Promises, promises

Friday September 15, 2006

I hadn’t expected today to be a high power day so when after my morning writing session, and breakfast, my eyes drooped and my body urged me bed-wards I didn’t resist. Pensioner’s rights, that is, to sleep when the body urges and there’s no good reason to fight it.

I woke slow and easy shortly after noon and pottled around happily doing the chores I’d left undone, finishing in good time to take Graham’s post-lunch call. He’d taken lunch with his mother, who is half-way through her two week autumn break at the holiday camp. She’s been a loyal and happy camper for a lot of years but I have a suspicion that she’s finding the journey from South Wales and the two-week stay on her own rather more than she wants to tackle, so this may be her last time there. I’ll make special efforts to go over early enough on Sunday evening for a chat before bringing Graham home for his half-week visit.

My afternoon task was to go over to the surgery and sign up with the doctors there. It’s a pleasant place, clean and well-ordered so I’m hopeful I’ll be happy there. The real joy of the operation was when I enquired about the adjacent and associated dental surgery.

“Do they take NHS [National Health Service] patients?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” the bright young doctor’s receptionist said. “No problem.”

So, quick as quick, I walked from one reception to the other and signed up there, too. I have secured proper NHS dental treatment at last! That’s a big relief. Now I can look forward to getting rid of the stump of the broken tooth and also a couple of other troublesome upper molars.

There’s been a change of heart in British dentistry recently, acknowledging that there comes a time when the effort to patch and mend failing teeth in older patients is misguided. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to persuade them to prescribe and fit a decent upper denture plate, and so recover both my smile and my chewing ability. If you’re lucky you can go into old age and on to your grave with a full set of your own teeth. I’ve not been that fortunate, despite spending a small fortune in dental treatment and observing a programme of dedicated brushing and flossing over the years.

The males in my family line are not blessed with strong teeth; my father lost all of his by the age of twenty-five and, by my memory, that was typical of the whole family so I reckon I’ve done pretty well.

NHS dental treatment is not free. It is however considerably cheaper than private, and will make far less of a dint in my savings.

The evening was slow. I enjoyed my dinner, along with a glass of wine, but my eyes drooped again shortly afterwards so I took myself off to bed very early.

“I’ll be better company tomorrow, Dolly,” I said.


“Yeah. I know. Promises, promises.”





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