Category Archives: Health

My health, our health, your health

Pain killers @ Tesco

So yesterday I tried to buy 2 packets of Nurofen (Ibuprofen) and 1 packet of Paracetamol at Tesco.  Nurofen is the quickest thing I can take to combat the migraine-like headaches I get.  I wanted the paracetamol because I’d had a slight temperature on Friday night, and the only other paracetamol we have in the house is part of Grete’s prescribed stuff, not really that useful.  The cashier told me I could only buy two packets of pain killers.  Let’s not worry about the fact that it’s perfectly possible to take Nurofen and paracetamol at the same time.  Let’s just count the actual packets that might even possibly be a pain killer and limit them to 2.  I could have bought 1 x ibuprofen, 1 x codeine and 1 x paracetamol and been perfectly safe taking them at the same time1.  But ooohh nooo, the nanny state or nanny Tesco says I’m only allowed to buy 2 packets of pain killers at once.

Because I’m clearly too stupid to walk outside and go to Boots or Superdrug or Asda and buy more.

It really annoys me.  I tried once to buy 3 packets of Nurofen, and they stopped me and only allowed me 2, but I assumed that since I was trying this time to buy tablets that don’t conflict, it would be okay.  The time I tried to buy the three Nurofen I was so pissed off by their actions that I bought 2 packets, and then walked back in and bought another from the same store.  I wondered if their POS system would somehow do a check, but of course it doesn’t.

Yes, I know there’s research which suggests if you reduce the number of tablets in home medicine cabinets it reduces the suicide rate based on overdoses.  Yes, I know that if I took two boxes of Ibuprofen and one box of Paracetamol it would do me some harm.  But please,  I just wanted to buy some pain killers.

  1. this is not medical advice, I do not give medical advice, you should seek medical advice before taking any tablets []

Missing food labels

As you know, food these days is covered in labels.  They tell you what’s in it, what it’s not got in it, how much of stuff it’s got in it, how bad for you that stuff is, how much of your daily allowance the stuff uses up.

But, despite all this, there are some food labels that are missing.  I would like to propose the following additions.

guiltGuilt

All food should come with a guilt rating using the HIGH, MED, LOW traffic light system.  This allows you to decide how guilty you should really feel about eating the product, without having to put in too much effort.  For example, an entire tub of ice cream might have a HIGH guilt rating, and a salad would come with a LOW guilt rating.

unfunFun

It should be clearly indicated on food how much fun it is to eat.  Some food is boring and some food is fun.  How fun are spaghetti letters!  Or macaroni cheese!  Alphabet soup that you spend ages spelling out rude words.  We clearly need some indication on the container about how much fun we’re likely to have eating this item of food.  Clearly in this instance, the regular traffic light system breaks, because HIGH fun should be good.  So, we have to revert to Doublespeak and go for Unfun (which is bad in high amounts).  So low levels of unfun are good (keep up at the back).

burnBurn

It shouldn’t need saying folks.  But some food, well, it’s hot when it goes in, and it’s hot when it comes out, you know what I’m saying.  There should be clear indication on food labels about whether you’re going to need to pack some loo roll in the fridge.

stinkMouth Stink

Food should clearly come with a stink rating, what are your chances of getting a snog after you’ve eaten 6 portions of those kippers?  Does your mouth smell like the bottom of a bird cage, or like a garden of roses?  High ratings are bad – make sure you mint, floss, brush, swirl, and scrub before moving in for some tongue action.  Clearly, garlic roasted kippers in an anchovy sauce are not your friend when you’re going clubbing.

painComfort

It’s obvious to anyone who’s ever eaten a kebab on their own at 2 o’clock in the morning, walking back to their one person flat, alone, to spend the night, alone, that food isn’t just something you consume for the protein content.  It’s for comfort.  And some foods are more comforting than other foods.  Ever heard of someone who’s sad going on a celery eating binge?  Me either.  To save us wasting a lifetime of eating the wrong food when we need that comfort, we need a label.  Again, due to the traffic light system, you need something which is good when it’s LOW and Green, so we’ll go for erm, Pain.  Low PAIN food is comforting.

smugSmug

There’s nothing more annoying than someone next to you eating something which makes them smug.  Maybe it’s a salad while you’re stuffing down a burger, or they had organic hand made vegetarian bacon while you’re eating the head off the nearest cute pig.  Maybe they don’t even know it’s making them smug.  Perhaps, if there was a clear indication when picking up a packet of organic free-range fair trade couscous that it would make you smug and your friends sad, people would be able to avoid it and would instead reach for that pre-packaged (in non-bio degradable plastic) microwave hotdog.  Made from real dog.  Anyway, avoid HIGH SMUG foods people.

poshPosh

Finally, and related to SMUG, there’s posh food.  You will look like a prat standing next to your friend with a tin of Caviar in your basket, while they’re buying BBQ pickled egg sandwiches.  To avoid this, avoid HIGH Posh foods.

