The annual check-up

Suppositories and cooling anal sprays

a salve to spread on painful bleeding graze 

Tablets, potions and who really knows

what ails me with that thing that slowly grows

.

This getting old oft has its benefits

but sometimes it can be the bloody pits

Some things grow whilst others swiftly shrink

I ask the doc what do you really think?

.

He’s often noncommittal and he says

What ails you I can only ever guess

His bedside manner is beyond the pale 

I only hope I live to tell the tale!

.

I say “It’s really good to be alive”

Same time next year he says – if you survive!

A first for me – The first of March 2021.

Is the patient breathing?

How very strange it is to dial 999 for the very first time ever, to be greeted with “Emergency, which service do you require?” and to be asked that question, followed by “Is the patient conscious?” when the patient is actually the one making the call and that patient is ME!


I then went through an obviously very well scripted and professional series of questions to ascertain, in the fastest possible time, just what the problem was,  what was required in the way of immediate assistance, and in the longer term.

I had to give my history of Hypertension since 2002, Angina since 2005, Angiograms in 2005 and 2012 and, meanwhile, I was reassured that an ambulance was on its way.


When I last spoke to my doctor she asked “How often do you have to use your GTN spray?” (an under the tongue spray, that I have carried since 2005, to alleviate angina pain by opening up the arteries)   I replied “Oh, I haven’t used it for years.  I carry it around all the time and replace it when the lid starts to fall off!”.

Silly me!  Not that I’m superstitious, but you do have to wonder.

I already had a telephone appointment booked with the doctor in a couple of weeks’ time, a follow up from my tummy troubles that haven’t really cleared since before Christmas.  For a few days I “presented with a general feeling of unwell.” and just felt distinctly yuk.  I also had to use my spray several times!  On Saturday I felt really off and even, secretly, considered whether I needed to go to hospital.  Being a (stubborn old) man I didn’t!   On Sunday I suggested to my wife that I may have to phone the doctor on Monday to get an emergency appointment sooner.

Monday morning I spoke to the doctor and was told to phone 999 immediately, which I did!



Ambulance arrived, blue lights flashing, and I had 2 ECG’s, blood pressure taken several times, history and medication recorded.  All very efficient and reassuring. The ECG’s showed abnormalities, namely First degree heart block, (which I knew I had – and it sounds far worse than it actually is) and ectopic atrial rhythm.  I was allowed to walk out to the ambulance – a very reassuring sign – and was then whisked off to QMC (Queens Medical Centre) Nottingham, to A & E. I was assessed in reception, then moved to the Urgent Treatment Unit where I was given Paracetamol, pink tummy medicine, and liquid morphine.  

A very slick operation followed where I had 3 ECG’s, had my temperature and blood pressure taken about 10 times, had 2 lots of blood taken, a chest X-Ray, a scan of my tummy and bladder, saw 2 surgeons and 3 doctors, countless nurses and assistants, had a bite to eat and a cup of tea, and was eventually allowed to go home with new medication,  2 outpatient appointments booked,  and a collection of labels, gauze, sticky tape, and 10 sticky pads for ECG’s still attached to me. Souvenirs of an unexpected day out that didn’t cost me a penny.

Thank goodness for the NHS.

Thin Skin – A linked limerick

Such a marvellous thing is my skin

It helps keep my blood and guts in

It keeps the rain out

But now there’s no doubt

It is getting increasingly thin


Maybe I’ve just turned a page

It’s a battle my body must wage

I develop strange hues

And so easily bruise

It’s something to do with my age

Now I’ve started you may not be able to stop me!

A little bit of Dad

In my final Lundi limerick yesterday I used the hamlet of Acton and linked it to the fact that it played a large part in my Dad’s life.

In the process of digging out a bit of real life background, rather than the normal wikipedia, or google sources, I rummaged through the suitcase that I brought away from Dad’s house after he died at the grand age of 96.

Mum had died nearly 11 years before and everyone expected Dad to follow fairly swiftly after. He was, after all, a hard working farm labourer, who had relied on Mum for meals, clean clothes, and a welcoming home. We had all, of course, forgotten his hard upbringing, his determination, and his adaptability.

Within a couple of weeks he had bought himself a microwave. “I’ve always wanted one of these but your Mother would never have one”, he said.

He went on to cook his own meals, wash, dry, and iron his clothes, vacuum the house, and thoroughly enjoy the whole new leaf that he’d turned over. My little sister (three years older than me), who lived a few miles away, kept an eye on him, had him over for Sunday lunch and, over the coming years, gradually helped him more, according to his needs.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a definitive history of Dad, purely an extension of the information about his link to Acton.

The suitcase I mentioned earlier has quite a few Bibles, and other books, in it, each one has a story to tell. Dad was a Methodist Local Preacher from the age of 20 until failing hearing, and health, caused him to retire, although he remained ‘on the books’ until his death, and received several certificates of Long Service, even up to 75 years service! It just could not be done nowadays!

Dad was a marvellous preacher. Inspiring, knowledgeable, plain speaking, always linking to everyday life, articulate but never verbose. In everyday life you would never dream that he was a gifted and effective preacher. He was a quiet, mild mannered man whose goodness shone out for all to see, always willing to help, support, and encourage all that he encountered.

