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ROSEN: One-upping your ailments

I’m around many senior citizens since I live in a senior housing community, and almost all my friends are over 65.

We all like to talk about our medical ailments. Everyone likes to one-up the next guy on how bad their situation is. The worse you are, the better for “old-people talk.” You become the official winner if your sickness outweighs your friends or neighbors.

You’ll most likely not receive much empathy from your friends, even if you’ve had a heart attack, just gone through chemotherapy, or spent three months in the hospital suffering from a spinal ailment.

Talking ailments with people over 65 is more like a contest than expecting any kind of sympathy, or just a listening ear.

You may talk about your recent ambulance ride to Wilcox medical facility where they classified you as a code blue because they thought your spine was strangling one of your discs in your back for numerous reasons and your neighbor will roll their eyes and say when they were at Wilcox last time they were on a ventilator and were told if they came in one minute later, they’d be dead. Then another neighbor chimes in and says she had a colonoscopy and they spent over two hours removing polyps and still couldn’t remove them all.

It goes on and on. Nobody ever says, “wow, I’m really sorry you had to go through all that, I hope you’re feeling better.” This reminds me of keiki telling other kids, “my father can beat up your father.”

You might get your religious friend(s) offering to pray for healing! Always accept when somebody offers to pray for you, whether you are a believer or not. Prayer is powerful, and always gets results — sometimes not the results we want, and sometimes a miracle… I have been blessed in the past and healed through prayer, so I know firsthand.

Something else that helps in healing is laughter. I’m currently reading a book recommended by my doctor called, “Anatomy of an Illness” by Norman Cousins. Cousins himself laughed himself out of an illness that doctors believed to be irreversible. I’ve never laughed myself out of an illness; however, I am working on it.

Cousins also talks about having such fine-tuned relations with your doctor or health care worker that just being in their presence is healing. I once had a medical professional who did that for me. It’s so instrumental to find the right doctor or health care worker!

It’s so ironic, since I don’t consider myself an anxiety-ridden person, but most of my health care workers do. This is what my PCP told me when I asked how I could lose 50 pounds of ugly fat. He told me to cut off my head and relax! (LOL)

Laugh, enjoy life and try not to stress. This is what all my doctors and specialists have been telling me. This is what they say is healing.

Did I ever tell you about the time I was hospitalized for three months for a spinal abscess and wasn’t expected to live, then spent three more months in a nursing home to learn to walk again?

Getting old may not be fun, but sure is fun one-upping everyone! Your turn. (LOL)

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James “Kimo” Rosen is a humorist most of the time and a photographer who lives in Kapa’a with his dog.
Source: The Garden Island

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