50 years of marriage! Fancy the old couple still being around together in their mid-seventies, into their second decade of retirement; a decade when the quality of life is increasingly impacted by losses!
Losses such as the big five f’s: friends and family, finances, figure and fitness; not to mention health and memory; but not necessarily their libido and enjoyment of life.
There are some great advantages is still being together at this age, although so often this is not possible e.g.
• Companionship in sharing life’s experiences when many friends have died and other friendships have waned.
• Someone to share love and passion, when safe and intimate relationships are hard or impossible to form.
• Someone with whom one can seek and give support and assistance.
• Someone who understands how one feels, and compensates for one’s own inadequacies.
The wedding vow “In sickness and in health” had real significance for Pop-Star as their anniversary approached.
Just before going to bed ten days before the big event, Pop-Star had an ache in the front of his chest. It was not severe but was still there in the morning. With a prior history of coronary artery disease Pop-Star thought he should be checked out as he might be having a heart attack.
Mrs. Pop-Star took him to hospital where he was admitted for tests. A heart attack was ruled out but it wasn’t until two nights after discharge back home that the diagnosis became evident.
Overnight the pain was worse and an exquisitely sensitive rash in a band three inches wide appeared on only the left side of his chest, just below his left nipple.
A diagnosis of shingles was obvious and he was started on the anti-viral drug (Famcyclovir) and medication for the pain.
Although relieved that it was not a heart attack, he was to find out it is an incredibly painful affliction with neuralgia that can linger for months or even years after the rash disappears in 1-2 months.
The Gold Anniversary that proved to be a Non-event
Mrs. Pop-Star also has medical issues. Foremost is painful disabling osteoarthritis of both knees. Indeed she was booked for knee replacement surgery three days before the Anniversary. It was the earliest appointment she could get with her Orthopaedic Surgeon. Her attitude was “what better present could I have for the occasion than a new knee”?
Disappointingly the Anniversary was a non-event apart from the promised extended cuddle. They were just grateful to still be alive and together.
Selflessly MPS postponed her surgery for the present to look after him.