A Trip to the Doctor!

Posted on October 30, 2014

I went for a general health check with a nurse today and was surprised to discover at reception that it was my first doctor’s appointment since 2009.

Upon hearing this news, I was overwhelmed with irrational and paranoid hypochondria, convincing myself that I was just about to be sentenced to death.

However, the news was good, in fact very good, as I am four pounds lighter than I was in 2009 and I have blood pressure (150/70) that is at all-time adult low (it was 190 over 80 in my thirties).

Even the finger up the anus was more pleasant than expected, in fact so pleasant, I have booked in myself next week for a second opinion.

This spectacular news makes me almost feel like my body is reversing. Could it be if I leave it another 5 years I will return with a full head of hair, hangovers that last two hours rather than two days and the ability to bend down without making caveman noises?

The answer to that question is a resounding no, because despite these positive signs, there has also been physical deterioration, including eyesight that requires a magnifying glass to read a book, newspaper, or cooking instructions, and kneecaps that sometimes feel as fragile as digestive biscuits.

I have gained some hair, but it has long since given up on my head and has, in its wisdom, turned to my eyebrows, ears and nostrils, a problem that was given a temporary cure when I gave permission to a barber in Turkey to set my head alight with a Bunsen burner.

The weight loss is probably a combination of additional stress in my personal life and the fact that I spent the summer playing cricket every Saturday and Sunday from May until the middle of September. Cricket is not the most strenuous of games but, played at my level, it does sap up a lot of nervous energy, especially when I am batting, resembling the combination of a new born baby foal on an iced lake and a cat prancing around on a hot tin roof.

Only a fellow cricketer will understand the pressure and stress that  trying not to get out for a first ball duck can create. Attempting to overcome your demons as you stand at the batting crease is a diet plan that Weight Watchers or Slimming World could never compete with.

Some people find it hard to understand how clinical depression is common in cricketers, I don’t. Overcoming fear and trying to improve week on week is addictive and destructive in equal measure. If you are looking to shed the pounds, join your local cricket club next summer, it beats living off one of these spinach and water diets and ending up looking like HIV sufferer entering their final weeks on the planet.


Cricket: Better than any diet

The blood pressure drop is a far more interesting one though and when the nurse put the device on my arm, I was fully expecting her face to turn ashen as she scrambled for her phone to speed dial the emergency services. I was told in my 30’s that I really needed to keep an eye on my blood pressure as it killed my mother and was quite an issue on her side of the family. Some relatively high readings suggested I had inherited this condition and I must admit I have been terrible at monitoring it.

I’m not going to get all self-indulgent, but it is reasonable to say that I have had a testing year, and as the summer wore on I was concerned about my what my blood pressure was doing, because I was hiding behind the stress of moving house and relationship changes by boozing and smoking more than I had done for some time.

So, even though the weight loss was understandable, the blood pressure drop was a really welcome and quite staggering surprise.

Maybe the stress of batting at cricket is a great way to let out all the nervous energy that is built up…could it be that cricket is not only good for weight loss but blood pressure as well? That is something I will never know as since the end of summer I have not smoked at all and I have not been drinking that much either. It maybe that in June my blood pressure was 250/150 and at bursting point but I wouldn’t have known, as it is often a silent killer.

If you are suffering from ‘fight or flight’ stress at the cricket crease, does that help alleviate blood pressure?

I think I could be on to something here…a miracle cure that will earn me world wide praise before I face an untimely execution at the hands of one of the Pharmaceutical giants.

*That was an advert on behalf of  Oakley Cricket Club please click on the link and join our club to to save your life.



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