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Aging is hard pill to swallow

We knew this day would come eventually, the day our bodies turned on us.

We were married for five years before we ever owned a bottle of aspirin.

Now all of a sudden we are people who "travel with medication."

We were packing for a long weekend when the husband set out a prescription pill bottle with an entire 30-day supply of an anti-inflammatory for his tennis elbow.

"Do you really need to take the whole bottle?" I ask. "Maybe you could just put four in a baggie."

"What about airport security? Do they allow that?"

The husband is a very by-the-letter person, all about labels and being legal.

"I think they have a special line for people with medications," I say. "If they don't like how you packed your meds, they make you swallow them all right there on the spot."

The husband is only mildly amused, although I think I see his elbow laughing.

He turns the tables and asks how I plan on packing my medication.

He is referring to the fact that a bone density scan revealed that my bones are far more aged than the rest of me. It was my destiny -- Caucasian, small frame and family history.

Sally Field is my new best friend. Or should I say was.

Do you know why she sits in the Boniva commercial wearing that T-shirt and yoga pants with one leg folded way under the other leg? Because she is in excruciating pain and cannot move. That's what the drug did for me. I didn't feel old before I took it, but two days after taking it, I was ready to get one of those medic-alert necklaces and do some on-line shopping for a walker. Every joint in my body ached.

What I do travel with are calcium chews, vitamin supplements that are the color of mud and flavored with a hint of Georgia clay. I pretend they are Tootsie Rolls, as I am less likely to gag on them that way.

The doctor said that, unfortunately, obesity is actually one of the best protections against osteoporosis. Finally things were looking up.

"You're saying I should gain 100 pounds?" I asked, perhaps displaying a little too much enthusiasm.

"No, I'm saying you don't want to lose what little padding you have. Your weight is just fine; keep it where it is."

"Write me a script for an anti-depressant, will you, doctor?"


"Because when I leave here I'm going to be depressed. The first time in 15 years someone says my weight is fine and I don't have a witness or a tape recorder."

At least I am not alone.

When my literary agent hit 50, she said she weighed exactly the same as when she was 18 -- but all of it was in a different place.

Another friend claims that for everything to be where it used to be, she'd have to walk on her hands.

Aging is like skiing downhill. Once you start, it's hard to stop

Here, have a Tootsie Roll.


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