Monday, December 19, 2016

Random Meds

I have reached the age where doctors prescribe me things based solely on my demographics.

I had my annual physical last month – it keeps sliding later and later into the year because of insurance restrictions, and eventually it will cycle all the way around and they will have saved the cost of one whole visit – and it went pretty well.  Nothing of any problematic nature, really.  I’m in about as good a condition as I was this time last year, though I need to schedule some Unpleasantness at some point next year.

Which is, in itself, a demographic decision rather than a personal one.

“Oh, you’re a fifty year old man?  Well, have we got a treat in store for you!”

So there I was, being poked, prodded, fondled, and generally examined in that full-contact way that doctors have, when my physician paused and said, “Wait, you’re how old again?”  And when I answered he said, “Oh, well in that case you should be taking a baby aspirin every day.”

What, does my odometer roll over when I hit 50?  Have I returned to all zeroes, just like the ’64 Malibu my parents owned when I was a kid?  I know what happened to that car not long after that - this is not a reassuring thing.

Well, apparently yes it does mean that.  This advice was not anything to do with me, personally, so much as it was something he felt a man of my age should do.

So I went out and bought some.

The stuff has not changed since 1971.  It still has that same chalky texture.  It still has that same pastel color.  And it still has that odd vaguely orange flavor that I have never found outside of chewable aspirin tablets and Irn Bru.


So now I add that to my daily inventory, and I hope that it can make up for the various unhealthy habits that I have, such as sitting too much, using my brain for more than just keeping my ears from colliding, and generally being too aware of my surroundings for the good of my blood pressure.

When I hit 80, I will ask for a prescription for fine whiskey and drink it wherever I want, because medicine.

Until then: baby aspirin.


Random Michelle K said...

I'm really really glad that a preemptive baby aspirin is the only drug the doctor felt you need to take--and I'm also glad I still have a few more years before the procedure of unpleasantness. (I'm actually surprised, given my family history of Unpleasant Digestive Disorders (redundant) I haven't ended up with the Unpleasant Procedure. (searches for wood to knock upon))

Being someone whose taken a variety of medications for years (some because I'm female and some because of mental health issues), I've remained happy that my daily pill regime remains a fraction of what my grandmother's was (she had one of those Extra Large Deluxe Pill Boxes).

And even that is nothing to what my MiL carries around. (She has, quite literally a large shoebox of pills and vitamins she brings even on an overnight trip. It's terrifying.)

I think it's fascinating the relationship various people have to regular medications. I wonder if it's a bit like glasses--if you've worn glasses your whole life, then the need for glasses to read seems like just a tweak, but if you've never worn glasses, the need to reading glasses is a Signifier of Getting Old. (Says the woman who never remembers to carry reading glasses.)

One last random thought--enjoy the lack of meds, because once you start down that road, it's both amazing and terrifying how much your diet suddenly changes. (Can't eat THAT because it interferes with one medication, can't eat the other, because it interferes with a different medication, and THEN there are the medications that you take to offset the side effects of the original medications....)

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry for Tomorrow We May Be Prescribed.

Tom said...

There's a reason Rx sounds like "wrecks."

And I've had the unpleasant procedure at least twice, possibly 3 times. See, the anesthetic-ish medicine I had affected my short-term memory (on purpose). I might be misremembering one procedure that I may or may not have had. But, all things considered, things came out all right. :)

David said...

Michelle - I'm one of those people who really hates taking pills, though I will if the need calls for it (better living through chemistry!) - unnecessary heroism is just another way to say stupid. I'm up to four per day now, two of which I can buy wholesale at any grocery store, so all things considered I'm doing well. I come from a long line of people with Interesting Medical Histories, though, so no doubt that will come along soon. And they're already telling me what I can't eat ("Stop eating like you're in grad school!").

Tom - Kim went through it last year, and I get the junior version at every physical exam nowadays ("Oh noes, it's The Rubber Glove!"). Oy. Certain parts of my body are marked "For Egress Only" and it's just no fun when that rule gets ignored. Oh well.

Random Michelle K said...

Heh! Not eating like you did when you were younger is perfectly reasonable--unless you want to start joining me and Michael on our regular hikes? ;)

The food issue (to me) is more what Grandmom dealt with: no nuts, because of X illness; no foods high in vitamin K because of Y medication; low-salt foods because of Z medical issue.

There were so many foods she loved, but couldn't eat (because she didn't want to end up in the hospital!) so I decided that I was going to enjoy eating while I can.

And it could be worse--you could have to do colonoscopy AND mammogram!

David said...

No - hiking is something I have never enjoyed. When I had more time and fewer obligations I liked walking around the various cities I lived in, secure in the knowledge that there would be cafes and bookstores where I could stop in when I chose.

And remember - I had the male version of the mammogram a few years back. On my birthday, no less! ;)