Monday, 21 January 2019

Life With Lump 11 - Then and Now


When I first was diagnosed with throat cancer I was unafraid of the dreaded disease and even less so death. I still am. My approach to the whole thing, my positive attitude revealed me as I have always been with ill health. Get on with it.  However, even with my daily practice of being mindful, of meditating which soon was forgotten as events, events of my own making, overtook me things took a severe downturn. My family put it best for between them all, even though my kids have never seen me have a seizure only my wife, they have seen me shrug off one heart attack, three strokes and the usual illnesses that life throws at you. Why then did I go into a mental meltdown? I have said to one and all who read this blog I live in the now. I am unconcerned with the past as it has gone and no one knows what the future holds as it hasn't happened yet. So what on earth went wrong?

I did.  I allowed my mind to control me rather than me controlling my mind. First, though there was the matter of a family crisis. My daughter Grace and son-in-law and the proud parents of Lily, Lily Bug as they call her. Lily was born with Cystic Fibrosis, an illness that can, in extremes kill you or, as with very many sufferers foreshorten life. Some who have CF can expect to only live to forty but there are many now who have, through the advance of medical science, reached sixty.  

Both Grace and Brett have struggled to come to terms with their daughter having CF. There is a lot of time taken up with caring for an infant with Cystic Fibrosis. They needed a break. A holiday had been booked for the family in Scotland. They asked me did I want them to remain at home to support me through the process of radiotherapy which I was in the early stages of having. I said no, I wanted Grace to have a break, to get away from it all. On the day my family left, a Saturday I went into mental meltdown. My neighbours saw me pacing up and down the pavement shouting out. They kindly took me in, tried to calm me but eventually contacted Anne the senior nurse of the Oncology Team who called for an ambulance which took me to A&E. Patients with cancer normally attend treatment as an outpatient. In my case, they made an exception. 

Things went from bad to worse. Anxiety attacks began to appear all the time with me walking up and down the length of the ward I was in, then around the hospital and even beyond. All of this due to my inability to recall my practice, to remember to breathe, to count my breaths, to realise that my fears were groundless as they all were based on what might happen not what was happening. For the weeks I was in the hospital, I can't remember how many, I had panic attack after panic attack. Why?

When a diabetic, certainly me, becomes low in sugar he has to first take some fast acting sugars, liquids are best and then eat some slow acting carbohydrate. At that stage I had to take painkillers one-half hour before eating, a period far too long should my sugar drop. I think this was the cause of my anxiety as I no longer was in control of my diabetes. As I said previously if only I had maintained my daily practice I doubt this would have happened. At one stage I was taken to the mental health wing of Basildon hospital. Jasmine and Grace took me there having returned from their week in Scotland. As I entered the building I was whisked away before being shown my room. Jasmine and Grace were not allowed to say goodbye to me by an over-diligent jobsworth who wouldn't let them in. I arrived at eight in the evening and didn't see a doctor until one in the morning of the next day.

Lorazepam became my best friend during these dark days. I really dislike that drug, its addictive properties and the fact I didn't really need it had I put into practice what I have spoken of here - mindfulness. Then came the flare-up of my ulcer followed by another week in the hospital. I  was discharged in time to be home for Christmas. It was lovely to be home and to be with my family, my children and grandchildren. Still, the panic attacks plagued me. The Mental Health Crisis became involved after Jasmine phoned them. They have been incredibly caring and supportive helping get back to my usual self. I no longer need them as I have returned to my daily routine.

What's gone has gone. It happened but that is over now, in the past and there s nothing I can do about it. I have let it go. No shame, no regrets and no guilt. These peculiar events shape us so that we are self-aware of our weaknesses and therefore know how to deal with them should they happen again, 

Now? The Mental Health issues as I said have gone. There are many people far worse than me who suffer as a result of mental health. Their condition is beyond mindfulness and I am in no way suggesting all mental health issues can be beaten by how I now control my mind. Not all can. Having been home now for over a month each day I awake I feel a little better. My throat is still sore but is gradually healing. I tire very easily. The smallest and simplest of tasks means my having to sit down and rest. Loading and unloading the dishwasher or the washing machine before putting the laundry into the tumble dryer. Ironing is the worse as I am slow at the task and stand whilst doing the job. I sit down but...today I took Wiley for a walk for the first time. We were out an hour and a half. I was knackered when I came home but very pleased. I am getting better, on the mend. The Oncology Team say this tiredness might last until June. I intend to prove them wrong and be back at work by the tail end of March.


