On the treadmill.

photoCupboard after French Polishing

‘Why don’t you see the doctor and get yourself checked out?’ This came to me from Helvi, one morning sipping her first coffee and my first and last tea for the day. I don’t generally see doctors unless feeling crook which is rarely. My dad was the same. He was right to avoid them. Last time he saw a doctor he was dead the next day. He died at 78 which I am now. It was on the 7th of January that he died suddenly.  We all went and flew to Holland for his funeral. I remember cleaning out his ashtrays and getting rid of his tobacco, cigarette papers and other bits and pieces. I am somewhat nervous seeing the 7th of January. It won’t be long!

I went to see the doctor because I ran out of puff just sitting on the lounge. It did not seem right. During our walks I  noticed a quickening of breathing and taking rests. No harm done seeing the quack, I thought. Her advice was to get lung X-ray taken. It showed good lungs but my heart was a bit enlarged and indicative of having suffered a heart attack. You could have fooled me. I hadn’t noticed any heart attacks. Apparently that happens often. She wrote out a referral to the same cardiologist that Helvi is seeing. The secretary advised me to take a ‘stress test’ first. She explained this involved a treadmill exercise to measure how the heart performs when under stress due to the expelled energy on the treadmill. I was more than curious how this would work out.

At the appointed day, both Helvi and I fronted up at the cardiologist. We always see together all doctors at medical appointments of which there have been a fair number. Our fridge is plastered with appointments. It is becoming almost part of our social life. We know the doctors and staff and greet each other when crossing the street on our walks. In the evenings, after the news and quaffing a fine Pinot Gris, we ask each other if an appointment is getting close. Memories are getting sloppy and we keep each other on our toes as much as possible. The toes are getting a bit arched as well. Every now and then, on the television, footage is shown whereby some poor mum, dad, or old soul gets beaten up in an aged care facility. It really helps us to stay firm and lithe enough to avoid that kind of ‘tough love.’

I was asked to take my shirt off. A series of tapes and wires were attached to my chest both front and back.  This was connected to a machine just next to the treadmill. I mounted the treadmill which was then switched on. I have never experienced such a machine but soon got the hang of it. The speed and incline were increased and within minutes I was running flat tack. My boots were clattering on the rubber treadmill floor till I became totally exhausted. This happened fairly quickly. The machine stopped and I was led back to the chair. I was knackered. As a result I was giving lots of medications. The outcome was an irregular heartbeat and my heart wasn’t doing a good job. It is not pumping as it should.

A further appointment was made to get a ‘Myocardial Perfusion Scan’ done at the Nuclear Medicine facility not far from us on the main street. I had this done as well, but that’s for another article.

Be grateful for all you have, even if it is not enough.


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40 Responses to “On the treadmill.”

  1. lifecameos Says:

    Yes my list of medical appointments is rather surprising. our improved diet, exercise and health simply means we take longer to fade away.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    Hope things are settling down.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Your last sentence is so true! and a great reminder to us all!

    I hope you are feeling better on the meds, Gerard. And I’m so glad you and Helvi have each other for all things, but especially for medical things. Both of you continue to be in my thoughts and you have my healing wishes.

    Oh, and keep your wonderful sense of humor through it all! It will be very helpful! 🙂

    The music in the video is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. (I love symphonies.) Thank you for sharing the video! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, things are getting better. Helvi is my saviour when it comes to health. Exercise and keeping busy is her advice. Lean forward not backward. Listen for beautiful sounds, speak about kind things and…give a hug.
      Glad you enjoy the Albinoni.
      Hugs, Gerard

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Julia Lund Says:

    Always taking Helvi’s advice is obviously the best course of action. Sorry you are having heart problems, but so glad you are having investigations that will lead to the right treatment.

    My dad died of heart disease when he was forty-eight. I remember exactly where I was, eyes fixed firmly on the clock, the day I not only reached the same age, but the minute I had lived longer than him.

    Sending you very best wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My dad smoked till the end. I gave up many years ago. Even so, 78 is not thought to be an impossible early age to cark it. But with a slim skinny figure and reasonable dietary habits I did not think that my heart was a worry.

      It’s funny but most people I see on the street seem our age. I am overjoyed when people use a cane or mobility walker when I am still free from any such devices. It will come though!

      I hear a lot about people getting stents in their bodies. Is that the latest? Knee and hip replacements are also very high in demand.
      Thank you for your kind wishes, Julia.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julia Lund Says:

        Maybe it’s the same phenomenon as when you buy a red car, and the road is suddenly packed with red cars????

        As I find walking distances debilitating due to ME, I’ve been, reluctantly at first, using a mobility scooter. Suddenly, they are everywhere! I didn’t think that would be me at fifty-eight, but I’m not ready to give up life yet. (I haven’t noticed anyone else, however, getting theirs stuck under the supermarket checkout conveyor belt … one of these days, I will have my own viral YouTube clip 😉).

