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!

The final retirement

Sue at Nan’s Farm and Gerry at The Main Aisle run a weekly prompt on their shared site Weekly Prompts.

This week they have chosen RETIREMENT as the prompt.

I have just retired for the last time and it was an easy decision to make, although, in some ways, it was the hardest decision to take.

I would have difficulty in telling you how many times I have retired.  It depends how you define retirement.

In simple terms I have retired three times.

Firstly, I retired at age 45, having served 28 years 151 days in the British Army.  I know that because I have a little red book to tell me so! 

I would have preferred to carry on serving but, quite naturally, in a time of cutting the numbers of serving personnel, preference had to be given to younger, more active, men and women.

I retired from paid employment at the age of 64, a year earlier than normal at that time.  I was more than ready to retire because my role was stressful and overworked, although I enjoyed it tremendously.

With my newly found leisure I volunteered to become a trustee of a local charity that had been providing housing for ladies and gentlemen of modest means since 1708.  I have been honoured to serve, alongside my fellow trustees, for the last nine years, the last five and a half years as an active Chairman of the Board of trustees.

My latest, and final, retirement was necessary due to ill health.  I had probably (definitely according to my wife) not resigned early enough but I felt that I would be letting down my fellow trustees and the near 100 residents that we served.

Today, I received a magnificent bouquet of flowers from the charity.  I will cherish these blooms but, more than those, I will cherish all the lovely tributes I have received from my fellow trustees.

This retirement is my last.  I shall enjoy it!

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.

Rapid Rhyme #36

Woe is me

My tummy’s hurting quite a lot

I may not last the night

My forehead’s getting very hot

My chest is feeling tight

I think my arm is dropping off

It really feels quite weird

And now I have a tickly cough

And spittle in my beard

I’ll p’raps survive till Monday morn

But maybe I will not

I’ll just sit here, alone, forlorn

And very slowly rot!

*I don’t really have a beard!*

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!

Song Lyric Sunday 04/08/2019 – Song from a TV Show

img_1345-3

tygpress

Thank you to Jim Adams, who hosts Song Lyric Sunday and gives us the chance to share lots of familiar, and some not so familiar, songs.

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.

The theme for this week posed a bit of a problem for me as I could quite happily live without television in my life!

I was 14 when we first had a television. Black and white of course, and only one channel. At 16, I joined the army and went to college for 3 years. No television. At 19 I deployed to the Middle East. No television. At 21 I went to Germany. Very little television. My daughter grew up with Sesame Street in German. So it goes on. I watched TV intermittently. Today, if the television is on, the chances are that I am reading blogs rather than watching it.

However, I think it is impossible to be untouched by television. I have seen a fair selection along the way, and one thing I MUST see, when it is on, is Later……with Jools Holland. He is a consummate musician and performer in his own right and , over the years, has introduced a gargantuan list of artists of every genre imaginable, and then some! You can see the list here.  

So I thought here we have a huge number of songs I can use for my SLS choice this week.

WRONG!

Instead, I suddenly thought of one show that I found to be both funny, thought provoking, and, at times, downright sad!

M*A*S*H (an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) was an American war comedy-drama television series that aired on CBS from 1972 to 1983. It was developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970 feature film M*A*S*H, which, in turn, was based on Richard Hooker’s 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The series, which was produced with 20th Century Fox Television for CBS, follows a team of doctors and support staff stationed at the “4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital” in Uijeongbu, South Korea, during the Korean War (1950–53). The show’s title sequence features an instrumental-only version of “Suicide Is Painless,” the original film’s theme song. The show was created after an attempt to film the original book’s sequel, M*A*S*H Goes to Maine, failed. The television series is the best-known of the M*A*S*H works, and one of the highest-rated shows in U.S. television history. (wikipedia)

This was, of course, being shown at the time of the Vietnam War, and was highly controversial. What started out as a comedy, with drama overtones soon became a drama with added comedy!

It’s a long time ago now, but I seem to remember that the “squaddie” humour really came across well, and could evoke real feelings of sadness, even the odd tear or two.

Suicide Is Painless is a song written by Johnny Mandel (music) and Michael Altman (lyrics). It was the theme song for both the movie and TV series M*A*S*H.

Director Robert Altman had two stipulations about the song for Mandel: it had to be called “Suicide Is Painless” and it had to be the “stupidest song ever written”. Altman attempted to write the lyrics himself, but upon finding it too difficult for his 45-year-old brain to write “stupid enough,” he gave the task to his 14-year-old-son Michael, who wrote the lyrics in five minutes. Ironically, the son’s income from royalties for the song far exceeded his father’s income for the film.

So here it is. The Tongue-in-cheek theme song for the very sad tongue in cheek comedy about the Korean war. The film was released in 1970, at the height of the Vietnam war, and the TV series debuted in 1972, appealing to the growing anti war crowd, lasted 11 years, and was arguably one of the most successful series ever.

The TV series used instrumental versions of the song only.

Suicide Is Painless

Johnny Mandel

Through early morning fog I see
Visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see

That suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please

The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
So this is all I have to say

Suicide is painless (suicide)
It brings on many changes (changes)
And I can take or leave it if I please

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger
Watch it grin

Suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please

A brave man once requested me
To answer questions that are key
Is it to be or not to be
And I replied oh why ask me?

Suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please

And you can do the same thing if you please

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Johnny Mandel / Michael B Altman

Suicide Is Painless lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

 

 

Twittering Tales #142 – 25 June 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!

img_5002.jpgPhoto by sasint at pixabay.com

He was renowned for it, but today he had exceeded his previous best.

He counted up the left overs, and had his team check to make sure his figures were perfect.

The figure on the table was not so perfect!

There were 7 bits left over, but everything seemed to be working.

“OK close up!”

(280 characters)