Sunday, April 23, 2017

Claiming Your Age

Oh, God, what a subject. It seems like only yesterday that I was a cool 18 year old dating cool 18 year old guys. 21 wasn’t so bad, even 40 for that matter!

Once I passed 50, I denied being related in any way to the bald and fat crowd. When I went to my last high school reunion, I followed the signs in the nice hotel to the ballroom with a big sign that said “Class of 1970 Reunion.” That seemed like my group until I looked in the door. “No way, Jose” was that MY group I said to myself, but indeed, it was.

Last year when I went to the doctor for my Autumn checkup, I had planned on getting
a flu shot for the first time. I see the commercials on TV about Shingles, Pneumonia, and all of the other older person shots, but I settled on a flu shot for now. After all, I’m healthy and much younger than everybody else my age. I told the doc that I wanted to get a flu shot in addition to the other checkup stuff on my list, but we both forgot.

In mid February, I came down with the flu that everybody else had. It was an upper respiratory flu with a severe cough. No problem. It would clear up in a few days. The problem was that it didn’t. The cough went on until mid March with an accompanying wheeze and whistle. I went to the doc to get it checked out and was told that it was Bronchitis which is a virus often coming on at the end of the flu. No meds, just get some rest.

At the beginning of April, I was exhausted. I had been coughing for almost two months, my chest was so sore that I had to wrap myself in an ACE bandage in order to accommodate the coughing, and it wasn’t going away! Sleep? How can one sleep when their chest is making a whistling and moaning sound?  The worry about dragging an oxygen tank around for the rest of my life was really giving me anxiety. When I laid down in bed at night I had a tough time breathing. For several nights I was on the verge of the E.R.

When I went back to the Doc, he said that Bronchitis is a virus and to give it more time. There was the possibility of spring allergies getting involved, possibly asthma, try an inhaler …

I started using a steamer with eucalyptus essential oils at night, started seeing the acupuncturist, drank tons of water, stopped eating dairy products, and did everything that every book and article said to do for Bronchitis, Allergies, Asthma, and the like.

Hooray! It’s April 23. The cough is gone, the wheezing is gone, and I’m back to health! My lesson is learned. I spent so many nights laying awake picturing myself with an oxygen tank for the rest of my life because I ended up with chronic Bronchitis or Asthma because I couldn’t recover from the flu.


I will no longer deny that I’m not 18 and that I AM 65. I AM healthy, I don’t smoke, hell, I don’t even drink coffee anymore, but I won’t deny that I need to do those extra things to prevent health problems overall. My advice is that if you are over 60, GET A FLU SHOT. Do everything possible to be strong and healthy. Something as routine as the respiratory flu can take you down permanently. Take it from me.

No comments: