My feet hurt. My knees are so stiff that walking has become a chore. When I climb stairs, I’m out of breath by the time I reach the top. It takes a special effort just to tie my shoes. My vision is so poor that I require a caregiver to accompany me on my morning stroll. I can barely hear when she asks what I’d like for a snack. But it doesn’t matter anyway. Food just doesn’t taste the same as it once did.

After I’m told I’ve been eating an oatmeal cookie, I face an even worse indignity: shuffling and feeling my way, alone, into the men’s room — or at least I hope it is the men’s room. After fumbling with my zipper, I can barely make out the urinal. It is my sincere hope that my aim is true. As I exit, I’m nearly knocked backward by… More…