Old Person Health Code

Forgive my foul mood. I was up most of the night with ‘an attack of angina’.

What’s ‘an attack of angina’? Angina is one of those things that old people like me get so we have something dramatic sounding to complain about. It’s a painful cramp in the heart muscle, followed by very sore ribs, and most often has no apparent cause. It’s in the “Old Person Health Code” that it can only occur at 3:37 a.m., and under no circumstances are you allowed to call for an ambulance. The only known cure is to repeat, “I had ‘an attack of angina’ last night,” until your audience stops taking you seriously and wanders off.

The rest of the rules are as follows:

You must acquire ‘gout’. You don’t know what ‘gout’ is, but you must acquire it, anyway. Symptoms can range from triple sneezes to hives, to addiction to ginger ale, to watching infomercials for lap band surgery.

You must get The Dropsies. If you pick something up and immediately drop it, you have The Dropsies. “I used to have a full set of china until I got The Dropsies.” “Marjorie got The Dropsies and accidentally spilled half a bottle of her constipation pills down the bathroom sink.”

You do not have prescription or over-the-counter medications, you have ‘pills’. Tylenol, Valium, suppositories, Percocet, acid blockers, beta-blockers and insulin injections all fall under the heading ‘pills’. At least once a week you must mix them up.

Drink and drive. No one will notice the difference.

Consume massive quantities of black tea. Green tea doesn’t “…do the trick.”

For exercise, grab the nearest teacup poodle and walk it. The only other acceptable breed is a white Maltese with weeping eyes. If you walk a pit bull, your age reverts back to 25 and your erectile dysfunction goes away. We can’t have that, now can we?

Last but not least, when you hear an ambulance assume it’s for you. You probably forgot the angina rule.


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