When things get older, they tend to break down. I recently replaced my air-conditioning system, my washing machine and my dishwasher. All 10 years old, and all without a warranty.
As with appliances that are getting older, so goes the human experience. I will be turning 60 this year, and I am paying close attention to those things that will need to be looked at for a tune-up or even something more major.
I began to take my health very seriously when I turned 50 and had a colonoscopy. I don't remember the experience much because the drugs worked very well. One minute I was lying there on the bed in my surgical gown, and the next moment I was fully dressed. Who helped me get my clothes on is the $64,000 question. I was in no condition to dress myself.
Last year, I had cataract surgery because my 58-year-old eyes weren't as sharp as they used to be. The surgery was a two-week process, and my eyesight returned to its former glory. I didn't need the reading glasses with the 2.50 magnification any longer. Now I'm the guy who gets asked by dinner companions to read the back of the artificial-sweetener pack to see how much aspartame is in one serving. I don't even squint to do it.
Late last year, I began to pay attention to the pain in my right heel caused by plantar fasciitis. After several shots in my foot, the pain decreased dramatically, but I still limped a bit. My age was creeping up on me.
If the pain wasn't in my foot, it was in my neck. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal column. This is a little painful, though with a carefully placed needle, you can eliminate some of the discomfort. As a matter of fact, with carefully placed shots, you can almost always eliminate what's causing you to be uncomfortable.
I recently went to my podiatrist for a follow-up, to have him look at the heel in which he eliminated almost all of the pain, but a more miraculous thing occurred when I got the shot in my spinal column to take care of my neck pain: It made my heel pain go away. After all of those carefully placed needles in the foot, it took a pain — and a shot — in the neck to do the trick.