I know that by some standards, I’m not really old.

As one grows older, your teens are for memories, the 20s are for fun, your 30s are for family, the 40s are really something to look forward to, but everything begins to wear out in your 50s.

My “old” friends that I went to high school with are getting new knees and hips already. God, what a magical age we live in. You can have so much fun that you wear out your knees and they just put new ones in.

It’s not the personal jet pack they promised us back in the 1960s but it’s still pretty cool.

As my 60th year on the planet gets closer, I’m starting to have a few medical issues that aren’t related to the injuries I suffered in my youth.

Old people like to sit around and compare war stories about their latest doctor’s visit. I always said I wanted to grow up to be an angry middle-aged guy but I’ve now passed middle age, so I’m hunting for a new definition of myself.

I’ve been struggling with high blood pressure, or hypertension as the “experts” call it. I’ve always had great blood pressure but I guess my poor diet of hamburgers, brats, cheese and potato chips has finally caught up with me.

When I topped 160/86 in April, it was time for a trip to a medical professional.

Do you know how hard it is to find a doctor in Arizona? My mind was blown.

It may actually be easier to run for public office than to get an Arizona doctor to see you as a new patient.

In April, I decided to go into a “quick care” doctor’s office and thankfully they gave me 30 days of medication for my blood pressure. It certainly helped but I could not get a refill.

That’s when my saga began.

I called the big company running the “quick care” in an attempt to get a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to see me.

After three set appointments were broken by the various medical professionals for one reason or another, I finally had an appointment in Chandler in July. I had to call that morning to reschedule because something very important came up that I could not miss.

They told me the next available appointment would be in October.

Really? They want me to wait three months for an appointment. I decided to give up on that company for health care and started looking in Casa Grande.

To my amazement, Banner Health in Casa Grande said sure, come on in next week. Holy Moly!

I was elated but of course skeptical after my recent experiences.

To my shock and excitement, it was all real and I was finally able to see a nurse practitioner. She was amazing and helped me out so much.

I’m glad to say my blood pressure is being treated again and I am grateful to the folks at the clinic for stepping up and doing a great job.

This entire experience has reminded me that my silver years have finally arrived. My hair is turning white but I am grateful to still have hair in places and not too excited to have hair in other places.

Still, old age is much better than the alternative. We will all grow older and older, so try and enjoy the new knees, hips and other appliances our doctors have to offer.

Hopefully, they will make the golden years just that much sweeter to spend with our families and friends.

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Justice reporter Jim Headley can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.

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