I went to the doctor this morning. A request from her to review my 24 hour BP monitor. This is Debrah Rawcliffe, a very able junior in our HRI department on several occasions whilst she was a gp trainee. After some twenty or more years, she claims to be the same weight, but her face has 'drooped' as she put it. But overall still looks in good shape (a squash player who used to dance to 'The Hills are Alive'). And still agreeably spikey.
Well my bp is just above NICE guidelines and I have a lowish but significant risk of a serious or otherwise cardiovascular event. Largely on account of my age. So statins and bp pill. Whilst you are still healthy, how do you know any intervention is doing you some good? A statistical exercise I suspect. I know my allopurinol is working because I don't have attacks of gout anymore. I don't need my uric acid measuring. This is called common sense. I've never had a stroke or a heart attack, but the numbers suggest I will. This is called nonsense, maybe produced by a number-crunching senior registrar trying to get his MD before climbing the greasy pole. This is probably untrue but I enjoyed writing it.
I've modified my lifestyle until I'm virtually unrecognisable. I do pilates though Debrah wants me to do Tai Chi for my balance issues - there really is no satisfying some people. I might get a nice stick. I've had to curb the beer-drinking because of poor sleep and headaches - it's not quite tee-total time but it's not far off. Debrah ignored the fact that a I forget names and proper nouns. When I said I was grumpy she replied "That's just you." I think she had me sussed and I thanked her.
So I walked home from the surgery - 4 miles max, but extremely pleasant in warm sunshine. Closed footpaths which were open. Honley CC looked brilliant, the football pitches too. Roundway. Lower Oldfield. New fencing behind which grazed sheep. Reminded me of the 15th and 16th century enclosures when landlords took to profitable sheep-rearing on large farms, thereby reducing common land. This was the start of rural depopulation that culminated in 1850 when more people lived in towns and cities than in the country. I seem to remember from a Melvyn Bragg radio 4 programme that the landlord behaviour was only part of the reason for this migration. Shardlake, the crookback lawyer deals with this in Princess Elizabeth I's era - Tombland by CJ Sansom.Netherthong, just up from the Cricketers, a small windmill. It whistled, not unpleasant. Shut Cider Press. And a massive new housing estate. The pub boules pitch could do with a gardener and rust treatment. Over the next hill, a large well-appointed house, grounds and stables with a notice 'Private, please keep off'. Well it did say please. Not a great advert for the wealthy.
Home for coffee. Back on Taylor's Brazilian.
What am I to do about the doctor's advice?