Friday, October 16, 2009

The Old Peoples’ Conversation

This will be a two-parter, with the next part to be called “The Runners’ Conversation.” That will come in a day or so.

When I was a young guy, I used to get annoyed when I would visit my mom and my in-laws and they would seem to dominate conversations with all sorts of news about their health. They were fairly old – like about my age now or maybe somewhat older. Every conversation involved detailed health information – sometimes too much information – about either them or friends of theirs. Of course, time having passed by so quickly, I would love to have such a conversation with them now about any subject. By the way, if you are young and roll your eyes when the old folks talk about weird stuff, remember – you won’t have them around forever!

I don’t know when I will hit official old age – maybe age 65? No matter, because I guess I am old enough that I hear more and more conversations again involving health problems, some fairly graphic. In the interest of full disclosure, I am pretty sure that I have even been involved in such a conversation or two. So I have put together a hypothetical conversation between four old people, all fictional, and no offense meant to anyone of any age or gender. They are Old Male 1 (OM1), Old Female 1 (OF1), Old Male 2 (OM2), and Old Female 2 (OF2).

OM1: I’m going in for a colonoscopy next week. Kind of dreading it.

OF2: Oh my God! I had one last year and it was awful! You are going to be so sick. I wore a path between the bathroom and the living room the day before getting “prepped!” And I was really pooped the next day – no pun intended!

OM2: They aren’t so bad. But I sure hated it during my physical last week, when I got a “digital exam” from "Dr. Ben Dover!" They are so miserable. But he said my prostate feels pretty normal this time, unlike last year. He said I have the prostate of a 30 year old!

OF1: You men are such wimps! The stuff we have to go through, starting with pap smears, pelvic exams, and mammograms – not to mention childbirth. Men have it easy.

OM2: Oh yeah? I remember last year when I had that little prostate issue. The urologist had to take some biopsies with this thing traveling through an area that Mother Nature never intended for such explorations. “You might experience some slight discomfort,” he said. Slight discomfort? I was lying there and suddenly it felt like an enraged five pound ground squirrel was attacking me again and again in a very sensitive place!

OF2: Well, that’s couldn’t be as painful as my knees. Looks like I might need knee replacement surgery in a year or so. I can hardly do stairs any more, and am in constant pain.

OF1: Oh, don’t get your knees replaced! Remember when Mabel had that done three years ago? She can still hardly walk and is worse off than before.

OM1: Speaking of pain, I had a huge black mole that was shaped like a star fish removed from my back a few months ago. It hurt like the dickens for weeks! And it wept pus and gore for most of that time.

OF1: Oh for God’s sake, don’t remind me of that! It was so gross, and you were such a wimp about it. You screamed like a little girl! And it was just a little mole, no bigger than a pencil eraser.

OM1: It was more like the size of a pocket watch! The pain was awful. It was a lot worse than my knee pain.

OF2: Not worse than my knee pain. And certainly not as bad as my colonoscopy. Oh, you are going to feel so terrible. It is horrible. Don’t do it! I bet it is worse than colon cancer!

OM2: You know, I have to see a surgeon about this shoulder. Ever since I tore that rotator cuff, it just hasn’t been right, and it just isn’t healing by itself. I hate the thought of shoulder surgery. Man, old age isn’t for wimps, is it?

OF1: No, but it beats the alternative. But it is tough. Man, I had the worst cramping last week. I was in such pain that I thought I was going to throw up! Kind of felt like that time after I had surgery and they had to lay most of my insides on the operating table next to me while they stitched up that problem with my uterus.

OM1: Hey, who’s hungry? Let’s go eat!

Now, if you are a young runner shaking your head at all us older people – beware. My next post will be about the conversations that runners have, and you may see some surprising similarities. And since I am not just a semi-old person, but a runner as well, I guess I’ll be poking some fun at myself again!

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