I feel a certain sadness now and then as the years move along. Things once easily accessible to a younger body are beginning to slip out of reach. My phone’s health app assures me my biological age is seven years less than my chronological. However, when I did a blind-stand-on-one-leg test, it plunked me squarely back in the sixties.
During the pandemic I renewed my yoga practice and my arms didn’t hold up well with side plank pose. Vasisthasana used to be well within my range for strength and balance, but my arms feel shaky when I’ve tried what used to be a simple pose.
The latest humiliation involves donating blood. I’ve done this since I was 17. I’m not typically squeamish about it. I laughed when my college chum Dave spoke up in a room of about six or so of us with blood draining out of our arms, “Did you ever wonder if they could take the bag and squeeze it all back into your arm?” That one sent the nurses into action with wet compresses and all. I laughed about it.
I’ve had two bad experiences where the personnel flubbed and poked the needle right through my vein. Modestly painful, but on #2 a few years ago I told them we could try the other arm. They declined.
Each of the last three times I’ve donated–light-headedness. The day before yesterday was particularly discouraging. I did my due diligence: lots of water and tea during the day: about two quarts. Moderate-sized breakfast and lunches. A snack before giving. I brought a small bag of peanuts for my post-donation snack. No idea why I felt so light-headed the rest of the evening. I got home about 6 and napped for a bit more than an hour.
I did a little “research” later that night. The red cross doesn’t think age is necessarily an impairment. I hope they’re right. And it’s just something in the air.
Giving blood is like a lot of things I’ve valued as a citizen over the years. Voting. Demonstrating. Holding doors for people. Making charitable donations. Tutoring people. Parking no closer than the second-closest open spot. The days for some of those might be ending sooner than I’d want.