• Whens a news headline links coffee drinking with getting freckles, you know that link does not necessarily mean cause and effect, and pour another cup.
  • You say “systolic” and “diastolic”, not “upper” and “lower” blood pressure
  • You know the generic name and drug class of every medication you take.
  • When doctor dismisses an aching knee with, “You’ve got to expect a little pain at your age,” you remind doctor that your other knee is the same age and it doesn’t hurt.
  • You know that the latest “superfood” isn’t.
  • Doctors are asking about your diet and exercise for their own health benefit.
  • Your definition of a food supplement is a side salad.
  • You call it “zoster”, not “shingles”.
  • When a friend shows you their newest nutritional supplement, you point out the lack of a USP or ConsumerLab seal certifying purity and potency.
  • For every new prescription doctor offers, you ask, “And what are we taking away?”
  • When a drug advertisement boasts “clinically proven” or “doctor recommended”, you have a mental image of the clinic and doctor they are talking about.
  • You feel that a little gray hair is a small price to pay for this much wisdom.
  • When someone forwards you internet jokes with stereotypical humor about aging as being witless or sexless, you ask to be removed from their list.
  • You know that the “Beers List” is not from a pub menu, but is a highly regarded cautionary list of potentially inappropriate medications in older adults.
  • You know that “prostrate” is a position, not a gland.
  • Anyone addressing you as “Hun”, “Dear” or “Young man” will regret doing so.
  • You never start a question to your physician with, “What do you think about…”. Instead, you phrase your question ‘”What does current best evidence suggest about…”
  • You reminisce about old age
  • Your doctor asks you how he can get into UC Davis Mini Medical School himself.
  • So many friends seek your health advice that your phone voice message prefaces, “If you know have an actual health emergency, hang up and call 911…”

    Michael K. McCloud, M.D.