Tag Archives: duplication

Tsundoku revisited

I’ve written about tsundoku before – the habit of piling up unread books. It was brought into painful focus earlier today when I opened up  a box of books that has been undisturbed for several years. For “several” you could probably substitute “ten” judging by the publication dates.

When I read The Elements of Murder  last month I was surprised at my familiarity with poisons and notable poisoning cases. Not only surprised, but quietly impressed with the breadth of my knowledge.

So when I found a copy of the paperback edition in the box today it was a bit of a downer. Not only is my knowledge based on reading the book ten years previously, but my memory is in fact so bad I didn’t remember buying the book twice.

It’s also a reminder that when I pictured the seven books in the photograph I was intending to review them swiftly. I’ve actually managed two and started two more. I haven’t even finished reading one of them. But I have bought more, and read several of them.

Ah well.

I suppose this officially the start of old age…


The Final Countdown

It’s 9.40 am. I’ve already had my first hospital trip of the week and my time is now my own until 7.30 am on Thursday. At that point (fingers crossed) I should enter the final phase of the operation that has now lasted six weeks. Based on previous experience and the scanty information I was given at the beginning I was expecting it to be over in 3 days. Yes, what an idiot I was.

It is now three days until the operation and seven more before the catheter comes out. I am counting…

Although I’ve tended to concentrate on the urological side of things, as there are ready made elements of pathos and low comedy in that, I’m also been investigated for a range of other problems, all identified on my visit in December.

Take the Great Warfarin Farce as an example. I asked for the tests to be left until I’d finished with the operations but the doctor insisted. It involves visiting a hospital on the other side of town twice a week and eating rat poison. They may call it Warfarin and pretend not to know it has another use but I’ve fed bucketfuls of the stuff to rats over the years. It was first sold as a rat poison in 1948 and as a medicine in 1954. I leave you to draw your own conclusions

I went for my first appointment and I got off to a bad start with the nurse by enquiring why I had to give the same information every time I visited and why they couldn’t store it from visit to visit. She didn’t like that.  To be fair, she probably hears it a lot.

Things worsened when I told her I couldn’t make the next date for testing as I would be in hospital. Basically she called me a liar, and supported this by calling up a copy of my discharge letter to prove it said nothing about part two of the operation.

I suppose she thought I just wore the urinary catheter for fun.

“That,” I said, “is the discharge letter from the emergency admission last week. You need the one from 10th April.”

“Ah!,” she said, “I see.”

However, the operation didn’t happen and I had to stop the Warfarin five days before the next operation. That meant I was on Warfarin for five days.

I’ll cut to the chase – on my last test the nurse, a more practical and cheery individual than the first one – said: “I don’t even know why they started you on Warfarin until after the operation.”

So, I’m off Warfarin at the moment, though Julia has intimated she’s at a point where, if I don’t stop whining about the NHS, she’ll be happy to feed it to me, whatever the nurse may say.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

As the day progressed I started becoming more agitated. It’s hard to settle when you have a 4 pm hospital appointment. At least, by scheduling two health appointments on one day, I wasn’t going to waste two days.

It was cardiology this time and I haven’t been looking forward to it. It proved to be one problem after another. First I had trouble folding myself into the taxi as all this sitting round is making my knees seize up, then I got lost in the outpatients department. I say “lost”, but some proper signs would have helped. By the time I got to the right place I was three minutes late, annoyed with myself for poor punctuality and irritated by the signage.

At that point I discovered I’d left my glasses at home and my arms aren’t quite long enough to allow me to read.

It got worse when I was sent off to another department for my third ECG in six weeks. Why not do one and use it three times?

Things improved after that. The ECG technician apologised for asking me to remove my upper body clothing and I replied it was no problem, and a real bonus to keep my trousers on for once.

That led to an amusing story about her morning. She asked a patient to remove his upper clothing so she could attach the sticky tabs and turned round just in time to stop him removing his trousers. It seems he thought he was in for a haemorrhoid examination. I’m not sure where sticky pads and wires fitted into his view of things…

Anyway, much cheered, I made my way back to the clinic to be weighed (again), measured (again) and have my blood pressure taken (again). I seem to have shrunk by two inches since my last measurement. Sadly I haven’t grown any lighter.

After examining all the evidence the doctor told me she’ll write a letter to my doctor,  and said I was free to go. She didn’t need to tell me twice.

That’s one to cross off the list.

Now that I have a date for Male Urology I also feel I’m close to crossing that off.

I’m tempted to say I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that just reminds me of a flexible cystoscopy.