Wanted: Purina People Chow (Formulated for the Aging Geezer)

by James Wallace Harris, Wednesday, September 26, 2019

Abstract: Seeking a 100% nutritionally balanced meal plan for my aging body that involves the fewest possible standard meals that can be easily prepared. These meals should never cause gas, acid reflux, constipation, stomach pains, bloating, lethargy,  diarrhea, or any other bodily discomfort.

Trigger Warning: Do not read if you are unsettled by descriptions of bodily functions or euphemistic words that describe them. Do not read if you are depressed about getting older. Do not read if you want to keep all your geriatric surprises until they happen to you personally.

My friend Linda recently asked me why they didn’t warn us about all the weird things that would happen to our body as we got old. Not long after that I was at my doctor and asked her that question. She replied with a twinkle in her eyes, “You don’t want us to spoil the surprise, do you?” I thought, maybe she doesn’t want to depress her patients. I gave her an example to see what she would say. I told her my dick was shrinking. I lamented that my dick had never been big, and now it was beginning to whither. I might have also said WTF? She gave a little knowing laugh. Maybe that was a common complaint from men that she found funny, but I worried that maybe other changes for my little wonder worm were in my future and she didn’t want to tell me.

The other day I saw an article on Flipboard about vagina atrophy. Maybe such secrets of aging are out there and I just haven’t been paying attention. If penises and vaginas can atrophy, what about other organs? Am I peeing so much because my bladder is atrophying? Is constipation a new problem in my life because my intestines are shrinking away? Is all my stomach problems due to my stomach wimping out? WTF? I bet this is TMI, isn’t it?

When I was a kid I could eat anything and it never bothered me. Growing up I don’t really remember shitting much. I can’t ever remember taking a dump at school. And I think I only went to the boys’ room once a day to piss, and maybe some days not pissing at all. Hell, if I was in school today I’d be waving my hand to go to the restroom every hour – at least. And that lunchroom food would give me a stomach ache, heartburn, and gas that would last the rest of the day. In fact, I can’t remember spending much time in the bathroom when I was young, other than those adolescent years of jerking off while pretending to need to take a long leisurely crap, but now I practically live next to the toilet. And it’s no longer because of one-handed reading.

I’ve decided what I need is to study nutrition and create a small repertoire of meals that don’t offend my fussy body. In the last decade, I’ve slowly learned through painful lessons I refuse to accept, that my stomach, intestines, and bladder just don’t like my favorite foods anymore. For example, eating peanut butter now makes me feel like I have a bleeding ulcer. Drinking iced tea or soda pop makes me piss every fifteen minutes. Oatmeal creates enough gas that I could pressurize a natural gas tanker. Fatty foods give me painful acid reflux that feels like I’m having a heart attack. And the list of humiliations goes on and on.

I understand that my bladder is being crushed by an enlarging prostate and I have to pee more often, but if I get constipated or pressurized enough for farting I have to pee 2-3 times an hour. That’s very annoying. I hate to leave the house anymore because I have to piss so goddamn much. My wife is annoyed I won’t go on trips, but the logistics of finding that many bathrooms on the road put travel plans out of the question.

And I don’t mean to be whining. I know people with cancer, dementia, chronic pain, strokes, debilitating diseases, and other depressing conditions, so I consider myself very lucky to only have the puny physical problems I do have. But I figure if I’m going to live another 10, 20, or god forbid 30 years, I need to adapt to a long-term strategy of surviving with the minimum of discomfort. And since much of my discomforts come from eating, I need to buckle down and find out just exactly what my body wants. I feel hostage to my digestive system and I’m ready to pay the ransom.

If Purina offered People Chow that provided everything I needed for optimal nutrition, bright eyes, and a shiny chromedome, I’d eat it three meals a day. I’d forego all eating pleasure just to make turds that slid smoothly out, to be free of gas and bloating, to need to pee as infrequently as possible and especially to have a nice peaceful stomach.

