Woes and Wherefores

You put your left hand in, you pull your left hand out … that’s what it’s all about. Well that sounds easy enough, a simple exercise but, I’ve recently been made to think about just what, and how many, muscles are used in such a simple action. In fact, in all honesty I’ve been finding the “simple” act of sitting in a high-backed armchair has become much more of a technical exercise.

Last Wednesday morning I visited the Dermatology unit, at the District Hospital, for the excision of a rodent ulcer (basal cell carcinoma), an operation which went quite smoothly (with the help of a couple of extra shots of the local anaesthetic) taking about 35-40 minutes. The cauterizing and needlework seemed to take much longer than the actual excision but, it was nice to be assured that all harmful matter had been removed.

Unlike previous occasions, when I’ve undergone a similar procedure, the dressing had to be removed after only 24 hours, and certainly not as much as 48hrs, preferably following a shower as the dressing seemed to adhere like superglue. As it worked out, my beloved removed the dressing, not without difficulty but very carefully; the skin had reddened considerably in the areas of former adhesion and the pull of the stitches became much more apparent.

 

With the siting of the wound (quite central in middle to lower back) it’s pretty difficult for me to see to apply the twice daily application of Vaseline to the wound so, that’s another chore for ma belle. If only I could see, and manage, the wound myself there would be less of a shock as the substance is rubbed in to the wound. Even the touch of a friend can bring a shudder to the spine. One cannot help but be aware of the wound as I try to sit back comfortably in a chair, or on the sofa, and so I am consequently unable to properly relax.

tight stitched wound

On the fourth morning after the procedure, a modest blood flow from the wound, wetting my shirt, caused me undue alarm although, fortunately, the flow quickly reverted to a slight seepage. Each move I make in an attempt to be seated, in a relaxed and comfortable posture, feels as if the muscles in the back are trying to rip open the stitches.

The upside of the situation is that I’ve been inspired to work on a new poem ‘As If The Worlds Woe’ in an attempt to capture some of the unusual situation.

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A Fruitful Misery

Seems like I have a permanent ticket for a roller-coaster ride, not that I particularly requested or enjoy the experience! The journey involves states of physical and emotional health, by which I mean health shortcomings.

Just as I’m getting used to feeling a dose of well-being, random pains and discomfort have a habit of leaping out to chastise me; whatever task I’m managing at that particular time, a throbbing burning pain in wrists, a sharper pain in elbows or, the nagging hollow bruised, nausea inducing, discomfort in the armpits strikes, calling an immediate halt to whatever activity is in process. (By activity I mean something akin to reading a newspaper or magazine, or maybe surfing the web on tablet or laptop: it is indeed only on very rare occasions that any of these activities are permitted as prolonged a period as thirty-minutes!). An added joy is the Damoclean sword of permanently imminent, frequently occurring, gullet, stomach and colon flare-ups.

More recently, the familiar neurological ailments have been partnered with an unrelated depressive anxiety. Some days I find myself in sudden floods of tears, concerning love, beauty and transience, fearing being alone and upset at the brevity of human life, especially as I’m now in my mid-seventies and, have become increasingly in awe at the amazing interdependence of everything in the whole cycle of life and, that nothing is wasted in nature’s economy. The primary cause of my current bout of anxiety is related to concern about my beloved OH’s impending aortic heart valve replacement operation. The operation will be of four hours duration, followed by a couple of days in cardiac intensive care then, four or five more days in the hospital.

This will be the longest period that we have been apart since our wedding over nineteen years ago. Apart from being my wife, lover, companion, confidant and chauffeur, she has increasingly become my carer. Whilst she’s in the hospital I won’t be able to visit her, owing to travelling involved. Since the onset of my chronic illness (moderate Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) even the, less than two mile, trip into town can prove emotionally and physically overwhelming, but ma belle will be in a neighbouring city some eighteen miles away. My (step-)daughters have offered to take me but, the prospect of such a journey makes me realize that I’d be in no fit state to be a bedside visitor (as I’d have to anticipate the ordeal of the return run).

A sizeable bleeding rodent ulcer (presumed basal cell carcinoma) has in recent weeks become an additional irritant and, I will shortly be attending an appointment in the dermatology dept of the District Hospital. Oh, what joys we are all heir too!

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Hopeless Sanity Breaking Corporation

How easily relative calm is broken. One would suppose a simple transfer transaction online, an action that I’ve regularly performed, would cause few if any emotional problems. That presumption proved false yesterday morning. Owing to malfunction of a security device I had to use an alternative method of logging on; so far all was well until I was informed that the alternative access method would shortly be phased out.

