Shhh. You're giving me ear ache.

Luckily for me, it's not very often that I have to go to the doctors. Now I've said that I'm certain to have to spend all of Christmas and New Year laid up in a hospital bed for some (as yet) unknown reason, but for the most part, visits to my GP are few and far between.

For the youthful and spritely among you, here's a warning. You get to a certain age. You live to a point in time...  It's an indescrimate point, but you may well be lucky enough to reach it. You'll know when it is because suddenly you feel like you've started to fall apart.  Things start to get a bit harder to do. Recovery starts to take a bit longer.  It's not much fun.

I'm glad to say, I'm not there yet, but I know I'm not far off it. And so it is, that you have to start taking proper care of yourself.  Gone are the days of dancing all night, sleeping for an hour, working all day and dancing all night again. You just can't do it.  Some of us couldn't dance in the first place, but that's another story.

My most recent adventure that has led to me visiting my local doctor was our holiday abroad. I've been lucky enough to spend countless hours on aeroplanes in the past without so much as a sniffle, but this time on our return flight and as we descended into the frozen wastelands of Manchester, some invisible demon decided to stab me in the ear.  I've had the old "suck a boiled sweet to help your ears pop" treatment on plenty of occasions, so I put it down to just a particularly harsh equalising of pressure and tried to think no more of it.

I stayed slightly "deaf" in my right ear for a couple of days, and then it eased and disappeared.  Only to reappear two days later and now to be a near constant source of irritation. So this morning I traipsed off to see my local GP and wonder at the buffoonery of modern doctors practices.

It's always bothered me that they are "paractices" after all, you think they'd know enough to be able to do it for real before becoming a doctor, but that's the english language for you. As I'm sat waiting for my scheduled appointment (which by the way can never be on the day you ring up for an appointment, it always has to be a minimum of 24 hours later - why is that!?). Anyway, as I'm sat waiting, it becomes aparent that one of the doctors hasn't arrived for work today, and in fact has called in sick (I wonder who carried out the diagnosis?) and so the receptionist is busily trying to send people home and making quite a loud noise about it in the process.

Another thing about GP's surgery's is why do the receptionist's employed always have to be "busybodies"? or at least that's how it seems.  They need to know everyone's most personal business (which I always understood was a private matter between the patient and doctor) and they seem to be in a permanent state of agression.  Perhaps that's just my perception or possibly just my local surgery...  who knows.

Where was I?... Oh yes, so plenty of noise going on in the waiting room.  It transpires that the system for calling the next patient is a small tinny sounding speaker in the corner of the room.  This is fine if your hearing is perfect working order. Not so useful if you're being a "bit deaf".  Needless to say, I waited and I waited and I waited.

In the end, a doctor actually walked into the room and asked for me by name in a loud voice.

Ever so slightly embarrassing.

Upshot of the visit?  It'll get better in a day or two. The pressure will re-equalise eventually.

On a related note, I've decided that when I reach my Nan's age (she's 90+) I'll follow in her footsteps and join the "None so deaf as them that don't want to hear" gang. Fun times for the OAP's.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous