and here was me just thinking he was a Venusian spy studying some standard samples of the Earth's population, because he turned up as a stray and really didn't act like a cat for the first four years. However, with that said, recently he's either been studying the other cats in the neighborhood (and fighting with them) or he's really a cat.
My guess is he's really a cat.
On Sunday morning I woke to the most strange sensation in the middle of my chest. It felt as if something (or someone?) actually had a hand round my heart and was squeezing it ever so gently. I wouldn’t have called it painful but it was definitely unsettling and uncomfortable. I got up and worked out in the garden clearing up leaves and in the house washing dishes and generally tiding things up throughout the morning and early afternoon while Wedny went to see her mother (released for the day from hospital to prepare her flat for her full return from a weeks hospital stay). I felt pretty good by mid afternoon and when Wedny came down the road late in the afternoon I was looking forward to a little light TV watching followed by some 8 hours of strenuous sleeping. However… (Why is there always an however?) while Wedny told me of her mother’s issues and problems the stress levels built up and I could actually feel the hand squeezing my heart and this time it was a little sore, not really painful, but definitely sore.
Hmmm, I have to admit that after the major campaign on TV about heart disease and sudden heart attacks I was more than a tad concerned. I did convince myself that it wasn’t too much to worry about so I decided to phone the Doctor’s on Monday and ask for a check up. I should say that Wedny’s recommendation was for me to go up to the A&E and get a check up there. I felt that was too much trouble for me and for the Hospital and anyway, when has any stupid husband even listened to their wife?
On Monday at work I tried for about 25 minutes on and off to try and get through to the Surgery. When I finally did, I mentioned slight chest pain and the receptionist’s reply was "GO TO accident and emergency NOW, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT 200 POUNDS. GO NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW!!!".
OK, so I may be exaggerating slightly but the… recommendation was still ringing in my ears when I came off the phone and as I was now thoroughly scared (and even slightly terrified) I decided to consult the font of all wisdom and called Wedny. Her gentle refrain was "I TOLD YOU! GO TO HOSPITAL! NOW! NOW!
I finally got the message. I went to the nearest hospital to my home, slightly further than the nearest one to my work, but strangely with my train season ticket easier to get to. I expected to spend the rest of the morning and possibly part of the afternoon there sitting in A&E reception as I waited, but that was not to be.
At 10 am I said the almost magic words to the A&E receptionist "slight chest pains" and was told to sit, as a nurse would speak to me in the next few minutes. Ha, that will be right, I thought, nipping outside so I could call Wedny and say that I had arrived (still in my nice work clothes, and with backpack) taking all of 20 seconds to do so. I was returning to the reception area when a slightly scary looking nurse barked my name at me. I nodded, surprised and then had to relate all my symptoms and time scales again. I was getting quite good at this by this time. She told me to sit down and I would be going straight into the A&E unit. A man hovering just a few feet away managed to get a question in, "how long will we have to wait?"
"ONE HOUR", came the stern and succinct reply from the Sister as she walked away.
I sat down. 2 minutes, and I mean 2 minutes later, I was called forward to the triage room and they did an ECG on me and told me to lie on a comfy trolley and to stay there. 10 minutes later, they wheeled my sorry ass still on the trolley through to A&E and started me on oxygen. 20 minutes after than I had an Intern (I think) check me over, poke me in all sorts of places and listen to my chest more intently than I had listened to anyone else. Half and hour after that I saw the medical Doctor (?) who I think was a SHO or Senior House Officer and he took some blood and sprayed GTN under my tongue. This made me extremely light headed and later gave me a spectacular headache which just about killed me anyway. An hour later I was moved to another A&E holding area still on my trolley and an hour after that, into the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) for observation, again still on my trolley. Wedny managed to find me and we spoke for short while in the A&E holding area before I was moved on.
The porter moved the trolley as close to the bed in the MAU as it would go before asking me to transfer from one to the other. I thought it a little excessive but the nurses explained that this was because one of the blood tests was to see if I had damaged the heart muscle and if damaged, any further exercise might aggravate it. I was also told that I wasn’t getting out of the hospital until after the Consultant had seen me, and that that would be 5 pm that evening.
