This Column Brought to You By Aleve…

A new term has entered my everyday vocabulary – age-related. Seems like every time I visit my doctor for a checkup he says the same “old” thing.

“Doc, it hurts when I bend over.”

“That’s normal for a guy your age.”

“And I’m really sensitive to cold things.”

“That’s normal for a guy your age.”

“And I’m fidgety and have trouble relaxing.”

“Yes, I noticed that, but if you’ll stop complaining for just one minute we’ll be done with your proctology exam.”

Anyway, the good news is I’m not alone in this age-related dilemma, as was evidenced by a recent golf outing with a group of my peers. Together we had enough age-related problems to fill a medical journal.

“Can you pull your seat up? Lately, my calves tend to cramp when my knees are forced into my chin.”

“You mean like when you fall into a sand trap?” Rich asked as he pulled his seat forward one notch.

We were driving from Santa Barbara to the Alisal River Course in Solvang in Rich’s truck. It’s one of those super cabs with a back seat big enough for two grown men, provided the men are 4 feet tall and don’t have any appendages.

“One good thing about sitting back here,” John said, “is that I don’t need a seat belt. If we have an accident, I’ll only be thrown forward about four inches.”

“Course that could be enough to throw your back out,” I said. “Mine went out once just bending over to tie my shoes.”

“The only way you could bend over far enough to reach your shoes is if they were on your knees,” Rich said.

“Yeah, just wait until you get to be my age,” I said.

“I am your age,” he said.

“Right, well be careful tying your shoes that’s all I’m saying.”

“I knew someone who threw their back out sneezing,” Roger said.

“Great. I’ve been having a lot of sinus problems when I golf,” said John. “I’ve developed allergies in the last few years.”

“Me too,” both Roger and I said.

“That’s because you guys spend so much time in the woods. It’s not as bad out on the fairway.”

Rich always offers to drive. That way he can say whatever he wants and doesn’t have to worry about getting beat up on the way to the course.

“I used to have back problems,” I said. “Now I have golfer’s elbow. The doctor said it’s because I have a steep swing plane and I take divots that are too large.”

“You mean it’s from hitting the ground instead of the ball,” Rich said.

“Yeah, but in an athletic manner.”

“I’ve got golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow in both arms,” Roger said. “I have to take Aleve before I play.”

This comment produced a chorus that sounded like a commercial on the six-o’clock news.

“I take Aleve.”

“I take Aleve.”

“I take Aleve.”

We all checked our watches to see whether it was time for another dose.

The other expression that’s now become quite common in my everyday vernacular is heredity. The first thing the doctors want to know is whether your parents had something so they can say: “Probably runs in your family.”

“Do you think I inherited this problem from my mother, Doc?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Did she have jock itch?”

Turns out today’s group had some heredity issues, also.

“I’m going to cholesterol class,” said Roger. “My cholesterol is on the rise.”

“Kind of like your handicap, huh?” Rich said.

We all looked at Rich and he smiled and mouthed the words: “Careful, we’re doing sixty miles per hour.”

“What do they teach you in cholesterol class,” John asked.

“How to eat and drink.”

“What have you learned so far?”

“That red wine is good for you.”

“Wow. I’ve been self-medicating every night and didn’t even know it,” I said.

Rich pulled into the parking lot and we all got out to stretch a bit. All the creaks and groans sent a heron and two ducks to flight.

“Oh, there goes my shoulder.”

“I think I felt a twinge in my neck.”

“My foot fell asleep. I can’t wake it up!”

We limped into the pro shop.

“You guys all together?” he asked.

“Not anymore,” I said, an age-related quiver in my voice.