At what age does it go downhill

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thechoson
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At what age does it go downhill

Post by thechoson » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:23 pm

I thought I'd pose this question to our more senior members.

To those that maintained a somewhat healthy lifestyle throughout your whole life, at what age did you start feeling that you physically were going downhill? When did your joints start hurting, you have less energy for everyday things, etc?

Atilla
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Post by Atilla » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:37 pm

At 45 I have to say "not yet". A bit of stiffness and lack of coordination has set in compared to my twenties, but that's it. I don't do wheelies on a motorcycle any more.

I can still easily do three sets of 50 sit ups and pushups and run an hour a day with barbells in my hands.

I've seen pictures of my 20- year old self and I'm sure I could kick his arse.

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Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:39 pm

26
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Post by stan1 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:46 pm

Good genes and luck come into play. Some fit/healthy people start having joint/bone/memory issues in their 60s; others in their 90s.

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Post by hicabob » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:49 pm

Physically is too depressing (mid-twenties) - how about mentally? - I have read that the "peak money management age" is mid-fifties. I think I may agree. It would follow that other complex analytical/management/experience tasks may peak then too.

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Post by Uninvested » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:50 pm

Still run everyday at 58. Legs get tired when I don't take off (which I don't like a jerk). I am slower. I sleep a little more and get tired at about 4 PM after being at work although I wake at 6 AM. Also, losing interest in things like watching sports which I used to do.

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Post by monkey_business » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:51 pm

EmergDoc wrote:26


Hah, I was just about to say 30 :)

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Post by gotherelate » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:54 pm

I thought I was going downhill fast at 56 until I got a new hip.
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Post by Greenie » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:04 pm

Uninvested wrote: I am slower. I sleep a little more and get tired at about 4 PM after being at work although I wake at 6 AM. Also, losing interest in things like watching sports which I used to do.


I am 60. Same thing as what Uninvested said. At about 58 woke one day to "floaters" in the eyes. I feel I am doing great for 60 but it's not the same energy level as 40. Seems natural to me. I am enjoying life with more wisdom than I had at 30 or 40.

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bob90245
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Post by bob90245 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:05 pm

40. First the knees. Now the feet. If I walk more than 30 minutes, I risk serious soreness.
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Post by fishnskiguy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:08 pm

33.

That's about the age most athletes peak. In terms of sheer performance it's all downhill after that. The problem is oxygen uptake decreases with age and if you are aerobically fit, there is nothing you can do about it.

I just finished a 50 mile bike ride out and back with 2800 feet of elevation gain then loss. Five years ago it took 4.5 hours. Today it took five hours five minutes. I tell myself it's because I'm on the brakes more on the downhill sections (I broke four ribs in a bike crash three years ago and got a lot more cautious) but the fact is I'm two gears lower on the steep grades.

There is an organized 100 mile ride along the Colorado and Eagle rivers that I've done the last four years. Last year was the first time I ever passed anyone on that ride. When I mentioned that fact to the gent he was an unhappy camper, but when I asked him his age he said 70 and when I told him I was 66, and it's all about age, he cheered up.

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Post by yobria » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:10 pm

When I was 23, I went to my local HMO doctor complaining about various ailments.

"The problem is, you're not 18 anymore" he said.

I haven't gone back since, as I have a fair idea of what he'd tell me at 27, 30, 34, etc.

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Post by harrychan » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:15 pm

For me, at 29 my metabolism came to a halt. I was able to eat anything whenever I desire and my weight stayed at 185. Post 29, I have since gained 20 lbs and this is without any changes to my diet or exercise. My metabolism simply slowed down.
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Post by yobria » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:16 pm

fishnskiguy wrote:I just finished a 50 mile bike ride out and back with 2800 feet of elevation gain then loss. Five years ago it took 4.5 hours. Today it took five hours five minutes...


Reminds me that the fastest guy in the group I bike with occasionally is 56, a good 30 years older than the group average. Haven't figured out his secret, might be b/c he's retired, and can train more.

Nick

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runner26
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Post by runner26 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:19 pm

Just ran a mile in 5:35 at age 61 and a few months ago, a half-marathon in 1:30:46. Sure I have been going downhill for a lot of years, BUT the slope is not as steep as I once thought it would be. So, I am looking forward to some quality time ahead! :wink:

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Post by Uninvested » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:24 pm

runner26 wrote:Just ran a mile in 5:35 at age 61 and a few months ago, a half-marathon in 1:30:46. Sure I have been going downhill for a lot of years, BUT the slope is not as steep as I once thought it would be. So, I am looking forward to some quality time ahead! :wink:


No racing against you. I did my best half marathon at age 40 in under 2 hours and several marathons at under 4 hours. But at 53, the time went over 4 hours and I decided to stop marathons.

