Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bright Green and Radioactive

My CT scan appointment was scheduled for 12.30. It came around quickly. Apparently, I had to drink the radioactive liquid and then I had to sit around for 2 hours while it did whatever it does then the test would be at 2pm. I had to fast for 2 hours prior, so fasting from midday.

I was asked all the usual allergy questions. I was asked whether or not I’d had a CT scan before. She wanted to know if I was allergic to the radioactive liquid they were going to inject into my veins.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“The liquid makes you feel warm.” She offered.

There was that time when they pumped the stuff into me by IV and I’d nearly had a freak out about the needle in my hand. I was so close to a melt down, that I had to make myself run my eyes over every detail of a Jaguar Mk 2 so as not loose it altogether. From back bumper to front bumper and everything in between. It took a blue, green and white Jag before the dreadful thing was all over. I was so close to a panic attack, I held on by my fingernails. Wince!

I looked at her and felt myself smile nervously at the memory. “Oh yes, I have.”

“So no reaction then?”

“No allergic reaction,” I said.

“Good then.”

I was led to a room where I was to undress, put on a white hospital gown and some dark blue cotton pants. “Lock you’re your valuables in the footlocker and then wait on the blue chairs.”

The hinge on the footlocker was broken, so that didn’t instil much confidence from the get go.

Pants and a gown, I guess in these ever more prudish days it just doesn’t do to have people with their arses hanging out.

The nurse, a jolly no nonsense older woman with grey hair and sensible trousers, putting the stent in, or IV catheter, or cannulation, or whatever it was called, said, “I’ll insert your IV.”

“Do I have to sit around with that in my arm for 2 hours?”

“No, you don’t have to take the dye orally, so we are just going to get on and do it. You should be out of here in half an hour.”

I wondered about the fasting thing, but said nothing. I'd had an apple at 10.30, what harm could that do?

Nurse put on blue rubber gloves and held the sharp, stabby thing in her hand. The needle looked big and long and thick. She picked up the tourniquet and came for me.

“I’m glad I got over my fear of needles,” I said, as she came for me from the cart. I don’t know why I always say that? I’m not sure if it is a warning about past phobias, so go easy on me. Am reassuring myself that I would be okay now with all of this. Is it was a boast of what I had achieved? As I said, I don’t know.

“So did my husband.”

“I just decided not to be frighten.”

“All needles hurt,” she said. “There is no getting around the fact.”

"It was never about that pain," I said.

"Just the idea of it," she offered.

"Yes," I said. That was really it.

She put the tourniquet on. “Pump your fist.”

The slightly sticky touch of her blue rubber gloves pulled at my bare skin. “That’s a good vein,” she said. “A Lovely vein. I’d rather one over here,” she pointed to the inside of my elbow. “But this one is presenting itself.” She point to the top edge of my elbow.

“I’d make a good junkie.” I winced. I thought it would sound clever, all things considered, but it just sounded like a cliché.

We both laughed.

“You’re going to feel a sting…” I watched it, I make myself watch it now a days. It is like facing the firing squad without a blindfold.” Ah… There…” she said.

I gritted my teeth and felt the sharp sting. It felt huge, the slide in seemed interminable. I wiggled my toes and could taste the saliva in my mouth.

“Um… Ah. No, I’m not happy with that one, it’s not… its telling me the valve isn’t liking it…”

“You have valves in your veins?”

“Yes, to control the flow of blood. So if you walk along with your hands by your sides all the blood doesn’t rush into your hands.” She smiled. “This is why us ladies get varicose veins, something, I’m sure, you would have no knowledge of.”

I remembered my mother’s ropey blue boiled dumpling skin legs and thought I had some idea what she was talking about.

“Well. You learn something every day,” I said.

“Ah, yes,” she said. “That has slid into the vein okay,” blah, blah, something about blood blow back, or blood flow, but I was picturing locks in my veins, stopping my hands inflating like Donald Duck’s car tyre when something went wrong. “But I am not happy about it.”

I started to feel sweaty, dizzy, like the old days. Should I tell her I’d be better without the commentary? I decided just to grit my teeth and say nothing.

“I’m sorry, but I am going to change to your other arm. This rarely happens,” she said. “Just a moment.”

I felt the cold barb exit my skin. She put a round spot band aid on my left arm. “Hold that,” she instructed.

That was okay, it seemed so much more correct for it to be my right arm anyway. She got a new needle from her cart, which looked bigger than the first one.

Then her sticky latex fingers were holding my right arm.

“That’s a good vein.” She slid the needle into my right arm under the skin.

I was feeling queasy by the time she’d finished. Hot. I could feel sweat on my brow, while I felt chilled at my core. I was hoping I wouldn’t shake.

“That doesn’t feel painful, does it?”


“Good.” She smiled. I want to say she gave me a reassuring pat, but I don’t really think she did. “They will call you in a minute.”

“Thank you.”

She smiled. Hesitated for a moment, then walked away.

“Would you like to come through?” It was the girl from the start with the questions about allergies. She led me through an adjoining door.

