Pondering healthy rewards

Published 7:11 pm Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting old has not its healthy rewards.

Oh one might say it is rewarding in these “golden” years to be secure in your financials, able to afford what needs to be afforded, retaining a few leftover bucks for an occasional blast to the beach.

There’s time to enjoy children and grandchildren, family gatherings, volunteering community service and maybe a little remaining time for yard work. (If you are weird enough to enjoy yard work against the heat and the gnats).

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Good health is the issue goal of our age, or as near as good as it can get. One close elderly friend was remarking the other day that one of his old nagging pains had returned, after corrective surgery many years ago. The old wound had perked up its ugly head again. The body as it gets older always will have pain and discomfort, his doctor told him. The only way to avoid it is to die young and quickly.

Yet we chart our distances to the emergency rooms, our doctor’s and specialist’s offices, pay hundreds of dollars each month for pills, and calculate how much the ambulance ride is going to cost to the nearest big hospital where expert care awaits to fix the latest malady, and hope insurance covers it.

It’s so routine to feel great one minute, and the next minute be on your knees begging for help after a fast trip to the emergency room.

I am reminded of this due to the current recuperation of Ray Chambers from chest surgery. I remember my own experience now 10 years passed recovering from bypass surgery. As those of you who have had similar experiences, you know that major surgery such as this disperses all energy from the body. For the first few days, you remain a weak blob of flesh and bones. Then gradually and slowly energy returns, but it’s a long process to full recovery.

People must wait on you, serve you meals, help you into and out of the shower, put on your socks and other routine things you did for yourself for the past 60 or 70 years.

Dr. Ray said the other day when I checked on him that he was weak, tired and had grand bouts with sleep.

I would also like to report on the recuperative powers of Ray Reed, world’s oldest radio ad salesman, and Bobby Trawick, both making great strides against the Big C, and both expected to make full recoveries.

It all points to this—when we have these big life-threatening maladies, and let’s face it at advancing ages, any malady must be taken seriously, we place our mortality into the hands of the professionals and trust them explicitly.

Those of us who have experience with the professionals in our area, whether it be Bainbridge, Tallahassee, Dothan or Thomasville, know that well-trained people are at hand. The best we can do is let them do their jobs, let them do what they are trained to do. Wisely, they all have enough professional knowledge to know if they can’t handle your crisis, they know another colleague who can.

I think we are blessed with great medical facilities within close-by cities, and if you have ever had need of them, I think you would agree.

I do.

Reminder: Frederick Smallwood will sign his book, “My War,” today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Book Nook. His book, “My War,” is his recollection of his days as a private in World War II, participating in one of the most historical battles of the war, the Battle of the Bulge. It’s great reading and Smallwood has made this a work well-worth your time.