Saturday, 8 November 2014

What are the odds?



Amidst all the frustration of my leg wound healing, oh so slowly, I have had a free health check with my gp’s nurse.

Prior to getting the results, and considering the mountains and lakes of cheese, red wine and cakey sweetie confections I consume Imagination tortured me convincing that at least diabetes would be diagnosed, along with cholesterol off the top of the graph, and perhaps something else Imagination had failed to anticipate. 

In the past, Imagination was so good at creating the “what if…” scenario I was invariably second on the rope as a rock climber and rarely the leader.

Everything was fine, so nurse said? I don’t understand these things and work on the principle that the less I know the better. Amongst stuff about blood sugars, and a resting heart rate of 54 I was told there is good and bad cholesterol and my good outweighs the bad.

Nurse put all the stats into some sophisticated number crunching software, even asking me to confirm that my country of birth was the UK, which seemed to be the largest influencing factor.

I was told the national average chance of having a “cardio vascular event”for a 74 year old, within the next ten years was 26%, and mine came out at 23% .

With my ignorance of things scientific I am now not sure whether to laugh or cry.

5 comments:

Roderick Robinson said...

Not so much country of birth, but region of birth. Living according to West Riding norms, we should both be dead by now.

"the less I know the better". Everyone has the ability to be ignorant, it is the line of least resistance. To maintain this posture why not - when next assailed by wind on Helvellyn - close your eyes, reducing the amount of information reaching your brain, and thereby increasing the level of ignorance which you find so comforting. Triggering ignorant responses in other ignoramuses: he'd have wanted to go that way.

A couple of months ago the locum working at our medical centre prescribed me an analgesic gel for an arthritic hip. He did so from a list of medications on his computer screen. Alas his mouse-positioning was at fault and it selected the next medication down. Ironically it was a cream to ease solar keritonitis a malady which I also suffer from and I was able - an hour or two later - to point out the error. A little learning can be a dangerous thing in medical matters. But how about no learning?

Sir Hugh said...

RR - I was only referring to medical matters, and it is a constant battle to ingest knowledge, AND REMEMBER IT in other spheres. The medical context arises from fear.

gimmer said...

that all sounds very god
only 54 HR at rest - testimony to the many long walks and steep hills
less than average chance of a cv event in the next ten years - one has to reinterpret that to say you have about a 1 in 95 chance in the next year, rising slightly over the next ten - nothing to worry about, so I reckon laughter (as well as being the best medicine) is the order of the day -
keep on with the red wine, well ripened hard cheese and good long steady walks as soon as you can - meden agen, of course

AlanR said...

Sounds like a nice bottle of red to celebrate.

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - Yesterday I walked over and round Arnside Knott at a brisk pace- a bit less than an hour. Things seem to be improving.

Alan R. - that has been part of my recovery strategy all along.