The machine was big and cream and plastic. Space age. They always look space age to me. Or do I mean science fiction, all that cream plastic from futuristic movies I saw as a kid. “Lay down there with your head on the pillow with your feet this way.”

“Okay.” The bed didn’t seem long enough.

“We’re going to do some scans first, then I will inject the dye.”


I lay down on the bed and closed my eyes. It was quiet. It was still. It’s just nice lying here, I thought. The bed lifted slowly. Then the bed was long enough. There was a camera, or a laser, or a cell of some sort directly above me. I closed my eyes and didn’t open them again until it was all over.

"Breath in and hold you breath," said a voice straight out or 1984. I felt my chest expand as I breathed in. The machine whirred, well not so much whirred as hummed. I could feel myself move, I think. It was like being in an aeroplane late at night, with a Pink Floyd heartbeat soundtrack.

"Breath normally," said the voice.

I relaxed.

I had to raise my arms above my head, but that is how I sleep some nights so I was really comfortable like that.

"Breath in and hold your breath," said big brother.

I didn't know if I was moving, or not.

"Breath normally."

The door opened and closed, footsteps approached me.

"Now I'm going to inject you with the radioactive dye."

I don’t think it was called radioactive dye, but that is what I heard. "Okay."

"Do you feel any pain?"


"You will feel a warm feeling, you will get a taste in your mouth, you may feel as though you have wet your pants. But that will only be momentarily."

"Something to look forward to," I said.

"I'm sorry?"

"Never mind."

She walked away.

Keep still, I thought? It was what I do best. I could fall to sleep. I suddenly felt warm, my mouth tasted funny and rather than wetting my pants, it felt like a prostate irrigation. I kind of liked it, the feeling, it was like being a bite wired.

"Breath in and hold your breath." I pictured a hologram head projected on to the wall straight out of Doctor Who.

It felt like I was moving again.

Then there was silence and stillness and waiting. I felt cocooned and calm and safe. So relaxed, I am part pussy cat like that. Om.

The door opened. Footsteps approached.

“It is finished,” she said.

Oh, just as I reached enlightenment. Her voice bought me back from somewhere.

“But because we pumped you full of radioactive dye, you will need to sit on the blue chairs for 10 minutes.”

“Okay,” I said.

“I’ll take out the IV.”

I hadn’t even thought about it, that is progress, that is how far I have come.

I was led back to the blue chairs. I got my phone and started writing in the notes section. Breath in and hold you breath…

“Do you feel okay?” Apparently, 10 minutes was up.

“I do.”

“You can get dressed and make you way to reception.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“You are very welcome,” she said.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Are we getting stupider, or what?

In this modern era of information and technology, ironically, stupidly reins supreme. We settle for inferior, cars in the form of 4WDs, they pretty much don't do anything as well as a car, oh other than running off the road. How many single car accidents do you see where the driver has lost control of their 4WD at speed? 

We settle for 2nd rate politicians who are more often than not bought off by big business, (if anybody wants to talk about it, or not) making decisions for their monied donors and their own political future. Political donations should be banned, it is that simple. We aspire to political ideologies that we will never achieve, the workers voting for the right wing parties because it is the closest they will ever get to being wealthy. 

The anti vaccination brigade must be the stupidest bunch of people around at the present. All the medical evidence in the world to back up the latest medical advancements and yet people see fit to know better than the medical fraternity. Get your little sprogs vaccinated and do the world a fucking favour you Idiots. 

The divide between rich and poor is getting wider and wider and wider. It is probably part of, if not the reason for terrorism in the world today. Terrorism has to be about inequality, it has to be about groups of people who feel they are being treated less favourably, who feel they are left behind by the big business controlled world. Feeling disenfranchised must lead to acting out against the society who disenfranchised you.

The planet is dying, arguably we are at the no return tipping point, and yet people chose to believe the climate change deniers because it fits with their own lifestyle choices. 

"If I believe the climate sceptics, I can drive a 4WD without any guilt." And that takes us back to our first point.

On their 18th birthdays, I think stupid people should be issued with Mercedes ML63 AMG's, a cachet of guns and loaded syringes to vaccinate their own children. The world would be a better place for it.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Golden Rule

We learned our morals from the bible?
That is never going to ensure our survival
We need to be more grass roots tribal
And leave the fantasies (and frocks) to the priests

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fifty Shades of Beige

It was a blustery, warm, overcast day from all accounts promising to be 34 degrees. 34 fucken degrees and all my short sleeve shirts were in the wash.

I had to go for my CT scan today, so I hustled along and got to work by 8am. I was hoping for a little quease and piet before the others got in. It was likely the Fatty Cake would be away again today, as Paddington came over yesterday arvo to say she may, or may, not be in today. Translation, she won’t be in.  She'd been away all week, I was hoping for another day.

We’ve started referring to her as F. The other day she and I were chatting, my phone was on the desk in front of us. A message came through from Susanto asking if Fatty had made it in that day. Clear as day on my giant, luxurious iPhone 6plus screen. I slid my hand across the desk and covered the screen, as I told a friend of mine, cool as a cucumber. It wasn’t food so F wasn’t paying it any notice.

