Advanced age?

Generally when I go to see my doctors , its the ole same drill. ” “Oh You look so much better than the last time I saw you” or ” How’s your breathing?” or “What have your peak flows been like?” or ” Have you been using your inhalers a lot?…” “Well , just keep doing what you’ve been doing and I will see you again in 3 months”. Basically, there’s nothing new they can offer me.

Yesterday’s visit was a little more productive. It was my first follow-up visit with my primary care Physician, since I was discharged from the hospital 2 weeks ago. Though she’s never actually taken care of me when I’m sick in the hospital ( I have other doctors for that) , shes one of the best medical providers I ever had. She never pulls any punches and always tries to go beyond the main complaint of the day. Her approach to medicine is to treat the whole body and she’s very open to alternative therapies. Anyway, for the first time ever, we had a heart to heart ( or as close as you can get to one with a doctor) . She spent a full hour with me and we discussed everything from quality of life issues to setting realistic goals for my walking.

You see, from a medical standpoint, I’m considered to be a severe or even an end-stage asthmatic. (Statistically I should have croaked years ago.) No one really knows why or how, I keep going. This doctor believes that its my fitness walking abilities that keeps me alive. Probably the cardio and the aerobic benefits, not to mention the psychological high I get from it. She thinks that if I led a sedentary lifestyle that I wouldnt be around to blog all of this stuff.

As far as setting realistic goals for my walking, that’s gonna be a tough one for me. She thinks that my attitude about continually pushing myself to go farther, might not be so good for me. She kindly pointed out, that Im not only battling the effects of lung disease, but also of my ” advanced age”. After all , even a totally healthy person starts to slow down when they get into their advanced years……. YIKES….. did she say Advanced Age?? I never thought of myself as advanced. I admit it…. my body is 51 years old . I don’t think I look 51, but I guess no one thinks they look their age. But really….I don’t look my age!!! which doesn’t make sense because this disease and the drugs associated with it, have ravaged my body. I should look older than my actual age. Anyways, she goes on to say I should be proud of all my achievements so far and that if I eventually do a full marathon…great! If I dont, its not the end of the world…..Or is it?

Mind you, she is one of the few physicians that strongly supports my walking program. She thinks its the best the thing that could happen to me at this time in my life but , Im sure she also thinks that I’m just wee bit obsessed with the whole business.. The truth is..Im not . Distance walking is extremely hard for me. I do it strictly to challenge myself. If I’m gonna do something, I wanna be good at it. Racewalking is no different. It takes tons of practice and a commitment to keep it up, so that’s what I do.

Heck, if I could obtain the same health benefits by laying around the house eating jelly donuts, don’t you think I would.

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