Jerry Krueger: With aging comes an era of additional maintenance –

You have read about my comments concerning old age. I advocate for it, however it is worth mentioning that there are some caveats that are a little bothersome.

It seems as though around the 70s the old body begins to need some maintenance and frequent visits to your health provider become very necessary. Your body demands attention if you need to overcome some discomfort and pain.

Over the past decades we have relied heavily on the talents of one excellent health provider Theresa Cameron. This talented and professional lady is one in a million and deserves accolade after accolade.

Here are some of the events associated with aging that absolutely demand frequent attention:

For most of my aging years, walking has been my most precious exercise. Well, that has come to a screeching halt. The old left knee just recently told me that it is worn out. Yup, bone on bone and nothing helps except frequent shots right into the knee with something that relieves some of the pain. Now, my body has developed some sort of immunity to the shots.

At first I was of the opinion that there was no way surgery was in the future for this old writer. But, it wasn’t long before the situation evolved into begging the surgeon to please get me some relief from such sharp, sharp pain. So, it becomes mandatory that a surgeon enter into this equation. But enduring recovery will be mild compared to the constant pain which advances to excruciating pain with just the wrong movement. It becomes pretty evident that this aging body of mine cannot endure such pain forever.

The addition of a Veterans Affairs outpatient medical clinic in our town has lent itself to some very welcome and great health care. Matched with Theresa’s loving care, it’s a great combination.

Our old bodies are entering into a well-cared-for era that is so wonderful.

Oh, there are other ailments. For instance, with age comes prevention of high blood pressure, so that involves taking the ever-famous Metformin. What a wonder drug with absolutely no side effects.

Aging also brings about cholesterol problems, so administer some statins and the problem goes away. Maybe there are a few side effects with this one.

And of course there are the old eyes. Way back when we both received “new eyes” with the advent of cataracts, Dr. Curt Wischmeier installed devices that gave us almost 20/20 vision. Of course, it has deteriorated since then.

My vision went haywire while I was still working for Northwest Airlines. One night when we were going from Spokane, Wash., to Seattle, I was flying, and I looked down at my procedure for finding the runway at Seattle/Tacoma. Suddenly, I could not read the fine print. From then on, I had to start wearing glasses. I was a youthful 47 then.  

As for my hearing, it’s best we take into account my ears were subjected to years and years of jet engines. Maybe about 30-plus years of it, so they have withstood some awful attacks of loud sounds that we all know is not fixable. Any such damage is permanent. But that is easily fixed by adding hearing aids into life’s equation.

So there are devices sticking in both ears, all thanks to the wonderful veteran programs for we unhealthy old vets.  Accolades to the greeters at the vet clinic — Cheryl, Angela and the famous, kind and friendly Mary Cooper.

Those devices are from the most able-bodied hands of Dr. Pat Coughlin, his lovely wife Ruth and their highly talented and always friendly daughter Heather. What a genuine experience to have these warm, friendly folks administer to us. We love them all.

Well, I could continue until the “cows come home,” but that will have to be all for now. It is my sincere hope that boredom did not set in while you, the readers, listened to this narrative about an old, aging veteran whose body is slowly entering into an era of lots of maintenance.

Nuff said.

Gerald “Jerry” Krueger is a retired educator, coach, commercial pilot and farmer. Email

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