The beauty of age

Further to my recent posts I would like to tell you about an experience I had a number of months ago.  An experience that left me profoundly changed for the better.  An experience that made me appreciate the beauty of what makes us human.

Mrs John (not real name), 92 years of age, entered the pharmacy unaided.  As I had been handing out a prescription just at that point, I was the first member of staff she came into contact with.  After the initial greetings she asked me if I could advise her regarding insoles.  Now believe you me, when one of these ‘old dears’ have your ear, you had best pay them your full attention, for they will settle for nothing else!

After having gone through all her options, she finally settled for a pair of Scholl insoles.  Problem is, these insoles come in only one size, and you have to cut it to your specific shoe size.  As she also suffers from arthritis in the hands, I offered to cut the insoles to size, and ended up fitting it into her shoes and putting the shoes back on her feet.  And that was all with a smile.

So there we were, at the end of the transaction and time for her to leave – one happy and satisfied patient.  Struggling she started to get up out of the chair, which prompted me to offer if I could help her get up.  And here is her reply.  ‘Young man, if I do not use it, I loose it.’  I was stunned.  That moment and those words, said in that setting is burned into my memory.  The shear ‘love of life’ Mrs John showed me in that instance will be with me for life, and I pray my outlook in life will match or exceed hers if ever I reach that age.

Guys, she has inspired me ever since, because she has looked deep into herself, and have found her ‘awakening’. Let us all look life straight in the face and say: ‘I will not loose it’

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2 thoughts on “The beauty of age

  1. Really appreciate your post. I love it when an interaction with a patient spills over to a reflection upon one’s own life. It’s part of why I enjoy community practice. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Use it or lose it became my mantra as I watched my mother and then my mother-in-law in their declining years. Both had greatly reduced mobility. Both stopped ‘using it’ for what seemed like good reasons to them at the time. Both lost it.

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