I used to follow a blog called As Time Goes By. Written by the late Ronni Bennett it dealt with every aspect of growing old from health to finance to discrimination. She held nothing back if she thought it would help others. Sadly, she died almost two years ago, from pancreatic cancer, having lived long past her predicted lifespan. I thought about her when I recently had occasion to visit the doctor. While we talked he was scanning through my records and suddenly said “You are actually quite healthy aren’t you?” I was about to recite the long list of meds I take, when I realised he was right.
It isn’t that I don’t have ailments. Not many get to 75 without something going wrong. It is that those ailments are under control. Which gets me to the title of the post. They are under control because I admitted to them early on and got treatment. I didn’t push them out of mind and pretend they weren’t there. I didn’t suffer in silence because I was too embarrassed to talk about them.
So – irregular heartbeat – I spotted the symptom, didn’t wait and got treatment.
Piles – ditto. Blood in your stools may be piles, but it is also a possible sign of bowel cancer. Even if it is ‘just’ piles, long term bleeding can cause anaemia. You need to know the difference. Don’t wait. If the doctor suggests a colonoscopy – do it. If you are offered screening for bowel cancer – take it up.
Prostate issues – many older men have problems with enlarged prostates which can affect urination. Again though get it checked. A rectal examination may be uncomfortable, but prostate cancer is a lot worse.