There’s a saying going around that comes from the famous Oliver Twist, who lived to be 168. You’re 168 and in a suit or vest or suit. You’re 168 ‘cause you live to be 168. Yeah, I’ve heard that one. Loved it. Well, new research has established what their method of measurement was. They studied twins who had existed throughout the lifespan and found that six percent of them — and just one of them, by accident of birth — lived to be well over 200.
Needless to say, most of the subjects managed to make it to at least that age. But some of the benefits might have been very different in my case. For a start, I’d like to report that I live to be 122, as a president once did, but I seem to have passed a metric of independence, even if I won’t admit it to myself, for the simple reason that by my 90th birthday, I’d attained life expectancy. The report shows that this longevity is actually a result of the presence of low stress throughout the human lifespan. I’m 58 now, I’m not going to die any time soon, and I still enjoy the comforts of both my house and my body.
So I’m just older for a number of reasons. I take a lot more pills than most people. I’m more active than most people. I walk six to eight miles every morning. When I get older, I’m actually still in better shape. I didn’t take so many pills, I didn’t take so many hours of sleeping pills, I didn’t spend so much time in bed. I take one aspirin a day. Instead of one medication, I take one pill of aspirin — that’s it. And I get a colonoscopy every five years. Sure, I have the resources to take one aspirin a day, but I have a gut that tells me that a colonoscopy is a more effective at keeping me healthy. I have the following levels of cholesterol, and they are pretty much on target — so despite regular complaints about who stays overweight, I’m in fine health and don’t have trouble eating.
To have the gastric band put on my stomach eight years ago — the one I needed so desperately to fix — was an expensive experience. I paid the surgeon, the company who made it, the insurance company, the hospital and myself. Not to mention the pain, needles, surgery and recovery. But if I knew I was going to live to 112, it was the best decision I could have made for my waistline.