Tempus F…it! by Trevor Plumbly

When the Get-Up-And-Go…

looks like going, it’s time to get proactive; so in my autumnal years I’ve decided to check out my recently acquired twinges. These are not the pleasant twinges one associates with teenage libido, more like reminders that the essential bits ain’t what they used to be.

old manThe parts that functioned OK last year have started to send out warnings, so maybe it’s time to take stock. It turned out to be a good week for that: I had joint pains, some sort of episodic thing where my pulse rate dropped, high temperature and energy loss along with mild headaches and ear problems and while battling this frenzied attack, I got toothache as well. OK stoics, it’s not writhing on the floor, foaming mouth stuff, but it’s my body and if I want to panic a bit I will.

Physical Jerks

The source of my joint problems was quickly diagnosed by my nearest and dearest old-man-doctoras, ‘not enough exercise’. I’ve always felt that if I collapsed during a marathon, she’d put it down to inactivity, so maybe professional help would be more productive. My new doctor was as urbane as a mortgage broker and looked scarcely past his own teenage twinges; he seemed far more interested in his computer screen than my well-being. I know that 75 year old bodies don’t really pull the punters but I’m not well dammit! And he’s supposed to help instead of fluffing around like a soap opera quack. He takes my blood pressure, pats me round the head a bit and advises me to seek help next time I get another turn. $50 lighter I’m back on the street wondering if he’d googled ‘old geezers’ aches and pains’ and left it at that.

old man with dentistThe Balance Sheet

British dentistry in schools during the 1940s embraced the ‘hold `em and yank `em’ technique, which left me with a few gaps and a distrust of dentists that’s lasted to this day. I still reckon the reason they tilt the chair so far back is to stop you making a run for it. Today’s surgeries look less torturous but pain is still pain despite the wallpaper. Maybe stocktaking at my time of life isn’t such a good idea; it’s just too hard to be taken seriously. I have consulted professionals and feel poorer rather than wiser or better, despite the efforts of science and cyberspace. I bet there’s a humungous recycle bin up there labelled OLD AGE MOANERS’ SYMPTOMS and my stuff’s in it, so if I end up looking at the lid a little early, do me a favour, don’t blame it all on technology, I did try to tell them I was ill!

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