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Post by chuck-b » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:26 pm

Turned 64 today. We're at Arches National Park in Utah and I spent the day hiking to 4 different arches including the iconic Delicate Arch (the one on the Utah license plate). Stay active.

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Post by norookie » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:30 pm

:D Wish I had or knew how to link Frank Sinatras "When I was 21" it was a very good year song*. Health and frame of mind, has every thing to do with it, second only to genetics.
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Post by Mel Lindauer » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:33 pm

I have noticed a little bit of a slow-down in my Dad's step over the past year or so. But then again, he's 96+, so I've got good genes.

I told him I'd come to his hundreth birthday party if he'd agree to come to mine. Funny thing is, he agreed! :-)
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Post by Grandpaboys » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:35 pm

At 83 I must be doing alright, I can get on all fours and get back up again.
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Post by dekecarver » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:37 pm

All's well until 90 per my grandmother. After that each year gets a little more challenging. God bless her.

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Post by GammaPoint » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:42 pm

yobria wrote:
Reminds me that the fastest guy in the group I bike with occasionally is 56, a good 30 years older than the group average. Haven't figured out his secret, might be b/c he's retired, and can train more.

Nick


That's probably it. From my experience the fastest bike riders go in this order:
1). Pros.
2). Graduate students.
3). Retirees.
4). Undergrads.
5). The rest.

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Post by epilnk » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:45 pm

I felt pretty stable until I hit my late 40s. I knew I was getting older, I just didn't perceive it. But at age 50 I can now see it. I'm fine, healthy, and as energetic as I ever was (not terribly impressive). But I am now aware in a way that I was not before that I am aging and getting older with each passing year.

So based on that I'll say 50, even though there's nothing I do any differently than I did at 40.

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Post by btenny » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:56 pm

Going downhill is all relative. After 35 or so you start to notice that you actually have to sleep 4 hours of more at night instead of doing more exciting stuff :roll: :lol: and you find catching up later in the week just doesn't work. Same for hard partying, after 35 or so you find you need to stop before midnight to survive and still get to work in the AM. Then after about 45 or so you notice you cannot do all the big workouts or fast tennis that you could at 25. It hurts too much and you get sore. Then after 55 or so (+- depending on your genes and luck etc...) you will get your first health issue springing up. Things like high blood pressure or heart things or maybe a prostate thing will come up or a knee joint will start going bad. These may not be real bad things but they will absolutely slow you down a lot and force you to face real mortality and understand that life is short.

Around this age (55-65) most people also start to really mellow in personality, you find you don't need to be first in a race, you are happy with a bogy or double bogy at golf. You also find yourself less striving at work and happy or accepting of your position at work. Maybe you even decide to retire early with less than you planned but want the time to just relax. You will stop riding your bike at 45 or more down hill, 35 or so is OK. Same for downhill skiing, people slow down.

Bill

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Post by tim1999 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:04 pm

I'm still healthy and relatively young, but I did notice that my metabolism seemed to fall off a cliff around age 27.

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Post by Chuck T » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:16 pm

At 56 I noticed that I could no longer physically do what I could do when I was younger. 56 is the age where my parts started wearing out (knees, etc).
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Post by yobria » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:35 pm

Chuck T wrote:At 56 I noticed that I could no longer physically do what I could do when I was younger. 56 is the age where my parts started wearing out (knees, etc).


Yes, my mother went from distance running three years ago to not being able to walk at age 61. Her first knee replacement is next week, the other later in the year. Her sister (age 62) is having her hip replaced this month as well.

Nick

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Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:37 pm

In my late 50's I am still very active and healthy. I take no medications, work out regularly and eat a healthy diet. In many ways I am healthier than at any other point in my life.

I started having more aches and pains (had none before) and noticing somewhat reduced stamina after the age of 55. Fortunately that has not slowed me down much and I'll do everything possible to keep going at a reasonable pace as long as I can. As my 85 year old aunt who still mows her own lawn says, "you have to keep moving." I've seen the downward health spiral many of those who do not stay active experience first hand and am not going to go that route by choice.
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Post by nisiprius » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:10 pm

Have you ever noticed how a little kid, say 3 or 4 years old, will pick up something, and if they want to look at it closely, they will hold it just two or three inches from their eye? That's because the eyes of a little kid can focus that close.

