A Guide to Your New Medical Classification As a Patient in Young Old Age

Welcome to this vibrant stage of your life!

Stacey Curran

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Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Your trusted physician shared this list with you, a newly identified member of this still sprightly group known as young old age! Don’t worry that you were only assigned this status by your new, youthful doctor upon the retirement of your long-time PCP because you are around the same age as her parents. She is highly qualified. Her medical degrees are right there on her office wall, proving that she has both student debt and expertise.

You are what Tik Toks call an Elder Gen Xer, and medically, you are starting your next stage of life. Here is what you need to know now:

-Buy a pill organizer. This handy plastic holder prevents you from panicking about whether you remembered to take your newly prescribed morning high blood pressure pill each day. Anxiety around medication compliance is not good for keeping you at 120/80! Yes, this medication may make you dizzy, nauseous, and tired. You will get used to it eventually, just as you did the discomfort of squeezing into skin tight Jordache jeans decades ago.

-Remember to also place your prescribed antacid in your pill organizer. Eat fewer acidic foods, and if heartburn still strikes, pop an antacid chaser. Remember all those Woo Woo shots you slammed in the early 1990s? Remember straight Sambuca burning down your throat? You probably just singed some pipes permanently. Like your parents always said, you’ll be fine.

-Call your dermatologist. Unfortunately, she has retired as well. Make an appointment with the first available doctor in the practice because you have this thing on your arm. When the receptionist asks you to elaborate, explain that it is kind of itchy, kind of red, sort of raised, irregularly shaped and it comes and goes. This vague but alarming description will still result in a nine month wait, so in the meantime, use sunscreen correctly. Not the way you barely sprayed it on yourself when you took your SPF 100 lacquered children to the beach. And certainly not the way you dabbed it on as to not disrupt your blue eyeliner, green mascara and teased Sun-In hair when you tailgated before a Bon Jovi concert in July. Like Jon’s famous lyric, your doctor will be there for you…

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Stacey Curran

Former journalist; few N.E. Press Assoc. Awards, few Boston Globe Magazine essays, @TheBelladonnaComedy @Slackjaw @BostonAccent, @WBUR, grocery lists.