The Old Coot isn’t sure who’s right

My grandparents never (or almost never) went to a doctor or entered a hospital. They were born in the late 1800’s and passed away in the 1950’s. My grandmother of “hardening of the arteries, as they called Alzheimer’s back then, my grandfather of a strangulated hernia, which he treated with a truss for 20 years (but should have gone to a doctor and a hospital to get it fixed). But, people from their generation didn’t run to a doctor, as a rule. Or a dentist, except for an abscessed tooth extraction or to get a new set of choppers. They treated most of their ailments with home remedies, and made out pretty well for the most part.

They were in their 60’s by the time I came into their lives. I had more doctors than golf league partners when I was their age. I’m in pretty good shape, yet my annual calendar is sprinkled with checkups and investigative procedures. It makes me wonder who had the best strategy – home cures or modern medicine in a relentless struggle to keep me going with a stash of prescriptions and medical appointments in an endless, repeating stream. 

Maybe, a little of each is the way to go. Besides, I’m now used to a doctor saying, “You have to expect that at your age.” It’s been going on for more than 20 years. It taught me not to pick up the phone at every new physical adventure that comes my way. 

Where am I going with this? I’m not sure. I grapple with it every so often. I thought if I wrote it out I’d come to some conclusion. Not this time. I guess I’ll try to accept the inconvenience of sitting in waiting rooms, thumbing through old magazines and watching TV with the sound turned off, and closed captions NOT turned on. It’s especially hard on me, because I can’t lip-read!

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