So I got This Text From My Liver: Stop Sending Me all These Pills!
In elementary school they offered a class in home economics which taught us the art of loading a dishwasher, how to stuff a date and how to sew a waistband. Okay, so none of these things truly prepared me for life as a whole, but at least they tried.
I feel entitled to bitch because I am so tired of getting a senior discount without even having to ask for it.
Now I’m wondering why no one prepares you for the greatest challenge in life…growing older.
Sure, people write books about how to live forever, how to age gracefully and how to stay healthy, but by the time you need these books you can already write one yourself.
So, what is the secret of learning to grow old gracefully and dealing with all aging entails?
Wrinkles, loss of mobility, forgetting things, wrinkles, loneliness, health issues, did I mention wrinkles cause I forgot, and of course appetite, medical and pain issues.
If one is lucky enough to live into the laugh laugh golden years you are on your own as to how to deal with the constant craziness that inflicts your existence each day.
Men find it impossible to get through a night without a dozen trips to the bathroom, where women can usually get through with only two or three. No one tells you your bladder retires to Boca years before your actual body and you’re left with only the memory of a functioning bladder to get you through the day. And night.
Is there a solution here besides Depends, prostrate surgery and if that’s an option good luck to you?
Your body seems to take on a mind of its own which is a good thing since your mind is usually out to lunch. Now most of the exercise I get is from walking into a room, forgetting what I came for and walking back out. Then two minutes later I remember and walk back in again. Hey, it ain’t Dancing to the Oldies with Richard Simmons, but it is a form of exercise, sort of.
Who ya gonna call when you look in the mirror and see your parents staring back at you? Is that my mother’s ghost or me? Either way it’s scary as hell!
Nothing raises a red flag to signal you’ve crossed into an ancient zipcode than your body telling you it’s time for dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon.
How many times have you heard your friends say,” I can’t eat any later than six o clock or I’m up all night?”
I had spare ribs for lunch on Sunday and I was still tasting them at Monday night’s dinner. I used to love a great spare rib, now the only rib I can handle is when my grandson’s tease me about getting old.
I also wish someone would tell the truth about reducing inflammation. Can I help my arthritis if I stop eating dairy, meat, drinking wine or liquor, (just when you start to need it most) fried foods, bread, chocolate, sugar and wait a minute what the hell is left? And no, I don’t think you could make an argument that eating only Kale could be considered a quality-of-life diet.
I just found out I have arthritis in my jaw. Guess we know why that is because if any part of my body is degenerating from overuse it would definitely be my mouth! Isn’t it bad enough that we have to watch our once full and luxurious locks disappear down the drain every time we wash our hair? Now I have to consider eating and talking a luxury.
Or that we have to see the stretch marks once on our hips start drifting downward to our thighs?
Can someone teach a course in how to see the numbers on your cell phone? Or how to spot a spam call about social security or where to get the strength to get off the couch?
Of course there are older people that have enormous energy and are tech savvy. I have many friends who play pickleball, whatever the hell that is, and some are even still working.
So what’s the big secret everyone has to write a book to share?
Many say it’s attitude. I suppose an argument could be made that mind over matter is a component, but I’ve known many people with great attitudes who are six feet under right now and didn’t make it to old age.
I guess there is not one magic bullet that can keep us young. In fact, I don’t think there’s a whole gun store full of bullets that can accomplish turning back the clock. And this whole schtick about age brings wisdom is a crock because wisdom is meaningless if you can’t remember it.
“Yes, grandson so when I was young I used to believe that, but now as I’ve aged I learned…”
“Learned what Grammy?”
“What I just told you. The bit of wisdom I just imparted to you about that thing. You need to remember these gems of wisdom I tell you.”
“About the thing we were talking about.”
“But you didn’t tell me anything.”
“I just told you what I learned.”
“Okay, Grammy, sure and thanks for sharing your wisdom with me.”
You watch your grandson walk away shaking his head and believing he’ll never get old and forget like you; but we all do, we all do.
Is it possible to exert any control over these “things” that happen to you? To change the direction your mind and body are taking and reverse the trend?
Hell if I know. I think we all make an attempt to do what we believe will help slow the process.
I’m learning a new language because I’ve heard it helps your brain. How can you actually measure if it works or not? If it doesn’t I won’t remember I even learned that language anyway.
I’ve heard exercise helps. Well that’s something I can’t verify since my arthritis has decided the days of running and leaping are far behind me. And yes I realize there are also chair aerobics and low impact choices, but I’ve never pretended to like exercise except for retail cardio and I won’t now. Besides, I count changing my sheets as exercise and I’m not the only one.
So what about eating? Okay moving on here since the thought of living without ice cream or chocolate sends a chill down my spine only equal to the shower scene in Psycho.
Is it fair that having spent my entire life being too short for my weight I’ve now shrunk and need to lose more weight to keep up?
Is it stress? Hello, it’s stressful getting older. How can you feel calm when every time you pick up the phone or check out Instagram you hear someone else you know has just died?
Is it helpful that they can’t make a hearing aid that creates such a loud buzzing you can’t hear anything?
Good luck living stress free in the golden years. One shooting pain in the “good” knee elicits a “damn-not-another-knee-replacement-stress reaction.”
Ah let’s get to the supplements. I have friends that spend about an hour a day just trying to ingest all the pills. Between the prescription drugs you need to stay alive and the vitamins, minerals and strange sounding supplements the average liver is spending all day just trying to sort and send to the proper organs throughout the body, there’s little time for the fun stuff.
I can hear my liver bitching now…
”Let’s see now, the E is for the heart, the C for immune, D for what was it? How many letters are in the damn alphabet? What the hell is SAM E? Where should I send all this crap? I’m shutting down and going on strike here and no, don’t dare send me any supplements to boost or cleanse me!”
At a time of life where minutes are so precious, I refuse to spend most of my day swallowing pills!
Begs the question; is there a fix for old age? Sure, death. I guess that’s the only way to stop the aging process. As long as we’re here and breathing our bodies are slowing down.
When I was a kid Jack LaLanne was the symbol for exercise and a healthy lifestyle. He died at the age of 96, but so did my mother and she never met a salad or a healthy meal in her life.
The only exercise my mother got was running after my father to yell at him. Actually, that did provide her with a lot of steps every day and she must have worked off a ton of calories screaming.
If there is an answer and I’m not sure there is, we can only do the best we can. Sometimes I’m better than others. Some days my diet is atrocious and some healthy.
Some days are stress filled and others Zen.
At times I walk a great deal and other days my ass is attached to the sofa cushion.
There are so many variables involved in how one ages I could spend days trying to name them all.
I still believe it’s a cocktail of genetics, luck, lifestyle, environment and attitude.
I also believe it’s silly to worry because eventually something’s gonna get you. None of us lives forever, so as long as we make an attempt to enjoy the minutes we have; what the hell, maybe that’s all we can do. If you agree just yell yes! Oh forget it, I probably couldn’t hear you anyway.