The big seven oh, no!

…or maybe just old and fucked. Anyhow, definitely one year older and nearer to death however you look at it.

Fuck knows how I got this far. All around me are dropping like flies or dropped many years ago. Like my friend Phil who dropped dead on Waterloo station in his thirties when an aneurysm in his brain just decided to pop. Or Jim who used to play rhythm guitar in one of the several school blues bands and fell out of the sky in a hang glider accident. Or my old friend Paul who died a year or so back from unknown causes but knowing him as I do probably drink related. Then there’s Keith who popped his clogs from cancer last year. The list goes on so I suppose I should quote Chas’ song “Everybody’s fucked but me” ?

So today I am supposed to be luxuriating on a lovely little boat called Hebridean Princess half way up Sognefjord in Norway. Except, of course, I’m not because Covid got in the way and they cancelled it, offering instead to take me around the wilds of Shetland and the Hebrides. Except I’m not there either because dear Wee Kranky Sturgeon decided that no cruise ships would be allowed into several of the ports we were visiting – even though it was a Scottish ship sailing from a Scottish port and never leaving Scottish waters. I got the distinct impression from  a somewhat unamused tour operator that she was just being a bitch who had to not be seen doing what the hated English were doing.

So they offered me a trip around Lundy and the Isles of Scilly instead. Very nice except that we were already booked to do it with Noble Caledonia the next day. Never mind. Nice big refund to spend on something else.

So where am I today? Well I’m luxuriating on the north Norfolk coast in a very nice boutique hotel in one of my favourite spots, Brancaster. Very pleasant but not exactly the Norwegian fjords. Still, I shall enjoy a few days here stuffing my face with excellent food and wine and celebrating not being dead with a nice bottle of champagne.

Fuck Covid for buggering everything up, but when life is shit – and believe me it is lately – then you just have to get on with it, and at least for a few days I can not worry about my upcoming sleep test although I can’t forget about it altogether because part of the test is that I have to keep a sleep diary for a fortnight before checking in to Papworth.

The section that records alcohol consumption should prove interesting… 

Beyond Cell Block H

I’ve written previously about my experience with mind altering drugs (see my pre Christmas rant) so I won’t bore you with more details of that. Suffice it to say that my expectations of getting clear of the withdrawal symptoms of Citalopram were a little optimistic. After a couple of weeks off the stuff by which time it should have been out of my system, I’m still getting bouncing legs and twitching arms so after a chat with the GP, we decide to go back on the stuff.

Bad decision.

The bouncing legs are getting worse and now I’m getting what effectively about to full blown fits. I’d suspect epilepsy were it not for the fact that I’m fully in command of my mind, it’s just that my body won’t do what I tell it. Thankfully they don’t last long but I never know when they’re going to hit although I have become convinced that my kitchen chair hates me as that’s a common site for the problem. 

So five months bounces along (see what I did there?). I’ve been for a consult with a cardio consultant and an ECG but apparently it’s not my heart although I’m not entirely sure why they thought it was. Then we go for a neuro consult who thinks that these are panic attacks. No they’re not and I say so. In the meantime Doctor Google has been consulted and I’ve tried Ashwaghanda which is supposed to calm muscle control and it helps for a while until things get worse. I’ve also tried potassium supplements which is an ongoing experiment. Not sure if that’s really doing anything… 

So in the middle of May I’m back to the GP who refers me back to mental health. They have an intermediary on site as a result of all the Covid related drama so I go for a chat with her. As a result we decide to come off Citalopram and see how it goes in  six weeks time. So a staged withdrawal starts and 3 weeks later I’m off the stuff. Whoopee. Hopefully all will now start to get back to normal. Except it doesn’t. 

Mid July it’s the six week follow up. The initial interest seems to have waned and we seem to be back to ticking off boxes. So I’m duly ticked and dismissed but at least I’m referred onwards to neuro. 

