Elder tip: if you’re a married elder couple, compare your medical calendars. You may be surprised at what you learn…
My mom predeceased my dad by 15 months. That she died first surprised us all; Dad was the one with the history and list of serious conditions (degenerative heart disease resulting in two double bypasses over several decades, high blood pressure, hip replacement at advanced age, and more). Everyone expected Dad to go first.
Only after Mom died did Dad think to examine their calendar. He tallied the number of doctor appointments for each of them, then called me: “most of those doctor appointments were for your mother.”
We all knew that Mom was fading, and at 80 years of age she was managing a range of medical conditions herself. Unlike Dad, Mom had never undergone surgeries or had anything like a medical emergency…until a respiratory collapse that put her in the ICU lickety-split.
Family history and lore can solidify into expectations that blind us to reality. If you’re an elder married couple, tally up your calendared doctor appointments. The results may provide a little insight into your respective condition.