At what age this starts, I’m not really sure. Perhaps it’s whatever the official retirement age happens to be. Suddenly, when you go for a doctor’s appointment, you find that you have been determined to be old.
The first sign is when they start asking whether you have had any falls recently. Even if I have, I will never acknowledge it. I am afraid of what may happen if I own up to some of the daft situations I get myself into.
Back in Washington my property was on the side of a very steep hill, which I foolishly attempted to cultivate. If my neighbours ever observed me out there, cavorting about on the hill as my feet got caught in roots and crevices, they must have thought me an alcoholic. I had some spectacular falls on that hill.
But I am very good at falling. Maybe indeed I was a cat in a previous incarnation. When I feel myself falling, I somehow manage always to land without hurting myself. Much.
I am not ready yet for social workers to come around assessing the dangers in my home. My cats would probably have to go and certainly all their paraphernalia. Which is one of the reasons I shall not confess to what happened about ten days ago.
I was merely going to plug my phone in for the night, when suddenly I did a pirouette and found myself sliding down the nearby wall and landing splat in one of the cat litter boxes. The noise was much louder than the fall warranted and the cats became collectively airborne, shooting off under whichever pieces of furniture were closest.
Grant was in another room with his leg up, having injured a knee, so he could only call out “what happened?!” Too bad if it had been serious!
But I have been falling on my butt all my life, and that recent fall was nothing to do with my age. I understand that medical people have to ask the question, but I feel slightly irritated at being treated as if I am getting a bit soft in the head. For example people have started to address me as “Dear”. Progressing from “Miss” to “M’am” was one thing. “Dear” to me implies a return to childhood. Perhaps I am too sensitive?
Maybe I am just irritated in general with the medical profession. Not them, specifically, but with the laws to which they are now forced to adhere. If you are dependent on “controlled” medications, they make you feel like a drug addict. I am baffled as to why anyone would voluntarily become dependent on oxycodone. It takes the edge off pain, but you can keep the side-effects! I have often been obliged to jump through hoops to obtain what I have a legal prescription for.
Younger people probably don’t remember what it used to be like to go to the doctor. In the “old days”, you actually got to “see” your doctor. Which is to say you saw each other. It seems to me that doctors stopped actually seeing their patients decades ago. Sometimes I wonder if they even notice who they see on any given day.
Nowadays, the doctor appears to be taking dictation, typing into a computer and sometimes searching there for answers. I realize they are doing what their particular group employer dictates. Myself, I don’t care for the computerization of medical care, but I imagine that’s all anyone has time for now.
Whatever my issues with the medical profession, I fully appreciate that I am very fortunate to have medical coverage and I do not take it for granted.
Pictures from a storm on 8th August. It was a good one!