Stuff

‘ands, Knees And Bumps-a-Daisy

Regular readers will know that the only fly in my otherwise idyllic ointment of life is . . . decrepitude! Bits, usually with bones attached, keep wearing out, seizing up or generally failing to be fit for purpose. I last moaned about it a few months ago – if you can be bothered here’s a link.

Anyway, having got my right knee sorted after months of treatment J and I were looking forward to traipsing hand in hand through the flowers of many a mountain meadow.

the dream

. . was short-lived! Within days the Happy Wanderer was feeling like an instant train wreck.

A period of self-doctoring à la must-be-the-same-as-the-other-knee proved to be time well wasted! So, it was bite the bullet and let the real doctors do their job. Various scans showed that the joint was a right mess and an operation to clean out, scour, polish and generally tidy up the site was advised. Apart from the fact that the national holiday got in the way it was, as is usual here in Turkey, a next day job!

Following the whole procedure on a tv monitor is part of the fun – like taking a virtual boat trip through some weird, underground labyrinth full of stalagmites and stalactites. All it needed to complete the illusion was coloured lights!

So, where are we now? Pain has gone and I sleep at nights which means I’m not as much of a grumpy old bastard as I used to be. We are back up at the cabin, I’m mobile after a fashion and it’s only a matter of time before those mountain meadows will once again be in range. I’m happy and it only leaves me to thank the skill of the medical staff and the efficiency of the health service here in Turkey.

Alan – life, ain’t it great!

'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Oh, Bugger!

I really hate this getting older stuff, I really do! Well, not actually getting older, that’s alright. It’s the decrepitude. It’s the chickens of misspent youth, the years of abuse in the gym and playing at being a parachute soldier coming home to roost that are the pits.

you’d never guess we were categorised as fast moving light infantry

Carrying loads like this is what started the rot. Followed by years of macho denial as tears and sprains in the gym took their toll on knees and back. (I’m only showing this to remind myself that I was once a fine young specimen)

‘You’re stubborn and stupid,’ J used to say (and still does) ‘and I have no sympathy for you! You never know when to stop!’ Which is only her opinion and not exactly true. Anyway, J is from Yorkshire and everyone from Yorkshire is opinionated. I mean, look at Geoffrey Boycott for one. I don’t know why there hasn’t long ago been an independence campaign so that England can detach itself from that lot. At least then we wouldn’t have had to put up with his boring cricket commentaries and his even more boring batting!

Watching Boycott ‘chase’ runs was on a par with watching paint dry!

But enough of all that, I need to get back on topic. Where was I? Oh, yes! Decrepitude!

One knee in particular has been pretty troublesome for a long time. It has a history of falling apart, being operated on, generally fiddled about with and dishing out some eye-wateringly painful reminders of its existence in my life. About a year ago it also decided that a bit of gout would look good on its résumé. My excellent bone  surgeon sorted it out with medication and all seemed well. Then about couple of months ago it started to make a comeback and so I started back on the medication. It had no effect. Zilch! It was back to the bone doctor.

What he soon discovered was that along with the gouty crystals there were deposits as a side effect of one of the heart medications that decrepitude requires I consume on a daily basis. So, that prescription has been changed and there are even more pills and creams to add to the cocktail and for three weeks there will be ‘WD40‘ injections into the knee.

Oh, bugger! would seem a pretty appropriate response to all this except for one thing. In the space of just a few days the pain has been relieved and last night I got the first decent night’s sleep in quite some time. Living here in Turkey means instant treatment and being contributors to the social insurance scheme the bulk of the costs are defrayed by the state health-care system. Beats the hell out of the UK and most any place else in the world if your chickens are coming home to roost and crapping all over the place!

Roll on Spring, and let me get at that patch of stony ground up there in the mountains!

Alan Fenn, grinning like a Cheshire Cat here in Turkey.