I’ve been considering my own health a lot lately. Maybe it’s because of my friend’s recent battle for life, at a young and vigorous age. A battle he is still fighting, by the way. A battle he is winning, by all accounts, but with a long road ahead. Every day I hope there is some way I can help him.
Maybe it’s the loss of a great-aunt. Her name was Nadine, and her funeral was yesterday. I was telling my sister, via text, that I don’t remember if I ever met her and Uncle Vern or if I’d just heard about them. Probably somebody in the family knows the truth about that. Families and extended families can be huge, and being the youngest of 7 probably means I met many of the family elders when I was very young. I’m not very young anymore. I hope Nadine rests in peace.
Maybe it’s because I’m becoming physically aware of my own advance in time. Things hurt more when I move about. Mostly in the legs. The way the legs used to hurt when I played 5 AM basketball three times a week in 2012 for 6 months. They often feel like I played basketball yesterday. Maybe I’m not stretching enough. I can still touch my toes when I stretch, though, so that’s a thing. Heck, I can still touch my heels, most days.
In 12 days I’ll be a year away from half a century old.
There should be some sort of daily countdown for that, right? Like The Twelve Days of Christmas, only geared to someone I know better. The Twelve Days of Thomas. Oh, I could bore the hell out of all of you with that.
No, I won’t bore you with that. As fun as it might be to do twelve of them, I won’t do that.
Unless I run out of ideas tomorrow.
In thirteen days I’ll be 50. I say that, because I have this quirky little thing I’ve done since I was first sentient. The day after I turn one age, I start referring to myself as the next. I do this because (a) I’m still a weird little shit like I was back then, and (b) it prepares me mentally for what comes next. I never fear the age I become on the age I become it because I’ve prepared myself for it for a year.
Told ya it was quirky.
More or less, I’m prepared to be 50, mentally. Or 49, for now. I don’t feel it mentally because, in my mind, I’m still a stupid kid. Honestly, if I could go back in time now and answer that dumb question we all get asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’d answer “a stupid kid.” I never want to grow out of the age of wonder. I never want to stop playing superheroes. I never wanna grow up.
But I’m going to have to, pretty soon. I’m going to have to make a doctor’s appointment and go see if, physically, I’m about to be a 50-year old man. I last saw a doctor in 2010. I was the picture of perfect health then. I’ve carried that knowledge with me for 7 years. There is no reason to expect that has changed. No reason at all.
Except age. I guess even superheroes get older.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about my health lately. I need to acknowledge some things about the body and about reality and go see what an expert has to say. They’ll probably give me some good advice like “cut out red meat,” “stop drinking so much beer,” and “get more exercise.” Hell, I tell me that. I probably won’t follow any of it until I have to. Kids can be so stubborn.
As soon as I’m done here I’ll go research general practitioners in my network. When I was young I never thought I’d write that phrase. I’m not that young, anymore. I need to make an effort, see what’s going on inside, make some corrections. It makes good sense. It’s what we do when we get older.
I have to think about my own health.
It’s about time.