Recently, my husband took himself down for the mandatory two-yearly doctor’s appointment which certifies octogenarians as being roadworthy.
For a few days before hand there was a bit of muttering, but finally he succumbed to the system’s dictates, stuck his nose in the air, jogged down the road, and presenting his suntanned celery-stalks of legs and white mop of wisdom at the required time, to the required place.
Anyone knowing my husband, would have known that behind the calm exterior was not only reluctance, but a picture of comparative health. He knows his body, and has a very good health and fitness programme in place.
First, the doctor assumed that this was the wrong person in the wrong place.
The doctor looked Peter up and down, with an incredulous face, and words along the “you must be joking” line.
And after Peter didn’t say “eh?” to every quiet spoken question, concluded he didn’t need to test his hearing.
Even so, suddenly a judder bar was encountered. Peter is on no medication. Not a thing. The doctor scrabbles through the pretty much non-existent medical files after the question “are you new here?”…. but found “no medication”.
But how could this be? Everyone over the age of 50 these days MUST be on statins, and beta blockers. You name it, they try to prescribe it!
The doc is finally resigned to the fact that not only is Peter not on anything, he looks pretty healthy..
He started the eyesight testing, but knowing that what doctors do is a bit like the lottery of licking your finger and using it to test wind direction, Peter presented the Optometrist’s detailed examination done a few days before. No, he would not have to wear corrective lenses when driving!
Then out came Peter’s nemesis. The blood pressure gauge, that one and only Achilles heel he’s had all his life – known as “white coat syndrome”. Put bluntly, a doctors surgery is one place he doesn’t want to be. Yup, the bp was a bit high. So the doctor went off to walk the corridor for about 5 minutes, and at his return the b/p was more acceptable.
Then came the sticking point. The form states that conditions like b/p must be managed, and therefore the doctor started discussing the various drugs he would give to “manage” it.
Peter said, “Sorry, but I don’t intend to go down that path, thank you. I already manage it myself.”
Peter’s blood pressure started to rise again, but he controlled himself.
The rest of the discussion will have to be left to your imagination. And in two years time, no doubt this little drama will be re enacted.
Writing the previous blogs has set me thinking again, about the medical use and abuse of “words”.
It would appear that when someone manages their own lives through lifestyle that’s not good enough.
The trend seems to be that the ONLY safe and effective way to manage something, in the medical system’s mind, is when there is a record that a drug is prescribed and assumed to be in control of something thought in need of management.
What it really comes back to isn’t management, unless it is controlled from the arsenal provided by the pharmaceutical makers.
After all, they are the only ones scientifically recognized for “effective” control.
The problem is that the medical profession’s need to “control” can very often threaten the person's right to choice - even when what they are doing works very well.