Monday, May 9, 2011

Will I ever get some of that blood back?

Thorough! That's the impression I got when meeting the professionals at the Southwest Age Intervention Institute---thorough. As we talked I became more and more impressed with the singular focus of this place----they were absolutely serious about defying the generally negative feelings people have about getting older. As I've aged to a now still-very-spry 66, I faced these later years wondering what they'd be like and simply hoping I could "age gracefully." But at Southwest Age Intervention Institute, they've developed a proactive program in which we (they and I) take my future into my own hands. Their program stresses both mental and physical approaches to maintaining vitality. They believe passionately in their slogan of "turning the rest of your life into the best of your life."

I walked away both impressed and revved up about starting my individually designed program. Then, the day for the blood test and filing my paper work arrived. And, boy, did I ever understand what "thorough" actually meant! They wanted to know everything about me. EVERYTHING! But then, if you're designing such a program, you've got to know all there is to know about the body and the history the patient. Yes, the forms took some time to complete. But as I worked through the paperwork I realized again how dedicated they were to finding the very best paths to send me down.

Then came the blood work. Because my schedule was ridiculous around NFL draft time, James the phlebotomist visited my office. Let me assure you, I don't like to give blood. I hate the sight of blood. So, I asked if I could simply look away, keep working and have James simply tell me when it was over (though at that point I figured I'd probably know). One stick and the process was underway. I continued to read. James changed vials and drew more blood. More reading. More blood. Five vials in all! Five. That seemed a lot to me but again that word came back to me----thorough! This is not some simple pop-a-vitamin-do-a-push-up-and-it'll-be-OK program.

When we meet again at their Arlington offices May 10 for them to go completely through the program they've designed for me, they'll know everything they needed to know about me. That gives me even more confidence in the team at Southwest Age Intervention Institute. They want me to defy aging, not simply accept decline as a "fact of life." I'll up date you next week on that meeting and the program.

Meanwhile, I'm left with only one question at this point-----will I ever get some of that blood back?

-Norm Hitzges

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