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( This post, the third in a collection, appeared previously in the Philly Inquirer. Check out component one right here and also sequel below. The author is a retired sporting activities reporter for the paper.)

The secret to having a lengthy life, a doctor when informed me, is picking your parents really carefully.

He wasn’t kidding.

Diet? Of course.

Exercise? That doesn’t recognize that?

Fight the great battle, gain a connection, a standoff, as well as hope there’s a cure simply around the bend. The objective is making [Alzheimer’s] retreat.

Avoid stress? Well, duh.

Don’t smoke? Well, double duh.

But for a gold-plated go through the Pearly Gates, nothing beats having a thriving household tree whose roots, generation after generation, are flush with a robust DNA that is passed consistently along.

I’m hoping the good medical professional accomplished, since two of my grandparents reached 95, and my mother passed when she was just 2 months timid of 100. Since this writing, I am 78.

And blessed with health, which is essential, due to the fact that there’s a big difference in between living long and also living well.

Mostly Lucky

I’m privileged to have for the most component prevented medical facilities and also medical professionals. My tonsils were gotten rid of 70 years back, I had one painful spell with shingles, as well as there have actually been seven procedures for skin cancer cells. I also evaded a number of bullets, any type of one of which can have done me in, including negligent driving, a desire for the drink, which my liver has forgiven, and also the monumental stupidness of them all– smoking (likewise forgiven, by my lungs).

All in all, a most fortunate individual I am. And also permanently grateful.

I take in red meat and also eggs and also ice lotion with scandalous immunity (thank you, DNA) and my important indicators– blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.– all test normal.

My daughter-in-law, a registered nurse as well as true angel of mercy, said: “You would certainly be the photo of wellness if it had not been for the Alzheimer’s.”

Oh yeah, my nemesis. That.

Shut up, Al.

Remember: Adjust. Adjust. Yield nothing.

Stem the Tide

In the army, it’s called a holding activity. Protect your ground. That is the accepted approach for fighting Alzheimer’s: Fight the great battle, obtain a tie, a standoff, as well as wish there’s a remedy just around the bend. The goal is making Al retreat.

But ways to do this? Workout, workout. [See this Next Avenue article.]

You don’t have to bench-press a vehicle, simply anything that gets the removaling components removaling. The most effective one is the easiest one: strolling. I obtain out there five to 6 days a week, 30 to 40 minutes at a time. Hills are a bonus.

I signed up with, temporarily, the jogging craze. I am not developed for that– you might hear me coming a block away, hefty treads seeming like a rhino plowing through the bush, tongue at half-mast while committed joggers, built like jockeys, passed easily by. I figured I was going to a knee transplant. Or a hip replacement. Or both. I settled for a much more humane as well as flexible gait.

The various other day, as I was panting and also blowing my method to the surface, a next-door neighbor called out: “I can remember when you used to run up that hill.”

” Yes, George,” I claimed, “and also rather quickly I’ll be creeping up it.”

Then there’s mental workout. Involve the mind, which is, by the way, stated to be the biggest sex organ in your body. Make of that what you will. I have a desire for crossword challenges. And also considering that I am noticeably doing not have in the nether world of computer systems, I play solitaire on my laptop, trying to better my time with each electronic deal.

So then, exercise, mental workout, and also–.

Bill Lyon and His Meds

We are a pill-happy culture. For years I saw in scary as my wife administered her day-to-day distribution. I wanted none of it.

And then along came Al to slap away my smugness. Ends up there are medicines out there that appear in order to help stem the trend. Now I’m up to three tablets, each taken once a day. They don’t heal Alzheimer’s, however they slow the spread, get a long time … some priceless time.

When a 3rd tablet, an ominous twelve o’clock at night environment-friendly, was included in my 2 others, to the shock as well as joy of me as well as that man in the white lab coat, I not only stood my ground, I took a progression. He created:

” The medical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s continues to be the very same. Today’s analysis revealed some stability and also some renovation in some of the cognitive examinations.”

So I actually took a progression. Hot damn!

OK, a step. A little action, to ensure. Yet a shred of hope. A bit of a turnaround. Still, there was that a person gold minute, the tide was stemmed … yes, just awhile, however we take our success where we could find them.

Take that, Al, you SOB.

Lookin’ Good

Thanks to those genetics, and also creases, crinkles and also furrows apart, I haven’t transformed all that much as I have matured. I do not state this from vanity. Buddies who haven’t seen me in a while state it.

” Hey, you’re lookin’ good.”

I blush. Secretly I succumb to ego. Damn right. I’m working from it, every day.

I am closing in on 80. A good friend of mine calls it the last exit. He is 82.

We both have our hair, via no mistake of our own, and also it’s not white, although I covet those who have a hair of silver. It gives difference, I think.

I am 6-foot-3, provide or take, and 219 extra pounds, provide or take. All points thought about, I feel I have actually been kissed by an angel.

There is the nightly annoyance of surrendering to a consistent bladder impulse as well as, after all these years, understanding that when I need to go I really have to go– but I’m never ever rather certain when I’m done. I am advised by my partner, often, that Depends are our friends.

I awaken each early morning– thanks for that– and also gingerly turn my legs over the side as well as to the floor. It seems like the Gunfight at the OKAY Corral. Gradually I stand upright, and also this sound is like milk being poured on grain … break … snap … pop …

And so another day is released and also it sure does defeat the alternative.

What, I ask of my body, brand-new surprises do you have in store for us today?

Not you, Al, not you.