Notes on Aging: Thin skin and bruises

Larry 'n NassauJust took an end table to the basement for repairs and smacked my right elbow on a protruding object. Instantly I knew I was either going to have a massive bruise or a bleeding tear in my skin. Thin skin is a normal part of growing older, especially for men who don’t have as much body fat as women and are more susceptible.

Every time I mention this to someone they ask all kinds of questions and suggest all kinds of remedies. Well, I’ve spoken to any number of doctors and the truth is, bruises (along with sh*t) happens. There is nothing to be done but try being more careful and wear long sleeve shirts that offer a bit of protection.

The problem with being more careful is that part of getting older contradicts being more careful. Old people are by design less stable and more prone to bump into things, thus making it difficult to be more careful. Being older means one has to take solace in making it down the stairs without breaking a hip and not be so concerned with a simple bruise or cut.

So, next time you notice the constant bruises and disfigurement of my arms and hands please don’t suggest any cures or remedies. Without meaning to be grim I already know that dying is the only remedy. Understanding that is part of getting older as well.

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