I am over three quarters of a century old now.
I guess at this stage in my life I should realize I’m not a young kid anymore.
When I was 70, I was still in fairly good condition for an old man.
I was taking medicine for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and allergies, but none of these problems made me feel bad.
I was still able to hunt, fish, hike, kayak, metal detect and other outdoor activities.
Then, things went downhill.
On a visit to the hospital to have some tests run, I found I had a large, cancerous tumor on my right kidney.
Surgery was scheduled and the cancer and about a quarter of my kidney was removed.
A couple weeks ago, I had a telehealth visit from my kidney surgeon.
He informed me it had been four years since my surgery and my kidney and bladder scan showed I had no problems from the cancer or the surgery.
I have one more check in a year, then he will release me with a clean bill of health.
About a year after that surgery, my cardiologist scheduled me for a new heart valve.
While in the hospital for that procedure, they found I had two major blockages in my arteries.
They inserted three stents to fix that problem before doing the valve replacement.
Two days after the heart surgery, Susie and I were in the hills of Kentucky metal detecting with no problems.
Now, for the last three years, I have been getting x-rays and heart scans to make sure everything is working properly.
Once again, the surgeons apparently knew what they were doing and I’m in good shape.
The only noticeable problems I have now is a bad back (which I have had for many years), and weak legs.
I have gone to physical therapy a couple different times to improve these problems, but since it cost me $40 per trip, twice a week, for six weeks, I quit going.
The therapy seemed to help my legs somewhat, but I couldn’t afford to keep going.
Susie found a little machine online which I could either sit on a table and pedal by hand, or on the floor and pedal with my feet.
I had used a similar machine while I was doing cardio rehab, so I am giving it a try at home.
I started by pedaling 100 laps at a time, resting for five minutes, then doing another 100.
It didn’t seem to hurt my legs, so each night, I upped my reps. Now, I am doing 500 laps, three times a night. My legs seemed to be improving. I am able to get up out of a chair much easier now.
While working in the garage, I found some small weights I had used after shoulder surgery years ago.
They were just one-, two-, five- and 10-pound weights that I use when watching TV.
I am going to find some 20- or 25-pound dumbbells next.
I am trying to lose some weight now.
When I went on insulin about five years ago, I put on 25 pounds.
The doctor told me that wasn’t caused by the insulin, but a couple nurses told me it would make me gain weight and it would be hard to lose when on the insulin.
I have lost five pounds in the past month and hope to keep dropping some more.
I visited a nearby hypnosis center some years ago.
Someone there helped me lose 30 pounds, and I have continued to follow the advice I received.
I got off junk food, and for the last five years I have not had anything to eat between meals.
Since I spend a lot of time driving, I used to eat something all the time I was in the vehicle.
If I was not on insulin, I think I would still be losing weight with the help of the person at the hypnosis center.
I still have about three months of cold weather before I plan on spending much time outside.
Currently, I can fish and metal detect for a short period of time. Hopefully, my health will continue to improve and I can resume enjoying some of the other activities I used to do.
Rich Creason is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer whose work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications for 40 years. Born in Anderson, he is a graduate of Markleville High School. He lives in South Madison County with his wife, Susie. He may be contacted at [email protected].