I just read a story in my local paper Sunday (1/31/10), The Press-Enterprise (pe.com) about Robert Simonsen. A Veitnam Veteran who has terminal cancer. He is a published author, two books, has a wonderful supportive wife, and has come to terms with his impending death. He served in the same area I did in Vietnam, areas sprayed with Agent Orange. His health problems "could" be related; I say could because the VA is slow in recognizing health issues connected to Agent Orange.
I got to talk to him, I don't why I was able to find out how to, usually that's pretty difficult to cold search for someone. He is an inspiration to me, in his acceptance of his impending death. I don't know how I would handle it. And it hangs over my head every day. I don't know if some get health issues from it and some don't, or if we all will eventually get "something" as we age. The doctors in Vietnam at the time I was hospitalized for malaria told me that as I aged and my immune system weakened my malaria would return. Not sure if that's till the medical community view on it. But you can be sure my next physical I will ask for some additional tests. And i MUST get in, no matter how difficult it is, and get my sigmoid done (probably more than anyone wanted to know
How are the Vietnams, who are either in or approaching their 60s, doing health wise? Is anyone trusting doing any research into it? My Father was 80 when he died, I'm not sure I will make it that far. So many years I used to kid that I was planning on making it to 120; maybe I was just kidding myself.
How much does stress play into the veterans' health? I have read a lot about how "stress can kill." Sometimes stress becomes such a daily thing one does't realize it's there because that day isn't a particularly crappy day.
When I was in my 20s & 30s, someone 60 was "OLD." When I was approaching 60 (in my early 50s) I thought, this isn't that bad. Then arthritis started "eating" my joints. Now I have a hip replacement, and probably will have the other done and both knees. Isn't this too young for this? In fact the VA told me they didn't want to do my knees until I was in my 60s (longevity of the joint) and was told I was too young - don't hear that much anymore.
Time will tell, I guess...