Sunday, April 24, 2016

out of the kitchen and missing the heat

Although each hour, of each day, may seem to drag at present, it still amazes me how swiftly each year seems to pass. Most of the time each day has seemed to pass far to quickly, no sooner is one getting into it’s swing than tiredness sets in; gosh, I’m sounding like a real Grinch today.

The (current) absence of not only a functioning kitchen, but even sans kitchen sink, or even a single gas or electric hob, just seems to leave a hollow at the core of my being. Who would have thought that once, not too many years ago, I subsisted on a diet of predominantly microwaveable (so-called) meals; even in recent days, the cooking bug having for some time since had a hold of me, preparation has felt at times a chore too far, only reluctantly pursued. No working kitchen and an echoing void of proposed kitchen diner exuding its presence into the lounge, leaves one feeling achingly hollow.

I am indeed fortunate to have a roof over my head, a partner to love and be loved by, yet still I find temporary inconvenience a source of veering close to a state of reactive depression. It would be easy, of course, to blame my dispiritedness on my permanent condition of aches, pains, disorientation and unrefreshing sleep, which admittedly doesn’t help, but then I feel overwhelmed by guilt at my self pity. In a land where the government is determined to punish the poor, the  vulnerable and disabled in response to a crisis caused by their banker friends, what right have I to feel at all sorry for myself?    

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Common Cold - A Rare Event (an accidental posting)

Life goes on, recurrence of the old familiar aches, pains and dysfunctions (primarily ME related) nag me into acknowledgment of my presence in the material world. Don't get me wrong, whatever  ailments are thrown my way I still manage a smile, a laugh and, dare I say it, pure enjoyment and delight in the presence of my beloved.

The last few days I've been quite knocked out by a quite severe cold and, who knows, this may be a good sign - fingers crossed for the moment but I won't hold my breath; last time I had a real cold was best part of thirteen years ago. In 2003, a cold or flu-like symptoms seemed to accompany my every day, never materializing as a full-blown anything. Two thousand and three was also the year of my major collapse leading to an eventual ME diagnosis; in the meantime, whatever discomforts and anguish I've been heir to, a full blown cold has eluded me.

Actually I had no intention of writing a full post, just wanted to say that I've posted a brand new poem (both text only and illustrated version) on my Mal's Factory poetry weblog. It very much reflects the present ambience in which I have my being.


Wednesday, March 02, 2016



Today would be best forgotten but, it’s my failure that I find it hard to forget, just as I find it almost insurmountably difficult to forgive. Much of today’s problems, other than the generally ongoing ME related ailments, emanate from the inappropriate prescribing by a certain medical professional. That GP I am unable to forgive.

This morning I was forced to emerge, from the duvet lair, a good
1 ¾  hrs earlier than is my norm, to keep a previously postponed appointment at the hospital’s orthoptics department. The morning, apart from my unearthly hours emergence into the day, was also greeted with a quite heavy snowfall.

Anyone who knows me, at all well, is all too aware of my difficulty with travel of any kind and, this morning’s short journey, following the main roads rather than our usual shortcuts, was one of following and being followed by skidding and stalling vehicles.  This was just like living through a nightmare for my sensitivities. At one point, even my beloved chauffeuse thought we’d maybe have to call the hospital to cancel the appointment, this time at much shorter notice. In spite of prior weather warnings of snowfall the responsible(!) authorities hadn’t bothered to grit the roads.

Whilst my beloved queued, waiting to access the hospital’s car park, I made my way to the relevant department. As I looked for the right place I wandered past the turning, having been told it was to the left, by a volunteer near reception, whereas it was actually to the right. Having ambled along the corridor a notice clearly stated that patients for Visual Fields Test should take a seat “here”, which I duly obeyed. Several minutes later a couple of hospital staff ambled by and asked if I was alright; I in turn informed them that I was waiting for the visual field test. Evidently I should have first reported to a reception staton some twenty to thirty yards further along the corridor.

By this time I urgently needed the loo, and had a bout of re-active diarrhoea, before entering the surgery. The clinician was quite concerned that my head felt so hot, and I explained how this wasn’t unusual as I could sweat in a freezing environment, my body thermostat being shattered / wildly erratic ever since succumbing to ME.

About halfway through the tests on my first eye I required a break as my chin and forehead were so uncomfortable, and I needed a drink of water before I continued. No sooner was the patch transferred to the other eye, and appropriate lens in place than I became quite headachy and totally incapable of concentrating as all spun around me. I informed the clinician that I wasn’t able to continue the test and also cancelled and discharged myself from tomorrows appointment with ophthalmology.

