Saturday, 14 November 2009

Heartiest Congratulations.

Monday was my birthday although we celebrated with a party on Saturday (7th Nov) Quiet day, Monday, after hectic Saturday, including a visit to the chiropodist. (What, on your birthday!)
Which is probably why I found myself wide awake, at three in the morning thinking about toes, or one toe in particular. My big toe, the left one if you're interested. No, oh please yourself! Evidently the joint is showing signs of wear. Now this is a nuisance but hardly terminal. And after all, it's rather an old toe when all is said and done.
Now I've reached seventy, that means my toe, my original and only left toe is around 25,567 days old. If my maths are right, that would come to well over half a million hours. And where else in my life am I going to achieve a figure of half a million plus of anything. (Answers on a postcard please.) So the old toe has not worn too badly by my reckoning. So I lay there and metaphorically contemplated my naval.
By now going back to sleep was out of the question. Then it got real deep and interesting. My knees are in a right state but they've done some work over the years. Plus they've had bits and pieces done to them to keep them going. My left hip joint has long since gone, replaced by modern ceramics. Gone too, my tonsils, no ceramic replacement necessary. (With it has gone some, go on then, most of my hair.) One eye never did work properly, the other is backed up by modern technology, £3oo spectacles for long distance from the opticians, reading glasses, £0.99 from Home Bargains. My joints in general are passable if arthritic, my lungs work within reason and my brain is almost completely intact in spite of the old TGA. Plus one or two other items have dwindling powers but we won't go into that! All this relying from day one, minute one on that wonder of science, the old ticker called the heart.
We seldom think of hearts until they go wrong; its bumping along as I write this. Unnoticed, no attention since that day in 1939 when first required to power this other wonder of science christened Kenneth Allan. Think about it. If we had been given a battery instead of a heart, what number battery would we be on by now?
A few 'heartfelt' observations. Your system of blood vessels concerned with the heart (arteries, veins and capillaries) is over 60,000 miles long. Long enough to go round the world more than twice. An adult heart pumps more than five quarts of blood each minute. That's around 2,000 gallons of blood each day. Plus it beats around 100,000 times each day. For a seventy year old that means it's done around 2.5 billion beats so far. And it weighs around ten ounces. A female adult heart only weighs around eight ounces but there again it doesn't have so much work to do. (Only kidding, ladies, honest, only kidding!) Every minute, every second, thump, thump, thump, amazing! Asleep, awake, its all the same to 'old faithful' 'cos if it doesn't, that's it, end, of story, end of Kenneth, 'Goodnight Vienna'.
So from now on, when you wake in the morning, and last thing at night, say 'thank you, heart, you unsung hero, you.' (But not too loud, eh, you don't want the neighbours talking.) I never did get back to sleep, instead I just got up and had a cup of tea. I'm sure old ticker approved.

18 comments:

LizBeth said...

Amazing, really. Your toe has outlasted every car I've had. We just rotated our tires. Not necessary for toes. Glad you had a nice birthday.

Liz in Texas

Mark said...

Tick tock tick tock - enough to keep you awake at night.

Robert said...

The body is an amazing piece of equipment. But the person in charge of quality control doesn't do such a good job! Many models are defective from the beginning while others wear out various components well before their expected time. Models come in different shapes, sizes and colours for no apparent reason. It would be difficult to find the reason why the current method of manufacture was adopted!

Another enjoyable post, Ken.

Valerie said...

It must be the day for feeling our age, I've read two others this morning. Your post reminded me of Eric Morecombe who used to knock his chest in the heart region and say 'Keep going, you fool'

Belated birthday greetings, Ken.

GooseBreeder said...

Congratulations on your big birthday,does it entitle you to add another Grumpy? Same day as my daughter, just 44 years earlier.Her ticker's fine too, I'm sure she thanks it every day when she gets home from a run along the beach..'keep going,you fool"
Good luck with the toe, they don't do replacements yet do they? you don't want to become bionic man.
Yes the bits wear out, some show wear and tear but think of the experience and knowledge!!
Enjoy your achievement!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Happy Birthday Ken for last Monday and glad to see the old ticker is still behaving itself.
I am waiting for a hip replacement on my left leg. It is very painful at the moment but I am still decorating two bedrooms - must be mad.
Sounds as though we are both walking around with very little we started out with LOL

Shammickite said...

A very nice man came and cleaned out my eavestroughs (gutters to you) on my very tall Victorian house. He said he could come Monday but not Tuesday, when I asked him why not Tuesday, he said he was having a hip replacement on Tuesday!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I am always grateful when I wake up and discover I'm still breathing............however I guess if I wasn't breathing I wouldn't wake up now would I!!!

Gill in Canada

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Lizbeth
Hi
It would be one hell of a car aged eighty!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

mark
Hi
Very true. But if it stopped I suppose we would be last to know!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Robert
Hi
Brilliant, very deep comments. Born out of experience of life?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Valerie
Hi
Thanks. Interesting, the comments re Eric Morcambe.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

GooseBreeder
Hi
Thanks. I find the old aging bit fascinating in a way, don't know why.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Eddie
Hi and thanks.
I fell heavily in the street (not drink related!) No damage so these hip things must be strong! Good luck with yours.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Shammickite
Hi
Brilliant! My uncle went on the roof to mend something and took his walking stick up with him. How daft is that!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Gill
hi
Very true Its strange to die but even stranger to die in your sleep!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Lizbeth.
I AM losing it. I'm seventy of course not eighty!

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