The Nuisances of Aging

If someone asks me how I am today I will say fine. That is essentially true. A concurrent truth is that there are what I will call some nuisances that seem to be associated with aging.

I have developed an abscess on an anchor tooth that secures a bridge. The dentist told me in a very relaxed tone that I would need a root canal. I made the appointment and arrived with all the nightmare stories of root canals that I have accumulated through the years. After two hours of bracing for torture in the dental chair I was told that he was three quaraters done but I would need to make another appointment to finish. When I asked the dentist if the worst was over. He said, “Yes.” This confused me because I had not yet experienced pain unless the anticipation of pain is pain in itself.

I came back for my second appointment. This time I was there almost three hours. The dentist kept referencing an unusual curve in the canal of the tooth and a ledge that was stubborn. Finally, he indicated he had a clear access and said, “This is exciting.” With my mouth filled with a rubber dam and biting on a foam wedge I was able to respond, “Maybe for you!!”

I have one more appointment. If I can report that I have had no pain I will have a post inserted in this tooth in a couple of weeks. I am juggling being thankful for the skills of the dentist and the availability of this procedure with lamenting that I need to do this.

Concurrent with this, I woke up one morning with something in my eye. I called a local eye exam/glasses chain store and asked if someone could look in my eye and remove whatever is causing me to have blurred vision. When I arrived I found myself scheduled for a complete eye exam. I argued that I didn’t want an eye exam because my eye was blurred from whatever had landed in it during the night. I pictured myself leaving with thick trifocals. I lost the battle and succumbed to the exam.

The concluding diagnosis was that I had some scratches on my cornea of unknown origin but I was not “blind as a bat.” This was not a revelation to me as I had never considered being blind as one of the options. The optometrist did confess that since I presented with blurry vision he had to do the whole exam so that I would not sue him if he missed a serious condition.

An aging body is a nuisance in our health care system. Let’s help each other separate a nuisance from a problem and live a life of thanksgiving.

What have you complained about today that is really only a nuisance?

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