Sharp Practise – (May 2001)

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I’m scared!

I used to be so young. Now I find myself humming along with the music on fitness videos and whistling the theme tunes from my kids’ computer games. I seem to have completely bypassed
MOR and drifted so far over that I’m almost able to sniff the scent of lilac bushes on the other side.

I suppose it’s usual for men of a certain age to worry. Women seem to be able to accept any number of below-the-belt indignities that smear, scrape and surgically correct the almost expected consequences of menopausal maturity. It’s probably something to do with childbearing – if you can handle that, you can handle anything, and besides, everyone from the age of five upwards knows that women are tougher than men, more bloodthirsty if you’ve ever seen them at a boxing match and, judging from the number of advertisements in women’s magazines, not just able but positively willing to endure and suffer any amount of unnecessary and often crippling cosmetic surgery in order to lose weight, gain shape and generally appear younger than they would naturally look considering the amount of smearing and scraping they’ve already undergone.
When a man starts getting up to go to the bathroom three times in the middle of the night, worried or not, it’s time to see the doctor. The first time I heard about my circumcision, I almost threw up. I remember when my father had his prostate operation and his friends visiting, telling him their own fears.

As far as I’m aware the electric chair is only still used in American states where they really know how to hate. This wasn’t the USA, but an English city with a caring community and their equivalent of the chair, the Peacemaster was a metal bed which moved gently but had a specially designed mattress which housed a built in catheter. My father had been condemned without trial, without defense and most worryingly of all, without choice.
‘We just need about half-an-hour to make your father more comfortable.’ Translation: ‘Your father’s going to die any time soon and we haven’t got the staff or the time to change his nappy during the night.’ Why is it that in medical establishments such as this, there’s always someone ready to attack your tenderest organs with sharp objects tantamount to rape. A couple of weeks earlier they had tried it at the local hospital when Percy – a helpless old man with dementia – was still strong enough to fight back and at that time, I registered the strongest objection to this practice, for several reasons, but the main one being that there was nothing whatsoever wrong with his waterworks. And now they had lied inexcusably for the worst of reasons and I can still see his final moments filled with pain instead of sweet surrender. I swear I’d do anything in my power to stop an assault like that happening to me. There are some people in this world with tendencies to pierce every organ apart from their thickest and Woody Allen’s second favourite – the brain. I don’t believe there can be many like the infamous and obviously mad and masochistic Prince Albert. The very thought of genital piercing fills me with a sickening fear that conjures up images of Mel Gibson’s face in Braveheart when he’s being drawn and quartered.

As for myself, I’m seeing the doctor next week. I’ve put it off twice already but when left to their own devices things usually don’t get better, but worse. As a keen amateur internet physician I more or less know what to expect. I can only hope for the best possible scenario, and the magic words, ‘keep on taking the tablets.’

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