Sometimes we need to be able to bend – not break
She was too neat. Too controlled. Too precise. She sat quietly, not moving any part of her body. Her feet crossed at the ankles, legs pulled at a 90˚ angle to her chair. Her home-knitted jersey was buttoned to the top. Her hair was white grey, cut into a neat, practical style. She wore no make-up. Her skin was flawless, with an albaster-like quality. She was of medium build with delicate hands and bony fingers. Her eyes were intense blue. She looked right through me with a fixed gaze. Every so often when I looked down to make a note; I would notice how a flicker of uncertainty would flash over her face, to return to complete control once our eyes met.
“I have been very worried about my osteoporosis. I get exercise every day, I eat all the good foods, I can’t believe I got this disease. My doctor has prescribed a drug to help with the absorption of calcium but my stomach is very sensitive and I can’t take it. I am on oestrogen replacement therapy to help with the bone loss, but my breasts are so tender and swollen, I don’t know if I can continue to use the drug. Also, my husband does not like me to be on hormones. He gets very worried about my health. Maybe you can help me to find another way. We are pensioners and live on a limited budget. Please bear that in mind!”
Her request was delivered in a tone of voice which can only be described as neutral. There was just about no emotion, which I found odd. Her gaze returned to her folded hands in her lap, waiting for me to respond.