Ok, straight up, I love my patients. I learn so much from them. Here's a few reasons why I think a bunch of these folks are great.
An 84 year old couple, the L's, who volunteer to sit with their fellow parishioners at the nursing home.
A 93 year old gentleman Mr. W who tells me that some of his joint and weak bladder issues >might< be because he's "finally getting old".
Mrs. J whose trip to the casino was interrupted by a face plant on concrete, who argued with the EMT's who made her go to the hospital, and she reminds me that she will turn 96 between now and her next appointment with me in a month.
What do they have in common, besides the fact that I love talking with them? They define what it is to grow old WELL. They're not the crotchety "screw it" grannie or the weight-lifting "you think you're better than me?" Mandelbaums (Seinfeld, anyone?). These folks are just awesome. They make me smile and make me sit up and listen when they come into the office. True, they might not give a flip what other people think anymore, but they're really nice about it.
You know, I love it when they talk about "when I grow old" or complain about "those old folks". (To which I always ask, "Um, how do you define old?") When I see these folks, it reminds me to stay active, physically and mentally. It reminds me that it's the marathon, not the sprint. And it reminds me that there's a "young 90" and an "old 50" and which one we get to be depends on some luck but depends much more on a good attitude and solid habits. So maybe I'll never set the world on fire. But dadgum, I do want to still be striding forth into the big world with the same enthusiasm as now. That's what I learn from these awesome patients. How to keep life fresh, active, and how to stay eager.
Any older folks in your life that make your day?
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.