Monday, November 29, 2010

when minor exertion becomes major expedition

The irritation continues; a constant nagging pain in knee, calf and ankle, occasionally lightning bolting its way, in full spasming flow, to hip and lumbar region, is a most unwelcome companion for whom familiarity has truly bred contempt. Sadly contempt does little, or nothing, to detract it from its constancy. A regular intake of tramadol curbs the discomfort's sharpest edge and, is currently supplemented with an evening dose of amitryptiline by way of neuropathic pain control and to help with sleep.

This morning, having trudged along to the local bakery to collect our wholemeal loaf, what would normally have been a ten minute exertion was transformed into a twenty-five minute torturous expedition. Conditions underfoot profferred no truce for bearers of herniated discs and temperamental sciatic nerves. In that short distance, areas of the pavement ranged through crisp firm snow, icy compressed snow and deep grit and salt induced slush. Every few yards I needed to halt and, supported by a stout walking stick, thrust back my shoulderblades in an effort to stretch and unlock the spines nagging lumbar region.

Since returning home, a sustained deep sharp nausea inducing bruised sensation has held my right lower limb in thrall for the past eight or nine hours, the pain being especially acute around the knee and ankle. 

Mind you, the garden under it's blanket of snow was nice to look at!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thermostatic Quirks and Simple Pleasures

Quite when it happened, I don’t remember; all that I know is that for a number of recent years my body thermostat, though somewhat erratic, tended to play up in such a way that night-sweats, and even passive day-time cool room sitting sweats, have tended to dominate my life experience. The ambient temperature bore little, if any relationship, to my body heat and subsequent seepage of saline solution from pores all around my body, limbs and head.

It has come as something of a surprise, in more recent weeks, as the realization dawned that I’ve started feeling the “cold” to an apparently greater degree than others around me. It seems as if the thermostat has swung from one extreme to the other and, as a result, I no longer (if ever) have any realistic awareness of the ambient temperature. It’s actually quite a positive experience to be rid of the “night-sweats” but, not so the cold shudders experienced when sat in what I would have considered a comfortably heated environment. On the “up” side it suggests that I’m unlikely to suffer from hypothermia but, the “down” side is that we’re definitely going to be confronted with higher energy bills this fall and winter.

Is it possible that this thermostatic change could relate to my having doubled up on my ppi intake; could a reduction in the production of stomach acids serve to reduce my perceived body temperature. Of course, this “cooling down” also coincides with my most recent sustained period of refraining from smoking but, in normal circumstances (with the supposed deleterious effect of smoking on ones circulatory system) one would have anticipated the opposite result.

I could so easily produce pointlessly circular arguments at this point so, a change of topic is called for. And the subject today is …. SIMPLE PLEASURES!

In fact, simple pleasures, in spite of my regular moans, are a dominant feature of my life; I feel truly blessed with an ability, at times, to simply be still and bask in the wonderful phenomena of breathing. I look out of the window and observe the goldfinches, blue, great and coal tits, dunnocks, collared doves, jackdaws, house sparrows, all successfully scavenging for food, both from our feeders and natures natural bounty. I frequently feel quite overawed by the sheer variety of life forms that have evolved on this amazing planet.

Of an evening, as my beloved works on her laptop, whether for service preparation or updating her weblog, sat opposite me in the living room, I find myself quite simply lost in adoration, contemplation, care and concern for her well-being. Just to see her smile, watch her sing along with ‘Songs Of Praise’, even animatedly reading whatever novel or short story currently engages her attention, I just want to reach out and hold her, hug and squeeze her!

These simple things, a source of warm glowing pleasure, simultaneously serve to reinforce a sense of responsibility to look after and protect that / those for which / whom one cares.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Of Pain Creators, Pain Pathways and Pain Killers


One almost has to admire the blatant way that the Tories, both blue and orange varieties, demonstrate their disdain for the poor and vulnerable in our society; if only we had a political party prepared to attack privilege, and the wealth stealers, with equal fervour. Problem is these thieves, curiously misnamed "wealth creators", are held in such high esteem by the Tory controlled meejah (which seems to set the agenda for all parties with serious parliamentary aspirations)!

Strange how they have so much respect for the people who'll go to any lengths to avoid paying their fair quota of taxes; surely their readiness to pay up would be a true demonstration of their patriotism. The poor have no choice, patriots or not, the PAYE system ensures that they pay their full whack and, if they have the misfortune to succumb to any illness, or be made redundant, find themselves treated as scroungers and/or criminals, by the meejah, for daring to claim the benefits to which they are entitled.

Rant over for now, indeed it wasn't intended - it just sort of spewed forth but, I'll stand by it. Don't know exactly what was intended when I opened 'notepad', just felt it was time to update my blog!

Apart from a familiar sense of shatteredness, last Friday's exertions seem to have taken their toll on my spine. I don't know if it's possible to re-herniate a disc, one which hadn't given too much gyp in recent months, but I've once again started to experience quite acute (transferred) pain, in fluctuating increments - from about 3 to 8 out of 10, through hip, thigh, knee and ankle of my right lower limb. It began on Friday evening with a sensation of the lumbar vertebrae locking up but, I can't say for sure when the transferred pain in the lower limb began; as a matter of daily routine, I experience painful spasms  emanating (apparently) from an area of the calf muscle immediately behind the tibia.An early morning fix of tramadol helps to control this but, more frequent doses of the same med are only minimally reducing the acutely stabbing pains that seem to travel on a neural pathway from hip to ankle.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mal's Windswept Abode

Today's post, Gale Force Entrapment, a natural sequel to the previous days posting, can be found on Mal's Murmurings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mal's Shivering

Today's posting entitled 'Cold Snap - Cold Trap', on a theme of domestic travails, can be found on MAL's MURMURINGS

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Poppy Day Dilemmas

As both a Christian and a Socialist, I always have problems with the celebration of militarism otherwise known as Poppy Day. Whether or not I would have had sufficient strength of character to stand by my pacifist principles in extreme circumstances is something that used to cause me considerable  concern but, there are also other issues involved.
Much soul searching was involved, even when I had attempted to renounce my Xtian faith and, subsequently joined a revolutionary socialist organization. Don't get me wrong, I was already a socialist when I became a Christian, and failed to see the apparent necessity of taking on the petty bourgeois pretensions & morality that seemed to be the norm for evangelicals those days and saw communism, in an idealistic sense, as being far more compatible with Christianity than capitalism.
I moved freely between and amongst various groupings of the left, dismayed by much of the ideological bickering; I did manage however to retain friendships, in spite of (doctrinal) difficulties with members of factional groupings other than the one for which I settled.Too many of my comrades seemed to revel in the prospect of a good rumble, one could almost sense them salivating at the prospect of a bloody uprising. I consoled myself with the thought that bloodshed, like class warfare, is generally instigated by the capitalist ruling class and therefore resistance to their unjust power structures, which could only be maintained by the use of force, became a moral imperative.
But what of turning the other cheek; to be honest that may be the only option when confronted with the combined might of military and police, should the true wealth creators, the working class, attempt to fight for a truly just and democratic society where real equality of opportunity for everyone in a society focussed on care for one's neighbour. Bear in mind that I use neighbour in the broadest sense, that of the parable of the good Samaritan not the cynicism of "charity begins at home". To turn the other cheek is an expression of disdain for the values of those who rule by force. I did decide,however, that if I was able to shake off the shackles of my religious faith I would be happy to take up arms in the cause of a workers revolution. At the same time I recognized that there was no way I could take up arms for Queen and country, the capitalist cause. A complex dilemma indeed; the message and life of Jesus had so firmly grasped me that I still felt guilty at my readiness. albeit hypothetical, to take up arms for a revolutionary cause.
I fully appreciate the preparedness of young people, often from socially deprived areas of the nation, to join the armed forces  in order to learn a trade and earn a living. Since the politically wilful destruction of our industrial base other job opportunities are greatly restricted. Nor do I doubt that many military personnel are serving in support of deeply held principles, whether understandably honourable or misguided is here irrelevant. For me a major scandal of the Poppy Appeal is that the welfare of those who have served their nation, and it's capitalist cause, should be dependent in any way upon charitable donations. It is the responsibility of the state that recruits, employs and puts the lives of these young men at risk,for whatever ideological motivation,  to look after them.
I regret the loss of life of civilians and military personnel equally; I abhor the slaughter of innocents on the imperialist whim of any ruling elite. Should there come a Remembrance Day with no uniformed military personnel or insignia on display, at Cenotaphs and commemorative church services, I would no longer see the commemorations as show of support for militarism but, rather an acknowledgement of the futility of war.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Mal murmurs again

