Next I was whisked off to see the consultant. I asked him if Merice could come in with us to save me the bother of having to try and remember every exact word of our consultation to relay to her later. Mr Jones agreed and off we went into his room. Mr Jones was not Welsh which is neither here or there because he was very open and easy to talk to. He had probably come to the hospital straight after finishing his paper round - well that's how old he looked to me. Anyway he asked me about my bowels and waterworks. Moving on we then came to the technical side of the examination. This consisted of several exercises, the first being clicking my index finger and thumb together as quickly as possible and then touching my nose and his raised finger a good few times. After this he asked me a lot of questions about my general health, medication and memory....but I can't remember them!
Then I was finally given the diagnosis. I am suffering from a non life threatening condition called "Essential Tremors". Quite why it should be called 'essential' I have no idea. To my mind if something is 'essential' I might actually need it or even want it. Nevertheless it is quite common and one in four of us will get it as we grow old. More important however I suppose is the treatment. Number one option is beta blockers. Although I have no idea what beta blockers are he did kindly read out the possible side effects and they became an immediate no no especially when he told me his second option. It appears that a moderate intake of alcohol is excellent at suppressing the shakes (always thought it was the other way round!) and that many sufferers take a little medicinal drop or two before they are going out or mixing with a group of people.
So to sum up - the only concern I have is that I might end up merrily nodding away to all sorts of unfortunate circumstances. For instance Merice could decide we were going on a raw salad diet for a month and take my unfortunate nods as my assent to her proposal. She wouldn't take advantage of me like that would she? I will finish with a request. When we next meet please, please do not be intensely scrutinising me to see if I have got the shakes - I won't have because I'll be happily half cut....following doctor's orders of course!
The photo shows me finally meeting up with one of my idols - the great Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson.