Tim Davey: Turning 65 has given me food for thought
There comes a time in one's life when you begin to find yourself besieged with letters about your state of health.
Each one urges you to submit voluntarily to various tests and check-ups.
These are well meaning missives, of course but they do rather stop you in our tracks and give you something to think about.
I find it takes me a while to convince my inner self of their worth.
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Then, once I've done that and made the appointment, I begin to steadily develop varying degrees of apprehension about having accepted the invitation from whichever medical authority or research team who wrote to me.
This worry gets worse as the appointed day and hour draws near where, suddenly, you seem to develop niggling aches and pains which had not been there before you started out on this great medical adventure.
I have had a few of these "invites" of late, the most intriguing one, being a screening which would probe one's potential for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
As invitations go this was intriguing, mainly because I didn't have a clue what it was all about.
So I promptly forgot about the first "invitation".
But I have to give them credit for persistence and when the third letter suggesting this check-up arrived I caved-in, apologised for being so tardy in responding, and determined to stick to the appointment.
For those of a nervous disposition I won't bore you overmuch with the details, save to say it involved someone "ironing" my stomach with an ultra-sound scanner.
Try as they might they couldn't get it flat and it was all over pretty quickly.
Apparently, everything in my abdominal aortic aneuryism world was absolutely fine and hunky-dory, which was nice to know but walking out of the clinic I felt as though I'd been pummelled in the manner of a human punch bag.
Going to the doctor isn't much better. Before you know it they're siphoning off gallons of the red stuff to send off for checking to simply reassure you that the very basics of your existence are indeed still doing what they are supposed to do.
If all this seems a bit medically obsessive it's probably because I'm about to celebrate one of those significant anniversaries. The one with a six and a five in it.
But never fear. The Government had a trick up its sleeve to lift my spirits.
I came home from work the other day to find a letter from the taxman telling me I could claim child benefit.
With two grown-up daughters, I'm giving it some consideration.