Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Vital Statistics.

Tuesday morning, 9am the phone rang.  I was upstairs getting dressed - don't judge me I am up before 7am and do a few jobs, the second I get dressed Defi dog starts barking to go on his walk, its easier to let any early morning delivery drivers think I am lazy! - so I am in the bathroom with the door shut, the husband is in bed after doing a night shift and I am silently praying my daughter can roust herself off the sofa where she landed as soon as she arrived back from the boyfriends about half an hour before.  I pause, one leg in my jeans, one hand on the door handle ready to yank it open and whisper loudly and with menace 'can you grab the phone...pleaassse!', when I hear her say 'Hello, no it's her daughter can I take a message?'.

I resume breathing and continue dressing.

Walking downstairs I can see in the mirror at the bottom the reflection of Defi through the glass door at the end of hall that separates the kitchen from the rest of the house, his tail is wagging so fast its blurred and he is bashing Iz about the head with one of his teddies.  He knows its nearly time to start barking, drive me nuts and hurry me out of the door before the husband wakes up.  Not that the husband will wake up he can sleep through the apocalypse, which he demonstrates regularly when the 'grown up' kids have a disagreement and raise the roof with their shouts and mild threats whilst the husband snores soundly through it all.  This still doesn't stop me trying to get Defi out of the house before I go deaf with him yelling at me to go faster.

I stop at the living room where the daughter is once again welded to the sofa watching some awful programme on tv with families shouting at each other and disagreeing over a wedding dress whilst the staff of the shop make peace.

'Who was on the phone, love?' I ask
'Doctors.' comes the response 'you have to ring back to make an appointment.'
'Me? Sure they didn't say Mr?'

Its not that I don't believe my daughter but she can be every bit the blonde bimbo when the situation is not about her, her shoes, her car or her studies.  I am not calling her selfish, she can be the most thoughtful person but only when it suits her mood.

'Definately you.' she says.

So off I go to ring the doctors before I go out with the still silent but that tail is now resembling a helicopter blade in that moment between on the ground and in flight, Defi dog.

After giving my name and address the receptionist confirms it was indeed me they want to see.
'Just for a routine check' she says 'you can refuse if you want but its something we offer for women of your age.'
'My age?' Its still only 9am-ish my knees are still working fine, no real aches and pains usually associated with the end of the day, I am feeling pretty good in myself and quite the moment.
'Yes' comes back the reply flat and emotionless 'we do this at 40, 45, 50, 55 etc, to check on your heart condition, diabetics that sort of thing.'

I am 45.  Was 45 last month.  Feel 25.  Am 45.  I fit the criteria.

'You can refuse.' she adds again.

I think for a moment, in the last 2 years both my parents have had heart attacks, even though I am mostly estranged from the family bad news has a way of reaching out and finding you, so I am quickly thinking its a good idea, at my age!

'Is that a polite way of telling me I am old?' I quip and finally get a response of a snigger from the otherwise bored sounding voice at the end of the line 'put me down for the old person tests.'

I can almost hear her smiling at her end,
'Ok, Friday at 2.20pm?'

I put the phone down and glance through the glass door at Defi who now is beside himself that bark is in his throat and its only the teddy in his mouth that is stopping the cacophony breaking free and raising the dead.

'Can you grab a pen and write down my appointment time with the doctors on Friday?' I ask my daughter 'I better get Defi out before he wakes your dad'
'Sure, what is it for?' the TV is on pause
'Vascular check apparently, now I am old' I tut in her direction waiting for her to compliment me on my youthful vigour.  I am still waiting.
'Will do.'

I take both Defi and Iz out for an hour or so down to the river revelling in my youthful gait as I stride confidently up gradients of at least 85 degrees; or the hill down at the river known locally amongst the dog walkers as 'Cardiac Hill'.  When I get home I notice that my daughter has indeed written down my doctors appointment time and has attached it to the fridge using a magnet.

In red ink it reads....

Mum, 2.20pm Friday 14th April, doctors, fanny check.


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