I’ve had an MOT at a local private hospital five minutes walk from the house. I thought it would be wise before re-entering the well-meaning but labyrinthine world of the National Health Service when we return to Blighty in a few weeks. It was prompted by a sudden and unexpected rise in my blood pressure. I used to be troubled by hypertension before our exodus but after entering Turkish airspace my blood pressure reverted to normal levels and stubbornly stayed there despite my lifestyle addictions.
Recently though, the bloody thing has been on the rise again and I’ve developed some difficulty walking anything more than a short hop. Hills in heels are a nightmare I can tell you. Like most men, I ignored it – until Liam nagged me into submission. After a determined and relentless campaign of drip-drip harrying, I conceded and made an appointment. I can report that the experience was easy, fast and efficient. A wonderful northern lass employed to guide witless foreigners ferried me around the system and smoothed the waters with tact and smiles.
The outcome? The good news is that my ticker (and wait for it) liver and lungs are all in fine form. I nearly fell off the back of my chair when the nice cardiologist told me that. The bad news? My cholesterol levels are through the roof, my blood pressure is way too high and I have developed Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. I’ve been called disordered many times before but not because of my limbs. Essentially, my brand new condition causes my calf muscles to spasm involuntary when I sleep and it’s the nocturnal workout that causes the pain when I mince about town. After the diagnosis, Liam stayed awake for nights on end to check what was going on. Apparently, my calves throb so regularly, you could run a clock with ’em. And there was me thinking I was just kicking him out of bed to make my morning cuppa or rehearsing for a spot on Riverdance.
I’ve always wondered why I have the legs of a Premier League footballer and the belly of an armchair fan. Now I know. The cardiologist put me on drugs to control the rhythmic twitching. Liam put me on a rolled oats regime for my cholesterol. He calls it porridge. I call it cruel gruel.
What does this all mean? Simple. I am now officially old.
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