Wednesday 15 September 2010

On the way out

15st 7lb, zero units. I am definitely developing dementia (and annoying alliteration). I have started keeping a food diary in an attempt to work out in more detail why I am failing to lose weight, even though I already know the answer in principle, namely eating too much and not moving enough. I sat for quite some time yesterday morning staring into space while I tried to remember the names of the stuff Mrs H told me to add to my homemade soup at lunchtime on Monday, and the mushed-up vegetables on which she placed our baked cod that evening.

I got there in the end, at least. The first was vermicelli, though I still think that sounds more like a musical instrument, possibly played by trained white mice, or an unpleasant fungal skin condition. And the second was ratatouille – also evocative of rodents. A worrying theme. I cheered myself with the thought that so far I only seemed to be having trouble remembering foreign names. But then Mrs H and her family all have foreign names, which could make this quite an embarrassing problem.

Still, while I dread dementia, I don’t suppose I’ll be too conscious of it by the time that it’s really taken a grip. And there is always the cheering thought that I may well succumb to some more efficient fatal illness before then. I noticed a couple of new skin lesions on my left shoulder in the bathroom mirror yesterday morning, prompting yet another hasty Google search for “malignant melanoma”. I don’t think that’s what they are, but they failed enough of the ABCDE (Asymettry, Border, Colour, Diameter, Evolving) self-diagnosis tests to make it worth booking an appointment with my doctor, the poor sod. On the one hand: no wonder the NHS is overstretched. On the other: I once had a colleague whose apparently unremarkable moles on his back caught the eye of a physician during a routine medical, and he was dead of skin cancer within a year. Still, I had to admire his style. “Tell me honestly, doc, is this curtains? Because if it is, there are a few things I’d like to do.” I can’t remember the precise details of his greatest ambition, but I do recall that a number of black prostitutes were involved in its realization.

If I ever find myself in the same boat, my last wish won’t be anything like as colourful as his.

Maybe I should mention the potential dementia to my doctor when I see him. But that would be against the practice rules, written up on a series of notices in the waiting room that make the place look like the worst sort of 1950s seaside boarding house. These specify that patients should present only one ailment per ten minute appointment slot, in order to keep the place running to schedule. I suppose I could toss a coin in the waiting room: heads malignant melanoma, tails … what was the other thing I wanted to see him about?


blueskygirl said...

Hi again after a long gap in leaving feedback - I do have you on my list of must read blogs - but will admit get disheartened when you don't post and like busses a load come together. In my heart of hearts I know the fact you wrote your thoughts on whatever day is THE point - but when enjoying the wave of immediate reaction to a day your blog rarely hits the spot because it is so after the event/s.

One last point - well - a question really which shows I DO read what you write. You posted a very convincing post about how naff and dumb Facebook was / is (unless I am mistaken) but recently I note you remarking on a Facebook exchange in such a way as to imply that every thinking person naturally uses Facebook.

Keep writing your alluring writings!

Keith Hann said...

Rarely hitting the spot with a girl: it's the story of my life. Nevertheless, thank you for your broadly encouraging comments. I wish there were more of them.

As for Facebook, you are quite right: I did pride myself about 15 months ago on having grown up enough to deactivate my account. But then I weakened, in a moment of truly spectacular boredom. I do believe that I was also encouraged in this direction by Mrs H, who is much too sensible to waste her time being on Facebook herself, but whose family and friends constitute a fair chunk of my "Friends". They like to see my photos of The Boy, apparently (though why they can't look at them on this blog and then leave appreciative comments here is something of a mystery) and Mrs H enjoys keeping in vicarious touch with them by reading their "status updates" over my shoulder.

I suppose I have kept my account active for as long as I have because the person who was formerly using Facebook to lecture me took umbrage at one of my witty remarks and "de-Friended" me. While I did the same to the people who clearly resented my occasional intrusions to their discussions (so why not just use personal e-mails rather than a "social networking site" - the clue is surely in the name?)

Added to which, since my return I have acquired a couple of "Friends" who are genuinely witty, and whose comments afford me a chuckle every now and then, which is always welcome.

I think the Facebook exchange I mentioned was about Michael Smith's Deep North on BBC4. Believe me, it was far more enjoyable than the programme. But then the same could probably be said of major surgery without an anaesthetic.