Monday July 4, 2005
I’m not sure if it was the ‘Warning! Vehicle reversing!’ audio alarm or the flashing lights that drew my attention to the front window as I was stowing laundry into the airing cupboard. Whatever, there was an ambulance with its paramedic crew drawing up to take my neighbour off to hospital again. I’d thought he was neglecting himself, and told him so, gently, but he’s a fiercely independent bloke and, instead of calling for help when he started feeling poorly, he waited until he collapsed again. I don’t know if it was another stroke but by golly he looked unwell when he was wheeled out. And the paramedics worked on him for some time when they got him into the van and before driving off, so I fear the worst.
What’s to do? If a chap turns his face against all advice, professional and amateur, and holds offers of help away at arm’s length, he surely has the right to do so. All we can do, all I can do, is to try and learn by it.
I’m told that my present risk level of a stroke is pretty low. I take my daily aspirin dutifully, along with my anti-cholesterol tablet, and I generally stick to a sensible diet, lowish in fat, practical devoid of refined sugar, and high in vegetables and fruit. My blood pressure, thus far, runs quite low. Nonetheless my slowly but steadily increasing reserves of body fat indicate that I’m not doing enough.
So, I need to think about it, and act to modify my lifestyle accordingly. I shall increase the interval between fish’n’chip lunches from one month to two, and cut down even further on the red meat. You need to look at output as well as input of course, so I’m seriously thinking of taking two medicine walks a day instead of just the one.
Hey ho. Intimations of mortality.
I passed the story on to Graham when he called this evening, and recounted my thoughts and conclusions on it.
“That’s silly,” he said. “You mustn’t panic yourself into over-reaction.”
“I thought I was being pretty well restrained on it,” I said, slightly miffed.
“You? Restrained? Do me a favour!”
I laughed heartily. Well, you do have to laugh, don’t you? And they tell us that laugher is the best medicine.