Old Geezers Out to Lunch

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Meet "Since George Shaw." Intimately.

Today I'm pleased to introduce a new guest Geezer, who will be writing here under the cryptic name "Since George Shaw."  The only hint I can give you is to say that it is not a reference to the author of Pygmalion, and that our new Geezer has been an obsessed Minnesota sports fan since...well, practically since football helmets were made of leather. 

Mr. Shaw, a longtime acquaintance of your editor, is an astute, amateur movie critic as well as a a writer of his own screenplays. He is a former rabble-rouser who came of age in the late 1960's, back when rabble activity was truly rousing. He retains a good measure of the contentiousness of that long-ago period, though is now notably softened by grandfatherhood. 

When asked to provide a profile, Mr. Shaw chose to describe himself with a bullet list that harkens back to the format in which centerfolds in Playboy magazine once described themselves: 

• Favorite Author: John Updike
• Favorite Poet: Bob Dylan
• Favorite Contemporary Musical Group: Old Crow Medical Show
• Favorite Musical Group from Back-in-the Day: The Amazing Rhythm Aces
• Favorite Movie: The Big Lebowski
• Dream Date (if I wasn't married): Penelope Cruz
• Favorite Activity (when not dating Penelope Cruz): Playing in the lake with the grandkids.

Please welcome "Since George Shaw" for what we hope is the first of many essays on these pages—the editor. 

A couple of years ago, I turned 65 and went on Medicare. I chose Medica as my supplement plan, and shortly after, in the mail, I received a lengthy questionnaire (6 -8 pages regarding my health status (not sure if this was from Medicare or Medica). Among the 60 questions were roughly 8 different questions related to whether or not I was depressed —not an unreasonable line of inquiry for a 65 year-old man. But there was not one question even remotely related to my sex-life. I am not an expert here, but I think there might be a relationship between the health of one's sex-life, and depression, especially for an old man.

Last fall, I had a pinched nerve which eventually led to surgery and lots of physical therapy at Park Nicollet clinic in Minneapolis.  At every PT appointment, I was required to fill out a form. One of the sections on this form asks questions related to difficulty, from "severe" to "not a problem," with about a dozen "basic life activities." None of these activities involve sex. 

I asked my PT why not. He explained that the list focuses on the "most common" activities. The list includes opening a jar of pickles and tying a necktie. I gave up ties when I retired, and I like pickles as much as the next guy, but....seriously?

"Attractive young woman" is in the eye of the beholder.
Meet Eva Braun, all-star of proctology. 
At my annual physical, my primary-care doc, an attractive young woman who carefully examines my scrotum and anus, asks me all kinds of questions about alcohol, drugs, and whether I "feel safe at home," but none about my sex-life. One time I asked her if she was at all curious about my sex-life (which, by the way, is perfectly "normal" for a guy who has been married 45 years man, i.e., a couple times a week when my wife isn't pissed off at me for not taking out the garbage or something). My doc didn't answer yes or no, but was clearly uncomfortable with my question and quickly changed the subject.

I doubt that my experience, with Medica & Park Nicollet is uncommon. But given the close relationship between sexual health and overall health I think it is indicative of a huge gap in our health care system. It amazes me that my health care professionals are so squeamish about a basic life function.