You know you are closing in on high mileage when your calendar, once stuffed with schedules of trips to strange places, becomes full of schedules of trips to the service department.
Every other week, Sunday morning, I sit down to refill my pill box.
One tablet makes my blood easier to pump — like lowering the viscosity from 20W-50 to 5W-30. Another keeps the pump from overspeeding on the thinner fluid.
Another helps remove components of stuff I’ve sucked through my intake over the years. The food tasted good, but apparently there are ripples in my tubing that causes some components to collect, and like a sandbar on the curve of a stream, slow the flow of that reduced-viscosity red and white liquid.
Then there’s the proof I’m the sweet guy I’ve always claimed to be. My once natural ability to convert sugars to fat, leading to my over-large physique, has failed. Now the sugars sit outside the cells they are meant to nourish. There are pills for that, to let the sweetness enter my bodily machinery.
If I stop taking the pills, I probably lose weight, but run out of gas and crash. If I take them, I gain weight, which, the doctor says, will make me need to take more pills, or maybe shots. Not the kind that come in small jiggers. Go figure.
More trips to the service department seem to beget more trips to the service department. What once was merely a regularly occurring checkup to see I was still capable of arriving on my own power has become a fear inducer, like being in a single engine airplane and finding you have gone far enough from land that if the engine quit, you couldn’t make it back.
The engine suddenly goes on what pilots of such aircraft call “automatic rough;” each succeeding tick or pop, real or imagined, conspiring to convince you the next one will be the last one. The gauges are fine and the propellor still whirls, but somewhere in a deep recess of 3 a.m. dreamland, the question begs: How long until the nearest beach is within gliding distance.
Another doctor tells me I have to stop walking barefoot; it is not safe for a diabetic person, she says. We need to chat more about that. I think we protecteth ourselves overmuch in some activities, under-so in others. More of us barefoot would toughen our feet. Fewer of us guzzling extra large bottles of brown sugared water would reduce the need for diabetes medications.
There is, of course, a long list of things I’ve done to me that I shouldn’t have. When one is young — say, younger than 55 — one believes that coffee for breakfast, a New York sausage for lunch and a Big Gulp-size Pepsi with a bowl of corn chips, the latter to dip from a bowl of salsa, constitutes a balanced, life sustaining diet.
I suspect the salsa was good for me, the corn chips not bad, but the Pepsi and sausage likely are the cause of some of the pills I now daily consume.
“Try it, you’ll like it,” the Hype Monster tells us.
Later, a different voice says, “Are you feeling bad, Boopy? We have a pill for that.”
The experience reminds me of a quote from a favorite personage:
“Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me,” Comedian and political commentarian Will Rogers said. “I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.”