First out of the case is a School photograph from 1922 when Dad was 12
How smart they all are, and I love the bicycle parked around the corner! Dad would have done a couple of hours work before going to school and would have many jobs to complete when he got home.
Sunday School prize that Dad received from Acton
Note the Superintendent was John Matthews, an uncle
and a 19th birthday present from an Auntie
A present from the Local Preachers Association on his recognition service as a preacher (Oct 14th 1929)
21st birthday gift to Mum
An article that appeared in the Local Preachers Newsletter after Dad died

Song Lyric Sunday 09/02/2020 – I/Me/Them/Us/You/We

song-lyric-sundayThanks again to Jim Adams, who hosts Song Lyric Sunday and gives us the chance to share lots of familiar, and some not so familiar, songs. This week he’s given us the task to find a song that has the personal pronouns: I /Me /Them /Us /You / or We in the title, or in the lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I’ve chosen a song containing the word “I”, but the lyrics also include “Me”.

The song is “Yesterday when I was young”, written by Charles Aznavour with Georges Garvarentz back in 1964.  Herbert Kretzmer, who also translated Aznavour’s hit “She,” wrote the English-language lyrics.

I’ve included a link, at the bottom,  to the writer’s recording, written and sung as only a Frenchman could,  but I am offering, as my main video, a recording made by Matt Munro in  1973.

Monro was a heavy smoker and battled alcoholism from the 1960s until 1981.  He died from liver cancer on 7 February 1985 at the age of only 54 which makes this recording particularly poignant.

 

And HERE is Charles Aznavour’s version

 

Yesterday When I Was Young

It seems the love I’ve known
Has always been the most destructive kind
I guess that’s why now
I feel so old
Before my time

Yesterday, when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I always built to last on weak and shifting sand
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of the day
And only now I see how the years ran away

Yesterday, when I was young
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung
So many wild pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me and nothing else at all

Yesterday the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do
I used my magic age as if it were a wand
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play

There are so many songs in me that won’t be sung
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue
The time has come for me to pay for
Yesterday, when I was young

Source: LyricFind

Yesterday When I Was Young lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Twittering Tales #158 – 15 October 2019

It’s time again, for Kat Myrman’s wonderful challenge, to write a story, inspired by her picture prompt, in 280 characters or fewer.

Here is this week’s prompt and my contribution.

Check out all the fabulously creative entries here and, if you’ve never had a go, why not try a story of your own? You may surprise yourself!

85a36dfe-b3a5-408f-88c0-b2661d152768Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza at Pexels.com

The Wall of Love

I was worried when the old fella next door didn’t show. We normally chatted every day.

His wife suffered with crippling arthritis for many years and rarely ventured out.

They said she’d been dead for weeks. He lay down beside her under their special wall. A testament to their love.

 

(280 characters)

The People of a Place — The Chatter Blog

For Paddy, and all those unsung heroes who are the salt of the earth, thanks to Colleen for introducing some of them to us.

We approached an Irish monument. I’m always excited to see the world as it used to be, or relics of it and use my imagination to create how I think it was. It was late in the day and only stragglers wandered about. As I stepped through the gates I could see an elderly man […]

via The People of a Place — The Chatter Blog

Pinpricks of light amid the darkness — bluebird of bitterness

Quokkas twice in a day has to be some sort of record.

Apart from that, this is really lovely, and well worth a look at the original too. There are some nice people around, and you don’t have to look far to find them!

 

Recently Sunny Skyz posted a collection of the most wholesome tweets of 2018. I’m recycling a few of my favorites here. See them all here.

via Pinpricks of light amid the darkness — bluebird of bitterness

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 30/09/2018

img_1345-3

Helen’s theme for this week’s SLS is  “search”.

Well, isn’t that just easy peazy. In fact Google have their own song that fits the bill perfectly.

Now, everyone join in and we’ll have a great time!

NO! SERIOUSLY! Do you really think I would offer that to you?

We all, at some time, become searchers, and that takes me right back to my teenage years again.

The Searchers heard British performer Cliff Bennett perform “Needles and Pins” at a club in Hamburg, Germany, and instantly wanted it to be their next single. The Pye Records single was released in January 1964. It was number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States. Soon after, in April 1964, “Needles and Pins” appeared on the Searchers’ next album, It’s the Searchers.

Apparently their bass drum pedal was faulty and it can be heard squeaking throughout the song. I never ever noticed it, and cannot now, even knowing that fact!

Needles and Pins

The Searchers

I saw her today, I saw her face, it was a face I loved, and I knew
I had to run away, and get down on my knees and pray that they’d go away
But still they’d begin, needles and pins
Because of all my pride, the tears I gotta hide

Hey I thought I was smart, I’d won her heart
Didn’t think I’d do, but now I see
She’s worse to him than me, let her go ahead
Take his love instead, and one day she will see
Just how to say please, and get down on her knees
Hey that’s how it begins, she’ll feel those needles and pins
A-hurtin’ her, a-hurtin’ her

Why can’t I stop and tell myself I’m wrong, I’m wrong, so wrong
Why can’t I stand up and tell myself I’m strong

Because I saw her today, I saw her face, it was a face I loved, and I knew
I had to run away, and get down on my knees and pray that they’d go away
But still they’d begin needles and pins
Because of all my pride, the tears I gotta hide

Oh needles and pins, needles and pins, needles and pins

Songwriters: Jack Nitzsche / Sonny Bono

Needles and Pins lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC