Triple Troubles!

In ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, Oscar Wilde coined the famous phrase….’to lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness!’

In similar vein, one could say that having one of the family having medical treatment is understandable; but to have three of them undergoing treatment at the same time, seems a trifle over the top!’

This is my situation just now…hope I don’t trip over my shadow somewhere, and end-up making it a full-house!

….and Son makes three!

After quite a few years of being ‘Darby and Joan!’ and the relative peace it brings, Son is now quite often at our house as he suffers the agony of nerve pains. He can get peace and quiet to snooze when he needs-to, from the effect of the pain-killers he has to take, as they occasionally ‘knock him out’.

Like all such medications, they have their side-effects, and remind us that there are rarely black-and-white solutions to the problems of this world. Almost every action taken has a repercussion, which then demands a solution, and possibly further action etc etc.  He is now on a cocktail of pills, and will hopefully be able to get off them slowly, as and when the body is able to recover.

One can only stand and watch, wait and hope, that it will not be too long, so that he can return to the bosom of his own family………..taking his pills with him…….

What a Pain!

A nuisance,  distress, suffering, agony, ache, ….all can be explained by use of the simple word ‘pain’. Is this because we have no universal definition of pain, so we use our own subjective feeling, in much the same way as we use the word ‘beauty’ or ‘pleasure’?

Scientifically, it is a signal sent from a seat of ‘disturbance’ in an area of the body, which activates in the central nervous system a response (via motor neurons) to take actions to prevent further damage happening (e.g. moving one’s hand away from a flame), and also learn, so that it is less likely to happen in the future.

We all suffer at one time or another, from toothache, to a bashed thumb, from a bad back to a thumping headache, or even migraine. And yet, unless there is obvious physical damage, such as bleeding or injury, it is very difficult to feel pain for others, or indicate the extent of our own pain.

Recently I have seen Son in obvious agony over a period of time, but could only empathise properly if I had experienced the same pain for the same length of time.

The word itself comes from the Latin poena, meaning retribution or punishment, but I cannot feel this to be a fully useful or valid meaning. There may be some fault laid at our door in that we can and do abuse our bodies by neglect, or over-exercise, by over-eating or starvation, but there are still situations where we cannot be held to have contributed.

This is still an area where we must ‘go it alone’ in our life. We can only receive compassion and give sympathy to a certain extent, and when the pain-killers have worn off we are left with an un-platable, but very real experience.

Fortunately, for most of us this is for a limited time, but one can only admire the fortitude of those who carry this beyond their forseeable future.

Oh, dear….and senior years loom ahead for us!

Another day….another jag!

Young Lady of the House, and I, became part of medical history on Saturday. We have reached a certain age, and had been invited to take part in a nation-wide survey of life-styles and health information. It is just as well that we are computer-literate, because most of the investigation  was via a touch-screen computer, but, when faced with a continuing list of personal questions, it is difficult to know oneself, especially about what happened, and illnesses endured, during youth.

Then a series of measurements of height, (standing and sitting), body/mass index, waist circumference, percentage body fat, bone density, lung function were all undertaken, and give cause for concern (well at least a little worry!).

Then came the blood-letting! We were donating what seemed like half an armful of blood, to be kept for later analysis and comparison with the other information given. Sounds simple enough! But the marvellous bloke who was taking the blood, struggled to get a vein without hitting nerves! Unfortunately I don’t like needles! Struggle as he might, he was un-successful, and had to try again, at another location, and eventually succeeded. The Young Lady of the house had no such problems. We both survived the experience!

Hopefully the results will prove of use for future medical research, but I would ask that they look after my blood samples carefully, as they, and I, took so much trouble to get them!