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In this issue of Banter M:

Until You and Your Shitty Shoulder Both Die - Chez Pazienza describes the brutal reality of age after a trip to the doctor for his shoulder, which simply stopped working. Age really isn't just a number -- it is a real pain in the ass (or whichever body part decides to stop functioning).

Your Traumatized Republican Uncle - Ben Cohen looks behind the crazy exterior of your Republican uncle to find out what motivates his hatred and fear of others.

When Does Life Really Begin? - Bob Cesca asks the hard question: when does life really begin, and why to Republicans insist on skewing the scientific facts to fit their deeply sexist world view?

We Can't Have It All and That's How It Should Be - Jamie Frevele dispels the myth that you can have it all in life after giving up several things she enjoys for a new opportunity. After all, if everything always went according to plan and you had it all, how would you ever become an adult?

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Excerpt from Chez's piece below: 


Until You and Your Shitty Shoulder Both Die

by Chez Pazienza

One of my favorite Louie CK bits involves him lamenting getting old and how it's changed the way he's treated by his doctor, namely that after a certain age the doctor just stops trying to fix certain problems in favor of chalking it up to age. In the bit, Louie goes to see his doctor about some pain he's been having in his ankle, only to find out that the problem is nothing more than normal wear-and-tear that's the result of being in his mid-40s. When he asks what can be done to treat the issue, the doctor tells him, well, nothing. He says that his ankle is "just shitty now" and worn-out and he has to live with it. He can stretch and take Aleve, but there's not much else that can be done. When told this, Louie asks the doctor, "How long will that take to fix it?" to which the doctor replies, "No, you just do that now. That's just a new thing you do until you and your shitty ankle both die."

It's been nice being able to say that I never had that kind of experience. Sure, from the moment I get up in the morning until the moment I go to sleep, I feel every single year of my 46 on this planet. Despite beginning a series of HGH and testosterone shots recently -- part of the ongoing aftermath of a tumor I had removed from my head a decade ago -- I'm still very aware of my age because my body is constantly reminding me in tiny ways. I can't just bound out of bed in the morning with the kind of energy I once had. It takes me much longer to recharge after a difficult workout. If I read off of my iPhone for too long, my eyes won't be able to focus properly for hours. The HGH and T-shots really are the fountain of youth in many ways, but that age-ain't-nothin'-but-a-number shit is just that -- shit. I still look pretty decent for my age, but it never escapes me that I'm not a kid anymore.

Still, it hadn't really hit me that I'm going to begin facing a lot of new difficulties I never had to before. I tried to put it out of my head that time causes permanent damage to the human body and at some point I would begin seeing that for myself. I was able to for a good portion of my 40s -- but that was always going to change one day. One day I was going to hit the wall and be forced to confront the fact that there are things I just can't do anymore. Or, when I do them, I'm gonna pay a hefty price.

Last week, I woke up one morning to find that I had weakness in my right arm. I couldn't explain it and had never experienced anything like it before. No pain, nothing to panic over, just -- weakness. Something was obviously wrong.  Continue reading...