Routine for octogenarian – The Korea Times

Bomi Yoon

By Lee Sun-ho


As I am now in my mid-80s, I feel I am at a life stage where I must consult doctors and pharmacists on my physical condition whenever I experience any physical symptoms.

For the sake of dental hygiene, I visit a dentist regularly for scaling purposes. I use a dental pick interdental brush immediately after rinsing out my mouth with toothpaste and water after meals.

I have been wearing a hearing aid since 2018 for better communication with my companions or comrades to avoid any lack of etiquette to them.

Even though I rarely wear eyeglasses, I received laser cataract surgery for both my left and right eyes at a nine-day interval in October, upon realizing that my eyesight was deteriorating.

I make a quarterly visit to a urologist, who gives me some prescriptions to help with prostate gland enlargement. I have taken the two pills called Avodart and Harnal-D capsules prescribed by the doctor each day since 2005.

Whenever I have a minor skin problem, I go to a dermatologist.

A neurologist from a clinic prescribes a high-blood pressure medication called Norvasc from time to time. A doctor at Korea University Anam Hospital recommended I take Dicamax-D tablets to supplement my vitamin-D deficiency.

Every other year, the National Health Insurance Service recommends the examination of my stomach and large intestine via endoscopy and colonoscopy. Since I have put off the required medical examinations a couple of times recently, I will not miss my booking on Nov. 29 this year at the Vievis Namuh Hospital across from my current residence in Seoul.

I go to an orthopedist occasionally for his or her advice on the relief of my sciatic nerve pain. I receive injections or drug prescriptions either at Knee & Spine Hospital or the Korea University Anam Hospital. From early August until mid-October this year, I had the experience of using a cane due to severe pain in my right leg. During that period, I envied those healthy and young pedestrians walking pretty well without burden or difficulty.

As a patient or a potential candidate, I am trying my hand at keeping the suggestions of my medical doctors and pharmacists, looking forward to life returning to some semblance of desirable habitual behaviors, by creating good habits and breaking bad ones.

First thing in the early morning at 04:35, I watch and follow the 10-minute NHK-TV gymnastic exercise performances shown by five Japanese youngsters for my adequate muscle power enforcement and maintenance. I also endeavor to do the best stretches to relieve my sciatica. Above all, I always engage in slow but moderate walking whether I feel leg pain or not, rain or snow, day or night.

I like to use the health toast, “Baik-doo-san” at informal gatherings with friends. It indicates the highest mountain in the Korean Peninsula (2,744m), but phonetic Korean sound initials represent 100, two, and promenade, respectively, denoting “let’s walk on two feet until the age of 100 without depending on any canes.” Let me shout again, here’s to “Baik-doo-san”!’


The writer ( is a freelance columnist living in Seoul.

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