Saturday 14 January 2012

I'm Gonna Make it Through the Night.

     Its been a bad few days. My wife and I have clocked up over ten hospital and doctor appointments in around twenty days. (The memories none too good and I have long since lost count.) Including in my wife's case a potentially life threatening condition. The worry has been enormous, in a way part and parcel of life for those of 'senior' years. Which made me eternally grateful that we live in the western world with all its imperfections. I have no doubt that had we been born in the so called 'Third World' I in particular would have been long since gone, though where to exactly I am none too sure; consider the following and wonder.
    I recently lay on the bed, minus clothes. (Not a pretty sight!) And I marvelled as to life's little joke, starting from the feet up. Two feet, size six, delicately formed, one big toe reddened by gout, a condition that is proving persistent. Two fairly handsome lower legs, though a little 'bandy', the effect of wartime rickets, common enough in the Second World War. The result of poor diet and inadequate pre-natal medical attention. One lower leg scarred (Motorbiking), one knee scarred even more so, rebuilt in 1959, (Ah, those motorbikes), both knee joints very, very worn,  need replacing, wear, tear and general old age.
Hip joint, left,  one ceramic replacement, works quite well, not surprising, the newest of my parts, everything else is over seventy years old. Hip, right, scarred, the result of removal of bone to rebuild left knee. We'll skip quickly over the private 'bits', (work quite well Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Or is it Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday!) Still moving 'northward', one scarred torso, a long term reminder of an operation performed when 24 hours old. (I was told it was to correct a twisted bowel, I am reliably informed it was probably for the condition pyloric stenosis.)  I was evidently christened in order to be buried; being placed in a box by the fire probably ensured my survival.
    Onward, ever onward; one shoulder joint, damaged, recently subjected to ultrasound examination, prognosis not promising, I think the technical term is 'knackered'. Two arms and hands, work quite well in spite of two broken arms, two broken collar bones (falling off cycles, cricket rollers etc.) and one broken thumb (Fighting at school) Being below average height meant you tried harder to 'compete' with the 'bigger boys'.
    Life is a lottery. My face is battered and 'lived in'.  My teeth are worn and far from complete. One of my eyes has never worked properly and one ear bears the marks of a skin cancer operation. (Too much sun at 'sunny Skegness as a child methinks!)
    Life takes its toll. There is an inevitability about it all, in view or out of sight. (I have twice suffered internal hemorrhages. For pint after pint of donated blood I will forever be grateful.) I have twice suffered bouts of TGA. Scary but I'm still here. I could give my body for medical science! But its not in very good 'nick'. On a scale of 1-10 what do you reckon. Two, three max! Has your life been a  roller coaster up to now?  Never mind, it will soon be spring!

(Think of all the cheerful songs that help to keep us going. 'Keep right on to the end of the road' springs to mind. And what cheers you up when life gets tough?)


Ruth said...

I think it was Bette Davis who said something along the lines of aging isn't for sissies! I concur!! I look at all my scars, wrinkles, sags, bags, and imperfections as proof of a life well lived. Great post, Ken!

the fly in the web said...

Experience in every imperfection!
Thank your lucky stars you haven't gone in for Botox...

Sueann said...

And one lively and curious mind. So don't happy! Ha!
Well written Ken.
Hugging you gently

cheshire wife said...

Modern medicine is wonderful!

Hope that you and your wife will soon be feeling better.

CWMartin said...

"knackered" is about right, my friend. Thanks for making me feel better about myself (not quite that much inventory, though still not a pretty sight). A little Willie makes all things better.

The Boat House said...

Hubby Ron and I say it's pretty bad when your only dates any more are doctors appointments. Yes, we're sagging, wrinkling, and breaking down little by little, but we're doing it together with more laughter than tears. Ron's been dependant on a wheelchair for amost six years, but still continues to create wonderful art, roast his own coffee, make his own sausages from scratch, and maintain a better attitude than mine.

I so hope your wife gets better soon, just keep her in your warm caccoon, and give her a smile a day.

Prayers for you both from Nancy at the Boat House

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Crikey Ken, you certainly are a survivor. And I'm just entering the years of 'feeling' age, not that my arthritic ankles haven't plagued me since my 20s, but now it's the awareness of other parts not working as well as they should and a niggling realisation that gardening three acres is not going to be physically possible for as long as I would like.
Happy New Year and better health for you both with it.

indu chhibber said...

You people have lots of misconceptions about the so-called third world.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

indu chhibber

Not keen on being referred to as 'You people'. The point I was trying to make, albeit clumsily, was that many in the world have little chance of survival due to factors beyond their control.
A fact, surely? It is an unfair world.
Interesting that your own profile on your blog suggests, and I quote 'find it difficult to be diplomatic.' Only the second time I have ever encountered rudeness on my blog. Can't be bad!
Nevertheless good luck to you,young lady.

Gill - That British Woman said...

Oh Ken, I don't mean to laugh at you, but the way you write it always brings a smile to my face.

I hope you and your dear wife feel better soon,

Gill in Canada

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Thanks. Are you really old enough to remember Bette Davis!

fly in the web
Botox, quite a tought!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Sue Ann
Lively only on a good day!

cheshire wife
Yes, we are indeed lucky, thanks for kind thoughts.

Love the little willie comment!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

The Boat House
Love your lack of self pity. Your attitude is spot on.

Lady Mondegreen
Thanks, three acres, thats amazing but so satisfying I bet.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

who was it who used to say' It's being so cheerful keeps me going!
(Mona Lott, charlady from Itma. )

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting on my blog!
I don't speak English very well, but I will try to.
You remind me very much one of my good friend from England.
I call him also "a grumpy old man". What a coincidence!
You said, that life is a lottery ... it sure is.
I will send for you both angels and take care.
Greetings from Finland!

Anonymous said...

And on top of all this you have to keep up the standards of the bloggesphere too, Sir.

I'm a lot younger than you but the process has already begun.

Don't know if you watched these in November but have a look at the clips and keep an eye out for them. BBC 4 will show 'em again...

Pinecone Stew said...

Have a SUPER week, Ken!

Nota Bene said...

Glad you missed out the 'Frank and Beans'. Hope you both can avoid visiting the doctor so much...

old-timer-karnak said...

hope everything is ok with the wife ken,,, just stoped by to say hi----karnak

Julia Bentley said...

The scars are memories! Motorbike scars are a reminder of what your did in your "younger" days which I am sure you would not change!! Not sure who said it, but they said it best... "chicks dig scars" :P

Baby Led Weaning Mum said...

You're forgetting a very strong, active and very funny mind. That makes up for all of the other ailments.