So what sort of a day has it been for you? Who me? Yes; You!
I went to bed at about three in the morning and my little heart would not stop pounding. Unfortunately it was not because I had some beautiful nubile lying next to me but because there is something wrong with my physical manifestation in this world we imagine is reality. I know what is wrong but knowing what is wrong doesn't mean I know everything. What is wrong is too many years of intolerable stress. My body is finally giving way.
I am a little mystified that people can dismiss anxiety as an emotional condition without realising it is a physical condition. The general view of the medical profession is that there is a difference between physical illnesses and mental illnesses. That is not unreasonable because we are masters at the art of differentiating things. It can be useful to recognise the stock on the railway as engines and carriages. But the problem arises when the medical profession get in the engine instead of the carriages - no - that is not what I meant to say. The problem arises when the medical profession treat the two conditions as if they are unrelated aspects of the body. The sickening irony is that we all know that emotions have physical correlates. It is well documented that, like smoking is statistically bad for your health, so too is stress. But because of the differences in the consequences of stress across the population no one seems to attribute any actual cause/effect relationship between heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and a number of other common consequences to any particular stress or anxiety. They talk about these things as if they are disabling in so far as they prevent people working efficiently or enjoying life but they don't connect the physical damage in the system to the emotional state. I really don't know how they do it because it is so obvious. Children actually understand this better than adults. When you upset a child it hurts them and they recognise that as the same type of feeling they get when they fall over and bang their knee. But for some reason by the time folk are into their second decade of life they begin to separate the two types of pain and give valid credence to one and invalid credence to the other. Of course the more intelligent people understand that emotions are utterly important.
But to keep things simple I did not feel well and it is because my body is collapsing under the strain. But I eventually fell asleep, in spite of my heart trying to break out of my chest, only to awake two hours later with a tightening pain in my middle. It feels like my lungs are burning and my xiphoid process is about to explode. What was that? Your xiphoid process? What's that? Well thanks to the internet I have just found out. I have wondered for years why that knobbly bit at the bottom of my sternum has varying qualities. Sometimes it is larger and firmer and other times it is soft and almost seems not to exist. Sometimes it doesn't mind being touched or lightly pressed and other times if feels as if it would explode if you pressed it too hard. I am still wondering why it has all these varying qualities but that aside it appears to be called the xiphoid process. On reading about it on Wikipedia and finding out that a condition called Xiphoidalgia exists which causes a lot of the symptoms that I experience the hypochondriac in me glances from side to side and wonders if, in fact, I am suffering from Xiphoidalgia but that the doctors have neither the experience nor the wit to diagnose it correctly.
So there I was, anyway, at five in the morning feeling weird and not well. I lay there hoping the pain would subside but it seemed to be getting progressively worse. My legs were very painful too and to describe what they felt like is hard. If you filled them with glue and wrapped them tightly in warm cloth that might get some way to describe it. Eventually I thought struggling out of bed and walking around might help. I did that and things still got slowly worse. I decided it was not serious enough to call the emergency service but I determined to phone the doctor as soon as the surgery opened in the hope of getting an appointment today. Well I fell asleep waiting but I did get to phone them quite early and got an appointment.
It was a new doctor - new to me that is - and he was very interested in all my symptoms. He wondered what might be wrong and suggested a gastro-intestinal endoscopy, a ultrasound scan for gallstones and other stuff, a stool sample to test for Helicobacter pylori and a 24 hour heart monitor. I did explain that some money and a safe place to live would help but unfortunately I can't get that on the NHS. In fact, it appears, I can't get that in Britain.
So I returned home - if one can call it home - and lay down to see if I might recover. I was very tired but the anxiety makes sleeping almost impossible sometimes. The next thing to do was to take my daughter to see the Gruppenführer at the SS or, as it is euphemistically called now, the Department of Work and Pensions or DWP. We did attend an examination at the sorting shed or medical centre as they like to call it. There is nothing 'medical' about it at all. It is administered by an organisation called ATOS and is an abomination.
They basically shovel people into work related activities that highly trained medical doctors have deemed too ill to work. It is too complicated to describe the insidious way it works but it is disgusting. If you are interested there are several campaigns against this inhumanity for example the Black Triangle Campaign and there is a petition on the governments own web site by Christopher Gare "To Investigate the DWP and connected MPs for corporate manslaughter. In relation to the WCA & Atos Healthcare". It goes on to point out "We have seen deaths rise of people on sickness benefit from 310 in 2010 to 10,600 in 9 months of 2011." The petition is open until 1 November 2013. But enough of that - we are living in a declining civilisation and anyone who doesn't understand that is part of the problem. Oops I'm getting all emotional - that'll probably kill me. We went and did that and the lady we saw was remarkably nice for a Gruppenführer. But the information she gave us was clearly oppressive, manipulative and inhumane but we weren't there to object just to get [daughter] in and out as quickly and as hassle free as possible.
So we came out with too much information to digest and a few leaflets and headed home dropping my sample off at the doctors. Now you may not want to hear that bit but documenting life means documenting all of it including the less desirable bits.
Martin also sent me a message on BuckFace "Aah - but is Pigs Harlequins Chip Potato Shop in the list - particularly their seminal work Pigs Fry Up." to which I replied "Oddly no. Neither was their best album Pigs Fly Satanic Detritus to Rome."
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