Sunday, July 17, 2005


I’ve always been told that when you reach the age of 40 your body falls apart. It’s supposed to be the beginning of the end. That’s a lie. It’s 50, not 40 when everything falls, fails, or quits. Father Time becomes the enemy and there’s nothing you can do about him. Plastic surgery might help, if you don’t mind having a plastic face. But when you fix one thing it makes everything else look worse.

I just had my annual checkup. Suddenly I find out that my thyroid has quit, my cholesterol is elevated, and that my blood sugar has decided to go out the roof. Added to the fact that I found out last year that I have a leaky heart valve (mitral valve regurgitation) it seems that my physical self has gone kaput. I used to be disgustingly healthy, what happened!!

The doctor wants me to go to a diabetic clinic and learn how to eat. I know how to eat. I eat very well. But it seems that chocolate (desserts of most any kind), steak, pasta, stuffed baked potatoes and all the other good things that come on a plate are verboten. Damn, if you can’t enjoy food what’s the use in living? How am I supposed to go out to dinner with friends? I can see it now. Everyone is eating wonderful foods and I sit there with dry lettuce and ice water.

It seems that everything in life that is enjoyable is either illegal, immoral, or fattening. It’s bad enough that what used to be my cheekbones are now jowls hanging on each side of my chin ala the bulldog look (not very fashionable, let me tell you), I don’t have wrinkles thanks to the fat keeping my face round, my love handles are very much in evidence, I fight a losing battle at keeping the gray covered and my thighs have thickened. Now I can’t eat what I want, alcohol is a no-no, I’ve already given up my bad habits because of workplace drug testing and sex is deadly. What’s left??

Looks like I’ve got to develop a new life style. Tofu and bean sprouts. Salad with no dressing. Pills for breakfast. A personal relationship with my pharmacist. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

I don’t mind getting older. I’ve never worried about the outward signs of aging. But my body failing never occurred to me. Wrinkles and gray hair? OK I can deal with those. But what about the pleasures in life? What will they be? What’s left?

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