I've just realized that a post, Respectable Crooks, that I've just put on my "Mal's Murmurings" blog could almost be considered a natural sequel to the closing lines of yesterday's 'Snakes and Ladders' posting.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Snakes and Ladders

Having spent some time on Saturday morning, ladder and beloved assisted, picking awkwardly out of reach Bramley apples from our tallest tree, I took advantage of the bright dry day to lop some of the more rampant growth from the top of the tree. This task required the use of both secateurs and long handled loppers as one side of the tree is in extremely close, and ladder prohibiting, proximity to sundry thorn bearing shrubs. The shrubs themselves are a valuable part of a wildlife friendly environment so, in spite of their being an obstacle to our apple harvesting / tree pruning activity, we have no intention of moving or aggressively restraining their reasonably free growth. Amazing the contortions that I put my, achingly unsupple, body through during these moments of endeavour.

It's only retrospectively that I realized, in spite of ma belle's (partially ignored) timely warnings, I may have over exerted myself in the process. By yesterday lunchtime, I found myself suffering from an irritatingly aching discomfort and muscle fatigue; a flare up of my familiar digestive disorders did little to relieve an overall sense of dis-ease. As a result, I was in bed by 8.45pm and didn't emerge from my intermittent slumbers until 11.00am this morning. My intention to watch a TV programme, whilst abed last evening, came to naught as my eyes, and other body components, were too achingly exhausted to fulfill the necessary function of concentration. I intermittently caught snatches of dialogue, from the broadcast, as ma belle watched the programme whilst I rested; I'm grateful that she taped the programme for me to catch up with this afternoon.

This morning, having finally released myself from the duvet's warmth, a rapid donning of daytime apparel followed and, I ventured out to the bakery, braving all that the elements cast my way. To my surprise, walking (albeit stick-aided) came easier than I'd anticipated and I hastily strode down to 'Open Church' for coffee, and a little conversation, before returning home via the bakery. Once again the tramadol capsules have performed wonderfully to ease the muscular aches and spasms in the lower limbs and, a bruisingly painful tenderness in both chest and abdomen has eased considerably since yesterday.

As I cope with my sundry petty ailments, my thoughts go out to all those chronically ill people who successive governments, ably abetted by the Tory press, insist on treating as scroungers!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Single Porsche Family

With a day pass for a regional conference at £35 (advance booking) and dinner at £50, one starts to wonder just who these events are aimed at. Even if health permitted my attendance, the tariff alone would prove prohibitive. Obviously attendance at such conferences is based upon one's bank balance as much as political persuasion.  It has me wondering what kind of petit bourgeois organization might get away with these exorbitant charges. The answer is the Labour Party, obviously very much New labour judging by these prohibitive tariffs. Already I'm starting to wonder why I ever rejoined the party; having been an activist throughout most of the 1960's and 70's (and a reluctant hanger on in the eighties) the advent of the Blair machine alienated me completely but, I had begun to hope that it may one day regain its soul!

The party obviously can have little appeal to, or understanding of, the economically challenged in our society. Perhaps the party hierarchs consider poverty to be that state wherein one is reduced to the state of being a single Porsche household.


15.49hrs. I have just posted a rather more upbeat post, primarily a video, entitled Golden Rain on 'Mal's Murmurings'