When I buy a new car I expect it to run for a few years before I have to fix anything major. It is the same for household appliances, bikes, computers, roofs, grass. You name it. Everything has a design life or so it seems; even us. The list of parts and repairs that we need for our body after 50 plus years of wear and tear is long.
Bike parts as part of exhibition by Ai Weiwei
About 25 years ago, Charles and I were on a holiday in Florida, long before we bought a place there, and we were lying on our bed after a nice romantic afternoon. We both pulled out our new glasses and proceeded to read. At some point we looked at each other, and started laughing. There was something very amusing about the readers perched on our noses after our steamy encounter. We thought we were pretty sexy, but we looked like grandparents.
The purchase of our first readers was just the tip of the iceberg. It eventually got so I needed a pair in every room, every purse, in my car, and golf bag, just in case. And then the magnification changed as the years progressed. Neither of us had ever needed glasses, but we sure did after 45.
Riki in readers, Oscar doesn’t need them yet
We started to have regular annual eye exams. I had my first floaters and began to fret about detached retinas, but in fact, floaters and stars are pretty common, and the brain adjusts. It is important to check for glaucoma, and also scary as it sounds, cataracts. It is not if but when they will appear, and then you feel really old, even if you don’t look it. The word is old. Of course all this is easy to deal with. It is important not to overlook these exams whether you visit an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.
Then there is that hearing thing. I found myself shouting at Charles and finding radios and TV’s turned on high volume. Hearing tests came next. Now there are fantastic hearing aids that are all but invisible and take the pressure off the speaker. I wear one hearing aid because of a crazy disease that I have called Meniere’s and it has helped enormously for the hearing loss that I have suffered. It also has taken away some of the tinnitus and pressure. I wear a tiny thing made by Siemens that I got from a fabulous audiologist at Connect Hearing. There are adjustments for noisy environments, outdoors, and friends who whisper. It has changed my life. I highly recommend a hearing test at least every other year after 50.
Moving right along. There are knee replacements (see my blog Those Knees). I describe mine in that blog so I won’t repeat myself except to say that the phsyio before and after a replacement is as important as the device. I highly advocate swimming. I hate putting my face in the water so I do the breaststroke and the sidestroke and numerous exercises. I haven’t had personal experience with bad hips, but those parts are certainly available and I understand hip replacements are very successful. Isn’t this fun? Getting older is not for the faint of heart. Today a friend told me she has had her toe joints replaced because of debilitating arthritis. She is a great walker now, so that worked for her.
An extra limb just in case (Riki as doll Olympia)
I spent over 30 years standing on a stage in high heels and now have bunions! I hate that ugly word. There is surgery for this, which I don’t currently plan to try, but there are things like toe separators that make a world of difference. Some wonderful shoe designers even style stunning shoes to accommodate this protuberance. My favorite is Donald Pliner who makes a very attractive wedge, because no matter my age I still want to wear foxy shoes. Ah, vanity.
Comfortable and sexy Donald Pliner wedges
Once you are over a certain age your teeth are a dead give away. Yellow teeth are just not pretty, and they are aging especially with red lipstick. I am not suggesting tooth transplants, but your dentists can bleach your teeth, or you can buy one of the wonderful products for teeth whitening. Crest 3D teeth Whitening Strips are easy to use and Crest 3D Whitening Toothpaste works very well. Along with yearly visits to your doctor you should also visit the dentist, and I advocate having your teeth cleaned at least twice yearly. Chipped teeth and very stained teeth can be bonded with excellent success.
Two sets of teeth whitened by Crest 3D – Oscar’s are very white too
There are many meds on the market that can make those worn out parts feel better. A physical exam annually is of upmost importance whether your cholesterol is high and you need a statin, or you have acid reflux and need Nexium. If you use this product it is worth considering using probiotics like Align to keep the bacteria in your tummy happy. Perhaps you should be taking a baby aspirin every day for your blood pressure and heart. The only way you will know is to have your blood work done yearly, and the tests that your doctor suggests. I have not gotten into the serious diseases, but be sure to see a doctor when you just don’t feel right. We all know that early diagnosis of cancer is crucial.
There are breast implants, now often used after mastectomies, with paste on nipples, or tattooed ones, or implants just for enhancement. And if you have urinary problems check out pessaries, but more importantly see a gynaecologist who understands urological problems of the mature woman.
Perhaps a bit overdone on JeanPaul Gaultier wax model in art show
Our bodies are so complex that at times I wonder how we manage to walk around. Listen to your body. If you are tired, take a nap. That helps for the mental as well as the physical. And if you think you need something replaced, do your research about the part, and the doctor’s who do the replacements.
A very cute extra body part
And remember to laugh a lot and find joy where you can.