I’m the meantime I’ve developed a strange ability to talk to the dead. Mainly this consists of extended conversation with my parents in law, visitations from my mother and various odd people popping in and out. Suffice it to say I didn’t have a very good childhood in that my mother used to discipline me with a riding crop which, these days, would have been called abuse. My father was more interested in his job than me and I have been told by another dead person that he’s not my biological father which might explain why he never pops in for a chat and my, other is fairly aggressive in these little visits. 

Anyhow, I’m not a great believer in these things but they’re pretty intense so one Sunday after noon after a chat with the in laws I get the idea to see if there is a spiritualist church in town. Google says there is and there’s a service in 2 hours time so I give them a ring. Numbers are restricted but they just had a cancelation and there’s one place if I want to come. Coincidence or just plain spooky. You decide. 

I spend an interesting 90 minutes sat in the meeting hall with my dead parents-in-law stood behind me with a hand on each shoulder. 

A few days later I’m off to Addenbrookes in Cambridge for a consult with the neuro consultant who specializes in tremor problems. She’s impressive and seems genuinely interested especially in the fact that these spasms also happen in my sleep which, I gather, is unusual. I’m rererred for a scan and more tests. At last someone seems genuinely interested! 

In the meantime my better half and myself go to the spiritualist church for my second visit. I ask John to talk to his daughter just to convince me that I’m not actually losing my mind and all this is real. When the medium stands up to do her stuff, she goes straight to my wife, says that her father is here and tells her things even I didn’t know, never mind the medium. So great. Now I’m bloody psychic. 

A couple of weeks after the neuro consult and back to Addenbrookes for a scan. I have to have a radioactive tracer injected and get my brain scanned in a very strange machine. It’s quite intimidating but thankfully I’m so exhausted through lack of sleep that I doze off for half an hour while they do it all. 

Rather intensely the next day I have a video consultation with a neuro psychologist that alst nearly two hours. At the end of it, I get an appointment for a couple of hours of yet more tests. That’s today so let’s see what happens. 

I’ve been to the spiritualist four times now and I’m convinced that some mediums are more genuine than others, but it’s an interesting experience so maybe I’ll keep going for a while and see what happens. I’m not getting as many voices in my head but the in laws seems to drop in for a chat every now and then. 

I’m writing this at 4 in the morning because, guess what? I’ve spent the last two hours spasming in bed, some of it while asleep so as is common these days, I’m up and about unable to sleep because every time I lie down my body objects and starts jerking so I give in and get up. 

So let’s see what brilliant insights yet more testing brings today before I bugger off for a few days to celebrate getting a year nearer to death, and look forward to September when I have to go to the Papworth to be wired up for an overnight sleep test. 

Happy days… 

Getting old

Image

 

This month I have a big birthday. It’s one of those moments that prompts one to reflect on past and future life. This is especially true in my case as the last couple of years have been a bit of a bastard. 

It started when my memory started playing tricks on me. It first manifested itself by my having problems stringing two things together. I’d set off to do something simple and not notice that there were actually two things that needed doing. For example I’d go to fetch something out of the garage and walk past something blindingly obvious that needed taking to the garage. No big deal you’d think. It just getting old. A senior moment. Until it happens multiple times a day. 

So we talk to the GP, a lovely woman that I’ve been going to for years. She suggests I talk to a shrink but before that can happen she needs to run loads of blood tests to rule out other things first. No problem. Off to the legalised vampires, tests done, and we’re good to go. 

So in March ’18 the man from mental health comes to our home to assess me and scares the shit out of my wife by telling her that I have dementia. He leaves her info on support groups and she toddlers off to attend some meetings anticipating no doubt my inevitable decline to a dribbling wreck. 

Except we’re wondering why this guy hasn’t reported back so we go back to the GP who is equally appalled. Eventually after much chasing and my wife attending more support groups the GP eventually extracts a report from the mental health man. It’s now August ’18 – 5 months later. 

