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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Life Expectancy

Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at 9:17 AM

"Life can be dangerous, especially when taken in large doses" (Andy Rooney 3/27/11)

"You live 'til you die -- somehow" (Viola Reed Lewis, my grandmother, said often and about many things)

On the fourteenth day of October in the Year of our Lord Nineteen-hundred-Forty-three there was a war going on. It was a big deal, in all the papers and everything. From all reports very important events were occurring all over the world; including in St. Louis Mo., where I was getting birthed.

On that date, according to what I could find on the Net ("if it's on the Internet it must be true"), on the day of my birth I had about 64 years to live, to wit:

"I Googled a table that gives, among other data, the life expectancies at birth for 1939-1941 and for 1949-51 (born in the United States, all races). From that, I interpolated for myself as a male born in June, 1943, a life expectancy of 63.95 years--so I'm already on borrowed time! For females, the same calculation gives 67.66 years. And for both genders combined, 65.18 years." (David Bortin (dbortin@yahoo.com), 5/26/09 -- Answers.com)

Surely 64 years, which was a very long time at the time, would be enough -- in 1943.

My first exposure to "life expectancy" came when my grandfatherž Ralph Burnett 1885-1963, out-lived his life insurance policy and got a check for the face amount of the policy. Memory is less exact than math, but my best calculation is that he would have been "mathematically dead" at age 70.

If you've read this far and got yourself through eighth-grade math you will have ciphered that effective above delineated date I am 69-years-old, having been "mathematically dead" for the past five years. On this I am asking for a recount.

Medicine and culture have made certain advances since my arrival on the scene. I have outlived my father now by 19 years, and my own estimate by 14. We have seen advances in medicine even since my body began its decent into cardiology. In 1998, after having a heart attack Dr. R. Curt Oehler told me if he could keep me alive 10 years the technology would catch up with me. He did and it did.

Therefore, on the occasion of my 69th birthday, given the fact I don't really think of myself as any older than the day we arrived in Indiana (perhaps because I've not learned anything new?), I demand a recount.

Recently the good people at Boston Scientific who put this nifty-keen pacemaker in my chest a year ago ran their first annual review. When installed they said its battery life's expectancy was five years. Apparently, however, I got the newest and greatest on the market (on sale for $90,000), so my battery has a remaining estimated life of 10 years. I figure that means they guarantee I'll live at least that much longer.

This gives me 10 years to be an absolute nuisance, a burden on everyone I love, and a complete drain on Medicare. No DNR order for me! Who knows, maybe by then I'll even run out of nonsense to blog (how old will you be in 10 years, Jason Moon?)

My plan is to outlive myself and collect my own life insurance -- leaving our kids with zip!

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David L. Lewis
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