Take A Little Something (or Not!)

I’m not going to say that I equate vitamins with cocaine or any other powerful drug, but I do equate them with the thought that one can take something to set aside the realities and infirmities of aging.

Vitamins! What’s the point of taking them?

We’ve all have had the experience. The annual checkup comes. Your trusted physician takes about a bucket of blood and sends it off to get read by mysterious scientists. He calls to report everything is fine, but your Vitamin D level is a little low so take  a supplement.

And that will achieve what?

Will it make me spunkier? Better looking? Will it make my hair last longer? My erections? (Sorry, but we’re talking medicine here.) How about my long walks, will I feel less like I am going to die toward the end of them and more like I am doing myself some good? Will I be able to go to the gym and not look like a pathetic 68 year old man chasing his youth across a bank of fancy workout machines?

No one can say a vitamin tablet will help with any of that. At least not with much assurance. So what is the point?

If you dive into the subject on the internet, endless lines of D-believers will tell you that it will change your life. Wait, I’m already taking baby aspirin every morning to change my life (maybe helps protect against colon cancer and stroke and the like) so how will Vitamin D add to that little addition to my day?

I love my doctors, for sure, but I think a lot of what people present as medicine is just pop bullshit pushed by the people who make various kinds of drugs.

I saw a whole little collection of the drug pushers during my last visit to a doctor. They waited in her little lobby with their fancy leather brief cases full of samples and their grand clothing and self-assurance. I though it might be good to engage one of them in a discussion about pot. But then I thought again.

I once had great faith in antibiotics, particularly when something skanky came along. They were short term and seemed to work quite well. Then we began feeding them to farm animals and clever bacteria figured out a work-around, as clever bacteria always will. So that’s a problem now if you get a particularly aggressive bug.

What about hair?

Well, there’s “miracle products” people use to try to get back that, “Hey, I’m 29 and ready to go” look we all remember from the last century or so. Do they work? Well, they claim they do. But they claim vitamins work, too.

What’s prompting this? Fear of aging. Of looking older. Who knows? People in the right state of mind find each other all the time, no matter their ages, and how they look isn’t much a part of it, I would suggest.

More directly, this is a response to a stress test at Northwestern downtown (I live in Evanston) for what might or might not be a heart problem. This, I think, was helpful. Great staff. Professional and personable. Beeping machines. Getting to watch the valves in your heart open and close.

That’s a show worth paying for. And I can assure you I will.

But short of the discovery of some awful little thing I didn’t know about which has now stepped in to to slow me down, I’m thinking it’s time to say, “Old age has caught up with you” and just accept it. I’m not ready to walk with a cane I can shake at the youngsters when they scoot by me on their contraptions, like an old crank.

People used to notice when I passed, but now I’m invisible except to myself.

I am transitioning from simple crank to old crank. I have to see how that fits me.

But I’m not taking anything for it, except time, which heals all ailments one way or another.