Sunday, January 4, 2009


I cannot relate.

I've heard a lot about it, though.


Have you heard of it?

The technical name is "Old Man's Disease".

I first heard about it from my husband's former lieutenant a few years back. He's about ten years older than Fire Daddy, but they became very close, given their close quarters at the station. (...but that's another post) As I understand it, there are some very specific symptoms that accompany this illness.

1. Changes in sleep patterns. Namely, the patient has to get up multiple times throughout the night to pee. They develop mild narcolepsy, as well, resulting in multiple cat naps throughout the day. Bedtime shifts to a much earlier hour (8 or 9), resulting in earlier waking hour (5, 6, or 7 - even on weekends. In some extreme cases, 4 AM has been documented.)

2. Changes in temperament. Remember the movie Grumpy Old Men? They weren't kidding. Some theories suggest this is a side effect of the aforementioned symptom. Others site other causes.

3. Changes in physical strength and endurance. The patient may begin to feel as though they are a fading version of their younger self. They find that they fatigue quicker and suffer from heightened aches and pains after exertion.

4. Perceived differently by other males. Patients may report overhearing their male "peers" (term used loosely) refer to them as "the old man", especially during group fitness activities or physical challenges.

Fire Daddy and I are pretty young, though of a respectable age. However, I watch with caution as I begin to recognize shadow symptoms of this pervasive disease encroach into our home.

My greatest concern is for another member of my family, though.

Are you familiar with ODD? It's closely related to OMD. In fact, it could be considered the canine version: Old Dog's Disease. The symptoms are very much the same. My heart breaks for my poor Bo. He's been a very good dog -- overall. (Believe me, I've got a few whoppers to share...but that's another post.)

Perhaps I should share some of my observations.

1. Changes in sleep patterns. I know this sounds next to impossible. I mean, sleep is like a third (at least) of a normal, healthy, all American dog's day! However, I've actually noticed my Baby Bo sleeping MORE. What's particularly alarming is that he's now the last one out of bed each day. This is the dog that, in his younger years, woke us impatiently before 6 AM to be fed breakfast -- seven days a week.

2. Changes in temperament. Thankfully, this has been for the better. I've noticed Bo is MORE tolerant of my daughters' attempts to show affection. He's INCREDIBLY loving now. In fact, one might refer to him as ... NEEDY. It's kind of sad. Poor baby...

3. Changes in physical strength and endurance. When we first adopted Bo from the Humane Society, we lived in an apartment. Consequently, he was leash walked -- VERY FREQUENTLY. I'm talking, on a Saturday or a Sunday, he required 5-7 LONG walks per day. (This came in very handy for me when I was at home alone on maternity leave -- the baby weight literally fell off.) He was walked so frequently, in fact, that the painters who were redoing the exterior of the buildings commented one day, "That dog goes on more walks than any dog I know." Additionally, each walk was fast-paced and required a lot of strength and discipline on our part to maintain control of the route.

Now? Well, we'll put it this way. On more than one occasion, Bo has booted one of the girls from the stroller. One time, Fire Daddy had to CARRY HIS 30 POUND BOOTIE HOME -- FOR A MILE. Have you seen those cool new strollers now that have a hidden seat in the back where the basket would normally go? I need one of those hidden seats on my double jogging stroller for Bo.

4. Perceived differently by other males. Well, I can't really attest to how he is perceived by other male DOGS, but I can say that my father, my brothers, and Fire Daddy's brother ALL made remarks about how heavy poor Bo was looking when they saw him this holiday season.

Boys. They're so mean to my little Chunky Monkey.

I don't know what to do about my boys. I guess I'll keep them.


  1. With babe #2 now into the world... and me at age... well... i'll be 40 in less than two weeks... i probably have all of these afflictions myself. Lay off the pooch.

    BTW- thanks for tagging me... I guess I have to figure out what "7 things" mean tomorrow.... thanks, "CUZ."



  2. 40 in two weeks? That's around the time of onset (or so I hear). My husband's experiencing a bit of an early onset. My dog held out a bit longer...he's like 56 or something. :)

  3. Hm. Is there an OWD? Because I'm afraid *I* might have it!


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