I've recently come through a fairly long period of illness. It started while I was traveling and began with a bad cold (no I'm not writing about the coronavirus). I bought medication from a pharmacist in the country in which I was traveling. While I recognized the name of some of the tablets (there were three kinds), I didn't know exactly what I was taking. I did feel better as I swallowed these tablets three times a day for about ten days. But as soon as I finished them, the symptoms returned.

I returned home, was prescribed some antibiotics by my physician and got better quickly. Then I got an ear infection which lasted over a month. Start to finish, I was sick for almost two months. I'm feeling better now. Ironic, isn't it, that I've just been "sheltered in place" in my home, when I'm finally feeling like I want to walk and swim and see people.

I'm 76. I've been an active, productive, effective executive, then academic, now facilitator of lifestyle courses for older adults. During the last two months two themes preoccupied me. One was that I felt like my body had betrayed me. I couldn't seem to get better on my own, something that had been mostly easy in the past. The second was that I had to fight some members of the medical profession to be taken seriously. It helps that I have a wonderful woman as my primary care physician and when I had almost lost hope that I would be taken seriously by men doctors, she intervened and sent me to what was my third or fourth specialist for effective treatment--finally.

I'm pretty much back to normal physically and just as this has happened, I am forced to severely limit my usual lifestyle because of the virus pandemic. What I want to write more about is this: what happens to us as we lose our vitality, and what do we need to do to assure ourselves that we are getting the best medical treatment as we age?

Any ideas?