I know most of you won't believe this but I've become a member of the "Golden Age" Medicare program.

This program has many perks, including a covered wellness exam. Last week, I took advantage of this check-up at my doctors office. It consisted of a half hour of questions about my well-being and health.

This coming of age has brought about a lot of senior discounts I've never been eligible for before. As my life goes on, Medicare will help me in the medical and hospital episodes I will someday encounter. As for now I'm still feeling pretty young and spry. That is, up until my session last week.

As the questions started coming, they referred to the medication I was currently taking. How am I feeling today? He added a little humor as he asked me if I felt suicidal or depressed? Then we moved on to having seen an eye doctor? How's your vision? How's your hearing? Have I had any weight loss or gain lately? I told him every winter I gain 20 pounds and lose it again when I start the mowing season. That didn't count. How about cold sweats? How about vomiting? Nope, not since I learned to drink reasonably! Do I take naps? What, I grew up in a family that napped, is that wrong? Are you a smoker? No. Do you consume alcohol? Yes. Are you a organ donor? No, I don't think anybody would want my liver! I was holding my own on a happy note until the next round of questions came my way.

This next round of questions started my mind a wondering. I was asked if I had throw rugs in the home? No, we have wall-to-wall carpeting. How about grab bars in the rooms? Oh, I see where your going with this. No, I'm not finding myself falling down. I don't need a help button yet. How about forgetfulness? Oh, doc, you can't go there. I've been using that excuse all my life!

The final phrase of questions referred to a will, a living will, power of attorney documents. Who's designated to pull the plug? Yikes! Now I see why you ask the suicidal and depressed questions at the start because by now I might be answering them differently.

I do see why Medicare came up with this covered exam. They have so many new members each year being swamped with us "baby boomers" coming into the program. They just want to see how many "lemons" they are receiving.

As a bonus gift before leaving the office, I was given a covered pneumonia shot! I was told I might feel some discomfort for a couple of days. They were right on with that prediction!

See you same time next year doc.

Dave Mikla is an Ashland resident. He can be reached at mikla51@zoominternet.net.