My sixtieth birthday is two short weeks from today. The Crotchety Old Man moniker I’ve used on my blog for years is no longer ironic. It’s who I am. Ask my neighbors.
Say what you want about age being just a number. I’m not buying it. Sixty is old.
I’m not complaining. Getting older is a privilege. Aging, however, is a major pain in the ass.
I’m lucky. Aside from vision issues, my health problems are trivial. Still, I collect health care providers like they were Matchbox cars. An assortment of physicians and specialists oversees my aging body. Hardly a month passes without at least one medical appointment.
Last week, I added a cardiologist to my collection. My regular doctor ordered a stress test to rule out heart disease as the cause of occasional discomfort in my chest. The newest member of the would conduct the test.
Four days of anticipation stressed me out. I feared collapsing from exhaustion minutes into the test. Learning I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the test added to my anxiety.
I arrived at the hospital exactly one hour before my 8:30 stress test. From 7:30 to 9:15, I spent maybe ten minutes interacting with employees. The rest of the time I waited for the next step.
Finding out no IV was required eased my nerves a bit. I can be hard to stick. The technician explained what would happen during the test as she spot-shaved my chest and attached wires tipped with adhesive disks.
I took deep, calming breaths as we waited for the cardiologist to arrive. He explained everything again and started the test. Ten minutes later, it was over — and I never even broke a sweat. The cardiologist said I performed much better than average….
For my age.
A girlfriend from high school celebrates her birthday a week before mine. She’s driving down from Lexington and picking me up for a weekend in Florida to to celebrate the big Six-O. Can’t decide what I’m looking forward to the most — spending time with a dear friend or getting away for a few days.
I’ll let you know when I get back.
2 responses to “Just Like That, I’m Old”
Heyyy, that’s a great milestone you’re reaching! Congrats and happy almost birthday! Racking up doctors is just par for the course, but it’s gotta be an adjustment. Good job on de-stressing yourself just in time for the stress test (and I empathize with the days of stress and anxiety beforehand).
(Obligatory “I’m not a doctor and don’t know your full situation” disclaimer) Symptoms of my anxiety disorder sometimes manifest as chest tightness and discomfort. And sometimes trouble getting deep enough breaths. Just wanted to mention that in case it may resonate with you 🙂
I hope you and your friend have a great birthday vacation!
Thank you! I’m trying to improve my attitude about turning 60. Thinking my chest tightness is some kind of esophageal spasm. We shall see. Thanks for stopping by!