This last half of August, 2019, has been spent enlarging my repertoire of geezer behaviors. This latest addition to my elderly bag of tricks is a classic: hanging about in doctors’ offices, being poked and prodded, and taking fists full of pills that, as that old Jefferson Airplane song observes, “don’t do anything at all.”
Now I admit to a certain skepticism toward the medical industry. Some of that could very well be that stereotypical middle-European variety of machismo: What? Smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, tear down drywall, mine coal and remove asbestos for a hobby? No problem! I am invulnerable. I am Iron Man! My Dad was something like that, so if I won’t plead guilty to the charge, I’ll instead plead no contest.
In my pleading, let me address those well-meaning tobacco prohibitionists: at my worst in the 1970s, I smoked at most a pack and a half a day. Since then, it’s better measured in packs per year and most recently it’s been more like a pack and a fraction per decade. Nicotine can provide a nice buzz, but the immediate side effects are seriously irritating. And I should note that while I’ve torn down dry wall and worked in the presence of asbestos, only my ancestors back across the pond ever mined coal.
Friends and most acquaintances will probably be cheered that I’ve resumed diplomatic relations with the medical industry. It’s not clear, though, that my interests are perfectly aligned with it. As an old guy, I’m far more interested in diagnosis and prognosis. Treatment is secondary, contingent on cost, comfort and time. On the other hand, the medical industry’s default is to keep carcasses twitching just about as long as possible.
It’s a geezer challenge.
But as things change, they somehow remain the same:
One Cheer for Atorvastatin
Once I was young and reckless
And spent my money on drugs.
Now I’m old, a geezer.
I still spend my money on drugs.
Photocopier art by Roman.
Yes, the title of this post is the title of a song (and album) by Jonah Koslen and his group Breathless. You can listen to it HERE since the copyright police won’t allow it to be embedded.