I am growing older . . . can’t escape the fact. In less than a month I hit the double nickel. I will be well established in the later stages of middle age . . . bordering on the age of being (as my children tell me) old. I always knew that I was going to get old, but what I was not ready for was all the aches and pains that come with it. Growing old is painful thanks to something called arthritis and its accompanying cronies. Entering my 55th year I have begun to feel the aches and pains . . . and, well, they hurt!
I guess I should not complain as my aches and pains are minimal at this point. The joints of my thumbs hurt . . . especially when I am attempting to snub someone. It is an achy sort of pain that sort of throbs. The wife tells me that it is arthritis. Whatever it is . . . it throbs . . . it hurts . . . and, I miss snubbing folks. The other pain is in my big toe and little toe on my right foot. It is a weird sort of pain—what other sort of pain would I have—that feels as if those two toes are broken whenever I walk. But, they are not. It is just a pain . . . one that I have determined to think is gout. Yeah, look that one up . . . all I know is that it hurts when I walk.
I do not enjoy pain. I don’t think most people enjoy pain. Most of us try to avoid pain any way that we can. The problem is this: you cannot avoid the pains associated with growing older. Or so I thought. Thanks to the latest issue of AARP—The Magazine, I have learned that there are ways that people can fight arthritis . . . in fact, four specific ways. Wanting to avoid pain, I read the article carefully.
The first suggestion to fight arthritis, according to the magazine, was to enjoy a cocktail. Research showed that women who had more than three alcoholic drinks a week over a ten year period reduced their arthritis risk by fifty percent. I’ll drink to that! Heck, even it doesn’t work, who cares? Just drink a little more until the pain goes away. Sounds reasonable to me . . . so, if you see me with a beer in hand, don’t scold me . . . praise me. Praise me for using a homeopathic remedy for combatting arthritis and its associated pain.
The second suggestion was to avoid soda . . . unless, of course you are using soda to mix your drinks for the first suggestion. Again, according to research, sugary sodas contribute to weight gain and the progression of arthritis in the knees and other joints, especially in men who drink more than five sodas a week. My suggestion is, if you are going to drink soda make sure you mix it with alcohol. Check out suggestion one above and you will understand my thinking on this one.
Suggestion three, pass on the prime rib. Whoa! That one is hitting below the belt, or is it above the belt? I love my beef. Beef is a red meat. Red meat is high in purines. Purine can increase the risk of inflammatory arthritis—like gout—by five times. How can something that tastes so good, be so bad for a person? My toes hurt because I had a Big Mac? This one has me concerned because it is suggesting that I cut back on my red meat consumption—which would make the wife happy as she keeps reminding me that red meat is bad for me . . . bad for my heart . . . and, apparently, for my toes. I think I will keep limping along through life.
The last suggestion, number four, states that eating cherries can lower the risk of gout attacks. In a study, people who ate 10 to 12 cherries over two days had a 35 percent lower risk of flare-ups. I can handle this one. I like cherries . . . especially when they are put in my cocktails. I could handle this one if it makes my toes quit hurting.
In fact, I have determined that I could probably do numbers one, two, and four all at the same time. All I would have to do is to make a cocktail using a soda with a cherry in it . . . at least three times a week. Ol’ Arthritis would be seen heading for the hills if I did this . . . I would be feeling no pain. Shoot, I could handle that.
With this sort of advice, who say growing old has to be painful . . . or boring? I could get used to this . . . no pain . . . past the cocktails, my gout is acting up!