Seems I don’t have dementia so I’m referred to a local shrink in down the road in Cell Block H. If you’d seen the building you’d know why we hung that label on it. I have a session with a consultant psychiatrist who seems to be very efficient and decides I don’t have dementia and would like to run some tests. Our reaction is a mixture of relief and wondering what the fuck the problem is then because it ain’t getting any better and I’m doing stupid things like forgetting why I went to that kitchen cupboard, forgetting why I opened the fridge, why I got up to do something, standing blankly in the middle of the kitchen floor. Those sort of infuriating things. 

And there’s a new manifestation too. I can’t see things that are there and do see things that aren’t. It like I looked at the kitchen table and my mind retained a snapshot so the next time I looked at it, my brain decides that it knows what that looks like so doesn’t need to reprocess. Very odd and very worrying at times. 

Anyhow this rambling on a bit so I’ll tell you more in a later post…  

First direct can stick their bribe

First Direct and Tesco Bank

A double cunting for the two fuckers that have wrecked the past week for me.

First Tesco Bank. I’ve been banking through them for the last 9 years but apparently this counts for two thirds of fuck all as they sent me a great big fuck off letter saying they’re closing all their current accounts by 1st November. They’re keeping their savings accounts going and I’ve got one of those too so if they insist on giving me the finger then guess what? You ain’t keeping my savings account you cheeky fuckers.

So now I look for a new current account. Step forward Martin Lewis who tells me that First Direct have excellent service credentials and are offering £100 as an incentive to switch to them. So I do. Then the fun starts.

First you have to download the fucking app which is an experience in itself. Then you have to set up telephone banking without which you can’t use the app. Now the security setup for the app and telephone banking are not the same. Different user names, passwords, security questions, the works. Fuck knows why. I can only assume it was written by an illiterate inconcontinet monkey because it’s so full of shit.

So I set up telephone banking and then try to initiate the app. Error code FD999T. I scan Google to find out what this is and why but nobody seems sure. So I have to ring their help line. After 45 minutes in the queue on a chargeable call listening to a repeated message telling me how busy they – we’re all fucking busy, mate – I get through to a helper. I get the standard answer. Delete the app and redownload it. Funny but after 30 years in the IT business I never thought of that dear. Oh dear. But I do it again anyway while the idiot – sorry. Helper – is still on the line. Oh look I say, error code HK1. Oh says the idiot. That’s not on my list. So they delete my profile and we start again. This time it works. Halle-fucking-luyah!

All is good. Then the app crashes. It won’t work at all. So I delete it and reload it. Guess what? It lost my digital access code that I need to be able to use the app. How do I fix this? You guessed it. Back on the telephone to the help line. 50 minutes later, another somewhat more helpful idiot who manages to salvage my setup for me.

Now I go away to set up the web based banking system. Oh for fuck sake! I have to use the app on my tablet to generate an access code to allow me to log in on my laptop. Apparently the digital key can only reside on a single device, in this case my tablet. Which fucking genius thought that was a good idea?

Then the last straw. I need a savings account in the same bank because of the way my wife and I split our money. Our dosh goes into the savings account and is paid unequally into the current account to pay the everyday bills. Simples. Only it isn’t.

First Direct let you open their products using the app. Except they don’t offer all of them and the one I want is one of them. I have to ring up to do this. But hang on, there’s a chat function on the app, so I try that. The reply? You’ll need to telephone us in order to set that up.

So having lost the will to live at this point, I decide that they can stick their bank where the sun don’t shine. I message them. “I want to close my account” “No problem. Consider it done. Have a nice day”

Interestingly they make no attempt to find out why or persuade me otherwise. The first thing they’ve managed to do effortlessly for me is close my account. I guess they want to keep their £100

Fine by me. The bribe isn’t worth the hassle so I’m off to give Barclays a try because I’m still forced to find another bank. Watch this space…

The death of a child – please help

Before I start this I need to refer you back to the post I published last December entitled ‘Cold Turkey’. the good news is that I came off Sertroline and my doctor prescribed Citalopram, a drug that has destroyed my life. But more details on the frightening effect that drug has had on me I will post later.