I simply cannot cope with early hours or concentrated attention. The appointments would not, in any case, have been necessary had my GP not messed haphazardly with my medication. [Earlier postings have already dealt with this situation]

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


My status on Facebook, posted early evening yesterday, read as follows:

“Much of yesterday went far beyond the Gethsemane experience, more towards identity with the flaying on that early Friday morning. Just as one form of deep discomfort, of a tear and nausea inducng variety, seemed to be easing, elsewhere along the ley line of the nervous system came a sensation of searing tongs being applied to sundry areas of the upper limbs & armpits.

Application of supports (wrist, shoulder, back etc.) at times preceded a necessity to discard oppressive items of clothing, such as socks, cardigan, shirts. A necessity to spread out one's fingers, their proximity to each other promoting a tingling dis-ease, was accompanied at times by a the need to clench upper arms in an almost impossible tightness to the torso, aided at times by having a scarf strapping them down. Lower limbs flexed and turned - so much so that I became unsure about how many of the positions were consciously attained as opposed to a rather sustained involuntary spasm. it seemed as if painkillers were refusing to act as burning searing discomfort imprisoned me for much of the late afternoon and evening.

That was yesterday. Today is a better day thus far. Really enjoyed the House Group / Bible Study chez nous this afternoon. A wonderful time of fellowship.”

Sadly, it was only a matter of a couple of hours before the torment returned. Even picking up the small tablet pc or a newspaper, instantly caused a gnawing discomfort in wrists and armpits and, clasping upper arms tightly to torso did little to alleviate the onset of a nausea sensation. I remained grateful for those afternoon hours of relative ease, hanging on to the gratitude response by way of compensation for the fresh onset of dis-ease.

Last night (from at least 02.30 this am) I had one of the most sustained periods of sound sleep than I’d experienced in more months than I can remember;  that certainly seemed a good omen for the belatedly entered new day. The sense of being enfleshed in an undersized skin soon returned and much wrist-strapping, arm clenching (tightly to torso) was required. As ailments seemed to ease, my beloved and I ventured out for a meal at the local eatery, a    pre-emptive celebration for our upcoming anniversary. It seemed a good opportunity to dine out, as on both Thursday and Friday I have hospital appointments to attend at around the apposite time, and other arrangements already in hand for tomorrow.

No sooner had we been seated at a suitable table than the act of holding a simple menu card released discomfort in the armpits and upper limbs. I just wanted to scream out loud, take off jumper and shirt before clasping shoulders with both hands –  arms crossed in St Andrew’s fashion.  This particular treat was not to be, so we returned home to catch up on a TV programme (‘Trapped’) that we’d missed on Saturday. At least at home I could clasp myself tightly, whilst sitting shirtless with arms firmly at attention. Meanwhile
 I sought out my toe separators to place between discomforted / discomforting fingers in  a vain attempt to eliminate bouts of nausea.

Armpits seem to serve solely to alienate me from my body at present but, hopefully. a fresh dose of tramadol will eliminate the still too pervasive pain.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A glimmer of hope

The process of trying to get an urgent appointment proved harrowingly frustrating but, I suspect the age of miracles is not yet dead - we certainly need them!

Anyway, the seemingly impossible happened .....

Monday, February 08, 2016

Eyewitness - Timeline - Headchange

This post also appears on Mal's Murmurings :

Eyewitness – Timeline – Headchange

150116 –  15.50hrs Attended Boots Optician for a (routine) eye test, reassuringly thorough, and made to feel at ease by optometrist, optician and all staff.

190116 Told to stop taking amitriptyline, usually taken at night, and sertraline, usually taken AM, with immediate effect. This was to be replaced immediately with trazodone, to be taken at night. When reading, as the pack advised, the enclosed Patient Information Leaflet it advised that one should not take trazodone if they have taken amitiptyline in the preceding fortnight!

As doctors, at surgery, were not forthcoming with a response to my concern, I quit amitrip and sertr. cold turkey, without taking the disputed new medication!
More details of these events can be found on my blog posts of 19, 29 and 25 January.

250116 Went to collect new spectacles from opticians – whilst en route to the opticians a most disconcerting sudden onset of a problem with my left eye occurred, A large floater, in the form of a black ring pirouetted through a full 360 degrees, dancing about and intermittently shooting at supersonic speed to a position several feet beyond my right side. My arms felt impelled to reach out to grasp this illusory element.

A few tests were carried out by the staff at the opticians but eye health seemed pretty good. I duly tried out and collevted the new spectacles.

020216 – took first dose of trazodone @22.20hrs

050216 – 12.30hrs fwd. Dramatically sudden decrease of vision occurred in left eye, an intensifying blurry veil stopping just short of total blindness, and a deep throbbing pain behind and surrounding the eye socket. When my beloved arrived home about 14.40hrs she immediately saw the need to drive me to the opticians pronto.

