Aging is a natural process, but sometimes it’s really unpleasant. I remember when I was a kid. My best friend Susan was eight months older than me, and it just really bothered me that she was a whole year older than me for eight months of the year. Those numbers matter so much to us when we’re young. George Carlin has a great routine about aging.
Once we get over 50, I think it’s not really the number that matters so much, but how we feel. I’ve had way more than my share of aches and pains in the course of my life. Too many injuries from hiking, lifting things I shouldn’t have, and from trying to do things for which my body was not prepared. And then there’s the brain thing. I have days when I can’t find the thing I just had in my hand. When I get to the store and realize I didn’t bring my glasses and I can’t buy anything without reading labels because I have so many dietary restrictions. And we come to yesterday, when I did have my glasses, but bought something for my aging body without really giving it much thought, and the resulting consequence really has me wondering about not only my aging joints, but my aging brain.
I have, for some weeks, been having a lot of pain. My ankles hurt, my shins hurt, my hips hurt, by back, my shoulders, my wrists, etc. So, thinking that my diet probably does not have enough variety to supply my body with all it needs, I decided I should go and get some Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM-type supplement to lubricate my aching joints. I’ve been doing lots of exercise to help stave off the aging process, and I thought this stuff would really help. I went to just about the only place I shop nowadays, Costco, and came home with a large bottle of Glucosamine/MSM and was so hopeful it would be good for me. The dosage is two of these big honkin’ horse pills each day, so I figured I’d take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I noticed that I was horribly tired all morning. After lunch, I took the next pill, and soon I was in my regular hypoglycemic panic — so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and beginning to get very shaky. I decided to look at the label of the Glucosamine/MSM supplement. I noticed that it contains 2 carbs. Then I googled Glucosamine. It’s SUGAR!!! Doh! For a woman who spent most of her younger years studying languages and linguistics, you think I might have noticed that the word begins with Gluco – SUGAR! So now I have a large bottle of joint-repair pills I can’t take because they contain too much sugar for my insulin-ridden body, and I’m really wondering about the brain that failed to recognized the root of the word.
Bette Davis was right – old age is not for sissies.