So I spent the afternoon sitting in a ward filled with ill and seriously ill people which, because it was an observation and admitting ward, had a very high turnover of people being moved about. I eventually had to insist that I could get to the toilet myself without being wheeled on a chair or peeing into a paper mashie bottle. Oh, did I feel a fraud and a waste of the taxpayer’s money.
Now, I used to have a thing against that particular hospital (which I will not name due to circumstances) as my Father-in-law died there and Mother-in-law, Father, Brother, Wife and sundry other members of my family have all been treated in there and I have never been too impressed with the Victorian building (with respect to medical suitability rather than architecturally) or its fabulous reputation for loosing medical records. Once when I was there, admittedly over two years ago, they didn’t so much have dust bunnies in the corridors as dust rhinos, followed by herds of dust zebra and a few dust giraffes mixed in for good measure.
But, I cannot fault the attention or care that I received on Monday.
I was back there on Tuesday for a cardiac stress test and again the care and explanation at all stages was excellent. Again it just about killed me, but it was delivered with care and I was reassured at all steps that I hadn’t been the fraud that I suspected I had been. The Cardiac Nurse said that I should always get myself checked out in the case of any kind of chest pain regardless of what I thought.
You may be glad to know (I know I certainly was) that I have now been reassured that my heart’s health is OK and all I need to do now is find out why I had the very strange sensation on Sunday morning. The nurse suggested indigestion. Hmmmm.
So, children, the moral of this tale is, if you have any kind of chest pain, any at all, GO TO THE A&E UNIT OF YOUR NEAREST HOSPITAL NOW! GO NOW! NOW! NOW!
Oh, and the corridors in that Hospital with no name are now kept nice and clean.
Some have noticed that I have been quiet throughout October. No particular reason, just a bit depressed due to the Winter suddenly arriving and things at work being busy. So, what did I do in October... I went to my first Glasgow Tolkien Smial (No name decided yet, and I am concerned that I may be press-ganged into providing the website), I was down in Norwich on business for a couple of days (if I can think of anything funny to say about that, I will hopefully say it), had some real problems at work with a Java multi-threaded system which usefully hangs some of the threads and leaves others to go their merry way (no solution yet) and failed miserably to get to the last Resurgence of Trout (down in Norwich at that time). All in all a quiet sort of month.
If I can work out how the backdating feature works in LiveJournal, I may put some entries in between the 1st October and now, in their proper context, so to speak..
I went back “home” yesterday, or to be precise back to where I was born. I was born in Cathcart and my brother (who was going to a model Railway Exhibition, surprise, surprise), our friend Gary and myself all went off to Cathcart after having a few pints in the city center. It was a bit of a strange feeling for me as I was pointing out to Gary all about the interesting bits of Cathcart (unfortunately, not as many as there used to be I have to add) and as he was from Edinburgh he was looking at it as a new experience but I felt decidedly uncomfortable with the changes that had occurred in the intervening time since I was last there, which I think was only about three years or so. For a start they have closed my Primary School in order (hopefully) to convert to flats. Although going on the district councils astonishing approach to attractive, noteworthy or even listed buildings they will leave it empty for 5 years and the condemn it for dry/wet rot/dangerous roof/poor wiring (delete were applicable) or just hope that some of the local neds will burn it down so they can charge the developers more for the land rather than just the building. This is the same city council who proudly put up large stainless steel signs proclaiming the historical merchant city part of the city center and then promptly bulldozed the Virginia galleries which were the original tobacco exchange which made the merchant city what it was! Leaving just a small brass oval on a modern wall to show where all the wealth of the city at that time came from! Talk about lack of foresite!
