13 January 2011

Ageing

Up to the age of fifty five, I thought I had discovered the secret of eternal youth. I was Peter Pan and I scorned medical attention. I ate what I wanted, drank as much as I wanted, stayed up till the early hours and tackled most practical household jobs with the gusto of an eighteen year old. My body was not a temple, it was a workhorse and it did what I told it to do. Commensurately, my memory was sharp and blunders were rare.

As a secondary school teacher and head of department, I had the best work attendance record in the school - not that this won any praise or reward - but I was quietly pleased that while others weakened, I was invulnerable. I'd often say, "Are you feeling a bit better?" when members of my team returned from yet another ill-health absence, but inside my head I was sometimes murmuring, "You weakling! Couldn't you have battled through it this time?" The very idea of a "sickie" was anathema to me.

So we arrive at now. This morning my doctor phones me about medication following a recent urine test. I make yet another appointment at the dentist's to get my bloody front tooth crown sorted. I put the spoilt cheque in the Sheffield "Parking Services" envelope and not the correct cheque I have left on the table. At the post office, I sit in the little photo booth for I.D. pictures and the quadruple-headed monster who emerges from the little slot on the side isn't really me, it's a more than middle-aged, battleworn retired geezer with heavy jowls and ever so slightly bloodshot eyes.

Last week, attempting to unlock the car whilst parked outside a supermarket, I padded all my pockets feeling a surge of panic - not in my pockets but in my head! Where had I put the keys down? At the checkout? Then, it dawned on me, the car keys were dangling from my mouth where I'd popped them as I dealt with the shopping bags. What an idiot! I laughed openly at myself which is also an odd thing to do.

And my last post - "Gorillagram". I discovered that I'd already covered that story back in 2007 though to be kind to myself - at least a nagging voice in the back of my head told me to check back and in any case nobody can remember everything.

As a teacher, I prided myself on quickly getting to know all of my students' names - usually around a hundred and eighty each academic year. However, in the last couple of year's of my illustrious career, that ability to recall their names in an instant was disappearing. I often had to scan my seating plans. Lord knows how I will get on with Thai names. Mind you the immigration officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok are probably instructed to deny entry to mental defectives who chew on keys and then forget where they are!

13 comments:

  1. Ah, YP, I wish I didn't know what the hell you were talking about.

    Unfortunately, I know exactly what you are talking about......all the way down to looking for my glasses that are on top of my head or in my hand!

    Welcome to the middle ages.

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  2. pud
    welcome to my world!
    come on in..we'll chat a while
    I will probably forget what I have just discussed with you....

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  3. MOUNTAIN THYME, JOHN GRAY Why are you commenting on this blogpost? I have never heard of either of you! I would remove you if only I could remember where the delete button is.... Nurse! Nurse! Is it time for my medication?

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  4. Not being able to read the instructions on food packaging was my wake up call. That and forgetting Mrs P's first name which almost proved fatal.

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  5. Memory loss is so much fun! You get to meet a lot of new friends and hear a lot of new jokes!

    As Mrs. RWP often says, "Old age ain't for sissies!" For a look-see at me and the missus, just pop on over to my blog, if you can remember where my blog is.

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  6. Not much hope for me then, I'm terrible already, a while before I get to retire :-(

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  7. Commiserations, YP. Sadly, it comes to us all. :)

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  8. ps
    =
    pud
    another aging problem
    I have bigger boobs than your cartoon nurse!!!

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  9. Names like Mang-Por, Oreo, Joonpe and Bogie you'll never forget...

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  10. I still share your attitude about health issues. Even with major problems, my attendance is better than anyone else at work, and always has been. Sometimes I think my present problems are a result of my lifelong self-righteous attitude about people who get sick all the time and take sick leave for such minor things.

    I had the same key thing just this week! I've been carrying everything around in my mouth because I'm on crutches. I lurched back and forth twice across the house looking in the common places where keys go to hide, with no success. Finally I decided to just turn my purse upside down on the counter and go through the stuff one more time. I took the annoying that was hanging out of my mouth to set it on the counter while I was searching, and it was my keys.

    The thing that makes this all work is your brain will work better when it has to. The new challenges in Thailand, will give it reason to start working again. If not, another nice thing is the older you get the less you'll really care.

    You really do need to get out there and do as much as you can while you still can. Besides, I'm dying to read about it all.

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  11. Ah, Mr Pudding, I suspect that you with slightly decreased mental faculties are still sharper than many of the Smarty-Pantses and Wise-Crackers mucking about.

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  12. Uhhh I forgot what I was going to say... ^_^

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  13. I rely on my memory too much, I know. It's always been good and I dread beginning to lose it! And I haven't missed a day's work through illness for years and years - - though I put that down to the fact that I enjoy it, so I'll get there generally even if a bit under the weather. But there may come a time when illness, and poor memory, affect me - - oh, I dread it.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.