Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Rude health

I've been a tad tired in recent weeks so, when I received a letter from the local doctors' surgery offering me a free NHS Health Check, I was pleased.

I've only had one proper MOT in my adult life - quite a thorough affair, I recall - after which the lady doctor signed a form to say that, on balance and in her view, I appeared to be alive. Good news, certainly.

Yesterday's letter advised me that my check was "to assess [my] risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes."  No mention of my liver, you'll notice.  Handy.  It added: "If there are any warning signs, then together we can do something about it."  Excellent, certainly up for that.      

The letter ended: "Take a look at the enclosed leaflet for more information about the NHS Health Check and how it could benefit you."

So I did, quickly noticing the word "dementia" appear twice on the front. OK.

I skim-read through the first three pages and found nothing that caused offence.

The back page was headed, "Questions you may have."  And it was the last one which raised my alarm: "Will everyone have this check?"

The answer: "This check is part of a national scheme to help prevent the onset of these health problems.  Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 who has not been diagnosed with the conditions mentioned will be invited for a check once every five years."

But! But! Oh bugger, I'm 41.

I'm absolutely gutted.  But I will go.  If I last that long.