Category Archives: Health

I Am Looking Forward To Shaking Someone’s Hand Again

It’s a funny thing to shake someone’s hand.

In the future, of course, there are no handshakes. Star Trek, Star Wars, even Spaceballs… no one shakes hands.

And handshakes haven’t been the standard default for as long as we think – they were codified by the Quakers five hundred years ago, because they were thought to be more egalitarian than tipping a hat or bowing.

Today, of course, a handshake is often seen as a threat more than a disarming form of intimacy and equality thanks to Coronavirus.

In addition to being a vector for disease transmission, handshakes reward a certain sort of powerful personality and penalize people who might be disabled or uninterested in that sort of interaction. And judging people by the strength of their grip doesn’t make much sense anymore.

Until a year or so ago, demurring a proffered hand (how antiquated to use ‘demurring’ and ‘proffered’ in the same sentence) was seen as odd and a bit insulting. Today, it comes across as generous.

Add to this the fact that in a video call, there’s no way to shake hands. Hat tipping (or perhaps an informal Vulcan salute or simply a smile and a wave) might be making a comeback.

So, Live Long & Prosper!


Loading Dose Update // It’ll Be Lonely

I am back home safe from another breathless walk to Windsor House. See HERE for last week’s walk. It was for the completion of the Loading Dose that I walked across town, today – but, it was a different town. Lock Down 3.0 is lifting and the streets were coming to life. Children played and Adults socialised over a pint – town is coming back to life.

It is a beautiful thing to see. And, a welcome one.

Whether it will cause a Third Wave I am unsure, people are either bored of Lock Down or precautious. Either way, things are easing up and that is a good sign.

On my way to Windsor House I saw a lot of life, it was a bit of a shock. The idea of shaking hands with someone still fills me with dread, due to the Pandemic that has engulfed the world. I will try and postpone my first handshake so that it is with my dad – the first person I ever shook hands with.

Windsor House was quiet – it is where the CMHT is based – I went there for my second Loading Dose. I am coming off the oral medication and moving on to an injected form. The injection is very painful but it seems to be working. I have a lot quieter head.

I am calmer, more focused, less distracted and all together I am sharper in my wits. I just need to learn how to control them again, really.

I am worried that the twenty year old version of me will pop out uninhibited and I have also been warned that I may feel a bit lonely for the next month or so. Seems weird to be told I may lonely when I am symptom free…

The tranquility offered by the medicine has got rid of some of the characters who have been dogging my psyche for the best part of twenty years. I am looking forward to being free of these archetypes and tropes but it will be a quieter place. Yes, I guess you could call it a loneliness – an isolation – it must be what it is like when you kick out an abusive house mate and you can breathe a sigh of relief. But it would be a housemate who lived with you through some of the tumultuous times of your days. And they were no support, maybe the cause.

I am sat here is my pyjamas having had the second loading dose. I am in for the night, time to get settled. I am foggy headed (temporarily) but I am tranquil.

My CPN, RW, said this year could be the best year of my life. Let’s work towards that.


Loading Dose Update // Breathless Walk

I made it up to Windsor House yesterday – it was a breathless struggle and the most exercise I have done since I had Covid. I am still stiff as a board and ache all over for the virus; but, the fever has been broken and it was back in November that I had it.

Why was I walking across town to Windsor House? Well, Windsor House is the HQ of the Harrogate & District CMHT – I needed an injection.

For the first time since 2009 they are tickering with my medicine – and it is terrifying.

I received the loading dose for an injected version of the same type of medication that I am on now – I will be weened off the oral medication (except for Epilim and Fluoxitine) and I have been told to take Folic Acid and Vit. D.

But why am I terrified of this change? Because they have got it so wrong in the past – I have had some terrible experiences in the past with medication and I am still suffering as a result. An example of this is that one of my medications left me with such bad nerve damage that I have a tremor.

But, I have woken up on this sunny Saturday with a calmer head. Very drowsy and fuggy but optimistic. I hope the foggy head is just caused by the sharp start after a good sleep (I had not been sleeping recently).

Will this be another trade off?

Will I have to accept serenity at the cost of my wits?

This is why I am terrified.

Hearing Voices

Hearing Voices is a symptom of serious mental illness; it is also something I can releate to. In this article, The New Statesman cites the pioneer of The Hearing Voices Network. Something I am tempted to sign up for – although I am hesitant to go.

What is boils down to is that people who hear voices were born in the wrong era; have a look online for Bi-Cameral Mind and you will strike gold.

An illustration that the article I linked to above points to is The Illiad. The Gods of Ancient Greece we a trope of Bi-Cameral mind.

Although, the life of the pioneer of The Hearing Voices Network, Patsy Hage, did not end well; I may sign up to the network… I have start this tage Hearing Voices to keep an eye on things. You never know, it might be a sub plot to 2021?


On Barely Making It Back From The Shop

I nearly fell over today. Out of fatigue. I had my jab a few weeks ago and it is as bad as having the virus in the first place.

I had the virus when it was at it’s peak in November of 2020. Because I had the virus, when it came to the vaccine I already had anti-bodies in my system. This has caused a Surge Reaction and I am suffering from the symptoms of Bat Flu again.

It never rains but it pours.

However, I would have the jab again. If I had the option of changing the past it would be to not have caught the virus. I am happy to play my part in kicking Covid-19 in to touch.

I wish everyone else was too. By not having the vaccine they are making the effectiveness of the jab lessen for those who have had the vaccine.

It is the bit where the free speech and the anti-vaxxer movements meet. Wherever that is, you will not find much sense.


Dr Appointment // Virtual Meet Up

I had a check up with the consultant today – all done virtually. The app we used was linked to the surgery and it was seamless. The Doctor and the nurse were respective distances apart and I was sat in my dressing gown lording it up – right laugh.

The appointment was for an on going condition, something that wears me down; the result of the appointment was that I am changing medication.

To be fair, I am terrified that they will put me back on a dose that is incompatible with me, as they have in the past. I was on my arse for a good few years due to bad medicines (medicine that was incompatible with me, I should say). Terrible stuff.

They also found some other things with the blood test, taken on Friday at A&E.

I am sub clinical hyper thyroid. I have been told that there is something up with my metabolism and my Thyroid is trying to over compensate – and, this is on good medicine.

More to follow….

Fat Ankles

I was hospitalised for having fat ankles today.

I had a bad pain in my right ankle around 5am and there was a bit of swelling; I admit I was a bit worried as I had been under the weather since I had the Pfizer vaccine.

I was worried for clots.

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So, I phoned 111. The guy, Andy, on the other end of the line said I should head to A&E as soon as I could. I booked my taxi (5am) and arrived quick sharp.

Triage looked at me – mumbled incantations and summoned a Doctor.

I was was attached to machines that go ping and all manner of tests were taken; ECG, Echocardiograms, Bloods etc.

It turns out they suspected I may have DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) but it just turns out I just have fat ankles – much to the merriment of my friends. Typical.

Pinch And A Punch For The First Of The Month

First of March – get in, Spring is blooming and Anxiety is kicking in for the end of Lock Down. There seems to be a bit ‘in the air’ about easing out of Lock Down 3.0.

People are settled in to their frustration, bad habits and apathy. Probably why the Tory Government keep getting elected, still.

I am looking forward to a pint of cask.

I am looking forward to playing music in a pub to the public – I am looking forward to life, again.

Will it all return to normal? What is the normal now? Will people be hugging openly in the streets and bars? Will it be reserved and cautious?

I am going through a bought of side effects from the Covid jab I had last week (Pfizer) and feeling a bit flu-y. I have heard from sources that if you have had Covid in the past then there is a rumour that the side effects of the jab will be magnified a bit.

I am just a bit achey. A bit stiff and sore. Mentally confused and not all there – but that is the norm pretty much.

A lot of people have it a lot worse. I am grateful for the vaccine. I am glad I had it – there will be side effects to any vaccine; this will keep me off the covid train.

These are my thoughts.



I admit I have been working a bit too hard recently. As a result, I am having to now limit my screen time and engage in my Daily Practice forcibly, even though I don’t want to.

It can be quite a grind but to not enjoy engaging in your Daily’s is exactly what they are there for.

Well, what is a Daily Practice? Well, nothing esoteric here; it is just an activity you do every day. It stems from the daily life of monks, a contemplative lifestyle.

Monks, Priests, the devout (of which I am not – before this turns theological) have a series of practices or chores that they carry out daily, to the best of their ability, every day for the rest of their lives. It helps centre them. It bring focus. Daily Practice brings the monks back to prayer and Daily Practice brings me back to myself.

Should I need to set up a better set of daily’s? I doubt I will for the foreseeable. At the minute, they are…

  • Blog on Ijo Pona
  • Have an engaging chat with Kathryn

Both of these are communication orientated. I am after all in the communication business. Here is another I hope to incorporate in to my year, for 2021.

I will read for an hour when I wake up.

This might not sound much, but I will give time to myself by reading for an hour when I wake up and not rush in to the day. This will hopefully cause a paradigm shift from what is in place now.

At the minute, my alarm goes off and I rush through to my office to switch on my computer and I sit there, in my pyjamas answering emails before I have brushed my teeth. This causes a panicked mindset from the start of the day to the end, most people would constantly be in a flap.

Work from home sure, don’t live in your office. Switch off.

Speak soon?

Ps – I am an authentic human at the other end of this, leave a comment in the footer and say ‘Hi!’

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Covid Jab Accomplished

Had an injection today. An important one. I had my Pfizer jab to stop serious Covid 19 infection.

The destination was the Yorkshire Show Ground and I was in Hall 2 thanks to a helpful taxi driver.

The Nurse who helped by administering my jab was great, I hardly felt a thing, all masked up there. Ver. Brave.

The only thing I would say is I could have done with a lollipop at the end.