Poor old Matty does not get it easy with her arthritis. It is only in her hands, mainly her thumbs, but she seems to suffer a lot from it. The only treatment her GP has ever offered her is painkilling medication but doesn’t seem to help much. She recently had an x-ray carried out and I have made her an appointment to discuss the results with her doctor and it’s not until the 16th November. I really want to tackle this with the doctor, make sure that everything that can be done is being done. With this aim in my mind I asked her not to confuse the issue by discussing any other ailment she might have during her consultation. This was over the phone and I got the impression that she was a little deflated at the prospect.
Well. Is there anything else you’d like to see him about?
Well, you know how I’m tortured with my eyes.
Can you not leave your eyes until another time?
They’re driving me mad with the itch and the water pouring out of them and I’m always rubbing at them.
But that’s why they’re annoying you because you’re always rubbing at them. I’ll see if I can get you something at the chemist.
I got something from the chemist before and I couldn’t see for half the day.
OK. We’ll talk about it later.
I went to see her at lunchtime with the utterly useless potion I got at the chemist. I found her engaged in cleaning out drawers whilst bent over at the waist in that very position that always brings on her angina pains. I made her stop it and told her to take some of her spray before an attack came on. Thwarted out of an angina episode she made the tea while I finished tidying her cupboards. Her new cleaner was coming at two and she wanted the place spick and span before she arrived.
We sat down to a cuppa and I started talking about what I hoped to achieve with the doctor. But all she was interested in was her itchy eyes and her itchy knee and her itchy fingers.
The doctor says it’s just dry skin.
Do you not use moisturizer a-tall?
Ach sure I was never used to moisturizer or anything like that.
But you’re in your eighties now! You used to have fairly oily skin. Now it’s dry. You need moisturizer!
The doctor gave me a big jar of stuff once. I forget what you call it.
Why don’t you get some more?
Sure I still have it.
Well why don’t you use it?
I’ve had it about three years.
Jesus! Don’t use it! Throw it out.
I decided to change the subject to take her mind off her itch. Perhaps my choice of subject was not ideal.
Pearlie is complaining of a very sore neck.
She said the other night that she wished she was dead.
I can understand that. All old people wish they were dead.
Do they? How awful. Even the jolly-natured ones?
Maybe not them so much. They just persevere and don’t let anything get them down.
So it’s just the miserable ones that wish they were dead?
I dare say.