Verity Lush is a 39-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.
She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements.
I’ve noticed that, as I get older, I tend to think more about health and fitness.
I’ve always exercised and, like many people, tried to maintain a decent weight, but now that I’m approaching 40 I think more about not only my health, but that of my children and husband, too.
Given that I’m the main unpaid chef and food-shopping slave (I’m not bitter, Mr Lush), I am also therefore the one who decides what will go into the stomachs of my family.
Given half a chance, all three of my sidekicks would subsist on nothing but processed packets.
Around a year ago, I decided that enough was enough as regards snacks in the house, and the sidekicks have been reduced solely to fruit, or yoghurts that have as little refined sugar in as I can scour down on the shelves.
They get treats, but the concept of not having treats in the building with us, 24/7, works better than my continually saying no.
The initial crescendo of moaning has been replaced instead by a general consensus that Mum is a miserable killjoy, and that’s just fine by me.
My husband is the kind of swine who eats whatever he likes, and gains no weight whatsoever.
However, as I like to remind him, he may be lithe and smug on the outside, but inside he’d be morbidly obese if it weren’t for me.
Luckily, I’m the one with the metaphorical padlocks on our fridge, and he is thwarted at every turn if he accompanies me on the food shop.
I recently had a cardiology appointment to check on my benign ectopic heartbeat.
When I visited QA, I had an echocardiogram and suspected that something was awry when the nurse asked me, for a second time, whether this was the first time I’d had a heart scan.
I affirmed that it was and, in a very British manner, kept schtum, whilst dwelling on what this might mean, and ignoring the indignity of having my boobs manhandled in the dark by a complete stranger with a probe in his hand.
Although, having had two children and a million smear tests, there’s little left to disconcert me.
When I was called through to see the consultant, I was told that my dodgy beats are indeed fine but that the scan had picked up an entirely unrelated issue.
It transpires that I have a bicuspid aortic valve.
Fortunately for me, it’s functioning just fine, it may never cause a problem, and if it does, it won’t be for many years – by which time, keyhole surgery will be the norm.
Subsequently, to be further on the safe side, I have started running again.
I used to run 30 miles a week but, following a hip injury, had to stop.
My girls and my husband come along with me, whenever possible, which makes it far more fun and models good habits for when they’re older.
Also, as a note of interest, my appointment at QA was at 7pm.
This flies in the face of the flack that doctors get, and the impression that the media can portray of our health service.
The appointment was quick and efficient and the staff, forgetting Probegate, extremely courteous.