This is what the doctor said to me: "Eventually, we all end up on some medication or another." This was unpleasant news for me. It was also something that felt more like a sentence than a revelation. I had been living my life with the expectation of staying healthy via eliminating my unhealthy habits and tendencies until everything collapsed at once. I never imagined myself as one of those people who lived via their medicine chest, taking fistfuls of pills to maintain their fragile constitution. Somewhat taken aback by this physician's assertion, I stammered, "Well, I thought I was in pretty good shape," hoping to salvage a little of the face that I was losing by the moment. To which the doctor replied, "Well, not really good shape. You could stand to lose a few pounds."
Suddenly, my life was vaudeville: "Doctor, I want a second opinion."
"You want a second opinion? You're ugly too." Ba dum dum.
And so the aging process continues to work its magic on me along with the rest of the planet. As someone who regularly espouses the inevitability of entropy, I should take all of this with a big steaming cup of karma. But it doesn't make me happy.
There was a time when I lived with little more than a tube of toothpaste and dental floss in my medicine chest. Now that I am, as a friend of mine intones, a "man of a certain age," I can't avoid the turbulence of time. The pits between my teeth have grown deeper. My eyes, not unlike an old TV set, take a while to warm up in the morning. I make that old guy noise when I bend down to pick up the stray Lego. I am moving from an ordered state to a less ordered state. If I were a planet, and feel free to insert your clever astronomical joke here, my orbit has begun to decay.
But I'm not ready to crash into the sun. Quite the opposite, actually. It is not my intent to buck this trend completely. I accept that I will continue to experience gravity more profoundly as I grow older, but I look forward to doing it gracefully. That starts with the next interaction I have with that particular physician. You may have noticed that I have not referred to him as "My Doctor." His diagnosis may have been spot-on, but his bedside manner should be put on life-support immediately. He should know that I always need to be the funniest guy in the room, even if I am the guy wearing the paper nightgown.