A Phone Call from my Doctor’s Surgery

A short post tonight.

The phone rang this afternoon. “Hello”, I said. “I am calling from Dr C’s practice. Can I speak to J… W….?” “You are speaking to him”, I reply. “Dr C wants to update your records. Can I ask you if you are still smoking?”,  asks Ms X. I laugh. “Of course I am. But I am not into heroin or stuff like that” She giggles. “How much do you smoke?”, asks Ms X. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe 40 a day” “So there is no change?”, she asks. “I suppose not”, I reply.

“Do you have any intention to quit?”, she asks. I laugh. “Of course not. Damn it, I’m 77 years old. What would be the point?”

And then she says, “Dr C would like you to come into the surgery for a blood pressure test. Can we arrange an appointment?” “Erm”, says I, “I think that I would rather not”. “OK”, she replies and rings off.

Thereby hangs a tale. A year or so ago, Dr C invited me to attend for a blood pressure check. I obeyed and the Practice Nurse questioned me beforehand about my lifestyle. Yes, I smoke a lot; Yes, I drink lots of alcohol. And then she took my blood pressure. Is it surprising that it was ‘higher than normal’ for a 77 year old? For a start, I did not want a blood pressure test, but thought that it might be ‘useful’. But I did not anticipate intrusive questions about my life-style. What could be worse for your blood pressure than intrusive and annoying questions? Weirdly, the Nurse said that there was no reason for 77 year-olds to have a higher blood pressure than youths. That might be true, for all I know.

But, as has been the case with smoking, the effects of a slight rise in blood pressure, which might seem huge on a given scale, might be insignificant in reality. Thus, medicines to reduce blood pressure might kill the patient.

I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW! Leave me alone. Do not put problems into my mind. I am ‘fit’ for my age, both physically and mentally. Leave me alone.

Smokers have no CHAMPION. Maybe such a person will emerge in due course. And it is so simple.

What have old people been dying from in the last several decades since tobacco advertising was banned? The vast majority die from the same illnesses – the failure of a major organ, such as the heart, or the lungs, or the kidneys, or the liver, or the brain, or the ……

The circumstance is known as FATE.

 

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8 Responses to “A Phone Call from my Doctor’s Surgery”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Well said as always Junican! 🙂

  2. Timothy Goodacre Says:

    Well you’ve certainly got all your marbles Junican. I think David Hockney is my smokers champion. He continually fearlessly defends the right of people to smoke.

  3. Vlad Says:

    How long till the doctor will send brown shirts to ‘help’ unrepentant smokers quit?
    Unbelievable.

  4. smokingscot Says:

    I too have high blood pressure. So some years back I did a little digging on the subject and discovered that high blood pressure is not the issue itself. It’s the trend that matters.

    The medical book I have access to explained that good doctors will check on your present reading versus the last one on record. And only if there is a significant change will they investigate further.

    So when I go to my GP and they insist on taking my BP (my visits are rare), then I always insist they check today’s reading against their records.

    I also state emphatically that I suffer terribly from the “white coat syndrome”, so ensuring they take several readings over a couple of minutes – and sure enough it always goes down. The reason is not the white coat thing, it’s because I get very peed-off at being asked to allow a reading, especially when – on my last visit – it was to get medication for a cyst on an eyelid!

    However Junican, on a lighter note, I just happened upon this article about the authorities in Belgium using robots as receptionists.

    http://time.com/4367870/pepper-robot-belgium-hospital-receptionist/

    I know it’s a June 2016 article, but still amusing IMO.

    • junican Says:

      Like you, I rarely go to the doctors. Over the years, I have consulted him for various minor matters, like going deaf in one ear (wax, apparently). On occasions, he has said, “I’ll just check your blood pressure”. “OK”, says I, without concern. He wraps the gummage around my upper arm and inflates it and looks at some ‘pressure gauge’ I suppose. Then he says, “That’s OK”.
      But my previous doctor, who owned the business retired suddenly because he was fed up with the flood of instructions, and sold the practice. Dr C bought the business. He is a lovely chap.
      OK.
      So, over the years, my GP checked my BP whenever I went to see him, and it was OK. He did not say what it was. He just mad a note and said little. Suddenly, around August 2015, as a result of an invitation to have a BP test, and ‘a chat’, my BP became elevated. But I remember very well being somewhat ‘enervated’ when talking to be practice nurse. As usual, ‘Do you smoke’ got me going a bit. We are polite. We do not say, “FUCK OFF YOU ARSEHOLE! LEAVE ME ALONE!”
      I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT! As far as I am concerned, I am fit enough for my age.

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