Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Accepting fate

I had a difficult weekend and felt really down at times. And I don't really know why. That didn't make the depression any less real. Then I saw this on You Tube. And I realised that I don't have any problems and just need to get on with life. Carpe Diem.

The Independent described this as follows -
These days, most people imagine that when they succumb to the inevitable and utter what must be their "last words", they will have time for little more than a brief, faltering sentence. If they are lucky, it will be shared with a few close family members before being swiftly consigned to the scrapheap of history.
Professor Randy Pausch is not most people, though. In September, the previously unknown computer science expert delivered a remarkable lecture to students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Thanks to the wonders of technology, the hour-long speech did not disappear into the ether, but went on to be heard by millions. It has since changed lives, touched American politics, and is about to spawn a publishing phenomenon.
At the centre of Pausch's remarkable tale is "The Last Lecture," an old academic conceit whereby teachers are asked to imagine they're near death and must therefore sum up the entire collection of wisdom they wish to pass on to their students in a single lecture. Pausch, a 47-year-old father of three, didn't have to imagine anything when he gave his own "last lecture" on 18 September. He had just been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
In a little over an hour, to a packed lecture-hall, Pausch delivered a deeply moving speech on the subject of "really achieving your childhood dreams." The optimistic philosophy he espoused, in a lecture punctuated by both laughter and tears, resulted in scenes resembling a real-life version of Dead Poets Society. To Americans who have recently, through the likes of Barack Obama, learnt to love public speaking, it has provided a timely reminder of how life ought to be lived.

And I love the line 'Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.' In other words - accept it, learn from it and move on. I'll hang on to that thought.

Here is the talk -

Root canal treatment

There was a comment on the news a couple of days ago which said that Gordon Brown going into Prime Ministers Questions was like someone heading to the dentist for root canal treatment.

So I guess I know that it was a known treatment. My Dad thinks I should just have the tooth out and save the money. And after the crumbling of my tooth, I didn't think that saving the tooth was an option anyway. But today was my appointment and the dentist said that there was still enough tooth there for him to do the root canal treatment. So I went along with that.

It was not pleasant. The main problem was the time it took. Which is why, I guess, it cost £545. The whole process took two and a quarter hours. And all the time I had to keep my mouth open - I had to ensure that I did not get saliva into the tooth. So he drilled the tooth, pulled the nerve out of each of the four root canals, drilled further, filled the canals with inert material and finally built up the tooth again. Two and a quarter hours.

But in reality it was more uncomfortable than painful. I tried not to cough, and ended up in a coughing fit. I needed to go for a pee, but had to hold on. I kept wanting to swallow, but couldn't. Finally, finally, the process was over. And I have a tooth back.

It still needs a crown and that will no doubt cost more, but for now I am satisfied. And hopefully I can start to eat properly again.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The tooth crumbles

Just as I was thankful that I am free of the pain of toothache and almost looking forward to getting the root canal treatment, a problem developed. I was having a sandwich with malted wheat grain bread. Big mistake. As I crunched into a wheat grain, a large part of my dodgy tooth came loose. So now I have almost no tooth left. I doubt therefore that root canal treatment is possible. Perhaps extraction will be the only option. And will other teeth follow suit. I am reluctant to bite into anything. Mince and tatties for the next week I think until I see the dentist on Tuesday.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Weekend in Scotland

I went up to Scotland to visit my Mum in hospital and be with my Dad as he comes to terms with living on his own. It's quite stressful, but I hope I help by being there. Certainly the scenario is much changed, and I can only hope that my Mum has a reasonable quality of life in the future and will make some improvement, although her paralysis is, I think, permanent. And I hope that my Dad can continue to remain active.

I suspect that we will have to sell the family home sometime during the year with my Mum moving into a care home and my Dad, at best, moving to sheltered accommodation.

At least the antibiotics hare working and my toothache is subsiding. And I managed to play 9 holes of golf at Spey Bay with my Dad on Sunday.

I guess we just have to accept the directions life takes us and do our best to deal with that and stay in control. No always easy, though.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The Pain Goes On

I sat in the office today trying to work but in continual agony. And now I am suffering a reaction from the antibiotics - a very itchy skin rash. I am taking the painkillers and have bought oil of cloves, but to no avail. The only thing that helps is neat whisky, swilled round my mouth. And I have to spit it out because whisky is not recommended with painkillers and antibiotics. I am worried about my trip to Scotland on Saturday - will be pain be unbearable during the flight in the low pressure?

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


I am in agony.


My fault I guess. A few months ago a bit of one of my teeth fell out. I hadn't been to the dentist for years. And since this was not hurting, I still did not go.

So over the past few months, apparently, an infestion set in that attacked the nerve. Suddenly waaah - the pain.

This time I did go to the dentist. Well, he said, you could have treatment under the NHS. It will cost £46 and I would extract the tooth. Or you can have root canal treatment, but that would have to be done privately. The cost? £545! Suddenly the paid was moving to my wallet.

And it can't be done for two weeks. I've been given antibiotics and painkillers, but I am not sure how I can survive for two weeks with this pain.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Malaga again

This weekend I tried to do the triangle. On Thursday I flew to Aberdeen and on to Keith to visit my Mum in hospital. On Saturday I took the weekly flight to Malaga. We had three days in Malaga, and then returned back to the UK to Luton.

It all worked very well, though of course three days was not really long enough. We also had the surreal experience of finding that someone had stolen out washing line from our patio. They had climbed down from level one to do this and had left my golf clubs untouched. Very strange.

On Sunday we spent some time at the bar beside the lighthouse, walked out to the end of the harbour and ended up going to the Rosaleda to see Malaga playing Ejido at football. My first visit to the Rosaleda, and although the result was 1-1 and the game was less than totally riveting, it was a fun thing to do.

On the Monday we went to Mijas to see an Irish guy who runs a guest house there. The journey was a long one thanks to a delayed bus which then broke down climbing the hill to Mijas. But the guest house was good with fantastic views and afterwards we had a late lunch in Fuengirola.

Unfortunately Tuesday was not as good a day weatherwise, but I still spend a relaxing morning beside the beach reading my book and in the afternoon, when the weather improved, I managed to lie on the sand for a couple of hours and go for a paddle in the sea.

And then on Wednesday we flew home. A long journey, because my toothache flared up as soon as the plane was airborne. But it had been a good break.