On my fortieth birthday, I went to an optometrist and treated myself to my first pair of bifocals, because that was about the age that my close-focussing distance started to be far enough away to interfere with reading. I certainly perceived that to be a sign of age. But it doesn't start at age forty, it starts practically from the day you're born. When you're a kid you can focus two inches away. When you're in your twenties, you can still focus within four to six inches. At forty, you can't focus at closely as your normal reading distance, and you start holding stuff further and further away.

Like the decline in ocular accommodation, most aspects of aging are a continuous process, and so has been my consciousness of aging. But certainly bifocals were a milestone. Another was my sad discovery, on the big-deal 1987 CD rerelease of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, that I could no longer hear the high-frequency note following "A Day in the Life."

The mortality curve is probably not a bad visual representation of the way in which things generally go downhill.

Image
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Post by scouter » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:11 pm

I'm 55. I've found that if I do 3 things:

Eat right,

Sleep enough,

& exercise,

I feel exactly like I did when I was 35. If I fall off the wagon with any one of those 3 things, I quickly begin to feel like I'm 55.

If I ignored all of those things, I'm sure I would feel like I'm 65 or worse.

By the way, I recently read an article by a doctor who studies the aging process. He says that staying fit & trim in your 50's is the key to staying healthy and feeling good in your later years. Apparently, that's the decade when most of us drop the ball.

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Post by Sheepdog » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:19 pm

I was fine until last year. I turned 77 in 2010. I was training myself, beginning in March, for a mini marathon (13.2 miles) which was to be held on 9/11/2010. I had not been a runner for years, but I did walk a lot. The 9/11 mini marathon intrigued me. That was my birthday. I was doing great (I thought!!). I was following a training schedule which I found on-line.....although it said to train for a year and half. Hell no, I could do it in six months. I worked out in a gym and ran/fast walked according to the schedule gradually increasing distance and speed and resting. I lost over 30 pounds. I was doing great (not). Five miles was easy, then six and seven then ten. I can do it! All of a sudden, my ankles turned purple, both of them, with some lower feet and leg pain. This was the end of July. I saw my doctor. He said I was crazy. "Doc", I said, "I want to run it. It will be in six weeks." He suggested that I rest and if I did, I probably could do it. So I did for one whole week and then went 15 miles, more than I needed. The heart and lungs did well, but not the legs...veins in both legs collapsed....something called venous stasis. Boy, was my doctor pi..ed. Needless to say, no mini marathon in September, but I did have vein operations in December and January on the left leg. The right will come later, if I decide to do it.
So, when did I go downhill? 77.
I am now walking again going 3 to 3.5 miles per hour, 3 to 5 miles a day with no problems,...but the day for fast walking and running is gone.
Outside of that, I can do most things I could do at 25, except drink, stay up all night, dance with the girls and similar youthful stupidity. Now I have a different stupidity called senioritis. I'd take the former, if I could.
Jim
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Re: At what age does it go downhill

Post by FFR1608 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:28 pm

thechoson wrote:I thought I'd pose this question to our more senior members.

To those that maintained a somewhat healthy lifestyle throughout your whole life, at what age did you start feeling that you physically were going downhill? When did your joints start hurting, you have less energy for everyday things, etc?


It seems that somewhere after 70 exercise doesn't stimulate new muscle cells. So with fewer cells it is difficult to stay strong and healthy. I am 72 and still feel somewhat strong. But I can feel the process accelerating.

After 75 the drop off is dramatic.

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Post by Boglenaut » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:43 pm

bob90245 wrote:40. First the knees. Now the feet. If I walk more than 30 minutes, I risk serious soreness.


Go to a podiatrist... could be a simple fix.

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Post by gkaplan » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:44 pm

It went down hill for me when Marsha Factor wouldn't go out with me. I was fourteen, and she was seventeen, but I just knew we were perfect for each other.
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Post by Ed 2 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:49 pm

at 18 :?
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Post by greenwitch » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:25 pm

Age 46 was the turning point for me. I'd taken ballet since my early 20's for fun and to stay in shape. By age 35, I wasn't as good as when I was younger, but I didn't stop until age 46 when I broke a foot in class one night. Never danced again, and have had musculoskeletal problems ever since. I'm 61 now and exercise in water, but it's not the same.

My doctor told me that after 35, inflammation doesn't ever truly go away. So if you have a chronic injury, it will lie in wait for you, flaring up anytime you overuse that body part.

