It is with a sense of low level panic that I write this post. A slow sense of dread has been creeping up on me of late. I’m not sure why it’s slow or even creeping because I can’t run that fast anymore and I’m sure my hearing is going.
Mortality is starting to fart its stale odour into my face.
I’m starting to feel old and, worse, see the traditional effects of old age start to work on me. I feel like a chalk cliff who knows that the waves pounding at its base aren’t going to go anywhere and are going to stay there for the long haul and keep grinding away until all that is left of me is a little tiny nub that not even my totally utilitarian Maths teacher would use to write out a quadratic equation.
Let’s look at the evidence.
My sleep pattern has completely changed in a matter of years. Gone are the halcyon nights when I’d put my head down and be out for the count for a good 8 hours+, all the way through, not a peep out of me until morning. Now I wake several times a night, more often than not with a bladder that is not exactly bursting but nonetheless refuses to hold onto its minute charge.
My back twinges when I do physical activity and twinges when I don’t. I’m terrified my spine is going to do a 911 – only without the unwanted intervention of a couple of passenger jets.
Food. Food is becoming a problem. Should I be faced with an all-you-can-eat buffet now I’d probably turn my nose up at half of it. Bacon gives me painful wind. Certain beans appear to want to pummel my duodenum as they pass through it. Mixing 2 types of meat within 24 hours seems to recreate the Clash of the Titans in my gut and onions (which I love) guarantee that any waste material will soon be motoring out of my sphincter like money out of my bank account. Yes. That fast.
Mere years ago I could eat anything. Anything at all. I had the constitution of a ox. Give me another couple of years and I’ll be wanting all of my food mashed and will swap a knife and fork for a straw.
And don’t get me started on my eyesight. I know I wear glasses so have problems anyway... but bloody hell. Subtitles need to be big print. Any kind of electronic text on the telly – Ceefax (does that still exist?), digibox menus, etc – seems to blur and morph like the word verification most of you guys use on your blogs. And don’t get me started on the back of DVD boxes. Most of the time all I want to find is the running time before I choose to watch something (‘cos I like to be curled up bed with a large print book by 9.30) but (a) I can never find it and (b) when someone points out its location the print is too small for me to read. Too small! And bringing the box closer to my eyes only makes it worse! I’m supposed to be short-sighted, for Heaven’s sake!
And yet, the one positive through all this is that I don’t look old. I don’t look 42. I look ten years younger. Clean and healthy living, see?
But what good is this if I’m wearing out fast on the inside?
I don’t want to be the best looking bloke in the care home!
There are only so many bed baths a day that a good looking guy can take...