My next action was to use live chat, to find out how I could obtain a replacement security device. Two methods were available but I opted for a simple telephone call, via which I could obtain a replacement within five working days. Having been requested, by a disembodied voice, to input sort code, account number, my date of birth etc; which information I happily supplied, I was suddenly thrown when they asked me to input digits from my telephone banking password. As I don’t do telephone banking, I was unable to oblige. After holding for a considerable time I was put through to a distant call centre (presumably somewhere on the South Asian sub-continent) and was relieved to hear a real human voice!

I immediately informed the human, at the other end of the line, that I don’t do telephone banking but I was given their number to request a replacement secure key. At first this seemed to be going well until they requested I input a digit from the aforementioned telephone banking password. Talk about going round in circles; a short while later having given further security info, she requested that I confirm a favourite quote, place etc; and some other information, the spoken words of which I was unable to decipher. By now I’d reached breaking point; I explained that I was of a certain age and suffering from a chronic health condition and all I wanted was a replacement device. My beloved, noticing my distress took over the call and, without any further questions being asked was informed that the requested device would be despatched to me.

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Letter by over 100 left-wing Jews supporting Chris Williamson removed by Guardian. Read it still here:

Pride's Purge

The Guardian newspaper has removed a letter from over 100 prominent left-wing Jews – including Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and the actor Ed Asner – in support of Labour MP Chris Williamson against accusations of antisemitism:

This is apparently after a complaint from the anti-Corbyn and rather more right-wing Board of Deputies of British Jews.

This is simply censorship of Jewish voices on the left.

Therefore, in the name of openness and balance, here is the letter and the signatories reproduced in full. Please share:

Guardian Letter 9th July 2019

Jewish Statement: Reinstate Chris Williamson

We the undersigned, all Jews, are writing in support of Chris Williamson and to register our dismay at the recent letter organised by Tom Watson, and signed by parliamentary Labour party and House of Lords members, calling for his suspension.

Chris Williamson did not say that the party had been “too apologetic about…

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Far-right anti-semites infiltrating pro-Israel Jewish groups

Pride's Purge

We have truly gone through the looking glass and come out in a world turned upside down.

Rabidly antisemitic far-right neo-nazis and Holocaust deniers are hiding their previous antisemitism and forging links to pro-Israel Jewish groups in order to further the popularity of their anti-immigration ideas and sow hate against the Left.

Far-right antisemite Peter Sweden is a key figure linking far-right groups across Europe. Here is just some of his previous views about Jews, from just 3 years ago:

OK. So far so rabidly anti-semitic.

But just look at our Jew-hater Peter now, in 2019:

And here’s our very own Katie Hopkins being “warmly greeted” by right-wing Jews:

Katie, of course, is a close friend of our Holocaust-denying, rabidly anti-semitic Swedish neo-Nazi, who thinks she’s “lovely”:

I’m certain many Jews would be appalled by this, if only they knew about it.

But of course, the antisemitic views of these…

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This damaged Tory government needs putting out of its misery

Labour Hub

This is the editorial from the latest issue of Labour Briefing magazine

The US continues to ratchet up tensions against Iran, alleging it attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, while offering scant evidence in support. The tanker owner directly contradicted the Trump version of events and Japan and European countries reacted with deep scepticism. Iran denied responsibility, but the UK government parroted the White House line, a position Jeremy Corbyn correctly challenged. Meanwhile 1,000 more US troops have been dispatched to an already highly militarised region.

Behind these headlines, however, a more insidious process is at work. Crippling US sanctions with the declared intent of “bringing Iran’s oil exports to zero” are cutting off Iran’s principal source of revenue. These sanctions are also applied to third parties who trade with Iran. Similar sanctions on Venezuela will hit $9 billion of oil exports in 2019, plunging that country further…

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Open Letter To Tom Watson About Brexit

Turning the Tide

Dear Tom Watson

A significant number of Labour Party Members have experienced ever growing disgust over your determination to represent your views as our own over Brexit, when in truth, the membership has very complex and diverse views on this difficult subject. To claim with certainty that you speak for us all, is both disingenuous and wrong and alienates those of us who do not share your views. It is also hypocritical. You did not care how the membership felt about Corbyn’s leadership back in 2016 when you urged him to resign, but now suddenly, it’s the most important thing to you.

Many of us who are working tirelessly to ensure we achieve a Labour majority at the next General Election, fully understand and endorse the position of the Leadership over Brexit, which is to respect the 2016 EU Referendum result, whilst minimising disruption and harm to our economy. This…

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