Backlog: rest in bed

I had a runny nose and coughed for maybe two weeks, but the true reason why, at the end of the first December week, I finally put myself down to seeing a doctor about it was that I wanted to get rest from the others. She duly sent me to bed, where I stayed from Thursday to Saturday, and it did help. Most of the time I was on my own, able to sleep, read and be online more or less when I wanted. Most importantly, it helped me to get over Friday’s leaving of Anndra, almost the last guy here left that I really cared about. (Steinbeck: “There seemed to be no cure for loneliness save only being alone.”) The fact that some drops I was prescribed actually stopped the nose running within 24 hours was just an unexpected bonus.



And yet it wasn’t all bad

What I said last night holds, but it’s quite possible that years from now I’ll reminisce about these last few months a little wistfully. That I’ll mostly remember all those iPlayer documentaries I saw while having my meals . . .

I even have new favourite presenters, Dougie Vipond and Neil Oliver having been joined by Chris Packham, Dan Cruickshank, James Fox . . .


About to leave

So, on Wednesday to the rehab. And then hopefully to some other town, as I’ve learned to hate this one. Anyway, I’m certainly not returning to this gaff, which I never liked in the first place. Because of …

A floating floor and no carpet in the bedsit. No door between the antechamber and the bedsit, making old women blethering on the staircase all too audible. A washbasin so tiny one can’t even wash a pair of socks in it. Bathroom walls so dark it’s hard to see one’s face properly when shaving. A microwave oven and an electric cooker but no fridge. And so on.

But most of all the sod staying above me, stamping like a hippo from wall to wall and back again, quite often for a few hours in a row. God knows what the arseheid is doing that for. Even worse than the bitch in Wester Common. It’s been years since I last went – sober – to my bed with a pleasant expectation of a restful sleep. I go to sleep anxious that noise will not let me fall asleep, and certain it would wake me up.

So in a sense I can’t wait to leave here. Who knows, perhaps I’ll yet get a chance to relearn going to sleep without this anxiety. While there’s life there’s hope.


Làithean beagan trang a-rithist

Dimàirt, b’ e an t-uachdaran agus am fiaclaire; an-dè, an oifis airson tèarainteachd shòisealta. Ach, gu neo-chumanta, tha mi beagan ro làimh, seach air dheireadh, ron cheann-ama a tha ann an Diciadain an ath sheachdain; bha fiù agus àm gu leòr agam a’ tilleadh bhon oifis ri dhol ann an taigh-òsta agus biadh sònraichte a’ cheàrna seo a ghabhail. Ma bhios mi soirbheachail, cha bi teans agam a ghabhail a-rithist.



I had a vague idea what OCD was for several years: knew about the condition before Tommy and me sometimes jokingly accused each other of having it. It was only recently, however, that I discovered I might really have it myself.

I bought Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by David Veale and Rob Willson and began reading it. But while I’m sure I show symptoms for one kind of OCD, namely the “excessive concern with exactness, order, and symmetry” kind, I always halt when I read the word anxious. I definitely would not label my emotion when things are not ‘neat and tidy’ as anxiety: the correct word is annoyance.

But the authors brought my attention to another condition, one I had never heard of before: obsessive compulsive personality disorder, which has other symptoms I definitely show, like “constantly making lists” and more to be found in Wikipedia’s leader.

OCPD, then? Who knows. More probably than OCD; then again, I have not shed the suspicion that it may in fact be Asperger’s.


Cuisle PhEG a-mach

Rinn mi gearan air a’ chuisle o chionn fhada, agus o chionn ghoirid, bha mi a’ sìor fhàs seachd sgìth dhith gu dearbh. Ach thug iad i a-mach mu dheireadh thall Diciadain.

Gidheadh, bi greiseag ann fhathast mus slànaich an toll far an robh i – mu sheachdain, a rèir an dotair – greiseag dar nach urrainn dhomh ithe, fras a gabhail ‘mar bu chòir’ no ‘eacarsaich’ a dhèanamh eadhon chun na h-ìre dhe na làithean seo chaidh.

Ach as dèidh sin … bidh mi deiseil ri dhol san ospadal-inntinne. Tòisichidh eachtradh eile, oir as dèidh sin … cò aig a tha fios dè bhios?


170712: Busy, busy day

Incidentally the twenty-second anniversary of the last time I had sex, but that’s irrelevant: what made it busy was all related to the near future, rather than to distant past. First the landlord came for the rent and I had to disclose to him I was about to leave soon: he took it surprisingly equanimously. Then I went out myself to the office of my internet provider: although it took some time, I finally did make the lady behind the counter fill in the contract termination form. After which I visited the local branch of the state department responsible for pensions and mined them for information about the possibility of getting some income on account of the consequences of the cancer and the cure: I even got the necessary forms, even though in the end we concluded it would be better to apply after my rehab stint.

It’s been like this for some time: days or weeks of having no appointments alternating with days or weeks of having several. But I was quite satisfied at the end of this one, because I did follow all the negotiations through without bottling out of anything. Rather unusual for me to be honest.