However, you perceive God, be it as a deity or something else, may your God bless you.
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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

The Meltdown of Democracy

Theresa May has reportedly not budged on her key demands to EU leaders

Theresa May was dropped into this Brexit mire when David Cameron failed to win the Brexit remain vote leaving Mrs May to lead the Conservatives, Parliament and the people's confidence to an organised exit from the EU. The people had, as much as I am a remainer, voted for Brexit. At that point in time Mrs May could have, should have, reached out to the other parties, to their leaders, to join with her and her Tory government to form a coalition, a real democratic engagement where all concerned could formulate and negotiate an acceptable plan to exit the EU whilst preserving Britain's future interest. She didn't. She chose instead to plough on regardless. he fact she is now is a little too late in the day.

As much as I think Jeremy Corbyn offers much  that I like with his mantra 'For the many not the few' his refusal to engage with Theresa May unless she removes the 'no deal' option from her agenda is surely foolish? Why he couldn't accept her 'hand across the divide,' her call for cross-party help,  I neither understand nor think very positive. It strikes me as a political move. Why he couldn't have agreed to meet with the Prime Minister and during their meeting address his valid point on removing the 'no deal' from the table is beyond me.

As Britain finds itself flailing around like a drowning man in a very stormy sea, as the so-called British democracy is shown up to reveal it's non-existence, so across the water our 'greatest ally,' the nation with whom we have a 'special relationship with, has also gone into meltdown with its government with Donald Trump at his head has shut its doors for business as the Republican party battles away with the Donald Trump and his Republicans of the funding of his proposed building of the wall to keep those pesky Mexican's out of the USA. America's empire is falling apart before our eyes. It's people, certainly, those who now need soup kitchens to feed them as they are not being paid whilst this fiasco goes on, suffer the most.

The West, including Europe, face a very bleak future.
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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Anni Albers

If ever there was a single artist who personified my dream of having an art emporium, a cross between an art gallery, a shop and a craft fair, it was Anni Albers. My dream is exactly that for I have been unable to solidify the concept into hard reality. Anni Albers with her divine gift managed to turn her art into something that brought two distinct creativities together, merged them as one leaving those that appreciate creativity in all its myriad forms spellbound. 

Anni Albers was born Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann in Berlin, Germany in 1899. She studied art firstly at The Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg before continuing her studies at the Bauhaus in Weimar. 

One look at her work gives you the impression of looking at something highly creative, beautiful to behold but also exciting to see. That is because the edges between two distinct creativities have been blurred.

Anni Albers was an incredible woman as was her art.

Image result for Anni Albers 

Image result for Anni Albers

Image result for Anni Albers

Image result for Anni Albers



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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Is Global Warming a Hoax?



Is Global Warming, as Donald Trump vehemently asserts, a Hoax? or is the President doing what a demagogue must and play to the audience? The audience Donald Trump plays to are largely ignorant of the data as supplied by science as they conveniently cherry-pick data from the science that supports the lives they lead, the science they dispute when it suits their fears, ignorance and greed. 

There are critics of electric vehicles who try to claim that the electricity all electric cars use comes from coal power plants. This is not so. By insinuating or claiming that they aren’t any better than gas-powered vehicles they imply that electric cars are also tied to a source of dirty electricity. This is utter balderdash. The majority of electricity in the United States is generated from other sources than coal, and increasingly from renewable energy. Everywhere in America, a plug-in vehicle is cleaner to drive than a gas or diesel car in the same class. You have to rely on fact as given us by data rather than fiction sold to us by unreliable sources such as the right-wing media or, as in the UK the newspaper cartel of the Daily Mail, Express, Sun and Star. The owners of each have vested interests and are therefore biased.

Well, we know there can never be another flood as God did that once and doesn't need to repeat his miracle for fear of seeming like a bad comedian who tells the same joke over and over. Far-right Christians who are so far right they cannot believe they can be wrong, assert their view just to stop the rest of us from panicking. It is, therefore, an act of kindness, not one of flying in the face of knowledge gained by vast amounts of data from scientists. But, of course, as we all know, God and science don't mix especially when inconvenient truths reveal that it isn't God whose about to inflict another global flood but humankind who, surely in God's eyes deserve all they get for they take more than they give and hardly follow his words even if they do say they are Christian and are taking everything they can from Mother Earth. 
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 Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

David Bowie

A Flower Blooms Only Once




That Which Makes up the Flower is Eternal

Happy Birthday David
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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog

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