A lot of people say that they look forward to retirement. These people are mad. The only thing you’ve got to look forward to is your ailing physical form, increase in ugliness and undesirability, and painful, painful decrepitude. Your medical expenses go through the roof. People think that in retirement they can sit on a mound gold that they’ve worked hard for their whole lives, but actually, the mound rapidly dwindles after you’ve reached preservation age due to all the money you have to fork out for your medical fees. You just get bills after bills. It’s also quite terrifying. One day you’re snapping a nail off — knowing it’s going to take months to grow back due to your weakened immune system — the next day you’re dealing with a broken leg from having tripped up the porch steps. (Thank goodness for Dr Comfort Footwear, because if it wasn’t for my podiatrist putting me onto that I would have been out of action for weeks.) It’s just one accident after another when you’re old. And trust me if costs a fortune. It’s also a hard choice to make choosing between living in extreme pain or living in extreme poverty.
The worst thing though was when I had to deal with my series of fungal nail infections. Melbourne doctors actually struggle to treat me. Not because they weren’t any good, they were first rate (and the price verified that!) but it was just that my particular infections were so obscure and so bad (I’d left them too long), that they couldn’t readily treat me. Hours of surgery and thousands of dollars later, I’m right as rain, but severely out-of-pocket and skimping on groceries just to pay the electricity bill. That was the first month I spent living off plain rice. You ever tried it? It’s a bit like cabin fever, except for your taste buds. You get so sick of that same sticky texture and bland grainy flavour that you feel a bit like going completely postal.