This New Year: Stop, look, don’t listen!

Gerald W. Deas M.D., MPH | 1/3/2019, 12:38 p.m.
Well, today, I would like to give you those three words with a little variation as you cross the street ...

Years ago, there used to be signs on different corners warning you about traffic. The signs read, “Stop, Look and Listen.” The signs have been replaced by a green or red hand to warn you of the dangers of crossing. I remember, as a kid, my teacher would drill those words into her students’ heads to warn them of the dangers in crossing the street when coming to school. Well, today, I would like to give you those three words with a little variation as you cross the street called Life,

First, I would suggest that you stop complaining about every little pain you feel. Nobody, including your own body, is interested in your pain. Just get up, shake those pains off with stretch exercises and routine walking. Joints get old and need a little oiling to lubricate them. A tablespoon of cod liver oil can do wonders for joint pains and stiffness. Just take the oil, shake it up with orange juice, take a deep breath and swallow it. You can purchase an emulsion of this oil at your local health food store. Many of my patients swore that a tablespoon of honey and apple cider vinegar made their joints jump for joy. Avoiding nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and potatoes also can play a role in the control of joint stiffness and pain.

Second, try to look like you’re going somewhere and that you are somebody. Ladies, get your hair done along with a pedicure and manicure. And, you men, stop looking like Father Time. Go to the barber shop and get a makeover. Treat your skin as if it belongs to you by taking lukewarm baths with a teaspoon of castor oil in the bathwater. It will make your skin as smooth as silk, and someone will want to touch you. Glycerin and rose water do wonders for rough skin. If your skin is irritated and ashy, two cups of oatmeal (like Aveeno) in your bathwater will make your skin jump for joy. The use of fatted soaps, such as Basis, Neutrogena and Dove will moisturize your skin.

Last, but not least, don’t listen to your children, relatives or friends who want to put you in that aging box called the senior citizen. I dislike the word “senior.” I would rather be called a “seasoned citizen,” which means you are still tasty, ripe and ready to be devoured with love and kisses. Of course, by another seasoned citizen, if that is your desire.

Recently, I drove my car into a parking lot and a young whipper snapper approximately 20 years old said to me, “How long will you be, Pop?” I jumped from my car and asked this well-developed, muscular lad who he was calling “Pop.” He said, “You.” Looking at the size of his muscles, I backed off and told him, “Don’t think that this gray hair is a sign of old age but as a sign of wisdom.”

I felt, however, like popping him for his arrogance, but like I said, he looked a little more athletic than I, and I remembered that old saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you.” I gave him a tip. He smiled, and I laughed.

So, to all you “seasoned citizens,” get on the ball and take care of what you have, and I’m sure you will stop feeling sorry for yourself, look like you are somebody and don’t listen to folks who want to put you in that aging box. Remember, work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like nobody’s watching!