I’ve just been banned from the local chemist’s. In my last post I mentioned “hypochondriac poker” and how I had an almost unbeatable full-house ‘backs with head’. My doctor sent me for a scan which proved I now have four aces, all in the spine so they have asked me to send the Old Feller to pick up my prescriptions as he doesn’t play. He’s packing diabetes and two heart attacks but that’s not a “go-for-it” hand around here. I’m allowed to go in just to make everyone laugh but only if I promise to refrain from betting.
It was all a bit pointless sending me for a scan, apart from me getting coffee outside our favourite café because my experience
with vet nursing told me all I needed to know given my age and symptoms. I’m an eight-year old Alsatian-sized bitch so dysplasia is a given. The pain getting worse made me suspect that I might be one of those new “designer cross-breeds”, in my case a Dalmager – see featured photo (Dalmatian/German Shepherd) because one of my late patients showed up in a dream to remind me about spondylitis. That is a condition to which Dalmatians are particularly prone and which renders them ideal pets for parents with young children. Not only are they fabulous with kids, they die early and introduce the youngsters to the idea that life as we know it is not forever.
Accompanied by my spotty spirit companion I crawled into the hospital and was shoved in the atomic tumble dryer where I (the washing) lie still and the machine revolves around me. All jolly and friendly because the staff at my local hospital are old pals of mine having seen me through so many ops and accidents. Clutching my new photo album Old Feller and I repaired to the Gringo Café where M. “Hello Mrs. No Sugar Please” was happy to see us. We perused my snaps, sucked our teeth and did a fair impression of garage mechanics examining a banger.
Next instalment, off to see my lovely motorbike-riding pal, my doctor. He knows better than to try and bluff me because as an old poker player I know my stuff. All up – my spine is bent two ways, the individual bones are wearing out, getting “parrot beaks” on the edges, catching on tendons and causing rather spectacular arthritis.
I grinned at Seb “Go on. Try to tell me it’s curable. “
He giggled. “Nope, nor is there an op.”
“Which brings us to, as I would have said to my clients at the vets – take this bitch away, stuff her full of prednisolone and when you decide she has no quality of life left, bring her back for us to help her out.” There was an embarrassed silence until I opened my mouth to give him an approximate time scale when he cut in
“Or take her back legs off and put her on a trolley” We both mimed rolling a wheelchair and fell about laughing. I think people in the waiting room must wonder what we are up to when I consult my GP.
I got the impression that Seb felt he should make some pretence at reassuring me by asking me to take things easy.
“No, not how I’ve rolled all my life, old darling. This is why I’m in this state now. All along if I was asked, I said yes. Suffered after but boy have I had one helluva life to live. So now I pay. I’m a pirate. We know how these things go. Now I have time to get my stuff in order, enjoy the rest of my quality time and…..” I left the phrase in mid-air.
I’m lucky. I know the score and can mark out the course to suit me. If the fences are too high, I’ll go around them. I’ll be the funny dog in the Crufts show that always does the opposite and brings the house down. Why change the habits of a piratical life-time?