My dad has been learning to fly.
I know. I know. I’m biased. But he really is. Try googling him: Dr Simon Danson. But remember the “Dr” otherwise you’ll get pages about Jane Danson’s character, Leanne, on Coronation Street, son Simon. And he may very well be interesting, remarkable even. But he’s fictional. My dad is anything but fictional. Unique: yes. Fictional: no.
Some may suggest he already can fly. He flies from family to family; person to person; diagnosing, dealing with and fixing medical emergencies.
My dad doesn’t do learning like normal people.
He has seven degrees. (Dentistry, advanced dentistry, medicine, advanced medicine, surgery, advanced surgery and ethics; in case you’re interested). My dad does learning like normal people go to the shops. He’s been learning for about six months and has already passed two out of the ten exams. One exam he passed with 100%. One exam he was correcting the answer the instructor gave. He’s not normal. He’s superhuman.
Some of my friends’ children have autism. Some have austistic tendencies. My sister has a Masters in Autism (learning: it’s a Danson thing) and she tells me off for saying ‘they’re on the spectrum’. There’s no such thing apparently. But I’m a lay person. I know some children on the spectrum. At least two, probably three, of my children are on the spectrum (in my non-medical, lay person, too much knowledge, not enough education opinion). Is autism genetic? My dad is on the spectrum. I could be convinced that I am on the spectrum (if such a thing existed which it doesn’t of course ssssssshhhhh don’t tell Sara I mentioned it).
He likes routine. I like routine.
He can’t understand why everyone doesn’t think like him. I’m getting better at accepting different ways of thinking. Adapting a bit even, but it’s definitely a learned skill.
He doesn’t like noise and often disappears to his room. I don’t like noise. I often try to hide (and fail: I have two infant children who believe toilets are a public space).
We’re very very similar. We think the same. Him and me. Different to the rest of the world but totally in sync with each other. I *think* he enjoys talking to me and setting the world to rights. I’m pretty sure if we were in charge of the world a lot would be different, better of course, much better, but probably completely unrecognisable to everyone without a Danson gene.
He wants to fly, my dad.
So he did what any normal person wouldn’t do.
He referred himself for a medical.
A medical once failed is the end of any flying career.
A medical, knowing that he knows more about medicine than most doctors in the world, knowing the meaning of most of his symptoms.
He knows he has high blood pressure.
He knows he had about a hundred pulmonary embolisms a year ago from which he should already be dead.
He didn’t know his heart is ‘knackered’ (technical term).
Please don’t fly dad. Please stay here on earth with us. I couldn’t cope without you (even if he does insist on sewing up fingers on a sofa without anthestic). We couldn’t live without you (even if he does want to do vastecomies on the dining room table). The world wouldn’t be the same without you (even if his highest level of sympathy amounts to “poor you”)
He’s superhuman. He’s my superman. But please don’t fly just yet, dad.