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Further Afield - Health issues not of interest
luke cameron

Let me say that I love seniors. They are nice and wise and they have so much knowledge. They love hard candy and V8 juice and butter pecan ice cream for some reason, and I think that is cool. 

Seniors have a cornucopia of lived experience and know-how, and they give so much to the world. They have seen so much and have survived and managed to tell the tale. 

I love seniors.

With that said, when talking to a senior I do not enjoy hearing the ins and outs of their medical situation. Often, it gets too in-depth for me. 

A simple “Well, I have had some health issues lately” would do fine. Instead I get inundated with more medical detail and terminology than anybody could possibly want. There’s talk of capillaries and veins and arteries and grafting and ball-and-socket joints and fluid and blood and “The doctor took this and did that.” 

There is microfiche and slide shows and talk of a quiz on Tuesday. It all gets to be too much.

You know how when writers are writing medical dramas, when it comes to the hospital/procedure/medical part of the episode they are writing, they will simply write “Medical, medical, medical” in the space, and medical specialists come in later and fill in that space with the medical particulars? Well, when an older person takes me, an innocent bystander, and gives me a barrage of the particulars of their diagnoses and medications and procedures, I zone out and all I hear is “medical, medical, medical.” 

That is all I hear and all I choose to hear, because I cannot process all the medical information being thrown at me. It all means zilch to me. I care for the person I am talking to, and I want them to get better and I will help them in any way I can. I simply am not equipped to take all the medical-school-anatomy-and-physiology-level detail they are giving to me and put it to good use. I cannot do it. I am not trained. 

So I have made myself a note for if I am ever lucky enough to live long enough to be a senior citizen. When I go through health issues and have health problems, I am going to try not to burden young, innocent souls with a long list of my medical particulars. 

Just because someone asks after my health and how I am doing, I will not use that as an excuse to unload on them and give them a syllabus. I hope to simply say, “You know, I have been through some things lately, but no need to get into the particulars. How are things with you?” Or I will say, “I have had some health issues lately, but my heart’s still beating.” 

I love seniors, by the way. They are the best.

Standard contributor Luke Cameron can be reached at 473-2191.