Several months after injuring my shoulder in October 2004, I flew to my hometown of Houston and paid out of pocket to consult a trusted family doctor about the pain that inexplicably wouldn't go away. He examined my clothed torso for about 15 seconds before offering this perfunctory analysis: "You're getting older, and your body's falling apart—it happens to the best of us. Something new'll break down every day, so you might as well start adapting."
When I protested feebly that I'd just turned 27, he threw up his arms and laughed. "I know—terrible, isn't it? Now don't forget to say hi to your mother for me, or you'll be in big trouble!" With that, he called for the next patient.