Category Archives: Aging

Cigarettes & pneumonia

When I was recovering from my recent bout with pneumonia, one of the doctors I saw at the hospital told me my smoking cigarettes at age 74 made me vulnerable to the bacterial version of the disease. And that I would continue to be vulnerable to it the longer I smoked. Until it finally killed me.

So in the three weeks—including one of coughing before I came down with pneumonia and the two weeks since recovering, I have had less than one pack of cigarettes. And I was only drawing the smoke in my mouth and blowing it out again. I didn’t start inhaling again until yesterday.

Which ended in a fit of coughing. I have a Nicoderm patch packet but haven’t used it yet. I think it’s the act of inhaling that I miss rather than the nicotine per se. But my lungs won’t let me do it any more without a penalty of coughing. Am I going to quit entirely? I hope so but really can’t say just yet.

The Baby Bust

The WSJ’s Best of The Web argues for more legal immigration based on an historically-low birth rate for American women:

“American women are having children at the lowest rate on record, with the number of babies born in the U.S. last year dropping to a 30-year low, federal figures [show]…

“The general fertility rate for women age 15 to 44 was 60.2 births per 1,000 women—the lowest rate since the government began tracking it more than a century ago…”

With European women likewise giving birth at historically low rates, the West’s declining (and simultaneously aging) population should be grounds for statistical worries, yes, but more immigration? When unemployment among blacks and legal Hispanics is at an all-time low? Maybe not.


No more launching

You know you’re getting old when you can’t launch anymore. Launch yourself up and away from a sitting position, I mean. Like the young do. Without thinking about it.

Can’t do it anymore. Fall on my face if I try. No, I have to slowly stand up and let things settle. Let gravity adjust itself. Then I can start walking, slowly usually, is the safest way.

Happy to say I can still stand erect though. I am not bent over like some in their seventies. And my legs are pretty strong from the treadmilling and the squats I do six days a week. I won’t need a walker anytime soon. Or a cane, either.

But I can’t launch. No more launching for me.