Grateful To Be In the 1% (Medically Speaking)

The two major killers in our country are heart disease and cancer. We all know people who have had these conditions or died from them. At my age (76), you begin losing friends all over the place to cancer, and your body starts (or continues) to fall apart. 

When we “senior citizens” meet, we spend an hour in what is lovingly called an “organ recital.” It is somehow therapeutic to bitch about all our ailments. 

Slithering Into Decrepitude

(Thanks to Deborah Robins for this concept)

Along with all the standard stuff like cataracts, hearing aids, and arthritis, I have developed three rare conditions. Checking Dr. Google, I learned that about 1% of the population has these ailments. I guess that makes me special. Mom was right. I’m soooo special. In case anything like this happens to you, you can join our very special club. Here are my unique “issues:” 


This is a loss of skin pigment. No known cause. No cure. It is slowly spreading from my arms to the rest of my body. I’ll be quite a hit in the shower at the gym. Not dropping names or anything, but Michael Jackson had this too. 

Ocular Migraines  


This is a painless event that causes visual field distortion including difficulty focusing and peripheral fluttering like venetian blinds. Attacks last about 20 minutes. It happens about once a month. Cause and cure are unknown. Aspirin helps reduce the length of the event.  

Transient Global Amnesia

I took a trip to never-never land when I lost awareness for about six hours earlier this year. Fearful of a stroke, Mary took me to the ER (in her third day of recovery from her hysterectomy). 

After some tests, including a CT Scan, the ER doc diagnosed the issue, and sent me home. Again, about 1% of people might experience this. It happens to people over 50, and usually only once in a lifetime. 

So there you have it. My recent medical history of very special ailments. I feel grateful nothing more serious has happened. With so many in my age group suffering from cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, heart disease, etc., etc. I am very lucky. No complaints. Thank you mom and dad for good genes… so far.

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