Thursday, 10 May 2012

Chirpy old man!

I feel I need to rectify the impression I may have been projecting that I've become a permanent curmudgeon. Not so, dear reader....

Last weekend was wonderful. Not only was there more sun on Saturday and Sunday, but we also saw all of our family, as we were celebrating a birthday. As I'm sure I've said before, but it bears repeating, my family are great fun, and kind enough to keep most of their wit until I've finished eating. On Saturday Paul brought down our old photo albums from the loft and provided our granddaughters with considerable entertainment seeing their aunt and uncles as children and me with a full head of hair. Not only did Jane cook a roast for 9 on Sunday, but also a birthday lunch on Monday for 10 - both delicious, of course.

The house always seems very quiet after such a weekend. Not that Jane and I rattle around, it's just quiet and leaves us grateful for our children.

This week has been medical week. Jenny, the OT at the MND Centre in Oxford, contacted me on Tuesday about a possible tilt-in-space manual wheelchair for me to look at. It's "lightweight", and would help keep my posture more vertical than I manage at present. We'd have to see if it was easy to get in the boot of the car, both for weight and space. Anyway, we've arranged to meet her at a local supplier next week and she'll assess its suitability.

Then yesterday it was off to see the GP for a chat about my muscle relaxants. I'm taking the maximum dose I'm prepared to, and to be frank it doesn't seem to be solving the problem (my feet treading on each other when I walk, i.e. the adductors having too much tone, or something). As Gabapentin is a systemic drug, of course, it affects other muscles and I have found standing for any length of time harder et al. So in the end I've decided to reduce them bit by bit to zero. I am grateful for drugs (for example, that stop me fitting), although I don't always remember to say grace (i.e. thanks) before I take them, as I once heard Colin Urquhart recommend; but I'd prefer not to have them if possible.

And today it was the dentist I was visiting. She was ready to deal with a disintegrating premolar which has long given me trouble. She detected a small gum-boil next to it, and when I told her it had been a bit sensitive to pressure last week, she pursed her lips, and took an x-ray. Then she revised her intention to replace the existing filling, and gave me the choice, either to have root canal treatment and to try and cap it with a filling (with uncertain prospect of lasting success) or to have it out. She explained, but the decision was mine. Yikes! In the end I went for the extraction. She is amazing, my dentist. Out it popped!

All the above, of course, was on the National Health Service - not entirely free, but as good as - and all top quality treatment. Well, my dentist has extracted three of my teeth - and I still enjoy going. That must say something! Coincidentally today there were demonstrations by public service workers largely about pensions. In my view, my OT, physio, doctor, dentist, dental nurse, all deserve to have their full pensions as they are now.

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