“We don’t care how you feel, silly, you look great!”
I don’t know what I said to that, but whatever it was Diba laughed and stepped into the kitchen. She cannot be called a step-grandmother, or anything involving “grandmother”, but she is Diba and she is my grandad’s second wife. She is from Guiana and I have always been jealous of her sense of style.
I did in fact know that I looked all right, but the discomfort from the four new holes in the back of my mouth made how I felt an important matter as well.
I settled back into the couch and the conversation with my grandad, mother, and uncle trundled back to something-or-other. Diba coming and going always resets things. We touched on how the school system is failing children with special needs, and how a certain aunt of mine (on the other side of the family) seems inclined to keep up her designer purse and jewelry expenditures, and perhaps a vacation for the family to Europe next summer, while bemoaning my cousin’s $9000 in tuition and refusing to send him to residence.
Unless she has been throwing out old acquisitions at a faster rate than I anticipate, her collection of purses must be monumental.
All this time my grandad is not really talking, and this is the concern. Zero participation. He’s not that old, and maybe he was always forgetful, but the doctors he has seen say there is nothing wrong except his letting himself go.
Go, off somewhere where he responds “Well, I don’t make plans for the day, you know”, and where I hope he is enjoying leisure and books. But this isn’t really the case and it is hard to make a decline sound idyllic.
In my newly-begun healthcare economics course the professor said that the “health stock” of a person is modeled with a peak at 25, then perhaps a plateau, and a decline thereafter. I may feel horrible in the wake of forcibly losing four wisdom teeth, and the unfortunate complications thereafter, but my “warranty is still in effect”, as he put it. He is a funny lecturer, and I will be a bit regretful to drop the course.
Limited warranties on bits of tendon and muscle and bone, a healthcare system (Canada) that spends too much on too little, and an ageing population. No one close to me has ever died. A great aunt, who I met only once, made little impression though I did feel bad. The worst was when my boyfriend’s dog had to be put down (purebred golden retriever) and I couldn’t stop crying.
But people I know will die, and our hospitals and drug plans aren’t all they should be, and soon I won’t easily be able to bounce back from a week like the one I had.
What do you think, in this time when we are learning so much about the human body? Are there things you wish your society was doing to make the decline in one’s health stock a little less jarring?