My Long Goodbye
Posted by Exile on April 17, 2008
It would appear that my days as a fully functional human being are numbered. I am destroying my body and mind on a daily basis. Alas, I am undone! My very lifestyle is going to see me in my grave sooner than I care to think about. Luckily, I won’t know much about it, if I am to believe the latest outpourings from the health gurus, because I will be suffering from an over developed bout of Alzheimers.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to lose my mind over this. And even if I do, then I won’t be in a condition to care.
Two reports, released simultaneously from the Wien Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, Miami Beach, Florida and the University of Kuopio in Finland, inform me that smoking, drinking and junk food are likely to increase my chances of going ga-ga somewhat more prematurely than I otherwise would, if I ever should. Not only that, I may even be genetically predisposed to the disease. That isn’t my fault, it just is. I didn’t pick my genes. I inherited them. I find that all a bit academic anyway as I am not immortal and I know it and as I grow older in this world, a visit to “cloud cuckoo land” might even be seen as a welcome break for the weekend for the struggling pensioner that I am destined to become.
The article in The Times has this to say;
“Heavy drinkers and smokers develop Alzheimer’s disease up to eight years earlier than those with healthier lifestyles, research has shown.
A junk food diet which causes high cholesterol levels in middle age also leads to a higher risk of the disease, say scientists.
The lifestyle links to Alzheimer’s were revealed today in two separate studies presented to neurologists in the US.
One team looked at 938 Alzheimer’s patients aged 60 and above. The researchers asked family members about the patients’ drinking and smoking history, and found that heavy drinkers – those who consumed more than two alcoholic drinks a day – developed Alzheimer’s nearly five years earlier on average than non-heavy drinkers.
Smokers who got through at least 20 cigarettes a day developed the disease 2.3 years sooner than patients who smoked less or were non-smokers.
Participants with a particular mutant form of the gene ApoE showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s three years earlier than those without the gene variant.
Adding the three risk factors together led to considerably earlier onset of the disease, with patients with all three developing Alzheimer’s 8.5 years sooner than those with none.”
That’s my lot then. I’m done for. I may as well just shoot myself now and get it over with. I had hoped that I would first develop the disease at around 98 years of age. Now I risk getting it at 90. Having planned to live until I am 110, I may just have to rethink my situation.
I will not be relinquishing my beloved pipe or tobacco. My Sunday scotch is not up for negotiation either. My daily sticky bar, usually Mars or Snickers, is my one habit that may be adjustable. But don’t count on it. I don’t believe that I would live any longer if I gave these things up, but it surely would feel that way.
How do we cope then?
For those that smoke cigarettes, as I am forced to do at work because my boss doesn’t appreciate me taking hour long smoke breaks while I smoke a pipe, my advice would be to limit yourselves to nineteen a day thereby coming under the magic number twenty. Two alcoholic beverages a day is also putting you at risk. My advice is to save them up for the weekend and only drink thirteen pints instead of fourteen and thereby defeat the average. If you do eat burgers on a regular basis, don’t forget the fried onions. Vegetables are important in a well rounded diet.
On the other hand, one could just ignore this latest round of lifestyle disease bullshit and get on with living ones life as one sees fit for as long as one can. Until euthanasia is governmental policy, I don’t think we have to concern ourselves too much.
As for the Wien Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, Miami Beach, Florida and the University of Kuopio in Finland, well, thanks for sharing. I don’t know who is funding your research but I can smell something distinctly familiar. I haven’t given one of these out for a while but I’m going to let you have one. You have just earned yourselves a Bullshit Award.