Redefine success

When you’re overweight and diabetic, when you know you should be losing weight and controlling what you eat, ordering take-away food could be seen as failure.  It certainly feels like failing.  It doesn’t mean I don’t do it – and in fact, because I feel like it’s failing I usually end up ordering the worst possible thing (more calories than you can shake a stick at), because since I’m failing, fuck it, might as well fail in style.

But it’s not a good place to be mentally.  Food and emotions are already tied together too much (feeling good, why not eat to celebrate, feeling down, why not eat to cheer yourself up, eaten too much, better feel guilty, feeling guilty, why not eat to cheer yourself up.  repeat).  So feeling like a failure every time you order take-away food doesn’t help, it just drives the circle even faster.

So I decided to redefine success.

Now, the normal position is ordering take-away food.  That’s normal.  Success is not ordering take-away food.  There is no failure option.  Every day I don’t order take-away is a success.  I’ve achieved a goal.  I eat the chicken and veg or whatever other bloody meal I can pretend to enjoy and I succeed.  If I get take-away then that’s okay, it’s normal.  Tomorrow I have another chance at success.

It’s a much better head-space to be in.  Might feel like cheating, but I think that it doesn’t matter.  You have to be in control of how you feel to some extent, in order to manage what you eat and actually survive.  If I have to cheat by moving the goal posts to do that then I will.  It hasn’t (and won’t) lead to me eating more take-away food, but it’ll certainly lead to me not feeling so bad about it if I do (which in turn means I don’t eat even more crap), and every day I eat something boring and tedious and with the vague semblance of being healthy I’ll feel like I made progress rather than being stuck with the status quo.

A Day of Updates II #1 – Surgery Update

I’m back at work, doesn’t feel like over two weeks since I had the surgery but it is.  I’m still not supposed to be carrying anything heavy, but it’s hard not to lift anything in day-to-day life so I’m just trying to be careful.  The wound itself is pretty much healed externally.  Internally it feels like the nerves are starting to grow back which is introducing a little pain but nothing serious.  I still feel uncomfortable from time-to-time but some of that is because I’ve put weight on while I’ve been off work (and before hand, to be fair).

I’m really pleased with how everything went especially with how little time I was actually in the hospital.  I just hope that I’ll be back to fully mobile and able to get stuff in the garden moved a bit before winter sets in.

Today, hour by hour

  • 5:00am – omg ow ow ow ow
  • 6:00am – ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • 7:00am – ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • 8:00am – ow, ouch, ow ow ow
  • 9:00am – ow, ow, ouch ouch, tablets
  • 10:00am – ow, ouch, omg work tablets
  • 11:00am – ahhhhh ouch ouch ahhhhh
  • 12:00pm – hungry!
  • 1:00pm – argh ouch ouch
  • 2:00pm – tablets!
  • 3:00pm – ah, finally, less ouchy
  • 4:00pm – oh woozy
  • 5:00pm – huh where am I?
  • 6:00pm – huh who am I?
  • 7:00pm – ahh, tablets.
  • 8:00pm – wooooooooooooooozy
  • 9:00pm – woooooozy
  • 10:00pm (prediction) – more woozy
  • 11:00pm (prediction) – ouch, ah tablets
  • 12:00am (prediction) – bed ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz

Post Surgery

Surgery went well, up at 5:30am, at Derby City General Hospital by 7:45am, in prep at 8:30am and out of surgery and recovering from 10:30am.  Grete picked me up around 12pm, and I’ve been dozing on the sofa since.  Codeine always makes me sleepy.

It’s pretty uncomfortable when I think about it, but the pain killer cocktail (codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen) takes the edge of it.

The nurses in Derby were great, really kept me informed and relaxed the whole time, can’t thank them enough.

Now, two weeks of snoozing and asking Grete what time is it.

