. Incalculable damage.
Skeptic magazine recommends reading this book.
Author Judith Finlayson writes about her research in a new book that takes conventional wisdom about the origins of chronic disease and turns it upside down. Rooted in the work of the late epidemiologist Dr. David Barker, it highlights the research showing that heredity involves much more than the genes your parents passed on to you. Thanks to the relatively new science of epigenetics, we now know that the experiences of previous generations may show up in your health and well-being.
I probably won’t read it, but it does seem to suggest that World War One could very well account for my current condition.
Dr. Mehdi was not happy with the results of my blood test last week. He frowned as he discussed their significance. He gave me a form, told me to go and drink a litre of water and try again. He was hopeful the poor results￼ were caused by me being dehydrated last time. I have my doubts but dutifully did as bid. I popped around to Woolworths and bought 750 mls of water, and 250 mls of sugar-free lime flavoured sparkling mineral water. I downed them as I sat in the shade outside the mall. I then waited for the path lab nurse to return from lunch.
In the pathology lab the nurse greeted me and said “Back so soon?”
“Yep. Mehdi was not happy with your results last time. He wants you to do it again, and get it right this time”. I could see her umbrage begin for just a tiny fraction of a second before she caught on that I was pulling her leg. This is the sort of humour that gets me into trouble sometimes, when I’ve overestimated the ability of someone to see the joke. This nurse and I have been exchanging banter, and family stories for well over a year now. I knew she would get it. But for just a tic I thought I’d done it again.
She￼ asked if I had tried the food at the Bongaree Bowling Club yet. She had recommended it to me last visit. I said no, I was waiting for my mate to come with me. He arrives tomorrow.
She drew the blood expertly and painlessly. As usual.
Then I went back to the surgery (same building) to see one of the practice nurses for a pneumonia vaccine. Mehdi thought I should have one. Given my age and generally decrepit condition. I’d had to wait for the practice nurse to have lunch also.
She too is one of the ladies I enjoy chatting with. Visiting the doc and all the nurses is the peak of my whirlwind social life. She took my blood pressure. 101/69 she was not happy with that and took it again. I held my breath to raise it a little for her. I told her Mehdi had already noted that my bp was dropping, and was going to review my meds after the next blood tests results come in. I have learned that lower blood pressure is necessary for patients with kidney disease, but my meds were now working too well. Too low is not good either Though lower BP helps the kidneys deal with the proteins, too low disrupts the function of filtering out salt.
She swabbed my shoulder and I felt the gentlest touch of pressure for a second. “Oh God, the pain” I said. She was aghast. “Did that hurt? Oh no I’m s so sorry, are you alright?”
“I didn’t feel a thing. Just kidding. You have a gentle touch.”
“You got me. I’ll get you back next time”.She put a little round plaster on the site. “This might swell a bit and it might be sore for a while. If you have any other reaction, or your arm drops off, call the hospital”. I told her I had worse things to worry about than losing another arm.. I’d adapted to having only two, I could adjust to losing one more. I left her pondering that.
I drove out of Woodford with some new data to think about. My blood chemistry is not good, haemoglobin count down, iron still low, salts out of balance and kidney function has deteriorated another 3%. At this rate dialysis looms and the caravan decision must be reconsidered. To dwell, or not to dwell. On the plus side, lipids, cholesterol and blood sugars are not as badly out of whack as they might be, although they will never be right in the green again.
Next, off to the ships chandlers in search of stainless steel screws and a deck plate for one of the legs of the second hand Bimini I bought for the boat. It’s called a deck plate even though it is￼ fitted to the gunwales. BCF didn’t have any, but I saw the Bimini I bought for sale. .New it is $230 so mine was a bargain at $75, even if I do need to buy bits for it.
The chandler at Sandstone Point marina had what I needed. Only $2.50. I bought two, to have a spare. I also picked up a laminated chart of the area of pumicestone passage from Moreton Bay to Caloundra. That is the area I want to be poking about in. For fishing, yes, but also crabbing and spotting wildlife in the mangroves. I love the mangroves.
On the way home it occurred to me I should have bought three deck plates (the Bimini still has one, needs two).Then I could set the Bimini up to be moveable fore and aft, to shade either the bow or stern depending on where I wanted to sit. I wouldn’t need to if the Bimini was bigger but I bought the smallest. Known as a two bow Bimini. Because it was available and I couldn’t afford it a lot less than I couldn’t afford any of the others.
I now have everything I need to be a jolly sailor, except a pirate hat and a cutlass.
It is as if the internet is watching me, and correcting me kindly.
A timely reminder that language grows and changes. If it didn’t, we’d still be writing like this:
Can anyone else fmell timmer?
Tan dan naddity daa dan da.
From ABC Radio National. An Aboriginal led initiative is what is needed. Reading this in 2020 is almost like reading my exit report after my EH position was defunded in 2017 after which the Shire transferred me to youth work. With the same problems.
Sorry about the formatting. My iPad WordPress app is contrary.
Environmental health in the Kimberley
On Health Report with Dr Norman Swan
Reading a pretentious piece about the essence of beingness caused me to ponder the proclivity of people to coin -ness words when an established alternative already exists. In this case, being.
The best example is the extremely annoying wellness used instead of health. It was adopted so very wholeheartedly by my Ministry of Health colleagues. It was woofully defined as the holistically based ongoing healthcareness of the patient rather than treatment of symptoms, enabling upward mobilisation of completeness of being, encompassing the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-beingness and feeling aliveness of not just the patient, but his grandparents. Or some such bullshit. God, how they played with words instead of getting on with it.
I was incensed when Waitemata Health introduced an alternative medicine clinic and employed a real doctor to oversee it. I offered him a copy of Snake Oil Science but he refused to read it, because, he said, the title demonstrated the author was prejudiced before he even began. Alternative medicine should be approached with an open mind. Ummm, yes. With science also.
I wrote a satirical piece for the staff newsletter about how the hospital would be saving money on anaesthetic and painkillers by painting the surgical wards green. Crystals would be hung in the waiting rooms so that at least a third of the patients would feel better and just go home. Surprisingly, the CEO liked it. I think maybe he thought the ideas might work.
But I digress.
Some people casually dismiss the importantness of the problem I don’t. I believe the seriocity of the risk to our language is very real.
Both #ness and +ity form abstract nouns from adjectives. #Ness is a neutral suffix which has no effect on the stress of the word; while +ity is a posttonic suffix which causes stress on the preceding syllable.
I found myself delving further into the -ness –ity issue. There are legitimate alternatives – for example capaciousness and capacity – but they have evolved subtle differences in meaning.
Ableness/ability. Let’s not go there.
In fact, having got this far. Let’s not proceed any further. I’ve made my frustrationicity plain.
Besides, in all honestness, I’ve forgotten where I was going with this.
I have lived among the broken people
They sent me there
Repairman for their faults
As if good will
A football and a meal
Might mend many generations of pain.
Massacre and Murder still in memory
Birthright and right denied
Who can soothe such wounds
With just a token?
And though I tried, god knows I tried,
I, too, ended broken.
I truly tried my wage to earn
I could not help them, merely learn.
They cannot help, who once betrayed
And raised a debt that can’t be paid.
© 2020 ARF