Tuesday, November 08, 2005

--- Steven W--- wrote: > Hi G--- (or is that Paul now?) > >Thanks for the ‘meteor’ card, much appreciated. You > seem to get back to > Scotland more than I do these days! Not fair! > >Hopefully the Northwest thing will resolve itself as > these things often do. > Governments don’t like to be seen to be bailing out > companies but they do, > often on the quiet. > >I thought I had mentioned the tumour. Anyway, it’s > not the sort of thing to > be broadcast is it? It seems, however, that I have a > brain tumour but it is > not, thank God, cancerous. Basically it can make me > a bit unstable on my > feet sometimes (a bit whisky like in that respect), > gives me vertigo > sometimes, and has made me stone deaf in my left > ear. (It’s great I now have > ‘selective’ deafness, much to Clare’s annoyance!). > >I was told I had to have an operation, but that as > this kind of tumour only > grows around 2mm a year there was no rush, 7 or 8 > years would be fine. > Trouble is they got it wrong and it doubled in size > in a year. They then > misread the scan and sent me back onto the street > for another year. Luckily > I had an inkling something was wrong and challenged > them. Seems I was right > and the almighty surgeons/specialists were wrong. A > subsequent scan proved > this to be the case. Anyway, I lost confidence in > them and decided to do my > own research. I came up with an alternative > treatment that they hadn’t > offered me. > >Apparently there is a ‘turf war’ in surgery. Maybe > in the USA where it is > all about money this is common, but it came as a bit > of a shock to me to > find it here too. Anyway, my ‘specialists’ were all > ‘scalpel’ surgeons, > shall we call them. Their idea was to let the tumour > grow for a few years, > take me to hospital for 7 days, give me an 11 hour > operation that involved > cracking open my skull, breaking the water sack > around my brain, cutting out > the tumour, sealing the brain sack with a lump of > gristle from my leg and > keeping me off work for 3 months. There was a 1 in > 100 chance I would die > and a 50% chance my facial nerves would be damaged > leaving me with a face as > if I had had a stroke or palsy. Nice! > >So, having decided to do my own research (2.30 one > morning, couldn’t sleep, > went on internet to see what I could come up with!) > I found out that there > is another treatment for the tumour. It does not > involve cutting open my > head, does not require 3 months off work and in the > end was done with me > back home next day! > > Check out www.gammaknife.org.uk > I did and > it potentially saved my life! > >In fact we now joke about it. My friends were all, > understandably and > flatteringly, concerned. Clare and I had pretty well > sussed it out so > weren’t too bothered. > >So, imagine this. I went to the hospital in > Sheffield around 11 on the > Friday morning. Had a few tests, got bored and left > around 4. Clare had > booked into a hotel in town so I walked there and > collected her. We went > into town, did a bit of shopping, went for a pizza > and some wine, I walked > her home to the hotel and strolled back to the > hospital for 10 pm. > > Next day, Saturday, up at 6 for some tests. Into > surgery around 8.30 (There > were a physicist, a neurosurgeon, two radiographers > and sundry nurses in > attendance.). The operation took place around 11.30. > A bit of blood came > pouring out of where they had placed some clamps on > my head, no big deal but > messy! It was vital my head didn’t move during the > operation so they put a > metal clamp to my skull, through the skin. > > So, back to the ward and within 10 minutes I was > pacing up and down asking > to go home. They said I had to stay in overnight. I > reminded them that I > only lived an hour up the road, why bother keeping > me in? They asked me if > the consultant had agreed and I said (lied) that he > had. In they end they > agreed that I could go at 5pm if there were no > reactions. So, ensuring that > there weren’t, I left at 5. > Picture this, Clare and me (with two ‘bullet holes’ > on my forehead, blood > oozing) strolling down the street from the hospital, > me dragging my case > behind me. Clare had left the car at the hotel, as > she hadn’t imagined we > would be going home that day. So, suitcase in hand, > bullet holes in forehead > and blood on shirt, I clambered onto the bus for the > town centre. When we > got there we remembered that, as we shouldn’t have > been going home, there > was no food in the house. So, suitcase in hand, > bullet holes in forehead and > blood on shirt, we strolled into Marks and Spencer’s > to do a bit of > shopping! What a sight it must have been. One bloke > came up and enquired > after my health. Goodness knows what he thought had > happened. Anyway, back > to the car and off home. > > A friend called up from France on the Sunday morning > to ask Clare how I was > doing, he fell off his perch when I answered the > phone! > > All in all a good laugh! > >The tumour is now shrinking and I was back at my > desk next morning, earning > a crust. > >Thankfully my company gives me private healthcare, > they coughed up the > money. In error they sent me the invoice for > £14,000. Ouch! > >Anyway, that was my little bit of excitement this > year! > >Keep in touch, > >Awra best, Steven. > > PS Never one to miss the opportunity to use an OLD > joke, when one of the > surgeons, in an effort to reassure, told me that a > friend of his had had the > same operation and within 2 months was in > Switzerland skiing I said > ‘Brilliant! I’ve never been able to ski.’ ----------------------------------------------------- Steven... You spin a good yarn, my friend...Sounded like several scenes from a odd independent film...or at least from a Paul Thomas Anderson movie... And speaking of Paul...I don't get your reference to that name. Did I miss something? Anyway... Yesterday, I learned that I'll be getting a Interim Period paycut on 16November while The Company and our representative union hammer out an agreement which will, I'm sure, lead to even deeper paycuts. Yay. Wow, if people thought I was an underachiever BEFORE, think of the selective hearing I'll have NOW... This doesn't come as a surprise to me but it's still galling how front-line employees give up a greater proportion or their paycheck while upper management does a comestic paycut that probably won't even affect the paint-job on their summer homes. Demoralizing. Still, it could be worse. Dubya could have an approval rating above 50%...it's now at about 30%. Deep sigh of satisfaction...Fucking hick fratboy and his old-boy network of advisors...Keep up the BAD work, champs... All for now, Steven...Keep those holes filled with some solid sealant... Awra Best...GaP

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