When I was young, the assumed life expectancy was supposed to be 70 years old. (For men) As it said in the Bible, (somewhere) ‘Three Score Years, and Ten’.
I soon began to make decisons and lifestyle choices that were destined to reduce that number significantly, in my case. I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 16, and by the time I was 18, I was considered to be a heavy smoker. That carried on until I was 60 years old, 42 years of around two packs a day, every day.
And I also liked a drink. Beers at the pub, wine at home, and the more-than-occasional gin and tonic, or a nice cognac.
At the age of 27, I started working shifts, in an exceptionally stressful job. I did that for another 33 years, until just shy of my 60th birthday. In between, I moved house more times than I care recall now, and got married and divorced. Twice.
Then I got married again.
I didn’t watch what I ate too closely, and often worked 60-72 hours a week. I tried most recreational drugs known to mankind at one time or another, and adopted the ‘James Dean’ philosphy of ‘Live Fast, Die Young’. I expected to burn out. Not only expected it, there was a time when I actively sought that untimely end.
During my time as an EMT, I became closely acquainted with death, in more ways than I ever thought possible. I came to the conclusion that if I lived past the age of 55, it would be little short of a miracle. So when I celebrated that 55th birthday, I had to take stock. Perhaps I would live longer despite everything?
It dawned on me that it was possible to live to that Biblical age of three score plus ten, even for me.
Then I got to 60. I stopped smoking cigarettes, and retired to the countryside. I began exercising regularly with my dog Ollie, and relaxed at long last. But after many years of taking Statins for high cholesterol, I got bad news from my new doctor. Muscle wastage, and mild liver damage. All caused by reacting badly to Statins. I had almost no strength left in my upper body, and the muscles in my arms and chest were shot for life. I came off those tablets, and had to live with my record-breaking high cholesterol levels.
I thought that I had finally reached my high water mark, and the cholesterol would kill me within a year. But no.
So here I am at the amazingly (for me) old age of 68. I find myself in the middle of a lethal pandemic that is daily taking the lives of tens of thousands around the world.
But other than being ‘very sleepy’, I have no symptoms.
Maybe I am immortal after all.