Barnacles on the Ship of Life

November 28, 2017 0 By Mirm

So I know that I am getting older. No matter how I try to disguise it or ignore it, it is a real thing. There are things about getting older that are good, but this one thing is not. I went to my doctor this week to have her check some spots on my skin, only to be told that I have barnacles! Yes, she actually said that word! I told her it wasn’t very nice since this was my last visit with her/Kaiser (since my health insurance changes this week). Then I went home and looked it up and it is a real thing. What the heck?! I remember when I got my first opportunity to “join” AARP. I was only 26 and deeply offended. That feeling was nothing compared to being called an “old ship” with barnacles.

Seborrheic keratosis is the dermatological term that is synonymous with age spot or barnacle. They are benign and don’t evolve into cancer, yet they can make cancer detection more difficult. I know that a person does not have to be ancient to have them but their prevalence increases with age. The problem is that unlike other things that I had control over such as sun exposure and weather or diet growing up, these annoying and semi-parasitic creatures are not a result of anything I could have controlled. Rather, they are genetic! I was literally programmed to get them and there is nothing I can do to prevent or eradicate these growths. Thanks to my gene pool!

Most people would like to grow old; unfortunately, I was not expecting to get barnacles to show for it. If a person walks along the beach, barnacles can be found on almost every solid surface that gets covered by water: the hulls of ships, whales, the pylons of a pier. They are not dangerous but they do create a “drag” that slows down a boat. Isn’t that funny?

Well, I could move to fresh water since barnacles only like the ocean.  The trouble is that I do think I need the preserving qualities of salt! What to do!? Hahaha.  I will just grow old and ignore the barnacles on my hull!

I am reminded of the parody sung to the tune of My Favorite Things:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin’,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,
And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, when the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I’ve had,
And then I don’t feel so bad.