Category Archives: Health

A paean — good word, that — for hospitals

This may not be of interest to you in which case I apologise.
I haveimgres had cancer, some strokes (no one knows exactly how many) and cracked my face open falling while jogging. The reason was probably a stroke.
This has left me, an important first, with an unbounded admiration for the people who staff assorted hospitals. I have found loving care in separate places in the world. And it all seems to be of an incredibly high standard.
Now I have seen — a three monthly check-up — my oncologist Robert Smee at the Prince of Wales hospital in Sydney who you see in the first picture (the second one on the next page is from a pantomime). I get on with him remarkably well. He is a very decent chap. Could have been in my regiment, Continue reading A paean — good word, that — for hospitals

Every day, in every way I am getting better and better. It says here.

285-JoggingFitnessAnyone who knows me in the slightest knows I think exercise is a good thing. In my case it is running and perhaps a small amount of tai chi. I do not need scientific proof for doing this. I enjoy it, it keeps my blood pressure and pulse normal and my weight around average, perhaps a little below. Yes, I have had one nasty accident but that is all over and I am getting in maybe an hour and a quarter every morning. All I know and really all I need to know is moderate exercise is good for you.
In the United States some entrepreneurs produce sites which seem to suggest they have found the secret to eternal youth and have the scientific phrases to go along with it.
It all reminds me of Coué’. In 1922 he was all the craze. What you did was recite “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”
The Coué method centered on a routine repetition of this particular expression according Continue reading Every day, in every way I am getting better and better. It says here.

On not writing

Yesterday I ran. Only two hundred steps but that is the way to restart. Why I have been absent from running (and from Sorgai) for so long — it seems like an age — is because of an unhappy accident. parham-garden40-1580x780-300x270
On June 16 I went for a long run — two and a half hours. No strain. Wonderful weather. Lots of deer. More rabbits than Watership Down.
Next morning, June 17, I decided to go for a much shorter run. Planned 50 minutes. Started off at 4.40 am. Glorious sunlight.

Continue reading On not writing

UK healthy living

Let us start with a smile for there will be few things to smile about as we progress.
There are two cows standing by the road, one says to the other: ‘Have you heard about this Mad Cow disease?
‘Oh, yes,’ says the second cow.
‘Are you worried about it?’ enquires cow one.
‘Not at all, says the second cow.
‘Why not?’ asked the first cow.
The second cow replied, ‘Because I’m a rabbit’.
In Storrington I was having trouble peeing and it was coming out dark brown.
Jenny, who is always right, said it could be cured by drinking Cranberry juice and provided me with glass after glass. It got worse. Continue reading UK healthy living

Trying again

skeletonAnd so we try to start again. Cancer affects different people in different ways.
My two biggest problems have been balance — I have the scars and bruises to prove it and I am learning to type again — and taste. Nothing had any taste at all.
That is now changing. I have about sixty percent of my taste back. And I am running again although I do fall over a lot it is less and less as we go along. I am, indeed, well on the mend.
Continue reading Trying again

6 minute medicine story wrong

helenabrittThe phrase ‘six-minute medicine’ is neat, catchy, not easy to confound and lets the reptiles of the Australian press run stories which require little work and give vent to their spleen. The six minutes, the phrase suggests, is the average time a doctor will spend with a patient.
Yet the phrase ‘6 minute medicine’, catchy though it might be, is a load of old cobblers.
Forward the searchers for truth and accuracy: Helena Britt (BA, PhD) who appears to be a central figure in this: Lisa Valenti (BEc, MMedStat) and Graeme Miller (MB BS, FRACGP, PhD). Family Medicine Research Centre, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney.
Continue reading 6 minute medicine story wrong

Run to live


First of all know that the first  picture is not me. I lack the style, the grace, the power and, anyway, I wear headphones. For the record I have just come back from running for an hour and ten minutes and my blood pressure is 122/81 and my pulse 60 which means I have been idling.
Of course I have been idling and will soon build up to a much higher speed. But  I am in the recuperative (love the word) phase of a serious illness. And I totally completely and absolutely believe that if it was not for my regular running — three or four hours a week — I would be dead. Or near facsimile.

Continue reading Run to live

First day on the treadmill

w3Today is the first major session at the Prince of Wales Randwick hospital to deal with my throat cancer which could be fatal but, hopefully not. Son David drives me to the hospital and will come when I call him. I, but of course, forget mobile phone so am now making check lists.
Reception is like that at a good hotel which does not serve alcohol. Most pleasant American lady from San Diego greets me and gives me a complete rundown on what to expect, what will happen, what I must do to take care of it. Sounds pretty grim but she is with Doctor Slee who, all gods be thanked, does not mince words either.
Continue reading First day on the treadmill