Retiring Retirement


Illustration by The Art Dept
A growing portion of the elderly look and act anything but.

By Linda Marsa | NAUTILUS

You don’t take any medications?”

“No.”

The doctor stared at me dolefully, then reframed the question.

“So, when you get up in the morning, what do you put in your mouth?” he asked with an air of exasperation, as if I was the one who wasn’t getting it.

“Oatmeal, usually, and tea with milk.”

“You don’t take any pills for high blood pressure? For your heart? Your bones?”

“Nope.”

“Nothing?”

“Nothing.”

“Not even vitamins?”

He scanned my medical history, and the answer was there in black and white: a body mass index of 24, blood pressure a shade lower than the normal range, total cholesterol below 120, and no chronic disorders or ailments to speak of. There was just one outlier in this picture of good health: I recently turned 67. Which is why, when I saw a new doctor for my annual checkup, he had a hard time believing I wasn’t taking an arsenal of drugs simply to remain upright.

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