It used to be simple matter to see the doctor. As a child you stuck your tongue out, said aahh, and that was it. All doctors looked senile and had a foul breath. Now it has become far more complex and doctors look like teenagers. You more likely to have your bum looked and poked at than your tongue.
I received a serious letter, that, since I had turned seventy-five the Government would like to make sure I would still have some years left without needing to be looked after. Could I make an appointment for a thorough investigation of my levels of health. It would take about one- and- a- half hour. I like their optimism and clear despair of having to look after another grand-pa. It hints at a chair in ‘blue Haven retirement village’ with a bus trip to the Tulip Festival, nurse wiping my chin if not something else as well.
The letter gave details of what the health assessment would comprise off;
. Measurement of Blood pressure, pulse rate and rhythm.
( I do have good rhythm and keep it up till the end with happy ending.)
. assessment of medication, continence, immunisation status, physical function, activities of daily living, fall status.
Oh no, not continence again? Not another nervously strained stool sample with gloves, wooden stick and screw-top container? Look doc, I hover between deep seated constipation and voluminous bouts of diarrhoea, give me a break. I’ll invite you for a prawn barbeque, mow your lawn, but no more stool samples. Concentrate on my tinnitus and my wobbly feet. I do still remember the good times when I slept all night without leeks and straining the potatoes three times a night. My physical functions do include being able to still take two steps on the stairs at the time and to run to Aldi’s when the Shiraz is on special. My fall rate is perfect and I generally put my hands out to brake the fall. I remember my pin numbers and have a fairly good idea of passwords and know how to put photos on the internet.
. assessment of mood and memory.
It’s been no picnic. I do enjoy the good times and relish the friends I still have. I do get down but know that it passes almost unnoticed. I know you mean well, doc, but no anti-depressants. I love my depression. Look where it go me? I am on my 757th article of folly and nonsense and still able to put down words in certain order with the help of a keen despair, but also with some sun and hope for a still liveable world for all Grand-kids.
. social setting and whether you are caring for another person.
I care for my partner of many years and she does for me. We still do a little dance. I don’t have many ailments or suffer from gout, insomnia, or nervous ticks, nor sit in the park forgotten how to get home. Sure, moments of finding the impetus to keep going are joined with acute feelings of having done it already. Putting socks on is a drag on the day, but relish the first coffee. At times I feel even food resisting and I have to fight the urge to a regurgitation in having tasted it all too often before. But, what can one do? A fresh herring or smoked eel is still the answer.
A walk along the creek helps.