Last week, son Tim and I dropped by a Health Fair. These events are presented frequently in our part of Florida due to the large senior citizen population.
At the entrance to the Fair, organizers had thoughtfully set up a table of coffee and donuts. And, at one of the last booths in the large room, there was a team testing blood sugars. Needless to say, many folks had surprisingly high glucose readings after munching on one or two of the tempting donuts.
But, in spite of that little miscalculation, there were enough other booths to attract the attention of the hundreds of folks moseying through the displays.
We saw everything from step-in bathtubs to independent living facilities, from power scooters to area medical clinics, from home alarm systems to insurance sales.
One display that caught my eye focused on skin analysis. A long line had formed in front of the impressive equipment used in the demonstration.
As people moved forward, the technician doing the testing took a close-up photo of each face. Then she spent ten minutes or so analyzing the details of what the photo revealed about the individual's skin.
I was quite interested in the demo. But unfortunately, with the length of the waiting line and the time involved in the analysis itself, I could feel my face aging as I stood there.
Instead of waiting, I decided I'd do my own analysis at home.
That afternoon I gathered my magnifying mirror and headed for my bedroom. Under a good light I started my inspection.
Thanks to the eyelid lift I had done some years back, I no longer had the droopy lids that seem to be a family trait.
When my eye doctor, Dr. N., did the lid reduction he told me in mock seriousness, "Joyce, you have enough extra skin here to make a suit of luggage!"
My mother had somehow avoided the family curse of droopy eyelids. And, in addition, she was blessed with beautiful skin. When Mom passed away at 93, her creamy skin was still soft and smooth.
In my case, through the years my face has come to resemble a poorly-folded road map. Once you take one of those big maps and spread it out on a table, you can never quite get it back into it's original compact form.
To add to the wrinkles, I have developed a variety of random brown spots, like a hit-or-miss suntan.
Fortunately, I can't complain about my hair. Now that it's turned silvery (with some black touches on the sides) at least I don't have to go through the expense and trouble of coloring it.
And, I'm happy to learn that silver-white hair is currently favored among those who are on the cutting edge of style.
While conducting my analysis, I checked out the skin on my arms. Here's where I'm having some trouble. Under my doctor's instructions, I'm taking a baby aspirin a day as a precaution against blood clots.
The therapy has given me a tendency toward easy bruising. Now these bruises aren't the black and blue type I've had all my life. Instead, they're a deep maroon color and seem to have some random pattern about them. A quick glance makes them look like free-form tattoos. So far, no one has quizzed me about what accident I was in to result in such damage, but I know the questions will come eventually.
I would like to have had an "official" skin evaluation at the Health Fair, but I'm sure it would have been followed by a recommendation that I undergo some kind of treatment to correct all the flaws my skin has revealed.
After doing my own analysis, I have come to accept the comment made by George Orwell when he said, "At fifty everyone has the face he deserves."
I have to add, "And at eighty, he's stuck with it."