Subtitle “I can do what I like and you will just have to put up with it.”
I bought these a couple of weeks ago but so far haven’t got round to writing about them. Two lanyards, two holders and two cards – just over £8 with postage. I’m now equipped to go into shops and other public places, spread germs, avoid my responsibilities to others and, if I feel like it, hold up my card and order people to back off. I could have had others too, but I thought these would do, just to show how stupid the situation is.
I can show this one and, in theory, make them move away from me. Generally they move away from me anyway because my personal grooming standards are not all they could be.
If they were actually issued by a doctor I might have some respect for the card, but you just need to go on the website and you can order what you want.
The logic of “I’m exempt” escapes me too, even after months of masks and lockdown. I’m not bothered if they are exempt or not, I’m worried about whether they are breathing germs on me. I’m not really concerned about their health, it’s my health that I’m worried about. If I fall ill we will have to quarantine the shop and I don’t want to see it have to close again.
Meanwhile, I’m looking for a website that sells those blue “I can park where I like” badges.
Just to be clear, I am, of course, sensitive to the needs of others, and appreciate that some people may have genuine hidden disabilities and a problem wearing a mask. I just think, based on my observations, that a lot of people who don’t wear masks are just too lazy to bother.
I picked Julia up from work, watched Pointless, made tea (fried rice with plenty of veg and some odds and ends of meat), watched TV, bickered and finally started to write this.
My emails tell me I missed a necklace on eBay that I had been watching for Julia’s birthday. It’s a nervy time of year, as I have to buy her a present for our wedding anniversary, her birthday and Christmas, all within the space of a couple of months. Even if I was inspired it would be tricky, but as I’m not, and as she’s no help at all, I struggle.
It was nice, though she really has enough necklaces, and I set up a bid using a sniper to place the bid three seconds before the end. I din’t bid enough.
More thought needed.
There’s always more thought needed. Last Christmas was fine, as she new what she wanted and we went out and bought it just before Christmas, but it’s more normal for me to be left a week before Christmas with every idea turned down and nowhere left to go. She is, unfortunately one of those people who can tell you what she doesn’t want, but not what she does want.
I asked her what she wanted on the menu for next week, as I need to start getting the shopping list knocked into shape for tomorrow night and it’s the same again – doesn’t want anything I suggest but can’t come up with any ideas of what she does want.
It’s very easy to slip into bad habits and lack of variety when you are ordering online (just order the same as last week, says the little voice in my head) but it’s also hard to keep coming up with menus. To be honest, with being back at work almost full time I have become a lot less interested in cooking. I might have to order some of those spice packs just to kick-start my interest again.
Meanwhile, in the world of Covid, UK infection rates are rising and a local school has had to close because several teachers have tested positive. I spoke to the husband of a teacher today, they have been back less than a week and they have sent 15 of their 250 pupils for tests after they started showing symptoms.
Julia was stung by a wasp on Tuesday and her leg gradually started to swell, turn red and feel hot.
It became worse overnight and was quite painful when she woke up. So she woke me up to tell me.
I wasn’t, to be honest, as sympathetic as I would have been if she’d waited a bit.
She ignored my advice about going to see the doctor so we went off to explore the breakfast deal at Harvester instead. I dropped her off, did a few errands then went home to find her in even worse shape, so, despite her protests, I made her go to the supermarket for advice from the pharmacy.
They told her to see a doctor.
Impressively, she rang at 2 pm and was given an appointment for 4.10. I rang for one this morning, needing to get my painful hand seen to, but it seems not to be a priority and my appointment is for 8 am next Wednesday.
Next time they ask me why I want an appointment I may invent a life-threatening condition. If I’d told them my chest was playing up I’d have been in before lunch. But tell them you have a hand X-Ray to discuss, and despite the pain being too bad for you to pack parcels or tuck your shirt into your trousers, they don’t seem bothered.
She came out with a prescription for antibiotics, because the sting has turned into an infection. They also recommended drawing along the line of the infection to check it isn’t growing worse. That was fun, as the only suitable pen we could find was a green highlighter, which didn’t improve the look of things.
The moral of this story, if there is one, is avoid wasps, do what your husband says and exaggerate when speaking to receptionists.
I arrived at the dentist just on time, having spent too much time blogging.
It’s a very pleasant place and the dentist was very pleasant too, and very professional.
She checked which tooth it was, took another X-Ray to confirm, put me at ease, explained everything and applied the anaesthetic painlessly. A little later, as it didn’t seem to be taking, she put some more in. By this time my lip was fat and numb, my gums were devoid of feeling and there was even some dullness in my neck and cheekbones.
I was, it seemed, likely to have a numb face for four hours.
All was looking good. She took the crown off, poked around a bit, applied some pressure, and stopped as I raised my hand to indicate it was hurting. It wasn’t mild discomfort either, it hurt. She put more anaesthetic in, warned me my face was likely to be dead for around six hours, and tried again.
