With Wrinkles Comes (the option of) Wisdom
Maybe an analogy will help you understand the relationship between aging and your health. I’ll use my own medical history as examples.
Health-wise, being in your 20’s is like living in a very safe neighborhood. You don’t worry about locking the doors or protecting your valuables. You probably leave the front door open. This is because, in your 20’s, you know that your health will be fine, and mine was. You only see a doctor when you’re sick.
But then you move into your 30’s. This new neighborhood is not quite as safe. You should lock the door and close the drapes, but you don’t. Health-wise, you start gaining belly fat, your appendix is removed at age 32, your gall bladder at age 38. You’re now forced to get regular physicals from your GP MD, and to get your first PSA and DRE at about age 35.
Now It Starts Getting Serious
When you move into the neighborhood of the 40’s, it’s so scary that you should put in an alarm system and get a yappy dog. You finally go to the dentist every 6 months, take a daily multi-vitamin, and try to weigh yourself every day. You consult with your GP MD as to how often to get your PSA checked. Regardless, your weight continues to increase, your hair starts to thin (but it’s replaced by the new hair in your nose and ears – even on your ear lobes) and your left knee starts popping when you stand from a sitting position.
The lousy neighborhood of your 50’s requires you to double-lock all the doors, put in a back-up alarm system and get a bad-tempered pit bull. Your teeth start to separate, you’ve gained 60 pounds since the neighborhood of the 30’s and you have Congestive Heart Failure. Your physicians are now specialists. A PSA and a DRE are regular events. You never touch a salt shaker.
In the 60’s neighborhood, you wonder if this is your last move. You constantly check the deadbolts, ask the police to drive by on a schedule, and have a cooperative relationship with your neighbors. You finally know there’s no hope of regaining your youth and you get serious. You lose 50 of the 60 pounds you’ve gained, see your cardiologist every 6 months, and constantly monitor any possible symptoms of prostate cancer. Statistics become your motivation – “1 of 6 men will have prostate cancer”, “29,000 will die this year”. And then you get kidney stones.
What are the symptoms of possible health problems? Facial wrinkles, sagging flesh, thinning hair, liver spots, fading vision, aching joints – the normal signs of aging. More Years = More Disease.