Back in Cathcart, they (the local council) have also removed the original Carnegies pharmacy building which was a major landmark at the beginning of Clarkston road (No link available). Removed the sorting office back building of the original post office building at the beginning of Rhannan Road (No link available). Converted the New Cathcart Church to flats (actually not a bad sympathetic conversion) and are in the process of waiting for Weir pumps to close (bottom of the page for this link and watch out as there seems to be a popup advert) so they can convert that into a new housing district. Now why do I think that it will become a neds jungle pretty quickly and if they do manage to keep the listed office block at the Newlands Road side along with the listed Social center, how long before they are removed as “not significant”. Thus Cathcart and Glasgow looses another 120 year slice of its engineering history. I have to say that all this current work pales into insignificance compared to the local/district councils greatest achievement in the nullification of Cathcart with the bulldozing (rather than making safe) of the 15th Century keep of Cathcart Castle in 1986 (unfortunately, I was a witness to this). Really Magnificent, Councilors. That will bring the tourists in who are interested in learning about where they came from. Perhaps they will be interested in going to the SECC and learning about where some of the greatest ships in the world were built. No, I forgot there is no indication at all in the SECC about what it is built on top on (including the remains of a 11th century castle which was dumped there as well). I haven't yet been in the science center on the other side of the river so I don't know if there is anything that mentions the docks and shipbuilding yards that were once there. I hasten to point out that if anyone knows different then please let me know.
Anyway I spent several hours wandering around Cathcart before going back to the city center and having some more drink and then seeing my brother and Gary back on the train to Edinburgh (who's Councilors seem to have some sense of history and place).
All in all a quiet Saturday.
Sorry for the tirade, but that's how I feel today.
P.S. There are some marvelous websites about this history of Glasgow which have some mention of Cathcart, a few of which I have listed below.
Glasgow Digital Library
The Glasgow Story
God, I love this sort of guff.
If you follow Charlie's link to the Register there is an aside which says "(who has the to-die-for job title of Metaverse Evangelist)", which I believe I may now describe as my religion at parties (as if it's very likely that I would get invited to the sort of parties at which people would be so stupid to ask such a question).
Ah hoo (he says wistfully)
Sony have brought out (in America only unfortunately, but coming soon to the UK) a book reader tablet. Which should have been around 5 years ago. I saw this originally on a news story about Japan some 2 years ago and registered for interest with Sony. So finally a useful email mechanism as well! The only thing which worries me is the fact that they may tie it to their own paid downloads only. I have loads of Gutenberg electronic books which would be perfect for this.
This is obviously mean to inflame and irritate me after last weekend. It took us just 11.5 hours to get from Glasgow to Oxford by numerous means of transport supplied by Virgin. It really was a reject script for "Planes, Trains and Automobiles".
I had hoped to post while I was in Oxford but unfortunately they have an interesting twist on Internet cafes in that town, more of which later.
I am so tired, I have just had a nice hot bath and will post more tomorrow and I believe that I may have enough material for 3 to 4 hundred posts, but perhaps I'll not go into so much detail.
However as a sample of what is coming...
A Trip to
A Disaster in 3 Acts
Τι η κόλαση; Δεν διέταξα αυτό! Είναι αποκτημένο τσίλι σε το!
Simonious Book 1 - 2006
(Always start with a good quote, I say)
|Bruiser of a BMfH looking for a fight|
We found a large and rather dead mouse lying near the front door at the weekend and I assume that it was him, as the foxes would have just eaten it, and as the BMfH is rather well fed, he seems content to toy with, torture and then callously kill any small rodent/bird/amphibian or (if he could get away with it) any other cats in the neighbourhood.
I wonder if I can train him to savage the next doors dogs?
So I recently dropped the Business Development Manager a line to say hello and ask how things are going. I don't know if I should feel dismayed or pleased that he tells me that they have just taken on 2 new staff (first time in 3 years! They had got rid of 6 staff only a couple of years ago) expanded their business overseas (first time they have got a contract in over a year!) and extended their local contracts as well! He also says that the new 5 man development team has a real good working buzz... Help! Was I to blame for the working issues in the past? Is he just putting the best possible spin on current events? Who knows, but watch this space.
In other business, Wedny and I are off to Oxford tomorrow. I was bullied (not very hard) into joining the Tolkien society last year at the WorldCon and then bullied some more to man the Tolkien desk at EasterCon this year, which resulted in Wedny joining the society as an associate member. So as we try and get away this time of the year (usually to the Wigtown book festival which results in a large number of books coming into the house and a large (read gigantic) hole appearing in our bank account) we decided to go to the Tolkien Oxonmoot. If everyone is strange, I will let you know. Unfortunately, it's very likely that this will include us.