The Middle-Aged Genius’s Guide to Almost Everything 47 – How Not to Die (Early)
April 15, 2019
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How do you not die early?
Rick Rosner: Alright, so, my wife hangs out with a bunch of women her age or sometimes a little bit older. My wife is 54. A lot of her friends have had husbands suddenly drop dead.
We know that males are more physically fragile with regard to longevity than females are. Male life expectancies are shorter. The Y chromosome is shittier than the X chromosome. Males are, basically, put together more shoddily than females.
We’re more expendable. We are just sperm donators. Women have more of a role in producing the offspring and then raising the offspring. Guys are interchangeable. So, we have seen, or my wife has seen, a lot of guys who suddenly drop dead.
I just, four weeks ago, found out that I have a kidney tumor. Everyone is casual about it. Because it is only 3 centimetres. It wasn’t discovered because it caused physical symptoms.
It was found because I am a hypochondriac. It turns out. There was something going in with my shit. I and the doctors are hopeful that once they get it out of me. It may never come back. Kidney or pancreatic cancer, if you discover them late, they are stage 3 or 4, then you’re fucked.
They do not respond to chemo or radiation because they have metastasized. I may be fairly lucky. I am hopeful. The short answer as to how not to die. Even if you’re a guy and do not have your body put together as well as a woman, hang in there, we’re living in the era of solving disease.
That, as I mentioned in a previous talk, a bunch of diseases becomes relatively trivial if you can see it, early. Imaging technology is going to get better over the next 10 years. It will eventually enter the era of swallowable cameras, nano-cameras.
In 20 years, affluent countries will have imaging that is sufficiently precise and cheap. That you don’t have to be a lunatic to get a full body scan that will catch arterial plaque. That will catch incipient tumors.
That will catch aneurysms. A lot of fixable stuff if you see it soon enough. It will probably reduce mortality. You can die from a stroke years later even if you fix a small tumor. I do not know about overall longevity.
But it will reduce the types of disease that kill you because you couldn’t see them. I think over the 20 years that we will solve most cancers. By “solve,” this means making cancers only a chronic condition at most. Drugs to knock it down without killing it, but will buy 10 or 15 years for you – by just making it really tough for cancer to go hog-wild in you.
It will be a low-lying condition. For how not to die in the next 10 years, it includes getting blood tests. MRIs and CT scans, no CT scans before in your 50s, as it is a good way to grow cancer for no good reason. But MRIs, unless, you have fancy insurance probably cost $4,000.
You can get a suite of blood scans for a few hundred bucks without good insurance. If you have money, under Obamacare, a lot of wellness coverage is free. Somebody did the math and figured out that it is cheaper to make wellness checkups free rather than expensive and to catch this earlier rather than later.
Find your maximum coverage and take maximum advantage of it. I fucked up. I waited for 18 months. I walked in with the same hypochondriacal concerns. I would have had the same concerns 3 months previously. I would have caught my shit. Use the most of what shit is free under your insurance or cheap.
Even though, it might be unusual in terms of testing what is inside of you. Particularly, if your torso, your organs, e.g., kidneys, liver, pancreas, lungs, heart. Those should be checked out, and overall blood, even if it costs a few hundred bucks. It is a good investment.
If you can hang on until the late 2020s, at least a third of things that might be fatal now, they have a chance of becoming chronic rather than fatal. If you can make it into the mid-203s, probably 2/3rds of the fatal things now, they will be able to be dealt with in 10 years.
When you get into the 2030s, which takes you into the 20040s if you make it, more stuff is solvable; you get bonus years on top of bonus years, especially if you’re prudent now. That’s it for that.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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