If I had it to do over, I would have stopped dancing at maybe age 40. Much as I enjoyed it, the human foot/knees/hips are just not designed for that kind of stress. I should have taken up low impact aerobics or something else instead.

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Post by Shawn » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:37 pm

Those first 9 months were pretty good, but it's been downhill ever since.

I'm 51. I noticed an increase in the number of annoying aches and pains at around 45, but this was the same time I gained 40 pounds. These aches and pains could be due to: 1) the increase in weight (e.g., more stress on the joints); 2) less physical activity due to the increase in weight; and/or 3) age. I don't know. Perhaps I'll learn more when I eventually drop down to my normal weight.

I hope to remain physically active well into my 80's, if not longer. To me this means running 3-10 miles, cycling 25-100 miles, hiking 5-20 miles in hilly terrain, multi-day backpacking trips, etc. I belong to a bicycle club that has a lot of older members. Some are in their 70's and 80's. They may not be the first ones to the top of a long climb, but they aren't the last either. I believe the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest was 76 (second oldest was 71).

I think a lot depends on your attitude. If you think you are too old to do something, you are not likely to try.

My 76 year old mother wrote in a recent letter (paraphrasing) ... "I try to walk 5-10 miles every day when the weather is good. When it's snowing, I walk up the 11 flights of stairs to my apartment 2-3 times a day, or if I'm not feeling well I go up to the 6th floor and take the elevator from there."

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Post by tibbitts » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:06 pm

At about 58 woke one day to "floaters" in the eyes.

That's amazing that you went so long without them; I thought everybody had them. The same thing happened to me almost 40 years ago, when I was in my teens. I still remember the day. It was pretty frightening because I didn't know what they were. They've gotten worse over the years, of course.

Paul

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Post by tibbitts » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:06 pm

At about 58 woke one day to "floaters" in the eyes.

It's amazing that you went so long without them; I thought everybody had them. The same thing happened to me almost 40 years ago, when I was in my teens. I still remember the day they first appeared. It was pretty frightening because I didn't know what they were. They've gotten worse over the years, of course.

Paul

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Post by saurabhec » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:29 am

Fascinating thread. I have a slightly different question. When do folks start "feeling their age"? I am soon to be 38, and while I am definitely wiser than I was at 18, it still seems to me that all that has changed is that angst is inspired by different things. I definitely don't feel as sure and invincible about things as I did when I was 18 though. Part of it is simply recognizing the defeats I have suffered and realizing that I probably won't achieve all that I wanted 20 years ago.

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Post by BC_Doc » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:47 am

Atilla wrote:At 45 I have to say "not yet".
I've seen pictures of my 20- year old self and I'm sure I could kick his arse.


Yup, I'm in better shape at 44 than I was in my early 20s. Definitely quicker in my 20s but can run a hell of a lot farther in my 40s.

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Post by Rick_29T9W » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:25 am

I am 56 years old and when I occasionally have to dig with a pick and shovel, I can still work as hard as ever. I have to do that several times per year.

For exercise, I walk an hour every day, while raising and lowering my heavyhands from hips to forehead level with each step. At times, I switch to doing a double ski poling movement to also exercise my back while walking with the heavyhands. I aerobically condition my arms, back and legs all at once. That keeps me in good enough shape for occasionally using the pick and shovel. But at 56, I now seem to be more prone to minor injuries when exercising or working. Because of soreness in one elbow, I had to stop using the heavyhands for several months. After the soreness was gone, I cautiously started back with slightly lighter weights.

Several weeks ago I was digging a ditch by hand in a place our old backhoe could not reach. It was in the hard packed, Arizona mountains dirt, rocks and tree roots. I kept going steady and hard with the pick and shovel all morning, without getting out of breath or tired. I was not sore the next day either. That is better than what I could do when I was in my 20s.

Because I eat better now, my energy level is much better than when I was in my 20s. I eat lots of fruit, vegetables and sprouts that I grow in my kitchen, and other foods. I also try to choose the slower absorbing low glycemic index carbohydrates. Of course I try to minimize the saturated fats and totally avoid trans fats.

Dad is 90 and mom is in her mid-80s, and both are still in reasonably good health for their age. Mom still does most of the bookkeeping for a small business that they own. I hope I do as well, although I did have a health issue come up a little over a year ago (but the doctor does not think it is a big risk).

