Saturday, March 19, 2005

Grumpily thankful and falling apart

I watched 'Grumpy Old Women' last night -- again. Enjoyed it again! Related to lots of it -- again. It's been written about before many times, the terrible realization that life is zooming by, but that inside we still feel that we are the same person.

But of course we are not. It's just that I don't feel inside that I am 'old'. Outside though everything is falling apart. At the end of January I went for a check up -- if my husband hadn't been encouraging this I never would have gone. But now that I am back in England, I can afford to do this sort of thing again. Soon there appeared in the mail a letter from the doctor's surgery to please make an appointment as soon as possible. Oh, joy.

"You are diabetic", said the doctor -- well the first thing she said was, "there are a lot of things wrong with you!" In addition to the diabetes, I have an underactive thyroid and signs of liver problems. After a great deal of discussion with other doctors in the practice it was deemed that we would try to bring down the sugar count by diet. The doctor was 'relieved' to hear that I did have more than the 'good-for-you' amount of wine as otherwise my 'liver' indicators would be very worrying.

You see, this is one of the problems. I can't quite get my head around the fact that my body is showing signs of collapse (aging, etc) because for years and years whenever I thought I ought to see a doctor because of this or that complaint -- the results always confirmed that there was nothing wrong with me. In fact I usually ended up feeling that I was 'wasting' the doctors' time. Now that I'm older and "wiser" the last thing I want is to have anything to do with a doctor!

So now my social calendar is infused with varying types of medical appointments. And I actually have spent some time on the Internet looking up various illnesses and am probably going to turn into one of these boring people who talks about her ailments too much of the time.

But I do have the great fortune to be an NHS patient. I don't have to pay for my drugs -- even though I'm not 60 until June. This because I have to take medication for an underactive thyroid! Yes, there are certain illnesses that mean you don't have to pay £6.40 for each precription. I'm also fortunate to be registered with a great surgery with great doctors and nurses and dieticians. Yes, they are busy and it sometimes takes a long time for an appointment -- but they've just moved into brand new 'digs' and take preventive medicine very seriously.

One thing more -- at least I only have to worry about my health and what to do about it and I don't have to worry about how to pay the bills.

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