Well, I phoned this morning (because I am resolute), and was a bit disconcerted to be offered an appointment at 3 post meridiem et hodie (3 o'clock this afternoon, darlings). I was already dressed in quite light clothes, but changed in the afternoon to less revealing knickers, just in case, and removed my cardi, for ounces count when you are likely to be weighed. I cycled in to the surgery, for it was bright and sunny, albeit cold. Ice still lingered where the sun hadn't shone (no need to check your arses, darlings, I don't mean there).
Anyway - and this is advice for anyone who ever needs to go to the doctor and knows what effect they wish to have - I gave the impression I wanted to. I like and respect my doctor, let's start with that. I also know him and have done for many years, as my children were at school with his, the better part of 30 years ago. He is a fine diagnostician and a fine doctor. He is straightforward and kind, but his bedside manner is a bit limited. He mostly respects you, if you are intelligent, if you take responsibility for yourself, though he is quick to support those who can't help themselves. He switches off a bit if he thinks you are being a wuss. That's fair enough, actually I'd love to be a wuss but none of my family supports that either (actually, my mum did but i didn't like being mummied so I spurned fussing, which is a bit of a bummer now, really) so I have to act strong and independent so that, when I flag, I get the encouragement I secretly crave all the time.
Anyoldhoo, this is the chap who suggested that I called in every few months to tell him how I was getting along, then was puzzled when i did. So it's been a year now. So I was sensible and practical. I explained that I'd been fine; markedly better in fact, during the summer but much worse once the weather turned cold and wet (it was wet most of the summer, it's the combination that counts) and that I didn't expect anything to be done about that, it was simply an observation (didn't actually say that conclusion, shrugs etc say a lot). However, my knee hurts a lot more and limits me somewhat. He asked if it's the same knee as the hip, and suggested it's referred pain. I agreed that I think that too, but that my concern is that my (sometimes heavy) limp might damage the knee or the other hip. I wondered if I might get advice somewhere about what I could do to prevent that.
Darlings, I said the right thing. He said he thought that was a splendid idea and that I can self-refer to the local cottage hospital's physiotherapist. He also said that when I might be referred to a consultant with a view to a new hip is my call. I explained that it's a bit difficult, not knowing whether I'm 2, 5 or 10+ years away from an operation. I explained that he wasn't helping in that respect. I respected his inability to help. Or was that inclination? Doesn't matter. I didn't use either word. "I quite see that I asked you an unfair question, but you haven't actually helped..." was pretty well what I said. He said that if I can wait until post-60, that will be good. But it was meant (I appreciate, as usual it was unspoken) to hint not advise.
He said that he thought my suggestion (physiotherapy) was a good one and we left each other happy. "You look very well" he said at the end, his glance (for I am adept at reading glances) meaning 'you've lost weight and are better for it". I assured him that I'm in excellent health. He didn't suggest weighing me. It wasn't mentioned. We're both very polite, very English and slightly to the upper end of middle class. What is unsaid doesn't need to be said, because we both know what we meant.
That is, he'll do what I ask, but I have to ask and I'll only do so when I have to because my quality of life is impaired to an extent that is not acceptable to me. Neither before nor stupidly beyond. In other words, mutual respect.
Fuck. And other sweary words. On the other hand, I wasn't weighed. which has to be good, yes?
Oh, and he asked me to move my leg about a bit to check my knee. That is, to raise it in a goose-steppingly sort of way, and then to try to kick my own bum. He said my knee is flexible. Which isn't unexpected, I'd have been disconcerted to have been told I've knee problems. Nonetheless, as a result of such exertions, it's been hurting all evening. Will you respect me less if I say 'fuck' again?
He also recommended a stick. Not a walking stick, but one of those poles, you know. Oh dear lord. What a tit I will look. I so motherfuckingly despair. In an awfully British and sensible and slightly upper-middle-class way, of course, as you know.