By: Joe Ball | CNBNews Contributor
I’ve heard it said that “when you age – – the feet & legs are first to go”.
True – – as it affects me.
But first some good things about aging.
I’m soon to be 88.
I feel good … from the waist up. Downward, well no comment . . .
I have neuropathy .
That’s where the nerves in the feet take a never-to-return vacation.
The result is loss of balance.
And loss of balance is a major problem. Major! So major, I want to say it again, this way:
“Don’t fall down!”
To fall, as a senior harboring brittle bones, could result in months of rehab, or a perpetual,
forever, horizontal position. Underground!
I’m on a walker.
That’s good. I’m walking!
I’m here. Living!
So, What Else Is Good?
There are residual benefits of being “handicapped”:
… Having a vehicle “Handicapped” sign.
I don’t drive.
But, I have a driver. (Thank you long-term insurance.)
I’m in a car every day able to get to and from my office. Also, to the radio station
where the interview shows I produce are aired … plus shopping trips … library … family social & business visits. …
Here are more of the positives:
… Experiencing impromptu courtesies from people from all walks of life.
… When entering a restaurant, a medical office, a library, an office, someone seated will
almost, without exception offer me their chair. Applause to them!
… The few times I’ve taken a train, or plane, the carrier’s personnel have been excellent.
A wheel chair is available. Attending personnel are well trained and pleasant – – and understanding of needs.
… On my walker outdoors … within a shopping center … inside a business building …strangers
smile and say, or without them even speaking to me, their body language says, “Can I help you!”
There are the negatives:
… To be standing with my walker in front of a seated person who is aware of my condition, but stays glued to their seat.
- The most common individuals so doing are teenagers.
I think to myself, “Didn’t their parents ever teach common courtesy, or respect for elders”
Problems for users of walkers, that I have experienced, include:
… Uneven pavements: The cracks, ridges, will suddenly stop the walker’s movement causing the user to lurch forward. Dangerous.
… Hills: Going up is difficult. Going down is dangerous. The walker’s wheels , because of gravity pull ahead, which could result in a fall.
… Doors: Try to open a door, pushing or pulling with hands off the walker. It’s a balancing problem.
… Darkness: If you can’t see what is on the ground in front of you – – stay put!
… Misc: Dangerous slippery surfaces. High curbs. Jostling people. Entering & exiting vehicles.
… And the possibility of getting round-shouldered, by hunching over the walker while pushing.
- Being handicapped is also a great “door-opener” for conversation with strangers.
Especially those with a limp, cane, walker or wheelchair.
People like to talk about their own causes & treatments.
I give them an opportunity (“What caused your situation?”) That often leads to an interesting conversation.
Other’s problems usually are much more troublesome then mine.
Example: I have a long-time friend who just had one leg amputated about the knee. Ugh!
I feel fortunate … & thankful.
Life is Good!
I think: “My handicap isn’t that bad!”
I’m occupied every day.
I’m still in business — 61 years of doing what I enjoy doing.
I laugh my way through the day.
I have wonderful support from others. Especially, my wife of 59 years, Sandy, my children, Bob, Yelane & Nan, my long- time clients & business associates, and a staffer of about 37 years, Kathy Newmiller.
Reading newspapers, cover-to-cover , is one of my prime pleasures.
Another is meeting our radio show interviewee guests . That allows me to be in the company of intelligent, interesting men & women from diversified businesses, & interests, & accomplishments.
Helping others with lessons I’ve leaned over a lifetime brings good feelings.
Another pleasure is being aware of Mother Nature.
I appreciate sunsets. They are magnificent in their beauty of shape & colors.
I wonder at trees, thinking that there are billions & billions of them – – and no two alike.
Today’s technology. How is it all possible?
A Personal Scare
Recently, I did have a frightening experience in one of my doctor’s offices.
I was seated, waiting for my turn to be attended.
When called, I started to get up, I lost my balance, falling backwards.
Automatically, I tried to stop the descent by reaching for my chair, and – – it gave way instead of giving support.
My wife, Sandy, who was next to me, quickly, spontaneously, took my arm.
My backward motion was stopped.
Later, I thought to myself:
“If there’s going to be a fall, the best place for it to happen is – – in a doctor’s office.
Published on November 6, 2019
Joe Ball, Philadelphia-area publisher, advertising agency owner and radio show producer, has been named chairman of the U.S. International Film & Video Festival judges committee in the Business-to-Business category. The subject materials are videos submitted by businesses, production firms and advertising agencies from throughout the U.S. and internationally. Ball continues to lead American Advertising Services, 29 Bala Ave., Ste. 117, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, a firm he founded 55 years ago.