Living with the aftermath
“Are you depressed?”
I was sitting quietly, reading the papers, smoking my first pipe of the day and supping my first mug of tea when Herself piped up. Her question came as a complete surprise. Without really thinking I replied “Not at all. Should I be?” before realising what her logic was. I had received news that could potentially have a major impact on my future and I should be dwelling on it.
For quite a while now I have been aware of ageing and all its glorious little side effects. My suspension is shot altogether and creaks and groans over every bump; my differential is making funny noises; my tappets are fucked; my steering has become very erratic and my wing mirrors broke off a long time ago. And my radiator leaks sometimes. Rust is running rampant throughout so if my headlights are going a bit dim then it comes as little surprise. I had received the news with equanimity but it hadn’t occurred to me that Herself would fret. And fret she did.
I should start by saying that my vision is fine. They actually tested me with their fancy little letter charts and I had no bother even down to the bottom lines. Now that they have planted the seed of doubt I have noticed one or two little weirdities – reading a book I notice that a few of the printed letters have become strangely blurred in my peripheral vision and sometimes I have to blink to see the letter I’m looking at but that’s all. It aint the end of the world.
I am an irritating optimist. I know it irritates Herself the odd time as virtually every problem is met with a simple “it’ll be fine”. Usually it is, so I have learned not to worry about things. The odd time something gives me pause for thought. My little heart “event” stopped me in my tracks for a while [I played it down in the hospital at the time and the doctor firmly told me “you do realise you have had a full blown heart attack?!]. It still crosses my mind from time to time but I’m not going to get neurotic about it. The same applies to my vision.
So life will continue as normal. I have been given compound drops to put in every night [and I have to keep ’em in the fridge which is bloody inconvenient] and shall try and keep my appointment in the summer. The only thought that crossed my mind is that I had better concentrate on getting my memoirs written before it’s too late.
Incidentally [and on a completely different topic] I received a parcel yesterday – it was the replacement glass chimney for my oil lamp. It was buried under about five inches of shrink-wrap, bubble-wrap and cardboard and was a bitch to open.
At least it was unbroken and lacking in any blemishes.
It was the wrong size.
Every morning I too wake up to the chorus of aches, groans, pains, etc and realize that another part hurts today, or won’t do what it used to, and that it’ll be another day of not completing my ever-optimistic list (must have been written by a 30 year old!). Then I make my way downstairs and make myself that first cup of tea/coffee and think: Isn’t life grand!
The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about!
I’d be depressed if I’d got the wrong size glass chimney too.
As for the health stuff, those of us of similar age all get a different blend of the ageing factors: the difference from our younger days is that we know we can do bugger all about them, so we acknowledge them and work within whatever new limitations they bring.
As Ian J says above, beats the alternative.
Funny noises in your differential is a cause for concern.
At the age of 84,I too have sundry aches and pains that were not there 20 years ago.I find the most annoying are the sudden small cramps in muscles I did not know I had, especially when I am woken by them during the night. I have just received a letter from my Pension Provider asking if I am still alive and well. I shall look forward to returning it assuring them that I intend to continue claiming it for a good long while yet. I have already been receiving it for longer than I paid in so I think I am on the profit side of the equation.
Are you sure the chimney is the wrong size, or is the lamp the culprit?