Friday 17 September 2010

Not dying - yet

15st 10lb, 4.5 units. Despite my complete exhaustion, I somehow managed to drive the 230 miles from Flintshire to Newton-by-the-Sea without falling asleep at the wheel yesterday afternoon, and was rewarded with a delicious dinner.

The main reason for coming to Northumberland at this point was a business lunch today (now naturally cancelled), but at least I was able to seize the opportunity of an early morning appointment with my doctor to check out the skin cancer on my back. It took him all of about 30 seconds to pronounce that it wasn’t cancer at all, but a harmless growth called … what? I heard what he said, I repeated it to myself several times as I wandered around the Co-op and drove home, then rang Mrs H back in Cheshire to tell her the good news.

“So what is it?” she asked, not unreasonably.

“I’ve forgotten.”

After racking my brains for a minute, the best I could come up with was “I think carrots were involved somewhere.”

Luckily, even before I put the phone down, a Google search had identified my non-problem as seborrheic keratosis. Though while I recognized “keratosis” as the word my doctor had uttered, “seborrheic” rang absolutely no bells at all. On the other hand, it cannot be the other form of keratosis listed in the medical dictionaries as they all warn that this is pre-cancerous, and he definitely said that mine is completely harmless. Indeed, he added that it would have been known, in pre-PC days, as a senile wart. Which cheered me up no end.

“Did you ask him about your dementia?” Mrs H enquired, faced with this further solid evidence of my failing mental powers.


“Why not?”

“I forgot.”

Perhaps this is the Catch 22 of ageing. If you are sufficiently switched on to tell the doctor that you are worried about developing dementia, then you aren’t.

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