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Post by Lee Saage » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:22 am

This could be a depressing thread for those of us of a certain age. As Nisiprius suggests, entropy begins to kick in right after that first slap on the butt. I choose to believe that any (purely theoretical) loss of physical prowess is more than compensated for by gains in wisdom and insight. When the intellect starts to go, then it's time to experience the joy of being unrelentingly irascible. It's all good, it's just all different.

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Post by HardKnocker » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:47 am

35

The aches and pains start to last longer.
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Post by MollyRN » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:06 am

age 69 female and life is great! Have done 3 marathons since 65, currently training for another in Oct. Still do 3 triathlons every year with a Sep. ocean swim Olympic distance this year. Not as fast as a few years ago, but who cares? The glass is way more than half full! Love the fitness & comraderie. Bicycle with other seniors several days a week & some of them are in their 80's! Molly

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Post by nisiprius » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:30 am

Two unpleasant things to keep in mind (or avoid keeping in mind). First, even though, in early retirement, I generally feel healthy, I am aware of what I'll a shrinking safety margin.

In a small way, my ability to "cheat" on my healthy routines and get away with it is diminished. I can't pull an all-nighter, say. In a larger way, I'm less tolerant of other kinds of physical abuse. I am constantly burning my mouth, for example. The pizza doesn't feel any hotter than it used to, but mouth has apparently gotten more sensitive while my pain sensors and my instincts are the same as before. I say "Ouch, I darn near burned myself" and then half an hour later I realize I burned myself, period.

Second, and this is related... I am currently in the sort-of-happy stage of life where stuff goes wrong but the docs can fix it, because not too many things are going wrong at the same time. I can tolerate all the "first-line" treatments, the things that are most reliable and work best. For an example of an in-between case. Years ago I had an MRI and they asked me some questions and then did the test. Now, I can no longer answer "no" to all the questions, so I have to take a blood test before each one in order to make sure my kidneys are in good enough shape to clear the contrast dye. Well, in fact they have perfectly normal function, and that's a Good Thing--not just for MRIs but for practically any other medical treatment I'm ever likely to need. But it won't always be true.

I believe the medical word for this is "co-morbidity." I'm a young, healthy senior and haven't had time to accumulate many "co-morbidity" factors.

I have one high-school classmate who needed a lung transplant--was on the waiting list--but had to pass because his kidneys weren't in good enough shape to tolerate the anti-rejection drugs. He is deceased. Another friend is being treated for two different kinds of cancer that were discovered at almost the same time. He got to overhear two oncologists arguing outside his closed hospital-room door (his hearing is fine!) about treatment because the standard treatment for cancer A involves upping the level of a hormone which is widely suspected of being a growth factor for cancer B. He responded well to the treatments and seems to be "his old self."

One should not confuse "fitness" with "health." Fitness is a Good Thing, but even Jack LaLanne didn't live forever. You can take care of the health you have, but don't assume that everyone with health problems brought them on themselves. Sometimes I feel we are living in Samuel Butler's fictional world of Erewhon, in which moral lapses were acceptable and forgivable, but physical disease was considered a criminal offense:
The prisoner was placed in the dock, and the jury were sworn... Counsel for the prisoner was allowed to urge everything that could be said in his defence: the line taken was that the prisoner was simulating consumption in order to defraud an insurance company, from which he was about to buy an annuity, and that he hoped thus to obtain it on more advantageous terms. If this could have been shown to be the case he would have escaped a criminal prosecution, and been sent to a hospital as for a moral ailment.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

BenBritt
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:39 am

Post by BenBritt » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:44 am

10 years ago at 65.Other than knee problems I still am able to work birddogs 2-3 miles a day. I am thankful for that. Have a great day folks!

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Judsen
Posts: 860
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:29 am
Location: Birmingham, Al.

Post by Judsen » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:08 am

At age 75 now. About 5 years ago I noticed that I was starting to go downhill so I started daily 5 mile walks and made some dietary lifestyle changes.
As someone mentioned already, we have some control of how steep the downhill curve is.

Sheepdog: Thanks for the cautionary story of your experience. You may well have saved some of us old folks from ourselves.
Be the change you want to see in the world

Johm221122
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 6:27 pm

Post by Johm221122 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:17 am

Age 18 you have to work and support yourself.you can't have summers off either.
Last edited by Johm221122 on Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

ndchamp
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 8:30 am

Post by ndchamp » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:21 am

Mid 40's.
That's when I started having to hold the paper further away, after a lifetime of 20 - 20 vision. 8-)
Also the body developed aches and pains, nothing terrible, just annoying.
Doesn't matter though. Ten years from now you'll be looking back and wishing you felt as good as you do today.

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