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.