I was starting to lose feeling in my right ear and my eyelid.
I raised my hand. More needles, including a somewhat painful one that went into the tooth and root by the feel of it.
I gripped the chair arms, braced myself, sweated, trembled and was very relieved when she stopped.
“That’s hurting isn’t it?”
I can’t think how she came to that conclusion…
So she tried another type of anaesthetic and again hammered it home. The theory was that if it was uncomfortable it was going in the right place. The estimate of numbness went up to eight hours.
She grabbed the pliers, I grabbed the chair arms and resolved to be brave.
I didn’t exactly show myself up as a hero, but I’m happy to report that she broke before I did.
The problem was that I had an infection under the tooth and it wasn’t responding to the anaesthetic. Every time she pushed it was like she was ramming home a red-hot nail. In case you have never had an extraction, they push to break the grip of the roots before they pull.
Antibiotics – I could have done with these last week
I now have a gnarled stump of a tooth left, a box of antibiotics and another appointment – for the 15th January. I’m taking it philosophically though it’s hardly ideal.
There is a bonus, they have let me keep my gold crown, though it did need to go through the steriliser first. It’s been in my mouth for over 20 years without killing me, but once it’s out it seems that it becomes a health and safety issue.
That’s the featured image – my gold crown in a packet after being sterilised. I’m thinking that it might make a unique and personal charm for a charm bracelet. I mentioned it to Julia. I expect she might get used to the idea…
It’s not the best photo I’ve ever taken, but I’m not on top form right now.
The good news is that although the anaesthetic has worn off there is no real pain, just a bit of swelling and a slight ache. I’m hoping that this situation continues until the 15th.
Well, life never loses its capacity for surprise, does it?
As I mentioned yesterday, I have a swollen foot and difficulty in walking. What I didn’t mention was that when I went to bed last night it involved a major effort and a lot of pain. Even after a night spent with the leg elevated, things were not much improved by morning.
In the end I rang the doctor for advice early this afternoon, as I really was feeling quite rough. It’s not a pleasant feeling to think your body is breaking down to the extent that even sitting down upsets your capacity to function normally.
The doctor’s advice was that I should go down to the surgery quite quickly so they could prod me about. I was feeling so weak that I didn’t even argue.
It seems that my self-diagnosis was incorrect. I don’t have a swollen foot due to poor circulation, I have a swollen foot because I have an infection. It seems that as the previous antibiotics sorted out the other infection (in a laudably selective manner) another infection was gathering in my foot. That is the cause of the swelling and the pain. It’s also the reason that it isn’t going down despite me doing all the right things.
I had an interesting temperature when the doctor checked. It was nearly 39 degrees, against a desirable level of 37 – 37.5. He’s quite keen me getting it down, as at 40 it’s officially “life-threatening”, which is, apparently, a bad thing. He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed, but as signs of having mild fever include feeling hungry and thirsty I don’t really know how I’m expected to separate this from my normal state of feeling hungry and thirsty.
We are currently monitoring my temperature with a thermometer that’s left over from my time as an antique dealer. It;s old, but it still works, and my temperature is falling.
I’m happy now.
With any luck I might start to become interesting again.
It had occurred to me during the week that my diagnosis of man flu wasn’t exactly correct, as the fever was linked to an infection rather than a cold. The infection, in turn, was linked to some painful swelling. I think that’s all we need to say on that matter, as this is a family blog. If I was on TV this would be the foundation for half an hour of post-watershed hilarity based on the embarrassment of a middle-aged man, but I’m not sure I should inflict material of such dubious nature on my readers.
Once the party was out of the way I thought I’d better see the doctor about getting some antibiotics. Generally I avoid the doctor as bad things happen to middle-aged men who visit doctors, but the pain, and the inability to walk without impersonating John Wayne, persuaded me.
Googling “The Perils of Self Diagnosis” shows that self diagnosis really isn’t a good idea. There are two ways it can go – one is the Cyberchondriac route, where people decide they have rare and interesting diseases and scare themselves to death. The other way is the one used by most men – treating serious conditions by gritting their teeth and taking ibuprofen.To be fair, it often works.When it doesn’t work the consequences can, however, be quite serious.
Shortly after seeing the doctor I was in hospital for a second opinion, where they insisted on me filling in lots of forms and having a cannula fitted in case they decided to operate. They also labelled me “nil by mouth”, which made me very unhappy as I’d starved myself in the morning in case of blood testing. Even so, it didn’t make me as unhappy as the prostate examination.
Finally they fed me, which was very welcome after 22 hours without eating. It was an excellent meal (Somerset Pork with mixed veg and mash, followed by a creamy rice pudding with a hint of nutmeg), and they eventually remembered to remove the cannula, just as my antibiotics arrived.
Currently I’m having a quiet Christmas, and wondering what 2017 will bring.