I've been 50 for eight months and, true to popular belief, since reaching that milestone I have suffered a rapid physical decline.
The eyes were first. Reading glasses have had to be replaced by varifocal lenses. Adjusting to them was difficult. It took weeks of jerking my head around like a cat trying to follow a fly before I managed to perfect the varying degrees of chin tilting required to watch tv, read a computer screen or see what I was eating (my exciting life summed up in a nutshell). But when I did, the world showed itself in wonderful HD, only to highlight the dust that had accumulated on my skirting boards.
Then came the teeth, or rather then went the teeth. Toothache turned into a root canal infection, turned into a tooth extraction. Whilst I wait for the socket to heal before I can have bridge built to disguise the offending gap, I'm having to hold my mouth like a ventriloquist so that I don't look like a country cousin when I say 'cheese', 'please' or 'knees'. As for smiling or laughing - well, there's nothing much to laugh about, especially as the bridge is going to cost over £1,000. You can get a facelift for that in some Eastern European countries. On the upside, if I keep talking like this for much longer I'll have the makings of a variety act. With an interesting puppet I could be on the next series of Britain's Got Talent.
Did I mention my knees? There was a time when they might be a little sore the day after an all night rave. Now, if I'm sat at my desk for more than an hour, when I get up to walk to the coffee machine, I hobble and wince like an old cowboy who's just crossed the desert on a saddleless horse. Back in my raving days I never thought that I'd still be taking drugs at 50 - I am but they're all on prescription and instead of getting me high they merely keep me from going over the edge, just.
A recent 'Well Woman' health check revealed that I was anything but. Whilst it was a relief to be told that my poo checked out ok, I wasn't happy that my wee had too much of one thing and not enough of something else; my cholesterol was 'extremely high' and my weight not that many pounds away from me being officially classed as obese. (Which makes me wonder, is there another classification after obese or is it an inifite category? What do doctors call those great big fat bastards you see in the supermarket pushing trolleys full of pizzas and cakes?) It's hard to believe that when I was 32 I weighed 8st 12lbs and thought I was fat. 8st 12lb! My handbag weighs that much now, mainly due to all the prescription drugs I have to carry around with me.
I've been told by more than one doctor that exercise is the answer to my weight and cholesterol problems. But how to exercise? It used to be clubbing and sex that kept me trim and fit but now I'm too old to do the former, I don't get the opportunity to indulge in the latter, the two being extricably linked. Even if I did get the chance, the likelihood is my knees would let me down and I'd have to just lay there - with my glasses on and not smiling.
Until next time, keep healthy.