Yesterday after taking his blood pressure a couple of times Dad announced that he didn’t feel well and was going to bed early. Mum went into an immediate panic which I found infectious. The last time Dad felt ill, my brother had to rush him to casualty when it was found that he was extremely pale and hardly registered a pulse. I reasoned that in event of an emergency we could just dial 999 or phone the neighbors as I had no idea how to find a hospital. (I had come over to the UK to look after my folks while my brother and his wife and family took a break.) I looked around and saw that my father had a pile of computer manuals on his desk and next to them detailed pages of notes in his tiny handwriting. This because he had managed to shut down his computer and had not been able to start it again. There had also been lots of banging noise in his bedroom that afternoon, as he struggled to mount the frame he had made for his blind. To reassure my mother I told her that I suspected that he was simply overtired and had strained his eyes. I went to check on him and found him sleeping peacefully. Sure enough later that evening he came downstairs and pronounced himself better as his pulse rate had resumed its normal level of 49 beats per minute. He takes his own blood pressure regularly and keeps a graph of the results. He has been especially cheerful today as he found an article in the local paper which featured a couple celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. This renews dad’s hopes of holding onto life as he and mum are only married 66 years. A new challenge to be embraced. PS – 4 years later when dad was again in hospital, doctors didn’t want him to go home with such a low pulse and had to be persuaded that this was quite normal for him.