A doubt in the mind…..


For those of you who have nothing better to do, you may remember that I had a little ‘medical event’ a couple of weeks ago,which we all originally agreed was probably labrynthitis (a viral infection of the balance mechanism in the inner ear).

Both I  and the consultant  had a nagging doubt that it was not that, as I felt I didn’t have all the normal symptoms which manifest themselves. There was obviously no suspicious problem in the brain (that’s not what some people say!) as the CT scan proved clear. But we all do like having such occurrences named definitively don’t we?

Lady of the House spent some time exploring the Internet and, good for her, she found what was a  more-likely reason. Having read several relevant papers and my modern text books, it does seem to fit better with my symptoms. It is often mistaken for labrynthitis, and it is only relatively-recently documented to any extent. I can therefore not hold any criticism of my receiving consultant.

Viral  vestibular neuritis (as it is wonderfully called) is an infection of the vestibular nerve, often appearing after a persistent upper respiratory infection (as in my case) and can disappear very quickly (as in my case) or dribble on for a few weeks. It is also unlikely to return….

So you can see I am a lot more re-assured, and have proved that you can learn something every day!

Back to work tomorrow!…hooray


A week after my medical ‘event’ I feel ready to get back to work. It’s a strange feeling…..being off for a week, ill, for the first time in 25 years. I must be frank; for the first few days I gave the businesses no consideration at all…..things are quiet anyway, but we are lucky with the folk who work with us as they are perfectly capable and so as the week went on, I was able to stay relaxed about it.

It became a feeling of  ‘so this is what retirement is like!’  But of course it wasn’t. It was not a situation of our choosing, and there was uncertainty of the medical future. On the plus side, the clock became less important and we were able to establish a very simple routine…….

GP says he sees no reason why I can’t drive if I feel OK, which contrasts with the Consultant who said I should refrain for four weeks! So what to do? Perhaps I should only drive on alternate days, or drive on a journey one way and let the Lady of the House drive on the return journey?

Despite what I said in my previous blog, I have nothing but admiration for the medical staff. Non-judgemental, they had to deal with a 12 hour shift, swearing, bad manners, alcoholics, soiled beds, all with a calmness I would find difficult to maintain. They were always ready to help in even a small way, such as getting me a glass of water. So, if any of you are watching…. many thanks.

Cleaning and hygiene within the ward have exceeded all expectation and again have to commend all those responsible.

So for a couple of hours each day, I will slowly pick-up the threads again, and hopefully lay the ghost to rest…..and be thankful that the body systems have not taken a major jolt…..so thanks to all who asked after my health.

‘The patient spent a quiet night’


…..like heck he did!
I had to go into hospital unexpectedly, recently and spent the night in the receiving ward. Unfortunately, it is also probably the most noisy. Oxygen pumps, bleeping monitors, ringing phones, talking nurses, clattering heels in the corridors, coughing, snoring, and other physiological noises all contribute to a ‘background’ which makes it very difficult to get any kind of sleep or rest.

So I was glad when I was allowed to go home at teatime the next day….for a bit of peace and quiet. So I have slept on and off today.

No work for a week nor driving for a month have made life a bit of a problem, but maybe it will give me a taste of retirment! I might also get a bit more blogging done!

Re-cycled music!


On one of my other blogs ( click on the ANGELUS SINGERS Blogroll link) I happened to be describing the life story of John Stainer, a marvellous and famous English organist and composer. He is probably best known for his oratorio ‘Crucifixion’. I had mentioned that many decades ago, I had conducted this piece with a choir who mostly used Tonic Solfa (a way of reading music). This method is rarely, if ever, used now-a-days.

Someone e-mailed me to say that they had googled to try and find out if there were any of these copies still in existence. A member of the Royal School of Church Music was going to South Africa, and wanted to teach the piece to people who had no access to normal staff music. Luckily I was able to contact my old church, speak to one of my old choir members and establish that indeed those same copies were still in the music cupboard.

They are now on their way to South Africa to be re-used some 4 decades later……the internet is wonderful!

B********y weather

Over the last lot of weeks we have had reasonably open weather, and I have been at the office.

Then the one week when I have planned to go to beautiful St Fillans, in the middle of Perthshire, Edinburgh, and then to Kirkcudbright in the South west of Scotland……it snows!

Now if only I were a ten-year-old with a sleigh!