Philadelphia, 10/25/2017 – I’ve heard it said that “when you age – – the feet & legs are first to go”.
True – – as it affects me.
But first some good things about aging.
I’m soon to be 88.
I feel good … from the waist up. Downward, well no comment . . .
I have neuropathy .
That’s where the nerves in the feet take a never-to-return vacation.
The result is loss of balance.
And loss of balance is a major problem. Major! So major, I want to say it again, this way:
“Don’t fall down!”
To fall, as a senior harboring brittle bones, could result in months of rehab, or a perpetual,
forever, horizontal position. Underground!
I’m on a walker.
That’s good. I’m walking!
I’m here. Living!
So, What Else Is Good?
There are residual benefits of being “handicapped”:
… Having a vehicle “Handicapped” sign.
I don’t drive.
But, I have a driver. (Thank you long-term insurance.)
I’m in a car every day able to get to and from my office. Also, to the radio station
where the interview shows I produce are aired … plus shopping trips … library … family social &
business visits. …
Here are more of the positives:
… Experiencing impromptu courtesies from people from all walks of life.
… When entering a restaurant, a medical office, a library, an office, someone seated will
almost, without exception offer me their chair. Applause to them!
… The few times I’ve taken a train, or plane, the carrier’s personnel have been excellent.
A wheel chair is available. Attending personnel are well trained and pleasant – – and understanding of
… On my walker outdoors … within a shopping center … inside a business building …strangers
smile and say, or without them even speaking to me, their body language says, “Can I help you!”
There are the negatives:
… To be standing with my walker in front of a seated person who is aware of my condition,
but stays glued to their seat.
– The most common individuals so doing are teenagers.
I think to myself, “Didn’t their parents ever teach common courtesy, or respect for elders”
Problems for users of walkers, that I have experienced, include:
… Uneven pavements: The cracks, ridges, will suddenly stop the walker’s movement causing
the user to lurch forward. Dangerous.
… Hills: Going up is difficult. Going down is dangerous. The walker’s wheels , because of gravity
pull ahead, which could result in a fall.
… Doors: Try to open a door, pushing or pulling with hands off the walker. It’s a balancing
… Darkness: If you can’t see what is on the ground in front of you – – stay put!
… Misc: Dangerous slippery surfaces. High curbs. Jostling people. Entering & exiting vehicles.
… And the possibility of getting round-shouldered, by hunching over the walker while pushing.
– Being handicapped is also a great “door-opener” for conversation with strangers.
Especially those with a limp, cane, walker or wheelchair.
People like to talk about their own causes & treatments.
I give them an opportunity (“What caused your situation?”) That often leads to an interesting
Other’s problems usually are much more troublesome then mine.
Example: I have a long-time friend who just had one leg amputated about the knee. Ugh!
I feel fortunate … & thankful.
Life is Good!
I think: “My handicap isn’t that bad!”
I’m occupied every day.
I’m still in business — 61 years of doing what I enjoy doing.
I laugh my way through the day.
I have wonderful support from others. Especially, my wife of 59 years, Sandy, my
children, Bob, Yelane & Nan, my long- time clients & business associates, and a staffer of
about 37 years, Kathy Newmiller.
Reading newspapers, cover-to-cover , is one of my prime pleasures.
Another is meeting our radio show interviewee guests . That allows me to be in the company of
intelligent, interesting men & women from diversified businesses, & interests, & accomplishments.
Helping others with lessons I’ve leaned over a lifetime brings good feelings.
Another pleasure is being aware of Mother Nature.
I appreciate sunsets. They are magnificent in their beauty of shape & colors.
I wonder at trees, thinking that there are billions & billions of them – – and no two alike.
Today’s technology. How is it all possible?
A Personal Scare
Recently, I did have a frightening experience in one of my doctor’s offices.
I was seated, waiting for my turn to be attended.
When called, I started to get up, I lost my balance, falling backwards.
Automatically, I tried to stop the descent by reaching for my chair, and – – it gave way instead
of giving support.
My wife, Sandy, who was next to me, quickly, spontaneously, took my arm.
My backward motion was stopped.
Later, I thought to myself:
“If there’s going to be a fall, the best place for it to happen is – – in a doctor’s office.
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