Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Deflated and Rejuvenated

This week's annual medical exam, paid for by Medicare thanks to a provision of Obamacare, had a new twist. The nurse asked if I minded having a trainee participate with our regular family doc.

"Not at all," said I, and that was a good call. A pleasant, efficient, and obviously competent woman training to be a nurse practitioner arrived and did a fine job of  poking, jabbing, inspecting and questioning before the doc arrived to analyze things. I could find only a tiny flaw in her performance. As we were discussing the possible need for a colonoscopy, she observed, "You've reached your life expectancy, you know."

I chuckled at that lapse in exam-side manner, and suggested it only meant I was likely to live a little longer. But later in the day the full import of the statement hit me, and I felt a bit depressed by once again being reminded that it is no longer wise to make a lot of long-range plans.

This morning another pleasant woman lifted me from any lingering sadness. I headed for the local favorite breakfast restaurant to take care of hunger pangs caused by fasting before some routine blood tests ordered by my medical examiners. Two attractive waitresses called me Honey, Sweetie, and Darling in the span of about 10 minutes.

Of course, many geezers no doubt are addressed that way. But I'm going to hang around a while longer to confirm that.

17 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

I thought that honey, sweetie, darlin' was a Southern thing. Guess not. The only phrase I hate is when someone calls me "young lady."

Dick Klade said...

Don't think I could put up with "young man," either.

PiedType said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PiedType said...

Sorry about that. Just wanted to edit. I grew up in Oklahoma, and "honey," "sweetie," and "darlin'" were just friendly forms of address, usually heard from waitresses, other service people, and folks in or from rural areas. No offense intended and none taken. But I suppose it's what you're used to and those words do seem to annoy my friends from more northern locales.

Dick Klade said...

Didn't annoy me, who grew up pretty close to as far north as one can get in the U.S. except for Alaska. Rather, I thought the ladies meant well and the expressions made my day. They got a big tip!

Rummuser said...

Gabby Geezer, For Indians the average life expectancy for men is 64.6 years and so today I am 7.6 years ahead of the expectancy! when I hit the proverbial three score and ten I knew that I was done with shenanigans and that every new day will be a bonus. And that is how I now live.

Dick Klade said...

A good way for elders to live, Ramana. Enjoy one day at a time.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

I have had a physical exam every year on my birthday for forty years. Never had any problems paying for it either because insurance paidfor it.. After Obamacare Medicare pays for it. I don't see that as progress. The insurance companies have gained and the tax payers lost. No wonder the Pharmacos, big insurance companies and the hospitals like Obamacare.

Big John said...

Here in the UK I get various health checks by the National Health Service and such things as flu jabs etc. At the age of 76 waking up each morning is a bonus and despite the 'PC' world in which we now live I still enjoy the occasional "Luv" .. "Darling" .. and even .. "Handsome".

Dick Klade said...

My beautiful wife for some time would lift my spirits by laying a "Handsome" on me. She's stopped doing that. Nothing is so certain as change.

Alan G said...

Depending on one's view, I have to honestly say at 74 I have never been addressed with any of those typical elderly addresses... at least not yet and I can assure you it's not because I look twenty. I'm not sure if I should be disappointed or thankful when I read all the Internet chatter regarding the subject, and there seems to be a lot of it. Like PiedType, growing up in Arkansas the addresses mentioned were just part of the southern jargon. When I was in my 40's and 50's I use to almost always address elderly folk with whom I would encounter as "young lady" and "young man". It wasn't until the advent of the Internet and blogging and a greater interaction with my peers that I found an apparent palatable disdain for those two forms of address. I was actually shocked at that and remain so to this day. I have simply chalked it up to the movement toward political correctness that seems to have infested our society in these times. I have since begrudgingly dropped that form of address from my personal vocabulary so as to not offend.

Dick Klade said...

Although I commented earlier that I'm not fond of being referred to as "young man," that opinion only applies when being addressed by much younger folks. Among friends of my own age, we often call each other "young fella" or "young man." It is said in a friendly manner, and taken that way.

joared said...

Am sure you've heard the saying, "You're not just getting older, you're getting better!" No doubt on any given day you might agree or disagree with that one.

As for terms of endearment, my tolerance of them depends on various factors. I lived in the south a few years in my teens and as a young adult. I thought nothing of being called "honey" by service people unknown to me, nor have I since to the present, living in the north, southwest and along the Pacific Coast.

Now that I'm truly "old" by most standards, I've been hearing for the first time an occasional "sweetie" or "dearie" which I do find demeaning and ageist since no one who knows me calls me that, much less did any stranger ever call me by those terms in years before. Usually, those terms are produced with a well-meaning big smile in a solicitous-sounding sing-songy voice. I think one day I may respond with a big smile and say, "I'm not your sweetie" or "Yes, dearie, I think I'm ready to order now."

I've worked with adults for many years in communication related rehabilitation. Most adults I've encountered do not welcome staff or others using such terms 'cause we've talked about it. They view this as "talking down to them." Training programs for health care professionals stress not using endearing terms, especially on first meeting.

Dick Klade said...

Joared--Good to have information from a professional. Now that you mention it, I have never heard a health care provider use the unwanted "terms of endearment." Good for them.

Alan G said...

While we are still on the subject, below are recent birthday wishes from friends on Facebook. Martha is 74, my age, and Michael is in his 40's. Martha from Arkansas while Michael is from Alabama. Just can't get my 'fruit-of-the-looms' in a wad over the terms used in their wishes...


Martha Boveia‎ to Alan E Ginocchio
October 30 at 10:38am ·
Happy birthday, young man. Have fun.


‎Michael Broadway‎ to Alan E Ginocchio
October 30 at 7:21am ·
Happy Birthday young man!!!
Hope you have a great day.

Dick Klade said...

Look like simple good wishes to me also, Alan. And, Happy Birthday!

Kay said...

"You've reached your life expectancy, you know."
What? Oh gracious! That's a terrible thing to say. I hope you told her what it sounded like. She needs to learn how what she says to people can infer. I'm glad you had your spirits uplifted later.