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Hope I did not tread on toes with my mobility scooter statement, Julia.
        I have looked at a model that can do three trips up and down from our place to Bowral on a single charge. It came highly recommended by a gentle man who stops at the famous Bradman cricket oval to have a coffee on his trip to Bowral shopping centre.
        He loves it.
        A man was recently charged with towing his fishing boat behind his mobility scooter on a public road.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. auntyuta Says:

    Great post, Gerard, and great comments. Me, being aged 84, am very interested in all these comments. I couldn’t agree more with what Helvi says about keeping busy and keep moving. I feel so much better when I go to the trouble of exercising a bit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Uta. We hold you and Peter up as examples on how to make the best of getting older.

      You both went to Victoria to visit relatives. We are still home bound by medical appointments but are hoping they will eventually calm down.

      Helvi never sits down, or if she does, she is mending or fixing things.

      Our latest is watching the birds outside eating seed mix from the bird feeder. They are fighting each other. Even couples are fighting, with the male dominating while the female watches from the bushes waiting for her turn. He ‘allows’ her to eat. It’s a cruel world at times.

      The onset of feeling breathless came sudden. My heart was pumping irregular which the cardiologist reckons is a cause for clotting.

      I now have a routine together with Helvi where we both fiddle with different medications, popping them out of foils. Sometimes they end up on the floor where we then both crawl around trying to find the lost pill.

      It keeps us busy and agile.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. auntyuta Says:

    Reblogged this on AuntyUta and commented:
    I have some thoughts about the treadmill!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. berlioz1935 Says:

    Dear Gerard, I read your post with great interest, as I always do, because it shows parallels with my life. My heart has been weakened over the years by bad diet and now the bill is being presented to me.

    They offered a triple by-pass to me but I refused. Angina is the problem now. And then there is cancer. And next month they will start the radiation and chemo treatment. The doctor thinks I’m fit enough to do both.

    We would have loved to see you and Helvi again before Christmas but I will be busy seeing the friendly staff at the hospital.

    The music clip in your blog is divine, a bit sombre but still uplifting.

    To say thank you. I’m sending you another back; by the same people and orchestra (Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra).

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Peter. That’s how it goes. We are planning to go to Dapto as soon as there is a space in the week’s program. We will let you know. This is a busy time and to get it all synchronised is tricky.

      I see the cardiologist in two weeks time. I now have half dead fingers which I regularly thaw out in hot water. I think one of the medications is the culprit. It is supposed to draw out water from my system. It might explain my frequent toilet walks.

      You no doubt carry a wealth of information about all the things that go funny when ageing. The literature that comes with the medications is awesome. The side effects dazzling.

      Hope things go well for you, Peter. Thanks for the music clip. It is beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. freefall852 Says:

    Old Italian saying …: “Doctors, Priests and Lawyers….; One will ruin your pocket, another your health and the other ; your soul”…I think you can work out which is which!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It’s not easy, Freefall852.
      Getting older is a kind of withdrawal from life. The best is to keep going. The good thing after, is, that one can’t reflect on what has been. Some people swear by Turmeric as some kind of wonder elixir. Others complain that we drink too much.
      I never go to bed before 12 am just in case of the dreaded mid-night knock on the door.

      Liked by 2 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        I console myself with the atheistic reassurance that upon “passing”, I am going to join real life, as ALL life springs eternal from the earth/universe, then THAT is where most of the “after performance” partying is happening!…kind of looking forward to it!

        Liked by 3 people

  9. freefall852 Says:

    As an after-thought, I will leave you with this little experience.. https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2018/09/16/on-health-practitioners-and-other-medicines/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. freefall852 Says:

    Just one more little thing, Gerard…and if Helvi doesn’t mind…Upon your passing..and heaven forbid it be soon!!…I hope you won’t mind if I strike up correspondence with your good lady; Helvi…I’m getting to like her sense of humour…and I am certain we could exchange some good Finnish / Italian jokes sometimes…

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, freefall, fall free. I mean feel free. Helvi’s wit is formidable.

      There are figures that show men still have a 60% chance of reaching ninety after they reach the reasonable age of eighty.

      Despite my heart or because of it, I can still take stairs two steps at a time. However lifting one of my legs onto the table is getting difficult. I am just saying, passing… might take some time still.

      Liked by 1 person

      • freefall852 Says:

        Well, Gerard…that’s very understanding and brotherly of you, I have to reiterate that I only have good intentions…AND might I add ; Honourable intentions!..and may I compliment you on your obviously national reputation of sharing your fortunate bounty in a kind of “Dutch Treat” way!…Although I too am “spoken for” with my own “good lady”..(and a damn good cook and with a quirky sense of humour on her own), it is a rare “find” in these miserable, churlish times to come across women with enough sense and sensibility to tolerate the many failings of men of our generation and yet still throw a gentle smile our way when we tell (for perhaps the umpteenth time) our favourite stories and jokes..it’s more than just the tone of their voice, the beauty of their smile and the indomitable strength of their spirit that keeps the male fire burning…it is that unfathomable, unquenchable delight that can in almost the one instant and breath be both admonishing and admiring…love ’em to death..

        How do I declare that to thee,
        What is natural as leaf to tree?
        As close a bond as river to reed,
        As smile to laughter!
        Yourself , my need.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, I know. Freefall.

