Al Martin


Reluctance to use Hearing Aids

The classic cartoon picture of someone with hearing loss is a bent, old man with a giant ear horn held to his ear: not a pretty picture.  Things have come a long way.  Modern hearing aides are highly sophisticated electronic devices, some so small that they can fit into the ear canal and be virtually […]

Aging and Balance

Like many other skills we take for granted, our upright posture and balance are amazing unappreciated functions.  Imagine balancing a five or six foot top-heavy object on a one foot base and you get a sense of how precarious it is for us to stay upright, no less add movement, twists and turns, leaning and […]

Memory Loss

Talking to my friends and looking at my own reactions, I believe that memory loss is one of the most feared disabilities of aging.  Since, as we age, most of us experience some degree of memory loss, it is easy to wonder if what we are experiencing are the first steps to dementia.  Witnessing someone […]

Acceptance

Aging requires the acceptance of some inevitable truths about oneself and about life. We are no longer able to imagine an infinite future. Our mortality is assured. Progressively, we will lose our energy, our friends, our cherished activities and the identity we once knew.  If you are like me, you don’t suddenly arrive at this […]

Forgiveness and Aging

I’ve been thinking lately about the act of forgiving. When I was about 10 years old, my father was in business in San Francisco. Like many immigrants at the time, he was not an educated man, having left school after the sixth grade, but he worked hard, and he accumulated a little money running an […]

Avoiding Unneeded Tests

In my previous post, I talked about medical tests and how “normal” and “abnormal” results do not always correlate to healthy or sick.  The bottom line from that discussion is that while tests are essential to diagnosing illness, they are fallible. Put another way, if you do enough testing on anyone, some tests are bound […]

What Patients Should Know About Medical Testing

The next two posts are about medical testing, something to which we are more and more subject as we get older.  It seems rare these days to visit a doctor’s office and not come away with a handful of requisitions for some kind of medical test. This is especially true as we get older.