Last updated: July 30. 2014 12:00PM - 424 Views
By Michael Howlett

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Do you want to know if you’re aging too fast, just the right amount, or more slowly than the general populace? Well, I’m here with the information that will tell you just that. Yes siree, after reading this you will know whether or not you need to start making plans for the “colossal coma,” the “nocturnal nap,” or, if you prefer, the “stiff snooze.”

Now, these tips don’t come from just any medical authority. No, these tips come from that master of self-promotion Dr. Oz. Some of you might confuse Dr. Oz with the Wizard of Oz, which is understandable since both rely on smoke and mirrors, but the difference is Dr. Oz doesn’t take advantage of midgets.

Some of you may be aware that Oz is a member of an unholy cabal that includes Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil. By far the worst of the lot, Dr. Phil is more unsavory than Hannibal Lecter, Rush Limbaugh and JonBenet Ramsey’s parents combined, although Oprah bares some of the responsibility for making a fake-celebrity out of this carnival huckster.

Speaking of hucksters, let’s get back to Dr. Oz’s tips for knowing if you’re growing old too fast. One of them is, get ready for it, hearing loss. Imagine that. That’s freakin’ amazing. What a wealth of knowledge this man is.

Of course, he adds, this hearing loss may be a sign that you’re developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. I prefer to attribute my hearing loss to over 50 years of listening to music at high decibel levels, as well as being an avid concert goer. Why, I remember …. give me a minute, I had a thought … no, it’s gone.

Two signs of fast aging involve your feet. Yes, hairless feet or toes, or bumped toes, which is not the same as knocking boots, dear friend, could be speeding you toward that great traffic stop in the sky. Dr. Oz says our “culture encourages women to get rid of every last hair not on their head” … wait a minute while I form a mental picture. Oh yeah, got it.

Having no hair on your feet or toes is a red flag for vascular disease, which could lead to strokes and heart attacks, while having toes that bump upward could indicate lung cancer. I would provide more detail, but I’ve forgotten what they were. Hey, it’s because of loud music!

Cotton mouth in the morning may be a sign of sleep apnea, so Dr. Oz advises sleeping with a tennis ball under your back. I know that sounds weird, but we talking about the good doctor after all. I guess back pain is preferable to sleep apnea.

He also cites red eyes as a sign of arthritis. I often had red eyes as a young man, especially during my college career, so I don’t put much faith in that bit of advice. Instead, I go by the pain in my knees, and the fact that once I’m down, getting up is sort of a big deal.

Dr. Oz’s final two tips concerning fast aging are graying skin and loss of smell. Although graying skin is actually considered quite the look in the zombie community, it’s really not a good look for the living, so I understand why this would signal problems. But don’t get too excited if you begin to look like a charcoal drawing, you’re not turning into a zombie, you just have kidney disease.

Now, as for the loss of smell, I think I’m okay on this one, and I know the Mistress of the Manor is okay; she can detect a dead mouse behind the refrigerator from as far away as the front porch. In fact, one time I think she proclaimed just such a thing while we were working in the back yard. No mouse is going to use our house as a tomb without her knowing.

However, I have to disagree with Dr. Oz on this loss of smell thing. I think the better indicator of aging is not how developed one’s sense of smell is, but how much one smells. Just go into a nursing home, how does it smell? Like old people, of course.

Yes, it seems as one gets older, the smells that flow from our bodies get stranger and stranger. Heck, I don’t think I’m as aromatic as I was once was. No, I’ve gone from emitting the tantalizing smell of wild and reckless youth to what I fear most, the smell of a dead mouse under the refrigerator.

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