January 22, 2006

For my birthday I'd like a clean bill of health. Or even better, the health without the bill.

My birthday is a few days away. Since I don't have a special someone to share it with, the day will be spent celebrating with the next best thing: doctors. Maybe I'll do dentist in the morning, gyno in the afternoon, and ophthalmologist for cocktails. The rate of corrosion is accelerating so rapidly, though, it's hard to keep up. In my twenties it was one medical appointment a month. In my early thirties, once a week. But turning 38 will be a three-doctor day.

My dentist has told me I have to replace all my fillings. "Thirty years of wear and tear takes it toll," he said. Am I chewing that vigorously? I bet it was all the carrots. He said it was most likely from grinding my teeth at night due to stress. In that case, I'm surprised I have any left. It doesn't seem fair - they can make a biscuit with an unlimited shelf life, but a filling expires.

My body is like my apartment: suddenly everything has to be replaced. While some women my age are choosing between dinner at Nobu and a pair of Jimmy Choos, I'm choosing between a new refrigerator and a mouthful of decay.

A visit to the dermatologist is a veritable buffet of maintenance choices.
And I'm not even considering the cosmetic procedures - Botox and silicone are for the young at heart. I'm not looking to recapture my youth, as it wasn't that great the first time around. My wish list is more basic.

Removal of a potentially cancerous mole or zap the rosacea. Wrinkles are the least of it.
Liza, always the optimist, pointed out the good news: at least I don't have a problem with my hip. She went to a doctor the other day because she had a limp. They were going over the "what ifs" and the subject of hip replacement came up. She told him: "Listen, Doc, it's hard enough to be a single girl with a cat - I really don't know if I can work a new hip." She was trying to think of a clever way to let him know she was single.

If it turns out that Liza does need a new hip, at least it will be because she earned it from doing something enjoyable - like dancing. If I ever need a new hip, it will be because I got out of bed the wrong way.

For my birthday this year, what I'd really like is a clean bill of health.
Or even better, the health without the bill.

Luckily, my eyesight is deteriorating, so I might not have to worry about how I look. I had always assumed that if I slept all day it would lessen the strain on my eyes. Apparently not.

Now I need a new prescription, and new contact lenses are expensive, so I'm wondering: do I really need to see everything? I've seen enough.

But I suppose I should be grateful. By this time next year, chances are I'll be toothless and blind, so at least then I'll have an excuse as to why I don't have anyone to share my birthday with.