowly her bones regrew. I swear, they almost seemed to have stopped. You lose out on a lot when you’re older. She expressed dismay about how her brain processes language sometimes. “Have you noticed?” she asked.
I said, “By this point you should have figured out how to fake it.”
Get old, lose some things, gain others. Lose bone growth, gain facility with coping. This is what it is. You’re alive. It beats the alternative.