Eòlach air cinn-là

Bha mi airson gam fònadh leam fhìn, ach mus do dhùisg mi, sheirm boireannach air choireigin bhon ospadal leighis-inntinn mi, agus dh’aontaich sinn gun tig mi ann air an dàrna latha dhen Lùnastal.

Sgoinneil. Mu dheireadh thall, tha fios agam dè an uimhir ama a tha agam gus an latha dar a dh’fhàgas mi am baile mosach seo, an dùil nach biodh agam ri tilleadh a-riamh. Thòisich mi cha mhòr sa bhad air cnuasachadh air dè as fheudar – agus as urrainn – dhomh a dhèanamh tron àm.

(Thuirt i cuideachd gum bi mi ann mu mhìos: bha mi ’n dòchas gum biodh sin na b’ fhaide ach ’s dòcha gum bi aon mhìos gu leòr. Bu chòir dha a bhith nas saoire mar an ceudna.)



Some English schoolboys protested against having to wear long trousers during the latest heatwave by wearing skirts instead, and apparently won their fight.

Good on them, but interestingly the photos show them in buttoned-up shirts and ties, which reminds me of all those guys wearing shorts, even sandals – and zipped-up fleece tops. I could never understand this. Maybe it’s down to my blood circulation, but as far as I’m concerned, the chest and neck get unpleasantly hot long before the legs. I’m more likely to feel comfortable naked to the waist, while below it wearing heavy-duty denims, thick socks and boots.

So I find it much more understandable when John Bercow accepts tie-less MPs in the House of Commons.



Uill, chan eil an àrd-dhotair buileach cinnteach fhathast, ach cho-dhùin e mu dheireadh thall gu bheil coltachd mhòr ann gun deach at na h-aillse à sealladh. Dh’aontaich e cuideachd gun urrainn dhaibh a’ chuisle PhEG a tharraing às mo stamag.

Drochaid-choise thar Allt a’ Choire Odhair Mhòir

Chan e seo toiseach ùr. Gidheadh, ’s e a’ chiad cheum air slighe ùr, as dèidh nam mìosan dar a bha e coltach nach biodh tèile ann tuilleadh; ’s dòcha gu bheil beagan ama ri teachd romham fhathast.

Feumaidh mi a-nis faighinn air ais dhan rehab agus an uairsin, nas fhaisge air mo sheana-charaidean. Bha mi a’ grodadh san bhugair bhaile seo ro fhada.


BBC One: Growing Up with Cancer

All right, so I’d got cancer. Maybe I’ll be told tomorrow the chemoradiotherapy worked just fine and the tumour has gone. Maybe not. But I’m in my late forties, and had lost just about everything a couple of years previously anyway.

But reportedly seven UK teenagers a day are diagnosed with cancer too. This programme looks at a few of these, some of whom went (or are about to go) through a more drastic treatment than me. Spending what should be the best days of their lives fighting a disease.

Presumably, scarcely any of them will ever receive an OBE, but they’re heroes all the same, if only for not breaking down. I simply admire them and wish them all good luck.


Cola-deug beagan trang

An t-seachdain sa chaidh, b’ e Diluain le sgana PET/CT (nach robh cho dona ris a’ chiad fhear an-uiridh), Diciadain le tadhal air a’ bhan-lighiche, agus Diardaoain ann an roinn na h-eòlais-aillse. Mar a bha dùil agam, bha toraidhean a’ PhET/CT gealltanach gun a bhith deimhinnte, coltach ri toraidhean a’ bhiopsy is CT ‘àbhaisteach’ romhpa.

An t-seachdain seo, b’ e a’ bhan-dotair-teaghlaich air sgàth nòta pàighidh thinneis fhaighinn an-diugh, tadhal air mo mhàthair a-màireach (thàinig i a bhaile faisg airson greis dar a tha m’ athair ann am baile-spatha eile), agus fibroscopy Dihaoine. Mura bhios sin deimhinnte, bidh biopsy eile romham. Gidheadh, bu chòir dha seachdain no dhà gun choinneamh sam bith a bhith agam an uairsin.


La psy

Ça a été très court : probablement, elle a été contente que je veuille aller au centre de désitoxication moi-même, et donc je ne vais pas la faire perdre son temps. Elle a même déjà écrit la lettre pour m’y adresser dès que je serai guéri (certes, si je serai guéri).


Fiaclaire mu dheireadh thall

B’ e àm fada on a thadhail mi air, agus bha m’ fhiaclan-cùil clì goirt gu tric, ach cha bu dàna leam a dhol ann leis mar a chruthachadh m’ amhaich seile is lionn-cuirp. Dar a dh’fhàs seo rudeigin na b’ fheàrr, chaidh mi ann, on a dh’iarr mi deit fhaighinn roimhe biopsy eile nam biodh fear ann. Ach ’s ann cha mhòr sa bhad a bha mi nam shuidhe sa chathair, agus as dèidh dham fiaclaire dà fhiacaill a chàradh, thuirt e nach robh a dhìth orm tighinn a-rithist ach sa gheamhradh. Bha sin cho luath nach robh àm agam fàs mì-chofhurtail. Ceum beag eile air adhart …


Problèmes avec la nourriture

Comme toujours, avant qu’un problème disparaît, il y a un autre.

