Last year, when I saw my G P about sundry age-related ailments, she was quite encouraging. Vital statistics all reasonable, she said. Just cut down on those cheese toasties (with red Leicester specially) and walk for at least 20 minutes, five times in the week. On the whole a satisfactory encounter. (Be patient. Us oldies like talking about our insides, specially bowels, and we take time getting to the point. Restraint needed on the part of listening family.)
As I got to the door, my G P asked, 'Not incontinent, are you?' That came out of the left field. So I answered without thinking. 'I have that to look forward to.' She has since left the practice. Mmmm...
This year it is all teeth - or lack of. Another spare part threatens. I counted - I am down to sixteen now and one more is soon destined for the chop. I can either wear dentures or stop smiling. I vote for the latter.
But, I keep telling all who come up against me on a bad day, that I am still compus mentis. Or almost. Why do they look uncertainly at me?
Granted I list a bit when I walk and fall into the flower bed often when I walk on uneven flowerbeds. But why does my carpenter think I can't drive? Driving is a lot easier than walking on a wonky knee, and he will find that out when he reaches eighty.
I do an audit: hearing reasonable, teeth fifty percent, but not the chewing ones, knee serviceable but just, eyes can read as fast as ever but after eight in the evening, they are untrustworthy.
Which do I hate more? People not jumping up to do things for me (like that tenth cup of tea at ten at night) or doing too much assuming I am not functional.
Ah! the loss of control. I hate those airport wheel-chairs and the handlers that treat us oldies like laundry. Sad lumps to be pushed around and parked here and there.