I guess healthwise I haven’t been so lucky. Aging like everyone else, I’ve been forced to rely on a mix of very powerful drugs – many with unknown side effects – to deal with what doctors call “age-related health issues”. Despite this euphemism, one look at my daily dosage is going to strike fear into those who are still young and healthy.
Where do I begin? Well, To combat neurodegeneration I’m told I need gallic and ellagic acids, so I eat a walnut. And once, sometimes even twice a day I have to ingest the anti-carcinogenic pterostilbene (phytosterol) in a teaspoon of blueberries, and the hideously powerful drug lycopene in a small tomato. Does this frighten you yet? Well, I’ve barely started.
Whoever makes this stuff seems pretty confident – as always, it’s the hard sell. Take our stuff, or risk your health. According to “experts” lycopene is “well known to help prevent many forms of cancer” as well as prevent, and cure, many illnesses and diseases such as:
- Heart diseases-Lycopene stops LDL cholesterol from being oxidized by free radicals and in turn cannot be deposited in the plaques which narrows and hardens the arteries
- Infertility-Research suggests that lycopene may help in the treatment of infertility. Results from tests showed that lycopene can boost sperm concentration in men
- Helps prevent diabetes
- Prevents age-related macular degeneration and cataracts
- Prevents the aging of skin and keeps it younger looking
- Acts as an internal sunscreen and protects your skin from sunburn
- Lycopene is also been known to help prevent osteoporosis
Of course it sounds convincing – that’s the whole idea! They say it prevents infertility – but who wants to be fertile, in a world where food is too expensive to buy for your kids? It might be different if the stuff just grew from the ground out of thin air or something, but there’s no point living in a fantasy world.
On top of this chemical Russian Roulette my condition requires I swallow a full set of amino acids every day, in a single artichoke heart. People can’t imagine the misery of a drug-dependent life.. these molecules are all so complex, and my reliance on them so absolute, I need special machinery to chop them up at extremely high speeds (look away now) actually inside the stomach.
To do this I use at my own risk a chemical so powerful that a single molecule can target and precisely break apart 30,000 proteins in one second: bromelaine, in a slice of pineapple. Thanks, Dr Frankenstein! How can they allow this stuff in the human body? Was it planned in the slightest, or are we all just guinea pigs? If you want to swallow billions of tiny chainsaws, be my guest – at least you have a choice. I don’t.
How can anyone think this stuff is safe, when nobody understands the technology? Where’s the research, where’s the long term studies? I bet all the results would have been rigged anyway. What can I do? It got to the point where I was carrying the stuff around in a little box during the day. When inquisitive colleagues would ask, I’d pretend it was an insulin kit, Valium or pain killers, but they knew I was lying: it was grapes.
People are wary of technology but without it, what would an addict do? You’re never told about all the equipment you need to manage this stuff. One consultant acted like I was wasting his time. Said I should go and lead a normal life. Sure – provided I carry life-saving equipment at all times – a small spoon.
In fear of gaining fat at the expense of muscles, I’m forced to eat ursolic acid (yuck) in an apple. Acid? Everyone knows how dangerous acid is! And every now and again, potassium, in a banana. Potassium? Isn’t this a chemical in explosives? Isn’t it radioactive? How does this stuff get past the FDA? These “challenging” health issues (they’ll never say “fatal” in front of a patient) affect all areas of my life: sometimes to generate oxytocin I have to give stuff away, like a parking voucher with an hour left on it. An hour!
The professionals say this chemical will clear my brain and benefit every major organ system in my body, and help the next generation be born healthy. They would say that, wouldn’t they? Good health costs big bucks and they know it. Those parking tickets can be fifty or sixty pence. More, sometimes. Depends if it’s indoors. Sundays it’s free. But you have to get there early.
The idea that Earth was a benevolent, living organism friendly to humans, providing all the elements for embodied life, and a warm, scented, beautifully coloured and protected haven, with soft grass underfoot, pleasing birdsong, cooling waters, magnificent scenery and a sky of glorious cobalt in the lonely freezing, deadly, radiation-filled pitch-black vacuum wastland of empty space – is nothing but a myth.
Richard Dawkins proved it by writing the Universe doesn’t care. In ink. And then it was printed. Try and argue with that! This wicked Universe probably wants us to get healthy so it can eat us up. The love which parents have for their children is a myth. Science proved that too. Empathy – myth. Fact: kindness is uknown in the Universe. In the photo above, the fruit is way out of reach of the distressed child with terror of starvation etched on its face: what benevolent Mother Nature would inflict such torment? And there’s probably a wasp somewhere too.
Anyway, back to my main gripe: these mysterious compounds are lethal: death can follow in a century or less. The technology is so complex nobody knows the risks of mixing them – but I’m 54 now, and without them, I might well not survive another 40 years. Any decade could be my last.
I wish we could all go back to the good old days. Nurofen, penicillin, chemo, radiation, x-rays, vaccines, and surgery; incremental amputations to cure diabetes. They knew it all back then! Smashed up immune systems. Going in with a tumour and dying from a tiny infection. I miss the false hopes, the euphemisms.. “You may experience some discomfort.”
Grim faced consultants getting payola from Smith Galaxo Klein. Bent scientists. Drugs given to children to make the quotas. Doctors in Mercedes with villas in the Cayman islands. GM crops. Plastic cheese. Stomach staples. PET scans. Biopsies, more biopsies, and then surgery because the biopsies didn’t tell them anything. Enucleation, coral eye sockets. Eye patches. Constant pain. Chemically saturated fats so useless to the body that obesity followed in monoths. Liposuction, dialysis once a day. Blood samples. Injections. MRI scans. Valium. Lithium. Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Tonsillectomies. Forced sterilisations. Eugenics. What’s not to like?
Lobotomies! Now there was a solution no patient could argue with. A knife slid up the inside of the eye socket while the patient was strapped down. Do you think he’d prefer a handful of blueberries? Disingenuous at best – very disingenuous at worst.
Electric shock treatments. Being sectioned. Mind numbing drugs, LSD experiments. Leaping out of windows.. straitjackets, padded cells. Open heart surgery, stents, catheters. Coronary bypass, veins ripped from legs. Crumbling bones, incontinence, mercury fillings, braces, wheelchairs, titanium hips, kidney transplants. Thalidomide. 50% chance of getting a tumour in your lifetime. Corneal transplants. Dementia from stress. What happened to our hopes and dreams? Come back, GSK! Come back, Pfizer! Come back, IG Farben, Otto Ambrose, and come back DOW.
All the things the 20th Century freely gave us – for, what, a few trillion dollars? – we took it all for granted. We’re all to blame. Now people believe simpler with no side effects is better. Tastier. But people will believe anything.
But it’s too late for me.. I’m already healthy.