Does pain really change a person – and is it for better or worse?

The following quotation is currently rattling around on the web:-

“I’m in pain… Every day. It changed me. Made me a harder person, a worse person. And now… Now I’m alone. You don’t want to be like me.”

Dr. Greg House, (“House” TV series – “House MD” over in the colonies)

But is it actually of any significance? Does pain so utterly change a person? Having been in often excruciating, and always unremitting, pain since I was struck by lightning in 1983, I feel qualified to take a stab at that.

First off, a gripe – House walks Continue reading


A few thoughts on cooking for #spoonies…

**Spoonies – aka “The secret society of the sick”. The Spoon theory – how to explain to the non-disabled what happens when your get up and go simply gets up and buggers off!

Been here before, but it’s a theme always worth revisiting, by which I don’t mean repeating, as I get new readers

Sainsbury’s are running a TV ad claiming it’s possible to feed a family of 4 for under £50 a week. Considering what it costs just to feed me, I feel a tad cynical about that.

Yesterday morning, I spent a whisker over £30 in Sainsbury’s; later in the day I processed an online order at Tesco for about the same amount (mostly food, plus a very few non-food items). The only luxury (i.e., non-essential), item was a 500g tub of Green & Black’s Vanilla ice cream.

OK, I don’t eat Continue reading

An open letter to Steve Cram, MBE…

The following is my version of the letter posted here

As you can see, I have rewritten it somewhat, partly to correct grammar and punctuation, as well as smoothing out a degree of clunkiness – it’s going out over my name after all – and also to remove a libellous sentence, something to beware of if you decide to opt for the original version. I have also changed the second para to make it a more polite request. Likewise the penultimate para.

As for the libel, to claim, publicly, that “There are many articles throughout the press concerning deaths and suicides caused by this company’s actions,” is to invite a libel writ by return of post. I am not prepared to endanger my blog – or myself – by letting that stand.

The fatal words are, of course, “caused by this company’s actions” and anybody going with that version had bloody well better be willing and able to stand up in court and prove it (simply knowing something is so does not make it true in the eyes of the law – you have to prove it). And even if you win, the court case could still ruin you financially.

I invite  you all copy it** and email it to Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart – Part 11…

I’m losing weight. So what, you might think? Well, I’ve been eating one meal a day since about 2002, and yet I’ve been unable to get, and remain, much below 15stone.

Since my heart failure diagnosis, and steady diet of diuretics, I pretty promptly lost half a stone, taking me to 14st 7lb, and there I stuck.

Yesterday, though, seeing myself in the bathroom mirror, my face looked positively gaunt, and white as a sheet – one of those very Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart – Part 10…

Right, it’s official – I do have heart failure. Or mitral valve failure, or some bloody thing!

There must be some decent doctors in the system, somewhere but, somehow, they never seem to come my way.

They did an ECG – about 5 seconds worth of trace, which struck me as inadequate – not everything will show up in that short period.

Then I was wheeled in to see the doctor who, based Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart – Part 9…

As I said in this post I now have my hospital records. I won’t repeat all that I said there, but the first ECG, taken on the day I was admitted clearly states:-

Abnormal ECG “Unconfirmed” (unconfirmed, of course because no bugger followed it up!)

  • Sinus tachycardia*
  • Left atrial enlargement**
  • Inferior infarct, age undetermined***
  • Cannot rule out anteroseptal infarct****

* Elevated heart rate

** There’s little data available, but odds are it’s linked to my COPD. Don’t know why just yet.

***I know the age. It dates from 1995 when I was admitted – Arrowe Park again – with a suspected coronary. I was kept in 2 weeks, told it had been angina and sent home. That “angina” took me months to recover from.

**** see ***.

It addition Continue reading

My Arrowe Park Hospital Records – first impressions suck…

Right then, kiddies, I’ve just had a quick overview of my hospital records, which finally arrived yesterday. I’m not impressed. Errors right from the start, with my employment status – I’m retired, not unemployed. There’s a difference.

The records are – so far as they’re intelligible – abysmal, they connect with reality only tangentially and, I’m sure, accidentally! One early entry says “Looks comfortable at rest” I was in fuckin’ agony the whole time I was in there and for over a month after. Still am, some days!Never mind “looks comfortable” whoever you were, bloody well ask!

So here’s a tip – hospitals are no place for stoicism. If you feel ill, or in pain, make sure every bugger knows about it because clearly, if you don’t, they make reckless, and potentially dangerous, assumptions. Jesus wept! A corpse looks comfortable!!!

One note says, on Jan 21 Continue reading

The Tumbrels of Online Intolerance are rolling…

Campaigns are popping up online calling for Roger Helmer to be sacked, while apparently giving no thought to the fact that, as an MEP, he’s pretty safe until the next elections. Maybe even then.

However, while it’s perfectly fine to express one’s disapproval of Helmer – he’s a stupid bugger and an intellectual dinosaur** – and I did just that yesterday  to call for someone to be sacked because you don’t like his views is totally out of order. Because, and I ask this in all seriousness, where Continue reading