Both the opticians and optometrist carried out further thorough tests and scans, noticing a marked deterioration in my vision compared to my prescription of 15 January. The scans didn't reveal any damage or tears but, they made an appointment for me at Harrogate District Hospital Eye Clinic for 12.00 noon the next day.

By 23.00 hours my vision had improved significantly.

060216 – 12.00hrs attended Eye Clinic. Further tests and scans were performed before I went in to see the clinic's Consultant. After further tests, whilst I attempted to describe the experience, she gave a diagnosis of 'ocular migraine',(although typical episodes tend to disperse much more quickly than was the case for me!)

I subsequently discovered that anitriptylene has (not infrequently) been prescribed as a preventative for ocular migraine!

Perhaps if I'd remained on amitriptyline the ocular migraine would have been postponed. Alternatively, these events may have occurred nuch sooner had I never been prescribed the drug (to assist with night pain alongside tramadol)!

080216 – A severe overwhlming headache, cheek ache, eye ache persisted for much of the day, accompanied by giddiness and nausea.

Every day since commencing with trazodone(on 2 February) I've emerged into the day with a throbbing headache and in a stateveering towards total collapse – accompanied by a grey pallor.


PS after posting this blog, a friend, with considerable medical experience, was chatting with me on Skype - he happened to mention that 'blurred vision' was a known side effect of trazadone! He was also well aware of contra-indication re amitiptyline / trazodone.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Of Beatification - Massacre of the Innocents - and the Beeb


It cannot have escaped the attention of even the most casual listener to BBC Radio 2, in the course of the last 24 hours, that a process of beatification is well under way for Pudsey’s primary accomplice. Of course the way has to be carefully prepared for subsequent canonisation of the noble knight.

Every news bulletin reader, continuity announcer and programme presenter was contractually obliged to “Go Tel(l) it on the Mountain” that Terry’s woes have gone.

Each pre-recorded programme, broadcast yesterday, was preceded by a pre-emptive apology that their presenter, and production team, lacked foreknowledge of Sir Terry’s passing before the shows’ due transmission date.

Meanwhile, the slaughter of innocents (some of which is ejaculatorily supported by our own dear government ministers) continues unabated around the globe whilst, at home, the Tories persecution of society’s most vulnerable old, young, poor, sick and/or disabled, alongside their dismantling of the NHS, continues apace, only to pass unacknowledged by the Beeb’s department of navel-gazing news and current affairs.

RIP Sir Terry. RIP the welfare state’s compassion and humanitarian concern. RIP decency at the heart of Government. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

General Practitioners may be Bad for one’s emotional Health

General Practitioners may be Bad for one’s emotional Health!

Seven days ago my Patient Information Leaflet saga began and, on this the seventh day, I received an early morning telephonic communication from the medical practice. Once again it was a receptionist making the call and she duly read out a (quite lengthy) statement from the prescribing doctor declaring his infallibility. It actually stated that he was well aware of side-effect and contra-indications but as he was prescribing a very low dose (100mg when the capsules are made in only 50 & 100mg); I would have considered 50mg to be very low dose in this instance.

My primary concern was the positive declaration that one should not take this medication if they’ve taken the specific medication I was on within the last two weeks. Of course being some sort of God the GP obviously didn’t feel it was worthwhile to deal with this specific.

Of course it was said that I could arrange an appointment with said doctor to discuss the issue but, what’s the point of consulting a GP who offhandedly (as witnessed by my wife who sat in on the appointment) ignores anything the patient says if it doesn’t suit his agenda? In any case it always takes ages to get an appointment. Although I had been quite prepared to start taking the new medication two weeks after having taken the last dose of the previously prescribed ones, this wasn’t presented as an option so I now have misgivings about taking it at all, which as the receptionist says “that’s the patient’s prerogative”.

I can only assume that patients are supposed to ignore Patient Information leaflets, as they may prove challenging to the GPs’ omniscience. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

MEDICATIONS Mess Up - Contra-indications

The two previous posts refer to this same topic! I suppose this is simply an update.


MEDICATIONS: Current state of play. I've now stopped taking both amitriptyline and sertraline ('cold turkey' as followed GP's advice to return unused ones to pharmacy - that was before I'd read the leaflet with the Trazadone that he recommended I started that evening) but am not taking Trazodone.

My beloved OH visited my GP's surgery to point out the information warning me not to take the Trazadone; the receptionist took the details saying the duty doctor would contact me this afternoon. Mid-afternoon one of the practice receptionists called me to say that the duty doctor said it had to be dealt with by the GP I saw yesterday but he won't be there until next Monday. It seems obvious to me that contracted GPs are afraid to challenge even wrong decisions by a practice partner.