I turned 40 in the Summer of 2004.

Up until that time, my body and I were on very good speaking terms.  I could jog a couple of miles or golf 18 holes or play a pick up game of basketball and still be able to sit upright at the dinner table that evening.

However, it seems the VERY DAY I turned 40, my body has been doing most all the talking...and when I say talking, I mean complaining, whining, and at times, screaming out like a squeaker toy that just got run over by an 18-wheeler. 

What happens when you turn 40?  I don't recall ever hearing a doctor or researcher talking about some old person cell or diode that activates once you reach that age.

Is it a conspiracy?   During the my last night of being 39, did someone sneak into my bedroom and inject me with some mysterious formula made up of Yugo, Gremlin, or Pinto DNA which has made my body start to break down?

A few days after my 40th birthday, my right knee gave out and swelled to twice its size.  I would have at least felt better if I could have told folks that this malady was the result of me playing a mean game of tackle football or that I had saved  someone's life by superhumanly lifting their car off of them.  But no, all I had been doing was just walking down a hallway...granted it was a long hallway and unairconditioned.

Floating cartilage that had flaked off my knee -- that was the diagnosis.  And within 18 months, it happened to my other knee.  Well, at least since I was limping on both sides, so it looked like I was walking normal again.  And with the sound my knees make when I walk, I know I'll never be able to be a thief.

Then there's my eyesight.  I used to be the person folks would come to in order to find out what the fine print said.  But at 40 years and one day, 'POOF'...bye-bye 20-20, hello bifocals...which I have since lost and I'm now using reading glasses precariously perched at the tip of my nose to achieve the same result as the bifocals.

And most recently, my lower back is joining in the hit parade.  I haven't gone to the doctor for this one yet, but those who have had similar symptoms have diagnosed me as having sciatica.  I'm not sure what the means exactly, except that I have a tendency now to walk like John Wayne.  Not to mention, several times a day, I get a sharp, like an Exacto knife, pain on the right side of my buttocks.  I know, TMI, but in case your kid asks you one day why the man walking like John Wayne all of sudden grabbed his rear end, now you'll know what to say.

The list goes on, unable to stretch without having a cramp, the pepper has now gone from salt and pepper hair -- I mean where there is still hair left, AND WHO TURNED MY METABOLISM OFF!!!???  I can gain weight now just by looking at a celery stick.

Sorry to complain.  I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has noticed these changes near the age of 40.  If so, please comment on this article...it won't make my ailments go away, but at least I'll feel like I'm in good company....oh yeah...please use big font.