My mind has been well and truly fucked with to the extent that I seem to have developed the ability to talk to dead people. No laughter please as I am completely serious – and, yes, I would have scoffed at this point too. That’s why I’m writing this – to open up what I have seen to the wider internet and see if it connects with anyone out there.

Because of the specialists I’ve been seeing, I’ve been told to keep a dairy so I have notes of whatever happens to me to refer to. The first incident happened on 26th June while I was in bed. This usually happens during a form of fit / jerking of my body. On this occasion it was bad enough to wake me up. I am absolutely certain this is not a dream.

This what I wrote immediately afterwards :

“Initial image of a tree. Not far off but then I zoom in towards it like on TV. I’m close up to the tree. The tree has the initial ‘D’ carved on it. Then the image fades and I have a major fit. All limbs going everywhere. Someone is trying to get my attention. The presence is of a small child. Undefined but definitely a small boy. I think he’s D? I think he’s buried under the tree. I have no idea where the tree is. I get the number / year? 1944 but not sure what that means. Image appears of a girl. Bullying him. D is pushed and falls hitting his head against a brick wall. Skull fractured. Died. None of this makes sense but sure he’s the body under the tree. Wants me to know. Find grave. He’s very very insistent. If I try to dismiss this I am jolted physically.

In my head I get a picture of a wooded area or copse maybe. I was drawn back towards the specific tree which has the initial ‘D’ carved on it. I looked down at the ground and the earth peeled away to reveal the skeleton of a young child in the foetal position. At this point I again had the impression of the number 1944 but have do idea of the relevance of that.

He shows me the grave stripped of earth, and I see the bones. He forces my body into the same (foetal) position. I feel a pressure (hand?) on my head. He’s showing me the fracture (left side of the head). Sod this. I’m getting up”

The second visitation is quite different as it happens at 1:30pm just after I have finished my lunch so this definitely isn’t a dream. It’s the 13th July. Again this is written immediately afterward :

“The kid buried in the woods is back. He’s VERY angry but I tell him I can’t help. He forces my body into a foetal position. That’s how he is in the grave.
I keep telling him I can’t help him. Calm down. He says ‘sorry’ and I can sit up again. I close my eyes and sit quietly at the table. He sends me a picture. For someone who is unable to visualise, this is remarkably clear.
There’s a country road. A black car pulls up on the right hand side next to a hedge. Two people get out. The woman is wearing a long grey/or brown coat and a brimmed black hat. The man is wearing a dark raincoat over a blue suit. I can’t make out the faces clearly. They open the boot of the car and take out a bundle wrapped in a sack like cloth. The voice talking to me now is his own and sounds like a 3 or 4 year old. (usually talks in my voice). It’s clear to me there is a body in the sack. The man picks up a shovel from the boot and shuts it. The woman is holding the bundle like a child over her left shoulder. Together they walk towards the woods and vision fades.

Again I have the impression of the number 1944. Also have the names George and Mortimer. Not sure of the relevance. This is a troubled soul who just wants someone to find where he is buried. I understand this and that this a lost and frightened child but I can’t help him as I have no point of reference and he can’t give me a location. He keeps repeating the word ‘DARK’

Another impression of the car. Zooming in from above. Number plate is square. Silver on black. Something like a Wolsey or MG. Not cheap which fits with the peoples clothes. Suggests to me 1950s or early 60s? Car and clothes that sort of period. Zooming in on the plate. WRJ or WJR and the number 117. Definitely 117. It’s a square plate. There’s chrome bits – quite posh – either side of the light. Mark 2 Jaguar maybe. Not sure. Maybe analysing too much.”

So that’s it. I feel compelled to put this out there if only to get the kid off my back. Of course I might be imagining all this but other things have happened that make me dismiss this. I will tell all later.

Laugh at me, mock me, call me names. I don’t care.
Is there someone out there that relates to this?
Is there an open police murder case that fits with this?
Would a medium be able to rationalise this with me?

Please get in touch if you can help.