(Do not take this for gospel, consult your doctor)
It is zoom time. Instead of the meeting at the club with the girls (mainly widows), thanks to the ravages of Covid-19 it has brought super computer Joe into his element. For a change, he has been a patient teacher as the old guys farted around getting to learn the system. Otherwise, it seems like a hundred voices screaming press this, press that, don’t touch that. You ijiyot! Ducor! And this and that. Another thing, there is no kitty anymore in which everyone contributed their share of the cost of the beers and the profits (remaining change) was held on for the annual bash to someplace with a decent club or hotel.
These days each one is dedicated to his choice of drink, whatever that is. One or two have raised their eyebrows watching or two others slurping on a Single Malt or two or even a cognac or two. However, this has not taken anything away from the business at hand.
Romeo, the rat, who hadn’t been around for a long time, was welcomed with generous “welcome backs”. Abel, the cat, (because of his light eyes, like Filo Mazor’s) was the first to pipe in: “So. Induur, what was wrong. We heard you were ill, but you would not speak to anyone. We sent some spies, but they came back empty-handed.”
The rat: “What to tell you guys… the medical centre doctors told me I was low on testosterone and I had to see the specialist who told me I had to get an ultrasound of my genitalia and a huge list of pathology tests including a 24-hour collection of urine. This was because there were other elements related to the testosterone that were also in short supply in my bloodstream.
“I was a little nervous about the senior citizen who was doing the ultra-sound on my semi-nude self but she was a professional and did not bat an eyelid or twinge at all.
“What was more daunting was the pathology test over two hours in around the genitalia.
“The result is that I will have to apply a special (expensive) ointment in the genitalia and a course of tablets.”
Dr Google piped in: Decreases in testosterone can lead to physical changes including the following: increased body fat. decreased strength/mass of muscles. fragile bones. Testosterone is a sex hormone often associated with males, though females have small amounts. If a male has a low level of testosterone, the symptoms can include erectile dysfunction, and reduced bone mass and sex drive.
“What causes low testosterone?
· Injury (trauma, interrupted blood supply to the testes) or infection of the testes (orchitis)
· Chemotherapy for cancer.
· Metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis (too much iron in the body)
· Dysfunction or tumors of the pituitary gland.
“If left untreated, low testosterone can contribute to low bone density or heart disease risk. But it doesn't have to — low testosterone is relatively easy to treat. The goal of your treatment plan will be to get your testosterone levels back into the normal range.”
The rat suggested that in his case it was probably a case of infected testes. Why or how or what will remain a mystery.
Is he feeling any better? “I am a little reassured but it is too early to tell. I started the treatment last week.”
The Pied Piper rolled his eyes, shook his head, and asked: “So, how did you know there was something wrong? Did you stop having sex?”
“With whom should I have been having sex? I have not had any since El left us 17 years ago. Nothing comes up and, when it does in my sleep, nothing squirts out. Besides there has been considerable shrinkage, which I am told is normal for most Wazee.”
(It's normal to have a lower sex drive and fewer spontaneous erections as you age. But little or no libido can be a sign that you have low testosterone. Research suggests that almost 40% of men ages 45 and older seen in a doctor’s office may have low testosterone.
Because the symptoms of low testosterone can be vague and because men don't always mention their symptoms to their doctors, the actual number of men with low testosterone levels may be higher.)
The Tight-Fist who is blessed or cursed with a steel wrist was soon up and hopping about: “I am not going to allow any shrinkage. I such see qualitative medical advice next week.”
Well, there were not too many jokes that day. Everyone was thinking about their own personal issues … just for awhile and it was not long before the Golfer was up to his merry-tunes jokes.
A final line on the subject, the Rat explained: “Many years ago, I had made a beeline for Jasmine (everyone in the group knew Jas and in their bachelor days ogled her or even yearned for her but the Presley kid had sole occupancy of that heart) long after we both lost our partners. I did not understand at the time what she meant when she told me “I have nothing to give”. I understand now but would have understood better (maybe) if she had explained the symptom.”
Jimmy the crab, who is something of a considerate member of the group, is also something of an unintentional eves-dropper. He has the knack of being able to listen to two more conversations within earshot. He explained: “ I was at the Medical Centre the other day and I met a lady who I see regularly at Church. She had three other friends and she introduced me to them. It was not long before we all found ourselves discussing our health problems. The common thread was: Degenerative discs in the neck, upper beck, lowe back; aches in the shoulders, elbows, into the hips and some parts of the lower legs. All were being propped up with weekly or fortnightly physio and heat treatments. The most painful times of the year were the winter months. “No use in complaining,” one of the ladies said, “We should get up and do our best.” For this group, at least, there are tough times ahead.
Dr Google: As you age, the ligaments and tendons that hold your joints together become “stiff and leathery,” says Siegrist. At the same time, osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage in a joint to wear away. Both processes can lead to aching, soreness, and pain. The best way to feel younger, she says, is to condition your body in ways so that if you need to run to catch a plane or shovel the snow in your driveway, your body “doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the challenge.”
Anyway, let’s change the subject and talking about cooking ….