Tag Archives: aging

Miracle Drug Day 21: A discussion about doctors

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I have a sore throat and it’s been that way since Friday night. It’s now Sunday morning. I don’t have a voice anymore. Actually my voice comes and goes depending on how well the pain killers are working.

In the five page instructions that came with Miracle Drug it says tell your doctor straight away or go to Accident and a Emergency if you have a sore throat. Ok, I’m going to use common sense here and not rush to the hospital. However, when I saw him a week and a half ago he was all worried about me getting sick because I was showing signs of going down with something. I felt better for a few days, now I’m having signs of becoming “regular” type sick again. I think it is a lot about being run down and tired at the end of a year and after a saga of searching for a new diagnosis and having a flare.Side effect sexiness

I am getting really tired of this ongoing question about whether I should go see the doctor or not. It also says go to the doctor if you bruise easily. I always bruise easily. It has been worse lately though which may be because of Miracle Drug. I hit the inside of my wrist on the guillotine last week and I got a lovely big black bruise out of it. At least I got the bruise while cutting paper for my students for their art activity, not while walking past a table and hitting it, or like in the old days, having a battle with my ex.

I don’t feel a fever and I actually feel ok body wise. Not spectacular like I can go do anything I want, but ok like I might have a shower and go somewhere later. My mind is also quite relaxed and it is thinking pretty clearly right now. I’m going to defer the idea of going to see the doctor.

This is not a good week for getting sick, I have a lot of busy days at work coming up. So if it worsens I will have to get to the doctor quick smart. He will be grumpy if I end up going because it gets worse and I have had this sore throat for days, but I’m not rushing up there. Unfortunately if it worsens I will wish I went up there sooner.

I remember years ago when I would go to the doctor (GP) maybe two or three times a year. I would go when I had the flu and/or sinusitis and/or a chest infection. Oh, and I would go for my biannual women’s checkup. Anything else I just put up with because it had been mentioned before and nothing had come of it. Like migraines and toes swelling and fatigue for example. All symptoms that could have pointed to an illness, but they were never investigated further. Those were the days when symptoms were not debilitating. How things have changed.

Those were the days when I went to any doctor that was available, I told him my problem, he looked in my mouth and ears and listened to my chest, he told me what it was, I accepted what he said, took my prescription, had a day or two off work, and that was that.

Doctor and patientNow my visits are more like an ongoing story. They are all linked together with the same theme and the same characters. There’s the inevitable checking of blood pressure. There’s the catch up on latest symptoms and shared reading of the letters from the specialist. There’s the discussion about medication and blood testing and the printing of prescriptions.  There’s a little banter between the characters, some sharing of personal information, then a discussion of when they will meet again.

This is a relationship happening here, between doctor and patient. For the first time since I was a child I want to keep seeing this same doctor. This one is a keeper. I can’t tell you how many different doctors I have seen in the last five years since I returned from the US, because I cannot remember, but it has been a lot. Finally, when I saw this guy, he listened and he tried things, even though they might fail, which some things did, he had a go, and he was smart enough to find me an excellent new specialist rather than send me back to my previous one. He stumbled through and he got results. He also makes me rest, which is important. He doesn’t annoy me about things like water exercise, which there is 0 chance of me doing unless I build a warm spa in my backyard. He just deals with the body and it’s symptoms. Sometimes I argue with him and he puts me straight. He thinks a lot. How often do you feel your doctor is mentally engaged in what he is doing? That is rare in my world. Doctors seem to find simple answers and then they get rid of you. Quick in, quick out. But I don’t feel rushed with my doctor and I know he tries to do what is best for me.

I feel a little sad that I have crossed over into the regular contact with my doctor zone. I used to think that in this zone there are old people and people with terrible illnesses. So, either I have become old or I have a terrible illness, or both. Maybe there are young sick people in this zone too? I don’t want to be in this zone, but it is what it is. I’m in the zone and I don’t think I will ever get out of it.

Chronic fear number 1

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I have this fear:

Clock 8.22

Looking at my watch I realise I have taken too long straightening my hair. At least two minutes too long, maybe five. I slap on my makeup, it doesn’t really matter how even it is, crazy people can’t put make up on straight and right now I’m feeling crazy coming on. I shuffle down to the kitchen grab my handbag, lunch and bag of random work stuff, swiftly say goodbye and head out to my car.

The three minute trip goes smoothly. I sail through my neighbourhood to join the line that is heading towards school (work). The lollipop lady is poised but doesn’t stop traffic in front of me. Great luck. The news hasn’t come on the radio yet. I’m winning.Lollipop lady

I turn out of the line to take the side entrance to work. A short delay driving into the parking area, but not too bad. Driving past the electronic sign saying ‘Welcome’, I see it says 8.32. Rubbish. No wonder parents have come in to say the sign has the wrong time, it does. Two minutes is crucial. If it said the correct time I would look up and think “I am on time”. But because of that sign having the wrong time, I doubt my car clock, my watch and the radio station’s ability to put the news on, on time.

The news just starts. I slowly crawl through the back of parked cars to find a spare spot.