Je m’ai apperçu que mes côtes étaient très visible. Ainsi j’ai commencé compter des kilocalories, et j’ai trouvé que je mangais en moyenne un mille par jour : la moitié de la quantité recommandée. Alors, j’ai commencé à manger davantage, et peut-être que j’ai commencé à prendre du poids. Un petit peu.

Mais en attendant, il y a de plus en plus du sang autour du trou de ma sonde de gastrostomie lorsque je change le pansement. Et le bord … à vrai dire, c’est comme si quelque chose (l’estomac ?) émerge du trou. Je remettais une visite de la gastro-entérologie trop longtemps.

Enfin, j’y vais demain. J’espère que je n’aurai pas besoin d’une opération …

Ajouté la prochaine nuit: C’était bon. Ils m’ont assuré que le changement autour du trou était assez normal. S’il ne croît pas, je peux juste attendre, avec calme, le temps de retirer la sonde.


Gun nì a dh’fhios

Thadhail mi air an dotair ach chan eil nì a dh’fhios agam fhathast.

Smaointich an làimh-lèigh a rinn am biopsy gun robh fuigheall an ait nam sgòrnan fhathast, ach cha do lorg hiosto-eòlas rud sam bith ceàrr. ’S ann neo-dheimhinnte a bha an sgana CT cumanta cuideachd. Mar sin, dà sheachdain gu leth bho seo bidh sgana PET/CT ùr agam; mura bhios toradh deimhinnte aigesan, biopsy eile; agus ma bhios bìdeag amharais ann fhathast as dèidh sin, bheir iad mo ghuthlag air falbh mu dheireadh thall.

Na mìosan air ais, dar a thuirt iad dhomh gun robh an aillse agam, le dà at follaiseach, thuirt iad gum biodh coltachd sorbhachadh opairèisean na guthalaige 70%. Nach fheum gum biodh i fada na b’ àirde a-nis? ’S dòcha. Co-dhiù no co-dheth, tha agam ri leantainn orm a’ feitheamh …


La fin d’un autre emploi

Je l’ai eintièrement oublié, mais j’avais juste un contrat à durée déterminée. La semaine prochaine, une lettre des ressources humaines m’a rappellé ça. Donc, cette semaine je les ai visités, avec succès : on m’a dit que je devrais encore apporter les notes mensuelles de ma médecin généraliste à eux.

Puisque je voulais terminer le boulot quand même, ça ne m’ennuie pas – presque. Presque, parce que je dois terminer l’arrêt maladie avant d’aller au centre de désintoxication, et maintenant, je me retrouverai au chômage en attendant. Autrement dit, j’y aller sans revenu.

Mais je ne suis pas du tout désespéré. J’ai un peu d’épargne ; dans le pire des cas, il y a quelques-uns qui m’aideraient ; et de toute façon, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it : en ce moment, je ne sais pas encore si la tumeur a disparu.


Köln a’ tadhail orm

Bha cèilidh an 90mh co-là-breith aig seanmhair Khöln (caraid leam bhon cholaiste) faisg air an àite seo Disathairne; dar a bha e a’ tilleadh dhachaigh an ath latha, chuir sinn mu dhà uair a thìde seachad ann an taigh-seinnse mu choinneamh an stèisean mus robh an trèan aige ri fàgail. Feasgar tràth taitneach: cha bu dàna leam ithe (ged a ghabh esan dà chamembert) agus tha fhios gun robh mo ghuth glè thùchanach fhathast, ach chaidh agam air bruidhinn gun thilgeil smugaidean, gun chasad mòr is gun thionndadh balbh. Cha do shuath sinn air cuspair mo thuiteam air ais ’s mo rùintean no dùilean airson an ama ri teachd, ach bha mi coma. Bha mi dìreach a’ mealadh na cabadaich sèimh, socair.


Second biopsy

The discharge report suspects the tumour persists in “the left piriform recess” but mentions several other areas “unaffected by the tumour”. Anyway, they took a sample for histology, next Thursday I’m in for another CT scan and the next day should be told the results.

The two-night hospital stay was rather nice this time. Most of the time I shared the room with just one other guy, and he was spending most of his time just reading, like myself. It’s not often that one can experience a quiet time amongst (generally noise-loving) South Bohemians; when this happens, one enjoys it the more.



Chnuasaich mi an nòisean gum bu chòir dhomh tiomnadh a sgrìobhadh a-cheana san t-Sultain an-uiridh, ron chiad àm a chaidh mi dhan ospadal airson endoscopy fon an-fhaireachdair fhaighinn, ach cha robh an t-àm agam air a shon. Tha mi a’ dol a-rithist Diciadain agus an turas seo, sgrìobh mi e: cunntas-banca Seiceach gu Rob, cunntas-banca Albannach gu Tommy, leabhraichean-latha gu Jamie no Falcon (am fear a lorgadh iad na bu luaithe). Tha mi ’n dòchas a-nis gun lorg mi cybercafé airson ga chlò-bhualadh.