Monday, 22 August 2016

A rant

My ongoing saga with quacks


Seemorerocks in comtemplation, 20 years ago

At the moment I am going through problems with sleep which I have for the duration of my illness. I finally took my problem to my good doctor William. 3
Usually we are agreed on the medical system and most medication so he was very reluctant to prescribe anything for me out of concern for the side-effects.

However, I said "if I am to poison myself with something let it be a sleeping tablet - something that will give me a good night's sleep"

I walked out of his office with various bits of paper but reallsed that I he had not given me the prescription for the sleeping tablet.

"A Freudian slip", he said and then added "he won't like it".

What he prescribed was Ativan a medicine that is primarily for anxiety and stress and only secondarily for sleep problems.

What I can tell you is that I have never had a day of anxiety in my whole life and the considerable stress I feel is NOT mental stress.

I suppose he was trying to prescribe the least damaging medication he could.

When I looked at the possible side-effects of the medication they were ones that constitute many of my SYMPTOMS that I already felt without taking ANY medication.

Symptoms such as - dizziness and light-headedness, confusion, feeling aggressive or irritated, memory loss, moodyness, itchy skin.

I have been given very small numbers of pills and have been unable to determine up to now to if they were effective. I had several nights when I was still awake over 2 hours after taking the pill, and this week had one night that was disastrous and I hardly got any sleep at all.

The one thing about William is he has ALWAYS been absent every time I needed him most (when I had my melanoma, when I broke my ankle in the shower....) and this time was no exception.

So I am now thrust back into the past with an appointment tomorrow with Dr. Julie. She's the import from the British NHS who after carefully listening decided that I needed to be persuaded that I was depressed and sent me away with a link to a link to an online survey.

Then I have another long-term locum who told me I was obese and if I lost weight I'd feel much better. And then his other great diagnosis of sleep apnoea based on some flight of fantasy  (where 'evidence-based medicine' must have flown out the window - except when it was needed to counter Pam's theories).

It makes me think of my dear old friend Stephen who often says: "Cheer up. It could be worse. I did and it did (get worse)"

All this brings me back to times when I would waking up screaming and furious at these incompetents who have considerable power to destroy people's lives.

It might seem immodest of me but if I was to try and think of an ideal therapist it might be myself.  
I spent over ten years treating (or trying to help) people who were at the end of their tether for reasons similar to myself.  I always took time to listen and my treatments (which defied logical thought) seemed to help more often than they didn't.

But I can imagine the retort from the quacks.  These treatments "worked" because my seriously-ill patents never had any "real" medical problem - it was "all in the head".
If you think I'm making this up just have a look on Google for somatic symptom disorder to see for yourself.

So I know that my situation is anything but unique because I have a whole treasure trove of horror stories from patients I saw over the years.

To give a sense of how insulted I feel every time I'm told I'm not ill, but depressed, or obese, and all I need to do is to follow some course of action that someone has worked out for me - none one of which has ever worked.

None - that is, apart from measures to protect my liver with coffee enemas and hot castor oil or yarrow compresses.

Twenty five years ago I, although far from well, I was fit and not only a good practitioner but a pretty good teacher of hatha yoga.

Now here's me now on a pretty good day trying to do my best version of the same posture, trikonasana

Again, twenty-odd years ago I was able to go up into urdhva danurasana with ease, and meditate in half-lotus with ease.

Now, if I was to get down onto the floor I'd have to ask for the assistance of another (or a stout chair) to get back up into standing)

Now ask why I lose my cool when these people suggest to me (or, at least imply - because they're not that plain-speaking) that there's nothing actually wrong with me beause their pathetically- narrow range of blood tests show nothing - it's just the "natural consequences of aging"

Don't worry I'm just processing the appointment tomorroqw with an incompent quack who possibly stands between me and a tolerable night's sleep.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

My favorite childhood music

Living on a farm in rural Canterbury I was not exposed very much to the pop era of the 60's but I grew up on a diet of country music and 1960's American television.  I emerged from that in the 1970's, in my teens but continued to buck the trend.

My road through the 60’s
The Fab Four, let alone the Stones, eluded me by-and-large

I remember my first independent music love - John Hore (later, Grenell). This was my first ever 45.


I remember when the family first got television and can remember us all gathering to watch Winston Churchill's funeral.

This was one of the first ever programs I watched.

I loved the Danny Kaye Show so much as a 7-year old that I wrote an advertisement to the Press to set up a Danny Kaye Fan Club


Another regular was 'the Flintstone' and all the Hannah Barbara cartoons of the time

My childhood friend, Stephen (a few months older than me) introduced me to favourites like Captain Pugwash, Barbar the Elephant - and Mr.Magoo.

A major part of my television diet was American westerns including this theme from 'Bonanza'

It was my sister Kathy who introduced me to the pop music of the time and took me to see the Beatles' Help!

Another favourite was Trini Lopez

My brother, Jeremy, lived more on the 'wild side' (sic), with the musical Can Can and early Cliff Richards

By the 70's my love affair with the American frontier was over. 

While my friends at secondary school were following John Lennon I was more into Lenin and adored this rendition of Kalinka.