Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Friday, December 13, 2013

Bionic Americans

Some friends were over for dinner and a movie the other night, and during the after dinner conversation, we found ourselves in agreement on one observation about our modern lives:

Growing older in America these days is largely a matter of exchanging our organic components for bionic equipment.

We're all relatively early in the phase of middle age, but it has started nonetheless. Everyone in the room wears corrective lenses of some kind. In my head are now four synthetic teeth--two gold crowns, two ceramic ones. I also now wear a hearing aid in one ear sometimes--I'm the first among our immediate group to succumb to this symptom of decrepitude.
Don't knock it. It's why I can still walk. 

A work colleague is a breast cancer survivor and speaks fondly of her bionic boob. We're at that age where cancer seems less like a tragedy and more like an inevitable rite of passage, albeit a grueling one. Once a rarity among our peers, we now know dozens of folks living with cancer.

Even our food has become more bionic. I quietly supplement my diet with a few vitamins and minerals that make a distinct difference in how I feel. Such things would have seemed silly 20 years ago, when my body was a paragon of efficient metabolism. For less efficient older bodies, though, dumping pure vitamin supplements into the system is only rational. I have one friend who takes this to extremes, devouring 20 or 30 different supplements and vitamins each day. It will only accelerate as we grow older. We'll add second hearing aids; somebody will eventually need a mechanical heart valve, or an internal insulin pump. Knee joints, hips, shoulder joints may eventually need to be replaced by bionic alternatives. I already have a rebuilt knee with tendons reinforced with metallic wire that will never corrode. Another Geezer just had an entire foot rebuilt to return him to the land of the ambulatory. This is no longer an aging process, but a swap meet.

I'm not complaining. The way I figure it, before long I'll be able to buy ultra-high spectrum eye glasses, and hearing aids that will let me eavesdrop on other people's thoughts.


  1. The inventory just grows and grows, doesn't it.

  2. Of course it's fine so long as the battery operated ones don't run out batteries. I wonder if, at some point, one's dressing and undressing area will ever take on the aspect of a servicing-area/workshop. Excuse me, but one of my hearing aids is telling me it's time to replace the battery. How about that for timing?

  3. "and hearing aids that will let me eavesdrop on other people's thoughts."

    Sounds like you could have a promising career with the NSA.


  4. My body is also a mix of spare parts - two hearing aids, two different pairs of glasses, a few fake choppers, and the big one, my pacemaker/defillibrator. Plus I now sleep with a CPAP face mask and oxygen. Can't help using that old line: if I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.

  5. A regular tennis partner is 90. Bud runs to the net and alleys, has a great game and I almost dropped my teeth, mine and the implants and bridges, when I learned his age. I had put him 15 to 20 years back. Lana, my wife, takes aerobic dance led by a vibrant beauty who personifies the new 70. Some of the most active people I know are well above my 67 years. People here on the coast are on second knees. Peter, a tennis player has his second new shoulder. Ortho surgeons here get a lot of practice.

    Back to Bud, someone asked him if he took supplements and vitamins. He chuckled and said "Do I take them. A shovel in the morning and a shovel at night, but they make a difference." 90 and his net play is tenacious. He still runs like a deer. Stretching is also important for aging fibers.

    We are lucky in nutrition and medical technology advances.Certainly we are luckier than our grand parents, when 67 could mean really old.

  6. “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better...stronger...faster.”
    I'm old and I have the surgical scars to prove it!