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Eat, drink and be merrily old
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Ah … the blissful age of health care reform.

People really do seem a bit confused as to what the President means by health care reform.

Most people are under the assumption that it all has to do with health insurance.

Nah, that’s just part of it.

You have to dissect the first word. Health. Care.

They want to reform the way people get treated by physicians, hospitals, etc. Anything that comes under the care of your health.

There is talk of taxing foods that cause weight gain.

That would be anything outside of fresh fruits and vegetables.

When you walk into a grocery store, people will be all over the produce section because it won’t be taxed any higher.

Notice I said “taxed.”

The cost will be crazy high, but the taxes on it will be about the same.

The cost of sugar alone has gone up over 60 percent.

You want some sugar in that steaming hot cuppa coffee? Coffee is right up there with sugar.

Most commodities are creeping ever skyward, as everything else seems to be.

The numbers of elderly, in particular.

I was at a birthday party for my dear friend who just turned 80. She is a pistol. She was running around like a chicken chasing popcorn.

Several of her friends were coming by for the party, as they all live in the same retirement community.

One gal stopped in for just a minute, she was suffering from heat stroke. She was there long enough for them to fill a goodie bag and load her up with a slice of cake that would have easily fed four people.

Another couple came in, the wife is fairly robust and goodnatured, the husband was a bit on the frail side, looking a little dazed and confused. His hair was disheveled and he was a little sweaty.

Someone commented on the piece of gauze taped to the inside of his elbow.

“Oh, I just came from my colonoscopy,” he announced.

I was glad I passed on having cake.

It’s funny, cause once you get around seniors, the conversation always swings around to the state of their health.

They laugh at each other when the memory starts to go, that’s always a big hoot. But boy, have someone mention a trip to the doctor or some kind of surgery and look out.

They don’t care whose grandkid is cuter or whose dog is sweeter, they’ve all got some medical malady to wax poetic about.

Birthday Girl was the first up at bat.

“Oh, I’ve been so miserable with this Crohn’s. It’s just awful. I went to my doctor and he wants me to go see a heart specialist.”

“Wait a minute … weren’t you just talking about your bowels?”

“Oh, well I have a problem with my heart, too. I’ve got my bowels kinda under control … you know … I just can’t eat food … but it’s my heart that I’m worried about.”

The doctor also told her she has leukemia.

I know … take your pick, right?

One of the old duffers across the room, who was balancing a hearty hunk of cake on one knee and a little glass of punch on the other, hollered out, “Don’t go see Doctor So and So … he’ll kill ya before you get off the table!”

I asked if any of the folks sitting around, looking grayer as the minutes ticked by, still smoked.

They all looked at each other forlornly and there was almost a general hum of “No.”

They were all hangin’ on by a shoestring from the sound of things, but definitely didn’t want their waning years to be done in by cigarette smoke.

Any of ‘em drink alcohol?

On occasion, one or two admitted.

Birthday Girl enjoys a glass of wine once in a while, but she has to plan it because she ends up spending two days in bed due to the effect it has on her innerds.

“I may be old, but I’m gonna enjoy what I like if it kills me!” she proclaims.

Might as well. That won’t be what kills her in the end anyway.

I also asked if anyone had health insurance.


All on Medicare or Medicaid.


How many of you have surgeries lined up?

A few hands went up.

How much longer do you think you’ll have Medicare or Medicaid?

They all thought they’d have it til the day they died.

“You’d better think about dying soon then, because those two programs are gonna quickly go byebye. The government doesn’t like paying for the cost of the elderly … not that you guys are ‘elderly,’ but you’re getting up there.”

It got quiet for a minute and then someone asked, “Hey Birthday Girl, got any booze?”

One little old lady with two hearing aids grabbed her walker and said, “I’m goin to my house to get some smokes. I’ll be right back!”

I wasn’t trying to be a Debbie Downer, but … you know … gotta make them think for a minute.

I sat back in the soft comfy chair and decided to have that piece of cake.

Gotta enjoy the good things ... they may be gone before we know it.