And while F wasn’t in this morning, I didn’t have the office to myself, I could have, but no. That sad cow, as Mazz used to refer to her, Stella Charmers, 50 Shades of Beige, from the other building was in my office ruining my solitude, with her spindly fingers clacking away on the keyboard making use of her Year 12 touch typing skills. Just her, only her. What are you doing here? I wanted to ask. But I didn’t, because if I had it would have come across as a hate crime. I forced myself to say, “Good Morning.” Gritted teeth, baby, gritted teeth.

“Good morning,” she said. She never would have said anything if I hadn’t said it first. I could see what a strain it was for her, to drag herself away from her VERY IMPOTANT WORK. She’s always doing VERY IMPORTANT WORK, sweetie. She is one serious cow, bordering on unpleasant.

She departed the office pretty soon after I arrived. Was it something I said? Who cares, why question it.

There was a moment of peace after that, perhaps half an hour.

But, as soon as the “girls” arrived in the office, they were chatting away. Why do “girls” talk so much? And the girls here have awful voices. Fran and Mindy Van Wart were in first and while Fran has a nice smooth voice, Mindy Van Wart’s ugly Scandinavian tones could strip paint from walls. What is it with those really ugly vowels? It’s like she chokes on every one of them, firing them out her arse, rat tat tat, in between the consonants. None of the latest HR recruits are Aussies, they all seem to have accents from exotic locales, what’s with that? (At the risk of sounding like somebody from Reclaim Australia) Just saying? I don’t care. The latest debutant is some fat Scottish slapper, who has round wire glasses and a penchant for pastel colour twin sets, pearls and brown slacks. Why are you dressing like a woman 30 years your senior, I want to ask her.

Oh Fifty Shade of Beige soon came back and pretty soon was yabbering away with Fat Frankie. Really? Fuck off to your own office you sad cow. And fat boy shut the fuck up. Fat Greek, only son, I bet, who loves the sound of his own voice.

Oh great, Fat Boy has just told Fifty Shades of Beige that he was having an industrial shredder delivered today to shred all the remaining paperwork, before he leaves next week. Oh yeah! Just when I thought Obnoxious Jelly Roll Fat Boy couldn’t possibly get any more annoying than he already is. Serves me right for being antsy, just wanting some peace and quiet in the office. All you new age hippie types would be blabbering something about getting what you resist, or what did I do to bring this on? Or something? No doubt, Mournehis would be offering me some sort of positive affirmation to recite.

Fortunately, Fat Frankie set himself up with the shredder at the front of our floor, far enough away from me. I so wanted to walk up the front to see his fat legs wiggling violently from the metal teeth, as the industrial shredder devoured his fat carcass, with a spray of blood across the walls and ceiling like that fountain in front of the UN building in Geneva. But, sadly, no.

Still, I was back to peace and quiet. F called in sick. Apparently, she sounded like Darth Vader. I was busy, got to work.

But no, Fifty Shades of Beige was soon back. She had meetings with people all morning at the desk next to mine and I had to listen to her low level intense murmur for hours, like being blindfolded and having that constant drip of water hit your forehead with metronome regularity. Discussing her Spanish holiday, her wedding and her girlish aspirations towards motherhood. “Ideally, I’d like to have 18 years old, well adjusted, educated and ready to go out into the world kids.”

I heard the Fifty Shades of Beige say to one of her many visitors, “I come over here so I am not disturbed.”

Upon hearing her say that, I could see myself throwing myself across the desk, like Patsy Stone screaming, “You bitch troll from hell!”

Fat Frankie and Fifty Shades of Beige both concluded that their main pet hate were people sending them emails with no phone number so they couldn’t call them back, no doubt to hear their own voices just a little more. They love to talk.

Fifty Shades of Beige said she felt like sending those emails back return to sender due to no contact details, “But that wouldn’t help reception’s opinion of me being no fun and too aggressive.” She laughed nervously.

Reception’s opinion, I thought? That’s not just a fucking opinion.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Quitting Smoking

I still don't mind walking behind a smoker in a gentle breeze, even though I haven't smoked for more than a year. I'm still that much of a smoker at heart. Breath it in. Inhale. I guess I'll always love that smell, a freshly lit cigarette on a spring day. Memories of yesterday, of things that have been. I guess there are worse things?

Monday, November 23, 2015

New succulents in the sun

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Chore Day

I just want to say that Sam is a Sunday ruiner. "No more internet. Time for chores." Big smile, as though we come from some place that is green and smells like pine. Time to wash and clean and vacuum and sweep the garden. Grrrr!

I'm not one who goes in for too much house cleaning generally.

Getting the music right was difficult this morning, I was trying to be adventurous choosing from all the new releases on iTunes. But the Blues let me down, it was all a bit like a sprint across the bayou with a three piece string band. New Age was like it was 1am Monday morning after a hard weekend, "and all ya drugs had stopped working." The soul girls were screeching. World music was either mogadon chic, or a dance party. Even trusty Craig David seemed to be in a hurry to get some where. In the end I settled on Chaka Khan sings the American Song Book.