It’s kinda funny (fragment b)

I was talking at the staff induction today.

This was the dementia/delirium/end of life and falls-prevention training day that we provide our staff;

I was talking about frailty.

This is a modern concept which relates to the combination of advancing age in association with reduced resilience.

Resilience being that concept

Where a ball bounces or a rubber band stretches and returns to the original state

In other words…

recovers.

 

During this, I mentioned an 85-year-old man I met yesterday;

I’ll call him Graham, although that isn’t his name.

Graham is a former flight lieutenant.

He used to command Vulcan bombers;

 

 

Now, he is old and isolated and struggles to walk.

and

What is the thing that we all know about pilots?

You can’t be one unless you have perfect vision.

(aka, eat your carrots!)

I don’t know if this folk tale is true or not;

I remember when growing-up,  tales about my brother Lloyd, who never read at night to protect his eyes, as he wanted to be a pilot.

In the end, he became a doctor like me.

A different profession,

With less obsession with eyesight.

Even though today, in his 50’s he still doesn’t wear specs.

 

But, Graham, what was he up to?

As he sat

and I crouched down beside him,

Listening to his story &

Observing the flickering of his eyes.

 

What could this be? Which neurological phenomenon could account for the shimmer? In medicine, we sometimes call this nystagmus, perhaps a combination between the nictitating of Rilke and the iridescence of butterfly’s wings.

 

Graham

It transpired,

Despite his 85 or 6 years, was wearing contacts.

His 9 decades of life

Still affording him the dexterity to manipulate tiny slivers of plastic;

Wash them in solution and clear his eyes as he goes about his life.

An, old guy with contacts.

&

Lots of stories to tell.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2015

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