ORGAN RECITAL: a listing of one’s ailments in response to a question of health


I’m going to break all kinds of precedence today.

It is not my pattern, in writing this blog, to copy someone else’s work.  I try very hard to give proper reference to materials, but I also try to use discretion in waiting an appropriate amount of time before employing a post idea.

Today, however, I am piggy-backing on something that was just published, a posting on one of my favorite blogs, Word Spy.  It is written by Paul McFedries, and features newly-created terms which are creeping into our American English vocabulary.   I read today’s post, which he, too, calls Organ Recital.  It is so timely that I debated, argued with myself about the appropriateness of it, and then decided to forge ahead.  I strongly suggest that you click on the link prompt above and read his posting before going any further.

I get together with a friend, Bob, every week or so for coffee.  He and I are about the same age.  Both of us are retired.  We even resemble each other.   We laugh about the fact that when we meet we always spend about half of our visit talking about our health.   Doctor’s appointments, treatments, medicines, therapies,  symptoms, and all the rest of the repertoire of health-related issues that become more and more prominent in peoples’ lives as they age.

This isn’t restricted to conversation with one friend.  All it takes is for someone to ask me, “How are you feeling?” and I’m off to the races.  I’ll fill you in on everything that has ached, pained, strained, or troubled me, all the while knowing full well that you were just asking a simple question which could have been answered in one or two words.    Before you know it I have shared tons of information, some of it TMI, and bored you to death, causing you to resolve to think carefully about your first question the next time you meet me.   “How about those Red Sox?” is a much better way to start our conversations these days.

I never saw all this coming.   Aging is something that creeps along at its own pace, usually under the radar of people like me who have a lot happening in their lives.  Then, “Bang!”, it hits.   One day you look in the mirror and the hair has turned grey, the paunch has become more prominent, the creases around the eyes are deeper, and you stoop just a little more than usual.   You have aged.

The primary symptom of aging can be measured by one’s appointment book.   When the most prominent features of one’s schedule is the number of doctor’s appointments, blood drawings, procedures, and medicine renewals, that person has aged.   And it is then that the “ORGAN RECITAL”  begins.  It is, as McFedries points out, a systematic summary of what is happening from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, organ by organ.  Maybe you just wanted a little ditty when you asked, but what you get is a full symphonic fantasy.

It was too good to be delayed.   I had to do it today.  Thank you, Paul, for your inspiration.  And, please, if you readers haven’t looked in on Word Spy, do so now.


Photo Credit:  Shutterstock

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