Preparing for the Big 5-0
Another year older and wiser what is there to dread?
July 2012 — Glucose meter? Check.
Test strips? Check.
Diabetes medication? Check.
Hi, I have been busy preparing for yet another milestone in my life. On July 24, 2012, I will turn 50 years old. I have to admit that I have been dreading this one.
Blood pressure medication? Check.
Cholesterol medication? Check.
For some reason I have such a stigma about turning half of a century old. My buddy and fellow columnist, Ilene Rush, makes being in your fifties look so darn easy. I want to believe her, but I just can't shake my reservations.
Arthritis medication? Check.
Allergy medication? Check.
It just seems so negative. Think about it — kindergartners graduate and get a certificate for going to the first grade. The same goes for high school and college seniors. However, as adults, we only get older — the days of getting certificates have long passed.
Depression medication? Check, check, and check!
I hope I am ready for this major transition. I have already started receiving invitations to join AARP. I haven't joined yet because I am still in denial that I am actually old enough to be considered for membership.
I have been receiving some encouragement from, of all things, the Viagra erectile dysfunction commercial, "Knowing How to Get Things Done." This is the one where a guy is driving a car in a desert. The car overheats, he pulls into a remote gas station, walks to a cooler, gets a large bottle of water, pours the water into the radiator, and resumes his journey. The voiceover states something like, "You are not thrown by life's curve balls. You are at the age of knowing how to get things done. So why have you not yet addressed your erectile dysfunction with your doctor?"
I like this commercial because it resembles where I am at in my life (minus the erectile dysfunction). I seldom call a repairman. When the blades quit turning on my riding lawnmower, I put the belt back on the pulleys (after I have consulted my owner's manual). When my mother's bathroom sink fails to drain, even after she has dutifully poured a bottle of Drano down it, I remove and clean out the drain pipe and trap. When a friend's toilet base was "rocking," I shimmed it. When the idiot at my local Toyota dealership overfilled my truck with oil (during an oil change), I drained the extra quart of oil from the oil pan.
This commercial has reminded me that as I grow older I am more experienced and able to handle the challenges that my life presents. This includes dealing with my diabetes, depression, and everything else. It's not always easy, and I may require assistance, but I can do it. This commercial also reminds me that you can't always believe what you see on television. For instance, in the commercial, the driver stops the car and promptly pours water into the radiator. Please never remove the cap from a hot radiator, or attempt to pour water or coolant into a hot radiator! If you do, be prepared to get scalded. See? Getting older not only equips you with the knowledge of what to do, but also what not to do.
Now that I am feeling more prepared for turning 50, I need to decide about joining AARP. You think they will give me a certificate for joining? That may make it worthwhile.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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I'm always amazed when I hear how much time quarterback Peyton Manning puts in at practice. More than 15 seasons playing NFL football at the highest level and he still finds areas in his game that require fixing. It's been 10 years for us in the game of type 1 diabetes and I still have so much to learn. Not to compare my diabetes management success to Peyton Manning's football success. If anything, I'm more like Peyton's brother, Eli. I...