Journal of a 77 Year Old Gay Man Coming In For the Final Landing

Archive for the ‘Daily Life’ Category

Into The New Year 2019

Ron and Pat at Alfred's Coffee House


Here we go folks, another new year. Little did I know I would live this long. A long time ago, when I was just a young man departing from the Army (1963), I thought I would be lucky if I lived until the next century.  And here I am, nineteen years into the 21st century. I am now an official Old Man. And you know what folks? This life isn’t all that bad.  Oh sure, I have my aches and pains.  I worry about if I can keep up with my insurance payments that keep increasing every year.  I’m working now part-time but there will probably come a time in the future that I won’t be working.  Right now we have a two income household with Bill’s Social Security monthly payments but Bill is ninety years old. That household income source will probably end in the next ten years. That is a concern to me folks, I would have to “cut back.” But all that is in the future. I concentrate on the now.

Next month I depart for California for a two week stay with my Canadian Best Friend Pat F. We will spend a week in West Hollywood and another week in Palm Springs. Best time of my life folks. Four times a year Pat and I get together for a trip; twice a year in my old hometown of Philadelphia and once year in Pat’s hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

I’ve had more health issues in the past five years that I’ve had in my previous seventy years. There will probably come a time when a health issue will ground me. But for now folks?  I’m enjoying life to the fullest.


Happy New Year 2019

A video wish for all of you who read this blog for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Update December 2018

Ron Tipton at WorkHello folks. I’m back again. I began this blog with all good intentions of keeping it up to date but life keeps interfering. That’s my lame excuse. That and the fact that I keep another blog posting through blogspot that I keep up to date almost daily.

Pardon me while I ramble a bit here but I feel a need to explain my current situation.

I turned seventy-seven years old this year. I am now officially an old man. There is no way out of it. Never in my life did I think I would reach this grand old age. Never did I think I would outlive so many of my old friend and former co-workers but I have.  But my time is coming, I can feel it.

I’m not steady on my feet.  My body aches from encroaching arthritis. I have an extra heartbeat which I really notice when I over exert myself walking or other forms of physical activity.  I need a daily afternoon nap or else I just wear down.

The one good thing I have in my life now, besides my long term relationship with Bill Kelly, my partner and now husband of fifty-four years, is my Canadian friend Pat F. I met Pat through the Internet (he saw my photo on the Internet and looked me up) and we’ve been good friends ever since. We travel together four times a year. He is the man I’ve been looking for all my life. Then who is Bill you might ask? When I got together with Bill fifty-four years ago I told him then he wasn’t The One. He has always understood that. But I will never leave Bill, I love him too. But Pat and I have so much more in common. I am convinced we are from the same amoeba from a previous life.

Well, I don’t want to wear out my welcome after this long absence but I did want to see if I can make a go out of this blog and keep it more current than I have promised in the past.

To anyone who happens to come by this lonely blog, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year!

Heart Test Results

ImageMet with my cardiologist yesterday.  He reviewed the results of my recent series of tests, including a stress test.  Good news, I’ll be around a bit longer.

He did confirm that I have an extra heartbeat, sometimes.  It went away during my five minutes treadmill stress test.  He also said the “other side” of my heart was only pumping at 50% capacity but again not to be too concerned about that.  He said that could be because of my age.  There we go with the “a man of your age.”  Well, I will be 71 years old in a couple weeks.

He told me that I could get a catheterization then I would be “absolutely sure” there was no blockage.  He said the chances of complications were one in a thousand and he was “very good” at catheterizations.  This  procedure would be through my groin.  I am very hesitant to undergo such an invasive procedure.

I decided not to get a catheterization.  We’ll meet again in January for a followup.

In the meantime I go on with my life, somewhat relieved for a “man my age.”


Follow-up Visit to my Dermatologist

This morning I had my follow-up visit to my dermatologist.  This visit was to have the one stitch removed from my left forehead where he removed the wart-like growth last Friday.  Good news!  It wasn’t cancerous.  The Good Doctor said it was “only keratosis, not even actinic keratosis” which is a pre-canceous condition.  Dodged another bullet.

He then told me to take my shirt off and lie on my stomach. He was going to give me a needle to numb the lower portion of my back prior to digging out an old cyst I have near my spine cord.  Nice huh?

So I took of my shirt and tee shirt turned around and rather awkwardly laid my seventy year old hairy chest on the cold butcher paper covered leatherette Groaning Board (what DO YOU call that you lie/sit on in the doctor’s office)?

The needle went in painfully (I love it!) and soon I was numbed up ready for The Dig.  

The Good Doctor took out his scalpel and proceeded to dig….and dig….and dig.  No pain but I could feel the pressure.

Finally he said “Ah ha!”  He then showed me the recalcitrant cyst.  It was the size of a large walnut.  Man oh man, that was on my spine?  I wonder how big it would have gotten had I done nothing?


He placed the wet, bloody cyst in a medical disposable bag (more Ron in the trash) and told me to get dressed. Before I left I asked if I could take his picture for my iPhone.  He reluctantly consented.  I find that doctors aren’t real thrilled to have their pictures taken after they have performed a procedure on you.  Wonder why?

Now I await my next Patch Job.  Like Bette Davis said “Getting Old Ain’t For Sissies!”

Visit To My Dermatologist

Ron's Head Bandaged

This afternoon I visited my new dermatologist to have a wart removed from my left forehead.

This wart popped up like a volcano about a month ago.  Since I have a history of actinic keratosis I thought it wise to have it checked out.

Normally I would visit the Wilmington Veterans Administration Medical Health Center in Wilmington for my dermatology needs but I had just made my six month check up visit in December.  I didn’t want to go through the stress of scheduling another appointment so soon.  I decided instead to see a dermatologist on my own closer to my home which is near Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

I saw an ad in the local newspaper.  I called the number and made an appointment for today.

This afternoon Bill drove me down to the Medical Arts Building in Rehoboth Beach, which is on Route 24, the John J. Williams Highway.

I didn’t have to wait too long for my doctor.  His name was Dr. Chang.  Ironically, my very first visit to a dermatologist was whenI worked at Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia, PA.  I made an appointment with a Dr. Uy at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.  I’ve come complete circle.

Dr. Chang took one look at my “wart” and said it could be skin cancer.  I haven’t had skin cancer…yet but both my brother and Mother have had skin cancer so it does run in my family.  The good doctor numbed my head and then cut the “wart” off.  He said he would send it out for a biopsy and call me immediately if they find out it is skin cancer.  He took one stitch to close the cut to my forehead.  It hurts.

I go back next week to have the stitch removed.  He will also remove a mole from the small of my back.  I’ve had this mole removed twice before in the past twenty-five years but it has returned.  It bothers me so he said he will remove it, making sure he gets to the “root” of it.

This is my second posting to my Word Press blog.  Please excuse any awkwardness.  It will take me a few posts before I get my sea legs.