I know I sound like all those old folks who talk endlessly about their bowel movements. But I figured something out last night. If young people had our bowels they’d be talking about their shits and pisses all the time too. Take care of your body because if you don’t it will get its revenge. (No, I’m glad I drank a trainload of  Cokes and chocolate shakes and ate those thirty-three tons of M&Ms.)

What I want to find are meals that satisfy my body’s need for nutrition and causes no physical complaints. I figure I need to eat two healthy meals a day with one snack in between. The problem I face is finding a selection of meals and snacks that are nutritionally balanced. I don’t even need culinary variety.

I know such meals exist because I sometimes go days without my body complaining. Then I’ll eat something and my pleasant digestive detente will be shattered for a week. Being vegetarian complicates things because foods with enough protein are limited. For fifty years I did fine with dairy products, beans, and peanut butter, but now those cause constipation, gas, and stomach pain.

I wish that my healthy diet could be based on ice cream, pie, cake, cookies, chocolate, Coke, and ice tea. Actually, my digestive system loves pie and ice cream, but they make me gain weight. Come to think about it, everything that makes me lose weight annoys my insides. Is just getting fatter the answer?

It’s such an insanely hard puzzle to figure out the right combination of foods that are ideal. If anyone knows of cookbooks for geezers or meal plans for sissy stomachs, post them below.

JWH

 

7 thoughts on “Wanted: Purina People Chow (Formulated for the Aging Geezer)”

    1. When I wrote this I was laughing, but my friends find this a depressing post. If you can’t laugh at falling apart, getting old is going to be a big bummer. But don’t worry Paul, I might be wimpier than most. I know people who smoked cigarets and ate whatever they wanted and lived into their 90s with no problem.

  1. I feel your pain – identified with practically every word. It’s like walking a tightrope, isn’t it? I’m a Type 2 diabetic, and the fun just multiplies. Heigh-ho …. onwards and upwards, I suppose.

  2. Several years ago in my mid-fifties I realized that the previous 10 years of dealing with (or ignoring) Type 2 Diabetes wasn’t going to work. I signed up with Lindora and did an expensive 3 month experiment with their food management program. I did my research and realized that I could do the very same thing I was paying them for, and stopped paying them.
    And continued following what I’d learned from them, along with other research.
    I went from 344lbs to 250 lbs in less than a year (5’10’ height, chunky body).

    I’ve stayed with that process (two meals a day, lots of veggies, mostly chicken protein with occasional pork and beef for flavor changes) into my mid 60’s. Last week’s visit with the Doc (I started way too late) had me at 249lbs, still eating twice a day mostly salads, soups and stews – most protein as chicken, then pork, and lastly beef. Lots of veggies.

    Blood sugar is good, HDL over LDL is great, and my doctors are happy.
    Me, not so much. Old is not the same as ill. Old is nothing works like it used to, and everything that works does so with pain. Pain? I laugh at you, you nasty knigget! (Monty Python ref).
    Its all the other stuff that sucks. Taste isn’t as good as it was, even when dancing through carbs* that have to be made up for. Sex is, well that’s another story but I’ll just say it ain’t what it used to be.
    So, James I’m thinking that absent a Ponce De Leon History Channel discovery, we’re all going to be dealing with loss, and the sadness that comes with it. Unless of course you or your readers happen to have the secret map to the fountain of youth.

    And if anyone does so, does it really work? Does it make us young again? If it were true, would it make us young again as teenagers (Jesu Christo, not that again!!!) or does it just return the body to a younger version?

    Gawd, I hope not, especially if it makes us fertile again!!! Who’s going to pay for all of that? Not my Social Security, and lately in the news, not anyone’s.
    Heck I’ve still got to go through my knee replacement so I can walk again, and then all that exercise to put off the other knee replacement!

    Seems like there is just a hint of planned obsolescence built into these genomes of ours.

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