things I usually resent paying for. I mean, you should be healthy shouldn't you? We think of it as our right to be healthy.
It doesn't matter that we don't exercise and eat the wrong things and some people smoke, take other drugs, or over-indulge in alcohol. We still expect to be healthy.
We aren't of course. The complexity of the human body and the way it all fits together will probably amaze me for as long as I am capable of thinking about it.
My good friend R, a retired doctor, still enthuses about the way the body works. She is almost 80. It is sixty years since she began her training and she still thinks the human body is amazing and fascinating and....well, you get the idea.
I feel the same way. My medical knowledge is minimal compared with R's or that of my doctor nephew. I probably know more than many people. I have had to learn over the years. One of the most important things I have managed to learn is that there is a lot more to learn.
I like to have doctors talk "with" rather than "to" me. My GP is good like that. She can change her language in order to suit the patient she is speaking to. I have been in to see her with the Senior Cat. She tells him things in good, plain English but without talking down to him. She tells me things in a similar way but it will be laced with medical terms and shorthand she knows I will understand.
The Senior Cat and I both have private health insurance. At his age he needs it. I suppose it is a privileged thing. It also means he had the pacemaker put in almost immediately instead of waiting some weeks. But that might also be a good thing. It means he is less likely to fall in the bathroom and crack his head open again. So, we pay the large sum of money it costs each year.
It also means that the doctor talks to me. I have the legal authority to make medical decisions on the Senior Cat's behalf and he likes me to be involved. (Middle Cat has the same authority.) It means he trusts me. The doctor spoke to me about the pacemaker. He ran quickly through the procedure and the potential dangers. It was all familiar to me and, in a way, reassuring that he was - although obviously rushed - prepared to make sure that I understood. It was important because, at that point, the Senior Cat was still confused and not really taking things in. They were also going to give a light anaesthetic to someone who had sustained a head injury just hours before.
My nephew took me up to the hospital yesterday morning. The Senior Cat was sitting out of bed looking pretty perky for someone who had been through all he had been through. (His colour is not good but that did not surprise me.) The staff were pleased with him and very kind.
And, because of his private health insurance, he was in the CCU (coronary care unit) in the private wing. He had his own room - a good thing when he is such a restless sleeper. It didn't matter that we were there to deliver such essentials as his pyjamas and his glasses outside visiting hours. It was fine for us to go in briefly and reassure ourselves instead of having to hand over his personal belongings to an overworked nurse and not see him at all.
Next time my private health insurance needs to be paid I hope I can remember all this.