Baby Boomers: Red, White and Black, Heart

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Baby Boomers: Red, White and Black, Heart

By Ray Hanania

They’re not colors that automatically come to mind when you are an American. They sound similar, something that becomes more and more important as Baby Boomers age, and seek healthcare.

Red is the first wired button that snaps in place under the left breast. White is the one that goes on top above the right breast. Snap. And Black is the one that goes at the bottom right, under the breast. They snap on to medical sticky pads with metal snaps and they are connected to something that looks like a 1990s Pager or Beeper, whatever you want to remember them as.

The “pager” monitors your heart, something Baby Boomers do a lot of these days usually accompanied by little pills and capsules that regular your heart rhythm, manage your electrical heart rate and another to thin your blood, just in case things don’t work out so well and the red blood cells glue themselves together to for a blood clot — I always thought that was a Jamaican cuss word.

Baby Boomers have these heart monitors for a lot of reasons. Some are improving and the doctors want to make sure all is well before they remove you from the Xaralto, Pradaxa or the Coumadin or other blood thinner medications the pharmaceutical companies are making billions in profits over each year. These are words that have assumed everyday meaning in the Baby Boomer World, even though we still don’t know how to spell them correctly. (They are spelled right here.)

The blood thinners cause massive muscle aches across your back, shoulders and arms occasionally. Like you have been beaten by a bat, if one can imagine what being beaten like you were Tony Spilotro in a cornfield might have been like.

The wires hang out under the shirt, which is one reason why so many male Baby Boomers don’t tuck in their shirts any more. Partly it’s the belly fat and paunch. Partly it is to make it easier to wear the heart monitors that snap over your belt or hang on the lip of your jeans pockets. And when you walk past a kitchen drawer, the wires snap off with a jerk that rips the sticky pads off your hairy chest causing an occasional yelp.

So Baby Boomers are shaving areas of their chests, so that when you rip the sticky medical pads off your chest, they don’t yank out enough hair to make a “Betty Loren-Maltese wig” — which is a name given to sloppy looking bushy wigs that look like they were ripped out of some guys chest hairs to make.

You are constantly carrying around a black bag filled with Double AA Batteries, more medical sticky pads, and information on where to call in the reports. Yes. You have to call the medical service to transmit the data from the Medical Heart Monitor that looks like a pager. and it has to be done on a telephone that isn’t wireless or cellular. God only knows what FBI and the Justice Department are interpreting the modem-like noises that transmit from the device? Middle Eastern chatter? Someone who still uses a dial in modem for their old AOL software connection accounts?

That sounds came and went pretty quick. Then again, everything is moving at a faster and faster pace as Baby Boomers age, especially age.

Can you believe it’s already 2013? Seems like 1983 was only yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away, or so the Beatles might have sung.

So you stop going to the health club because you don’t want the hot eye candy there to realize you are a senior citizen, although they already do see you as a crodgy old senior — Baby Boomers also make up words that sound Baby Boomerish, like “crodgy.” Cranky. Odd. Gee. All mixed into one.

And you start complaining about your weight, again. It’s a never ending battle. You grow old, your metabolism starts to slow down. More like wind down. Do we even have any metabolism left?

Atkins diet, then kidney pains. Eating like a pig with no tomorrow and back to the Atkins diet. And then kidney pains. It’s not easy to find places where you can eat an all-protein diet. You would think that some smart entrepreneur would launch an All Protein Restaurant, or at least add that to their menus for us Baby Boomers who think we are gong to lose weight.

We start worrying about things like enlarged hearts, like AFIB or Atrial Fibrillation. We call it AFIB because it’s easier to remember and to spell acronyms. And we start learning about freaky things like PADS, peripheral arterial disease. They have phrases and acronyms for everything for Baby Boomers. The S stands for sucker!

And all we want to do is screw around with computers. But don’t get us wrong or misunderstand us at all; we still think about the “Who Ha!”

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @RayHanania, if he likes you. That’s another Baby Boomer trait. We hold grudges.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
Ray Hanania