"What else?" That was Dr. S's repeated prompt, at my annual physical exam. What used to be a quick formality to appease the insurance overlords has become an extended exercise in complaint. Mostly hypochondriacal, I suppose. But I don't make fun of hypochondriacs anymore.
The doc didn't say my complaints were misplaced. He did say he had no magic bullets to address any of them. The blood work results will tell the rest of the story. The good news, meanwhile, is that BP's low, BMI's above average, the prognosis is generally positive. "Keep your health, your Splendid health..."
I went straight from my exam to the Opening Day event sponsored by the local chapter of Older Daughter's new school's alumni association, and there met a parent approximately my age who also talks for a living, and who's just come through the nightmare of tongue and throat cancer. His speech was obviously altered, and so was he: evidently for the better. Surviving a mortal scare can be uplifting and inspiring. Congenitally healthy people may lack a proper appreciation for the simple ability to draw one breath and then another.
The perceptive Richard Ford has written that there eventually comes a time in every long life when you can easily spot the very thing that's going to get you, on the distant horizon. It keeps coming closer and closer, and there's nothing much you can do about it. Oh, you can waive a flag and worry and complain, but it's coming. Better not to worry, just look for ways to enjoy and optimize the day before you.
Isaac Asimov said if he received a death sentence he'd just type faster.
George Santayana said there's no cure for birth and death except to enjoy the interval.
And Dr. S finally said the best medicine he could prescribe for my aching joints, tired muscles, chaotic colon, eccentric alimentary system, and all, was just to keep on doing what I do: walk daily, swim, hike, and bike frequently, and stop in for a friendly chat with my GP annually.
Don't worry too much about what else might be coming. Type faster.