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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Grabbing Smoke.

Sometimes writing these posts is a bit like grabbing smoke. The ideas I have seem to be just out of reach. I know I’ve been off colour of late but it seems like something has changed and I’ve been giving it some thought. What’s happening now that wasn’t happening before my birthday?

When I first became ill I had visits from three different doctors and a phone call from a fourth I also had a scheduled telephone conversation with the oncology team, another doctor. A community nurse visited as did my palliative nurse. Seven healthcare professionals were involved with my situation. They must have thought I was really poorly, and I was. I have to admit at some points I thought the grim reaper was getting close.

I’m beginning to feel better now but my mind is still woolly and I still seem to have the capacity to completely switch off. I can be vague at the best of times but it seems I’m turning it into an art form.

The amount of medication I'm taking has been refined and reduced. I’m now taking just four different drugs. Three of them have very specific jobs. One for my blood pressure, an anti viral to control my shingles and some anti sickness medication. The fourth drug seems to be a bit of a cure all. The reason it's been prescribed is to help with my hands and feet (my heavy metal poisoning) but it’s also an anti-depressant. I think my feet may be marginally better but at what cost? From my initial diagnosis almost four years ago until a month ago I’ve had miserable times. The black dog has visited. I’ve felt mega depressed but each time I knew it was temporary, I’d return to my cheerful self soon, and I always have. The trouble is I mentioned the occasional miserable days to a doctor and I get an anti-depressant prescribed. The black dog hasn’t visited for a month but brain fog has. As an aside, the side effects of this drug collectively sound remarkably like covid. I’ll plough on for now. Having medication changes brings it's own issues.

One thing I’ve noticed is words go in to my head much easier than they come out. I’ve been reading, nothing too strenuous (I’ll save the complete works of Émile Zola for later). I started with the Autobiography of Captain Tom. A real autobiography, no chance of follow up. Then I read a clever book about the SAS during WWII. SAS Band of Brothers. By studying lots of recently released wartime documents the author used his skills to craft the most probable story. A fascinating read. Next, two books that I read really needed no effort whatsoever, I’m not even sure it was a good use of my precious time but I finished them. One book only managed to keep me engaged for about 5 pages before I cast it aside. I’m now reading a book about the history of mapping the roads of Britain. I like a bit of history and I’m liking this book.

I now have a challenging few days ahead. I’m driving the motorhome to Carbis Bay tomorrow morning. Planning to arrive in time for lunch and my afternoon snooze. Then it’s just resting up until the 2pm wedding on Saturday. 2pm is about the worst time for me. I’m almost always asleep at that time so it’ll be new territory for me. We’re taking the car as well as the motorhome so getting to the hotel from the campsite will be easy and I usually sleep well in the motorhome and anyway we're home again on Sunday.

So, am I feeling any better? Yes, a bit.

Am I facing the weekend with a modicum of trepidation? Of course I am.

Am I looking forward to driving on the A30 in the guise of a tourist? Yes, anything’s better than spending a month in bed.

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