I've had an orthopaedic and a dental consultation within the last week. More in my long list of thankfully relatively minor health issues.
The knee began over 20 years ago with a rugby injury. What was I doing playing over the age of 40 is a reasonable question. Nothing major happened since though I have had intermittent kneecap pain. 12 months ago after a week standing on the back of a narrowboat it swelled, was painful and wouldn't bear weight. It settled within a week. I had the same symptoms after a 5 mile walk. The gp said it was osteoarthritis. Then came some clicking relieved by bending the knee. Back to the gp and on to an orthopod. X-rays confirmed OA. The senior registrar said I was a slim fit guy who would probably get by with simple pain killers. Come back when the pain is unbearable and we'll do a replacement. I hope he'll have his consultant post by then.
Good advice. The important thing for me was the context within which this chat took place. At the start I spoke to a receptionist. 'Put your details on the screen over there'. An irritant but it happens at the gp's. Back to the receptionist to ask where the clinic was. They are still needed for trivia then. I'm spot on time and wait half an hour before I'm seen. People wander in and out. I'm sent for an Xray. I was away from the clinic so long the staff nurse thought I gone home. The place is overloaded and so are the staff. People in wheelchairs, on trolleys, bandaged, plastered, in pain and can't walk. After two and a half hours I realise I am wasting the man's time. I'm a slim fit kind of a guy - he said it - and there is nothing seriously wrong with me. He's needed for the wheelchairs and the trolleys. I quickly slunk out of the consultation and walked fast and effortlessly to my car, like a slim fit kind of guy. Come to think of it, he gave me just the best treatment as well as good advice.
I've been losing natural teeth and gaining artificial ones for a couple of years. The lad did his brutal best to fill as many cavities as he could and the lovely hygienist tolerated my refusal to have a deep clean. I hate the injection and I hate the drill. Not a mortal fear but not far off. But you stay with the same people who gradually realise what a wimp you are and smile ever more sympathetically whilst they half kill you. Prevention inevitably came to an end for a half dozen of my teeth, so I joined the denture grumblers, though not for long. I've got my smile back so I'm okay.
The point of all this is dentures need drilling too. To get them to fit here and there. The first time it happened when the lad went for his drill, I thought hang on, I haven't come for another dose of hell. Then he took out my denture and began to drill that. I had to chuckle. As if life couldn't be so simple. Every time something unpleasant is about to occur, take it out and let it have the hassle instead. He didn't get it right first time, not an exact science in his words. So I have to go again and I did check he wasn't going to bill me any extra. My newfound affability at the dentist does have limits.