    Things are tense between the sexes. Not a day goes by and some poor sod has inappropriately touched someone. The former ABC chairperson and ex- managing director are at loggerheads because a shoulder was rubbed inappropriately in 2017.
    It is getting at a stage where shopping at Aldi is becoming risqué and dangerous. Woolworth is thinking of having male and female shoppers separated on even and uneven days. The rubbing and touching inappropriately of shopping trolleys has reached an alarming stage. A woman complained a man was staring in a lewd fashion when she was handling a sweet potato. The dairy divisions at Coles now have permanent staff members on watch for grubby butter-milk and sour cream merchants pretending to be happily but inappropriately married.
    Of course with the Christmas madness soon upon us, inappropriateness reaches stratospheric heights. Political parties are now warrens of depravity and sexual shenanigans. Even the Greens have now got their hands full with cases of inappropriate touching. So far, this ‘oosterman treats’ have stayed relatively free, but for how long?

    It is alarming how we seem to drift away from each other. Would wearing strong gloves help? Have men failed?

    I wonder how the sexes are getting on in Italy or even staid Holland?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. freefall852 Says:

    Gerard, your observations and deliberations are accurate to the n’th degree…I dips me lid…But as you say about your own blog : “. . . for how long?”….for if we are to cast the gimlet eye of “inappropriate language outrage” even over your otherwise welcoming title..: “Oosterman Treats”…surely one could be excused for inquiring…: Treats what!!?….Now, Gerard…in the name of ALL that is wholesome and decent…; come clean…

    Liked by 2 people

  13. freefall852 Says:

    As for the sex question in Italy and Holland…well…Italy has been a write-off for milllennia…and we have ALL heard the rumours about Holland……..say no more!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. gerard oosterman Says:

    The rumours about Holland are all false, Freefall.

    I was given highly qualified but secret information ( get a bit closer to your screen now) that the little boy and his finger in the dyke was a ploy to make Holland look inept and foolish.
    He was really a boy looking for his opposite. He had awakening stirrings and the beginning of manly twinges. That’s when he joined a rugby club and was initiated to dressing room ribaldry and towel flicking. He never looked back since.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. catterel Says:

    Thank you for this, Gerard. I think I had better start following you openly instead of stalking you hidden behind Uta 🙂 ! And thanks for visiting my blog, too. Good health to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. freefall852 Says:

    So it was Helvi who encouraged you to go to the doctor, Gerard..and now you got to take all these pills?…Perhaps you should heed the old saying ..: “If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”
    I have an old cabinet-maker friend, a Serbian, who is quite a wag and HE TOO was coaxed by his wife back in the days of “universal cholesterol checks” to go to the family doctor to have his checked…He decided to play a prank on the doctor..he told me about the visit thus :
    ” Danitza (his wife ; Denise) she pushes me to go to the doctor..for the cholesterol check..I don’t want to..but I go for the peace…and when I go there, I put on the voice of a REAL Bosnian peasant…The doctor he sets me there in the chair and he says :
    “Now, Sabo…What can I do for you?”
    “Ah…It is my wife ; Danitza…she demands I get my cholesterol checked…but I say to you that it is very good…my cholesterol!”
    The doctor, in that dismissive, off-hand way they have when listening to a patient says to me..
    “And how do you know that , Sabo?” and he is looking at his notes..
    “I know because the Bank Manager he says to me the other day..: “Sabo!…you have very good cholesterol!”
    Well…the doctor he pulls back a little in his chair and the brow wrinkles a little and he stares at me in disbelief while I can see he is thinking..and then he realises…hee hee hee!..and he says out loud like he is talking to an idiot who doesn’t understand English..:
    “Oh..no no..Sabo..he didn’t mean cholesterol!..HE meant COLLATERAL!..collateral…”
    “Oh…” I made out I had just woke up…hee hee..

    Liked by 3 people

  17. shoreacres Says:

    I had to smile a bit at your comment about your father dying at 78, and January 7th on the way. No one in my mother’s family had lived beyond the age of 65, for various reasons. When my mother reached 64, she was convinced that 65 was going to be it for her.

    Of course the birthday passed without incident, and each birthday after, she always commented that she’d managed an extra year, or two or three. Then, she reached 70. Then 75. She said, “Surely this is it!” and went on to 80 and 85. By that time, she was getting a bit irritated, and when she hit 90, she was beside herself. “But I don’t WANT to live to a hundred,” she’d say. And she didn’t — 93 was it. Still, the point should be clear — what’s been true for our ancestors doesn’t predict what will be true for us. With Helvi keeping you on track, there’s little question you’ll be giving us Oosterman treats for some time to come!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, many are now worried that their self-funded retiree money might not stretch to much more than 80-85. Politicians are now debating that provisions of income might have to be saved for by people for the period post 85, to 105 years of age.
      The number of people reaching a 100 years are going to explode. That’s if obesity doesn’t interfere. Was it Bush who said ‘We will be lucky to get out of it alive?’
      Years ago, a visit to the doctor meant sticking you tongue out and say… aiy. Now you get a box full of different foil wrap pills.
      When we are 100 we hope to be given treats by kind great, great grand children.

      Liked by 3 people

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