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by Abigail Van Buren

A Bee in Her Bonnet Is Not This Woman's Wish

DEAR READERS: "As our society ages and people are living longer, many older people suffer from aches and pains which they dismiss as signs of old age, and choose not to consult a physician," says Dennis Boulware, president of the Louisiana Arthritis Foundation.

"While over 37 million Americans suffer from arthritis, it is not a normal part of aging. (The symptoms of arthritis include pain and swelling in the affected joint.) Pain and swelling are not natural, and should not be tolerated -- especially when there is medical treatment available."

This reminds me of a very old story my dear, departed father used to tell: An elderly man went to see his doctor about a pain in his right leg. The doctor examined the patient quickly, then said, "Well, what do you expect, Mr. Goldberg -- that leg is 80 years old."

Mr. Goldberg replied, "Well, doctor, the other leg is also 80 years old and it doesn't hurt."