Friday, July 11, 2008

I Have to Admit It's Getting Better

Well, I’m sorry I’ve been missing for a little while.
I could tell you that I feel so low, now that Ireland has become a poor country again, that I didn’t have the will to write a blog.
But that wouldn’t be the truth.
I could tell you that we are now so poor that I was out collecting sticks to make a fire to heat us all.
But that wouldn’t be the truth. Even though it could be.
I could tell you that I was hunting rabbits for us to eat.
But that wouldn’t be true. Though it’s likely to be in the not too distant future.

Fact is, that after all the medical treatment I’ve been having, I was plum knackered.
That’s the problem with things like Bone Marrow Transplants. No matter how often they tell you, beforehand, that you’ll be knackered afterwards, you don’t really get the idea HOW knackered until, well, afterwards.
It’s a strange business. Like many, if not most, medical procedures, it’s actually worse than the disease it’s setting out to cure.
I went into my transplant with fear and dread. Even saw the shrink before I went in, such was the mess in my head.
And I was aware that, last time I was in hospital, I did all but tunnel out.
So it was odd, that once I walked in the door of St James’s Hospital in Dublin, my mind was at ease. Completely. I checked into my room, made sure I had pictures of my loved ones beside the bed, checked that the telly was working, my laptop could access the internet (thank God for dongles, the hospital is still in the last century when it comes to providing broadband for patients) and my iPod was functioning.
What they do for the BMT is blast you with chemo to kill of your marrow and then, in a kind of transfusion, give you someone else’s.
And it’s a bit unpleasant.
Although I think our health service is an inequitable shambles, although I believe it is run by people I wouldn’t let run a children’s party, although I believe it is over administered beyond belief, and although I believe nobody in the upper echelons of the Health Service Executive gives a toss for those currently in need of the service - they have their eyes focussed firmly on ten years hence - the people who work the front line are unbelievable.
Doctors, nurses, catering, cleaners - chaplains in particular. They are fantastic people utterly undervalued by their employers.
They make hospital bearable. Even if the food is dire, the people giving it too you make it almost edible.
They are to a man and woman, fantastic.
And let me say this now. I will never know who donated bone marrow for me. Never. Dem’s the rules.
But it is one of the most altruistic things a human being can do. There is no money it. You don’t even get to find out if it worked. You never get to see the results of your sacrifice. Which makes it a sacrifice in the true sense.
Anyway, I was sick for a while. And now I’m tired.
But things appear to be going reasonably well. The doctors are happy.
If there are little blips, doctors say “don’t worry.” Even they must know that whenever someone with a nasty disease - mine is lymphoma by the way - is told not to worry, that is precisely what they do.
So I’m trying not to worry. Trying to do bits and bobs. I find the bobs more tiring than the bits.
But I must be in better form. I’m complaining as much as I ever did. I’m complaining about the weather, politicians, the wanton destruction of our heritage in Tara, motorists, pedestrians, cyclists - I think that just about covers everybody.
I’m in the sad situation of knowing more about Coronation Street than any other 54 year old male on the planet.
I sleep like a log and wake up jaded.
I have no feckin’ appetite even when I’m hungry.
Complaining again.
It must have worked.

No comments: