« News & Views with Joel Heitkamp

50 and Above (Written by: Joel Heitkamp)

by Amy Iler

I knew things were going to change after I turned 50. The realization that, here on Earth, more was behind me than in front of me. With that said, it didn't really freak me out. As a good friend told me once, "the other option sucks". 

Many “things” happen with age… some are great and some aren't so great. I have noticed I attend more prayer services and funerals than I ever have… and I used to complain to Sue about going to weddings.  My negotiation would usually be if we made the dance, it would suffice.

With age also come health issues. In the past couple of years I found out I have a brain tumor… most likely caused by a massive concussion and with lack of sleep can cause me to seize. So, I wear my CPAP sleep machine and I am just fine. And then there was back surgery… I blew out a disk in my back and had to have surgery. It went so well I never even think of it anymore!  Oh and then I had my left knee replaced. It was an old football injury I had as a kid and it was made worse by playing softball for 22 years.

Now to this year… I was hit in the right knee refereeing a football game.  Now, this really ticked me off, this was my “good” knee! You know, the one before the season I was bragging about. It had never been hurt. It had never been injured. It had never had a knife taken to it.  I spoke too soon, just a few weeks back I had my right knee scoped. It hurts like hell right now but they tell me in a week or two it will be better.  

With all of that said, you can imagine my reaction when my wife, Sue, told me that she had scheduled a colonoscopy!  Why?!?!  Haven't I seen enough doctors in the past couple of years? You already know her answer… “you are over 50! Everyone gets them when they turn 50 and your 52 so quit whining and go get it done.”

So, here we go.

I’ll admit, getting older isn't that bad. I have three wonderful grandchildren that live close to me… I can still golf, hunt, fish and ride my motorcycle. 

I guess the real problem is that I hate when she’s right.  Oh, and doctor’s offices… I could use less of those in the new year.