Views And Reviews

I am 50

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6934.986a (Published 09 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:986
  1. R Wilkins

    I am 50. It sounds strange to my ears so let me repeat it. I am 50. I still cannot believe it. As someone once said, “I am too young to be old and too old to be young.” When I was in medical school we had lectures on how to educate our patients for retirement but none on how to cope with being 50. Although my passport confirms the diagnosis, there were certain symptoms which should have alerted me to the possibility of the inevitability of this incurable condition.

    A few years ago I noticed that hair was growing in my ears. This may have been compensation for the hair not growing on my head. What hair I do have is growing white, which I maintain is due to the chlorine in the swimming pool. I have now been forced to buy bifocal lenses. I used to think that the British policeman looked like an 18 year old; now he looks 15. I have become interested in articles about the elderly, death, and dying rather than childbirth and changing nappies. They say that if anyone over 50 wakes up in the morning and does not have any pains anywhere he should check that he is alive.

    I have started losing my memory in that I always carry two sets of car keys with me because I often leave one set in the …

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