I might have it. Never thought I would—stomach of steel and all that. Not really sure I do. Symptoms on the internet run the gamut, a panoply of info and mis-info on all things medical. Something is gurgling and squeezing in the middle of my gut, so I’m searching for a name and a way out of this relatively new malaise. Is there no end to the marching band of maladies? Does the turning of each calendar year, after the age of sixty, ring in a new mysterious set of symptoms as a kind of entertainment, a kind of test, like the crossword puzzle and sudoku I struggle with every day as a way to keep my mind sharp, though the evidence that there’s any true value to the practice is impossible to calibrate, but I carry on.
I’ve always had pride (that could be part of the problem here) about how healthy I eat and regularly exercise. I have counted on that track record to ward off common viruses and germ-passed illnesses that circulate on a regular basis, but a fissure has opened up in that theory. I’m realizing now that no amount of vigilance and adherence to a healthy regimen is a guarantee from the gods that I will be spared from sickness, be it a spell of acid indigestion, occasional headaches, weakening eyesight, or any chronic condition that would have the potential to rewire my whole way of life. I will continue to take care of myself, as best I can and not coming down on myself (adding insult to injury) for eating a chocolate bar every once in a while, staying under the covers instead of going on that early morning walk, or stressing out over the possible demise of earth due to global warming.
The reality is that there is a force of nature that doesn’t really give a hoot about how I want things to go, but works on an algorithm that is both a precise, and entirely mysterious, way to order the world, which includes my own relatively minuscule physical trajectory, set out on a journey that I am compelled to participate in, as well as accept, in order to learn from and understand how best to go forward with whatever presents itself along the way. On that note, my takeaway regarding the acid stomach (and why there’s a 1951 Ford as an image for this post) I’m experiencing is to cut down on fatty foods, eat more veggies and go on a juice fast real soon—choices that, in the long run, will foster increased health and peace in my body, in my day-to-day life. As long as I have this body, this vehicle, it’s my responsibility to keep it tuned up and rolling down the highway. It may be a ’51 model, but she’s not ready for the junkyard yet. She still has quite a few miles left on her, with places to go, people to meet and good time to be had.