Kids walking to schoolMy Principal strides out the front door of the building to go to parking duty. She sees my car sliding along at a snail’s pace. There are children walking on the paths in front of the parking bays. Crap. She looks at her watch, double crap. I slither into a park in her peripheral vision. Hopefully she remembers how I told her how hard it is getting ready of a morning, with these health issues I have. She isn’t a Miss Trunchbull but sometimes I imagine her that way. I’d like to be earlier, like everyone else. It’s not like I just got up out of bed. I have been up since six twenty.

It is only a minute or two, I arrived didn’t I? That’s better than not arriving at all.

I stop the car and plan my sneak into the side door of the staff room. Grabbing my bags quickly, I turn to open the car door, and realise…

I’m wearing slippers. Pink fluffy ones. Triple crap.

A life in episodes and series

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I feel like life runs in episodes and series, like a TV show. Right now in my life there is tying together of the events of this series of my life. This series is coming to an end. In today’s episode:

I just finished my uni assignment, the last one for a long time. It’s for a postgrad certificate in teaching Religion that I needed for work. Having already done my Masters, I need to stop studying now.

I have reached the point of second diagnosis, new medication and hopefully a new level of lesser pain. New medication starts tomorrow, today’s job is to go and get it.

My son finished his last postgrad uni exam two days ago. He is moving onto something new and I am excited to see what this is.

My life is becoming a lot more simplified with less commitments and stressors.

I am anticipating the end of the school year and my assignment to children and classes and roles for next year.

I am preparing for solo overseas travel for the first time. This is the teaser for what will come in the next series.

I think the defining factor as to where you are in a series can be found in the feeling you have about your life, does it feel like a beginning, a complication, a resolution, a conclusion?

Think reflectively and see, where are you currently at?

Seinfeld court scene finale

Women of a certain age

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Women of a certain age

What does that mean- women of a certain age?

I was busily dottering around my house today when this phrase jumped into my head.

Why, oh why? Who is this woman of a certain age. This is not me- or is it?

Am I starting to act this way? Like a little girl trying on heels and clumping around, practising what she will inevitably do once teenager hood hits and she can’t wait to take on makeup and heels and long jewellery and handbags. Even those of us who were not really “girly girls” we were drawn to practise nonetheless. As I entered teenager hood Madonna brought a new rebel version of womanhood, thankfully. I still remember jumping off my bus once it hit the city, to head into the amazing accessories shop that had an abundance of rubber bracelets, especially in my beloved black.

Anyway, I digress. Women of a certain age. Who are these women? What do they do that sets them apart? I looked it up. Urban dictionary came to my rescue, of course.

Woman of a Certain Age:
Ironically polite term for a woman who does not want her actual age known, e.g. one who is close to or just over the menopause. Things which define women of a certain age are: exceptionally gaudy clothing, homeopathy and aromatherapy, sensible haircuts, books on feminism, affairs with paper boys, and coffee mornings.

(http://www.urbandictionary.com)

OMG exceptionally gaudy clothing. I think it’s me. I’m wearing utter crap. I actually often wear daggy clothing. But now that’s a sign I’m nearing menopause. Really?

Homeopathy and aromatherapy? What because women of a certain age smell? Or like to smell nice smells more than others? Really? I have candles. Sometimes they are lit, many times they are not.

Sensible haircuts. No I fail at that one. I’m not there yet that’s for sure. I have crazy hair. My Mother has a sensible haircut. She’s obviously a woman of a certain age.

Books on feminism? Who has these? University lecturers maybe? Negative, out of over 1000 books in my house there’s not one on feminism. That doesn’t mean I don’t support feminism though. Because I do. I follow “Destroy the Joint” on Facebook, maybe that counts? But I follow lots of different social justice issues. Oh dear. Does that mean I’m old, well, a woman of a certain age?

Affairs with paper boys? Shit I wish, lol. Probably should try getting the paper delivered. But in my area I think there’s an older man who delivers the papers. Fail.

Coffee mornings? That would require being out and about in a morning hour, and possibly having friends. I have trouble on both counts.

Close to or just over the menopause? I don’t think this characteristic works. Not to get too technical, but menopause can happen to a 40 year old even though the average age of menopause is 51. Unless of course, we think women’s behaviour changes with their hormones. Noooooo.

And finally, a woman who does not want her actual age known. I don’t mind telling my age. But when I turn 43 or 44 or 45 I’m not sure. (I wrote this post thinking I was 42 but then remembered I’m only 41. Does forgetting your age count towards being a woman of a certain age? Bugger).

According to the definitive checklist on urban dictionary I don’t completely fit the description of a woman of a certain age. Yet I’ve started vaguely wandering around in my own world and I thought that would be a sure sign. Could wondering what a woman of a certain age is, actually be the beginning of transformation into said woman?

What I think really is necessary is a new definition of a woman of a certain age. Then I’ll be able to move on.

Woman of a certain age:
A woman who, through living a full and interesting life for many years, has decided to not give a shit about what anyone thinks. She does what she wants when she wants, buys what she loves, dresses in a way that pleases her, pursues activities that are personally rewarding and enjoys life with no restriction. A woman of a certain age leads a happy and fulfilling life at her own pace and according to her own priorities.

(Definition by me, 2014)

Phew. I’m good now. I’m heading that way, but have not yet reached the age of being a woman of a certain age. I know this because I’m still getting all my ideas for living my life in line. But now I know what I’m destined for, I can’t wait!