I've made it from surfer to vagabond sailor to responsible adult. The last part might still be in question. I got married, had two amazing daughters, got divorced, met a fantastic woman that puts up with me and my boat addiction and I'm still here.
I've managed to get through all this intact health wise. I have always been very active but without a real work out program. I eat mostly healthy but am not a fanatic of any type of diet. I drink occasionally and over do it sometimes but not very often and really don't drink too much or even daily. I have never broken a bone that's needed a cast, I've never had a surgery or any type of hospital stay and I rarely even get sick.
A while back I was stopped in traffic on the freeway, a common occurrence here in Southern California, and while sitting at a dead stop a car plowed into my backside at speed and then another plowed into him and hit me a second time. I was definitely shaken up a bit and I just sat there in my car.
Soon the police and ambulance arrived. The two guys behind me were hurt far worse than I. I was really ok apart from being a little dizzy. The EMT finally came up to my door and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I said no thank you and thought I was really ok. He then said I could leave if my car still worked. It did, I went home and took the rest of the day off. The next day I went to a repair place for the car. It was totaled and the insurance quickly paid it off.
A couple of months later I tripped when visiting my daughter in Tennessee. When I fell it was unexpected and I landed on my face and scraped my nose up too. I never trip and when it looked like I might I would always recover and say it was because I was a surfer. However, I started getting cramps in my legs and I felt my right foot was dragging a bit.
I really never went to a doctor. I didn't like hospitals and I hate needles, even hate seeing then in a movie. I had Kaiser insurance through work so I made an appointment. They said I needed to select a primary doctor so I picked one nearby and went to see him. He asked a few questions and sent me off for blood tests. I mentioned I was rear ended on the freeway and he dismissed that and said it was probably just my age. He said in his visit report it could be neuropathy. I hated the idea of needles and giving blood but did so and ended up going back 4 more times all for different tests. All my tests came back right in the middle of healthy range. My blood pressure was great. I had an EKG, urine analysis, etc. and all came back normal. The doctors final thoughts were that I was very healthy and was quite boring as a patient. He could not see anything wrong except that but I was having more issues with my legs as time went on.
The doctor recommended a Neurologist and I went to see her. She did nerve conduction studies and more blood tests. My nerves seemed to be ok down to my ankles and then things shut down. I mentioned the accident and she said no it was probably neuropathy due to diabetes. When more blood test came back and showed I was not even pre-diabetic she said I had idiosyncratic neuropathy. I asked what that is and she said I have neuropathy but she had no clue why and suggested that at my age I should just get fitted for leg braces. Of course, as a good patient I said "Leg Braces? No F..ing way!" So now what? I had no answers and no suggestions from Kaiser.
Later, I was down at my boat and ran across a friend I have sailed with many times. He asked what was wrong and I explained what was happening. He said his son was a chiropractor and I should go see him. Since I had nothing from Kaiser I decided to go see my friend's son. I walked in and he asked me what was going on. After I told him and took a few steps for him he said it's your L4, L5, and S1. You need x-rays and an MRI right away.
I went back to Kaiser and asked for x-rays. Reluctantly they said ok and I got a series of x-rays. They would not approve an MRI. A couple weeks later the doctor report said my L3, L4, and L5 were bone on bone. Then they said I needed to see a back specialist. I had that appointment about a week later. She looked at my x-rays and said this isn't unusual for someone my age. She would not approve an MRI and suggest leg braces. Once again I said "Leg braces are you F..ing kidding me? No way!"
I thought, now what? I had recently signed up for Medicare and I already hated dealing with the medial bureaucracy. Luckily a friend recommend an insurance specialist to wade through changing plans and what I really needed. Now with that finally done, I have a new primary doctor and a new back specialist that ordered X-rays and MRIs immediately and not just for my lower back but upper back and neck too.
Hopefully now I will have a better recommendation than leg braces. But at my age...who knows!