Yesterday was my 63rd birthday. I don’t say that so you can send cards, gifts, or good wishes, but to provide a frame of reference as to the comments in this entry.

Increasingly, I notice that patients have two habits that I find interesting: they text even while I am speaking to them and they take frequent swigs of water from either fancy bottles they purchased or generic ones they reuse.

I thought back to the days of my youth (which according to some of my friends are still present) and I don’t understand how we existed without constant communication with our friends and family. It’s astounding that we were able to make it though the day without tweeting or texting our every thought, feeling, and action.

Even more amazing is how we avoided severe dehydration. Back in the day we were more physically active than folks today. I lived in the city and we walked or rode our bikes. Today, exercise for many of us is limited to the interval between the parking lot and whatever building we are visiting. We don’t go out to play — we sit at the computer and surf the net.

So why the increased requirement for hydration? Is it because it’s needed or just cool? And why do I feel a bit like a criminal when the waiter looks down at me when I respond that tap water will be just fine instead of the designer water bottled from a spring in the heart of Borneo?

What if we just used the many water fountains available and gave our water money to charity? Or used it to pay the copay on our prescriptions instead of complaining about that cost?