Pre-op

Pre-op appointment went okay, gave some blood, had blood pressure and ECG taken, spoke about what happens on the day, etc.  Being diabetic gives me the benefit of being treated as a priority in the morning since I won’t be able to eat from midnight.

Nurse in Derby City General Hospital was really friendly and helpful.

Operation still planned for the 11th, should know by mid-afternoon that day if I’m going to be home that night or not.

A day of updates #1 – Health and Hernia

So not posted anything of any substance for a little while, mainly because I’ve sort of been hanging on to hear about some news and then once you get out of the habit of blogging it takes a little effort to get back into it.  I was going to write one huge monster update but instead, here’s a bunch of smaller, more focussed updates.

I definitely have a hernia (periumbilical) – surgery is scheduled for the 11th June.  I was pretty impressed with how quick the NHS got that scheduled.  It’s provisional at the moment, and I’ve got a pre-op appointment tomorrow but I guess that’s generally a formality and they say provisional so they can mess you about if specialists aren’t available.  The surgery should be an outpatients visit, so in and out on the same day.  They said basically if you can stand up and not vomit after you come around from the GA, then they’ll send you home.  So fingers crossed I should be back at home on the 11th.  Will be off work for 2-4 weeks depending on what the Hospital / GP say, and then still taking it easy for a good few weeks after that to make sure things heal up.  The worst thing you can do with a hernia is think it’s ok and rip it open after the surgery.  Better to take it very very easy for a good while and let it heal fully, much less chance of it coming back.

I won’t be tweeting during the surgery :p

Diagnosis Technological Developments

It amused me to discover that despite this being 2009, despite the huge advances in medical science, hernias are diagnosed using the following two techniques,

  • prodding and asking ‘does it hurt there’
  • pressing and asking you to cough

I’m not complaining it obviously works, and it’s quick cheap and easy, but I just found it funny.

You can keep your multi-million pound body scanners, just press there tell me if it hurts and cough for me, thanks.

Nurse! The screens!

I want to be sarcastic about the nurse appointment today, but the nurse was really nice and friendly so it wouldn’t be fair.  I knew I’d put weight on, she asked why, I said bacon cobs.  We had a discussion about grilling bacon, not frying it, and I tried to let her know I’m not stupid, I’m actually reasonably intelligent, and while I know what I’m doing wrong with food it doesn’t mean I can change it.  Finding food without any of the Unholy Trinity (fat, sugar, salt) that’s still worth eating isn’t that easy, so if I find something which keeps my sugars down, doesn’t put my blood pressure through the ceiling and has too much fat – well I’m sorry but I’m still going to eat it.  My feet are still there, my pulse is still present in my feet and I can still feel the little plastic stick thing they push into your toes to prove you still have nerve endings.  She was excited about revealing my blood sugar results until I pissed on her bonfire and told her I’d gotten them on Monday, she took it well.  And oddly, my blood pressure was really good.  ACE inhibitors do have a possitive effect on blood pressure but I’ve only taken two so it can’t be entirely down to those.  Maybe being on holiday helps, but I really thought after the last few weeks at work (which were some of the worst in the last 2 years) that my blood pressure would be somewhere around the height of Everest.  Just goes to show, you can never be totally sure how your body is behaving.

So, all-in-all an okay appointment, she really was nice even while she nagged me to eat less and lose weight.  Can’t really argue with her, and she couldn’t really argue with my sugar results so we were pretty much just shrugging a lot.

The wood pile in the garden is even smaller again – got a saw yesterday and had a go at some of the bigger branches and then snipped some more of the smaller ones.  Which means I’m getting perilously close to the worst bit – bagging it all up – I hate that bit.

And while I’m sure 99% of the world will think I’m being crazy – I’m really pleased at swapping out a dimmer light switch in the lounge for a regular old click on off switch, which means we can now use low energy bulbs in the lamp fitting, reducing electricity bills and bulb replacement costs.  The trip switch worked perfectly, letting me swap the light switch without having to power the whole house down and other than having to get my fat fingers into a tiny space to screw the wires in it was okay.  I’ll probably be fit to own a house by the time I’m 80 at this rate – so you know – we’re making progress.  The actual box on the wall is really ugly, and I may try and replace the whole thing with a more streamline fitting, now that I’ve seen the inside I’ve got a better idea how much space there is to work with (none!).

Car goes in for MOT tomorrow – if that goes not too badly it’s going to turn into a fantastic week.