I remember visiting “old” people when I was younger and being intrigued by an array of medicine bottles, tablets and creams on the mantelpiece. “Wow!” I thought, “Must be grim to be at that stage of life.”
Fast forward a decade or three and take a look at the pretty picture above. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my daily companions these days (not my only ones, I'm pleased to add). Moving left to right, they are:
- Neutrogena cream (unscented, naturally) for dry skin on my hands. It's good stuff; not too slimy. At this time of year I still find myself needing it occasionally, but in winter it's pretty much daily. Consequence of failure to apply? Bleedin' knuckles, if you'll pardon my language.
- Glucosamine sulphate to help strengthen tissue around joints. In my case, it's knees that are the problem. Even had physio a few years back, but they also recommended this stuff. Has to be high strength, mind you; the dose I was taking previously was useless. Of course, scientific and medical opinion is divided as to the value of most of these supplements. But even the believers agree that the low dose stuff is pointless unless you take about 15 of them a day.
- Steroid-based nasal spray for hayfever. The active ingredient is beclomethasone, and this is the cheaper version of the Becanase brand product. It works. It stops itchy eyes and runny nose. It doesn't smell too good but there are no side effects and, from what I've read, no harmful effects from long-term use.
- Multi-vitamins and iron to supplement my diet, which, though far from poor, is probably a little lacking sometimes.
- Zinc with vitamin C to sustain my immune system and ward off colds. I'm convinced it makes a difference.
- Cod liver oil, again for joint health, again for knees. I'm told it has a lubricant effect – a bit like squirting your knees with WD40.
Ah. So that's what it's like to be at the stage of life where your daily routine involves a collection of capsules, pills, and more. I'm there. I believe these things help, so I thank God for them and happily keep taking the tablets.