Alvin Richardson

Alvin Richardson

By Alvin Richardson

There are some days when old age seems to be creeping up on me. On the other hand there are moments when it feels as if the speed at which I’m reaching advanced age is coming on like a runaway freight train. Throughout this steady progression I’ve discovered a few things. One is that there is nothing that can be done about it, another is that the accompanying symptoms gradually get worse over time, and lastly it seems that the number of pills I am required to take each day are growing exponentially.

I now have at my disposal an impressive list of doctors with all kinds of fancy titles. To name a few there’s a nephrologist, a dermatologist, a gastroenterologist, a proctologist, and a regular old MD. Of course I also have a pharmacist who loves me because over the years I’ve bought him a boat, a beach condo, a Corvette and have helped put his kids through college.

The rundown on my pill regimen goes something like this. Since I’ve got four kidneys (only one of which works properly), I take seven pills a day to make sure that the one good one continues to function at a respectable level. Then there’s a couple of blood pressure pills, some fish oil to insure a proper level of cholesterol, the obligatory multi-vitamin specifically engineered for mature adults and a pill supplied by a local witch doctor that is supposed to provide manly stamina.

Then there is my funky stomach. I ruined my guts early on by drinking gallons of antacids in an effort to calm them down during all those football wars and the end result has been an intestinal nightmare. I now take a daily concoction of two parts prune juice, one part papaya (laced with fig fragments), one part shredded spinach and one part guava fruit (with seeds). There is a fancy name for this brew but my doctor just calls it by a generic name known as Thunder Road for obvious reasons. It may be my most critical medicine because it keeps me regular and all of you who are victims of advancing age know how important that is. I must say that Thunder Road is highly effective. I’m talking clockwork here. Timex, Rolex and Big Ben are amateurs in time-keeping compared to my gastric workings.

Because of the Thunder Road medication I now have to schedule my fishing and hunting trips around a rather tight window so as to avoid a catastrophic situation. All day salt-water trips on a small boat seem to be the most problematic.

Another thing that has begun to happen is that my local doctor has started to schedule appointments for me with specialists even when there’s nothing new wrong with me. I asked him about that and he said that it was just time to do a particular test. That’s code for, “Because of your age dummy.”

One of these guys Doc put me in contact with was a proctologist. “Contact” is probably the wrong word to use here but suffice it to say that if you don’t know what his specialty is I’d advise looking it up before you go. I’m not going into it here but if your MD lines you up with one of these fine fellows just trust me and cancel the appointment. In fact, just to be on the safe side if your doctor sends you to any specialist whose title starts with a “P” just do not go. Better safe than sorry.

Even though I’m complaining a little bit here today I’m thankful for my smart doctors, for modern science and state-of-the-art chemistry. Because of them I can hunt, fish, golf and occasionally work in the yard free of pain and worry.

Hey, I was just kidding about the “P” doctor. He plays a significant role in keeping you healthy so if you are like me and moving swiftly up the age ladder, just go see him and any of the other fine physicians that you may find a need for. I learned a long time ago that they are a lot smarter than me and to do exactly what they say so as to avoid long term aggravation with your health.

Getting older isn’t really so bad. Just keep those regular appointments, ignore the signs of old age, do the stuff you enjoy – and take your medicine.

Got a comment for Alvin? E-mail him at dar8589@bellsouth.net