Back in the Swim

With the reopening of the Bribie Aquatic Centre I’m at last able to swim again. I was going to use the ocean when the pool closed, but by the time my excisions had healed and the beaches were open, the water was too cold, even for me.

The post-COVID rules at the pool are very different. The changing rooms and showers are no longer available. I arrive wearing my swimming togs and go home wet below the waist. As the number to be admitted to the pool at any time is now limited there is an appointment system. I can swim for 45 minutes four days a week. Better than nothing.

I’m pretty sure the time allocation will be increased soon. It seems not too many are coming back yet. Though the morning spots are filled with the really keen swimmers, by noon the pool is empty. My noon spot is often shared with no one. I’m frequently the only person in the pool during my session.

The water is crystal clear. Fewer people are peeing in it. School groups are still not permitted. The staff have boosted the water temperature to 29C for the winter season. It seems cooler. And getting out is a chilly experience, even on a sunny day the air is comparatively cool. I miss the hot shower immediately after my swim.

I gained weight and lost condition in the hiatus. I’m unfit. Forty five minutes swimming is enough for now. The muscles in my arm are sore and slow to adjust to the new regime. Even so, I’m putting in the maximum effort in the time available. The finger paddles give me a good workout. I’m looking forward to getting back to longer sessions for five or six days a week.

FINGER PADDLE, OXIDE GREY/LIME PUNCH, hi-res

Uncomfortably Numb

For some time I’ve had a strange condition that even my doctor has not been able to explain. Nor has he suggested any tests that might put light on the matter.

Is it neurological or circulation? Or something else.

The tip of the ring finger on my right hand is numb. Sometimes it is itchy, as if bitten by a mosquito. I feel pressure if I touch it but it seems to have no operational pain receptors, as I can poke it with a pin without sensation other than a hint of pressure.

I have no explanation. But it seems ironic that the Romans and other old societies believed this finger is connected directly to the heart, which explains why it is the ring finger

It is difficult to photograph ones right hand with a cellphone, using ones left hand.

Mate

Within minutes of publishing my last post the phone rang. It was my mate David in New Zealand. Concerned about my mental wellbeing. A call I really appreciated.

Not that I’m any more depressed than usual. I have developed a philosophy of off-handed acceptance in the vein of “shit happens”. I’m not going to worry about anything over which I have no control. I’m certainly not going to worry about unconfirmed possibilities.

When shit happens I remind myself that it doesn’t matter. In fact, “it doesn’t matter” has pretty much become my mantra whenever something happens that I cannot do anything about. Quite a lot falls into that category. It’s part of growing old.

Dave’s call reminds me I have a mate. That matters.

Something More Sinister

Dear Diary, Discussing my blood test with Mehdi yesterday, by phone, I learned that the tests which coincided with those ordered by the kidney clinic delivered the same results.

However, in separate news, my haemoglobin and iron levels continue to be too low. This despite the Ferrograd C tablets and weekly meals of lamb’s fry. So Mehdi ordered another set of tests, to ensure the cause is not “something more sinister”.

“Something more sinister” is not something someone in my demographic wants to hear. A quick Google confirmed there is plenty to be concerned about. But I’ll leave the worrying until I get the results.

Health Update, May 19

Dear Diary,

I have a new kidney specialist. The North Lakes clinic have transferred my file to Caboolture. Last week I peed and bled for the pathology lab, and this morning I discussed the lab results with the specialist at Caboolture Hospital in a telephone consultation.

He tells me he is pleased with the lab report. I have maintained my 37% kidney function in the face of adversity and adiposity. My results were good despite that I have regained a little of the weight I lost. This is since the pool was closed for the COVID crisis. Exercise has been rather problematic as walking for any worthwhile time is not a feasible option.

I was heartened to learn the pool should be reopening in about three weeks. It is not only the best place for me to get active, but also my most important social activity, because I don’t frequent pubs and clubs. Lately my depression has become noticeable again. Too much time alone. Perhaps a little too much introspection.

Life has been quiet since lockdown. I watch a lot of Netflix, and read, though I am finding that my eyes get tired if I read a lot. My marathon book days are done. it is frustrating. Now the weather has deteriorated, and deters me from taking out the boat.

On the plus side, I have had time to tidy up and organise my caravan and get rid of more stuff I don’t need. I have completely killed the collector bug and the sentimental attachments I once had to material things, even the valuable collectibles. I’m not sure if that is due to depression or a late development of sense.

Mo Cheapaire

I made myself a sandwich for lunch today.

I buttered two thick slices of soft bread and layered between them some lettuce, tomato and beetroot with a dash of pepper and a spoon of mayonnaise.

Just as I was about to bite into it I heard a voice say “Go raib maith agat”.

“What?” I said.

The voice continued “Déarfaidh mé arís é. Go raib maith agat”.

I was sure the voice was coming from the sandwich. I pulled it apart, and examined it carefully.

“Go mbeidh an ghrian ag taitneamh i gcónaí ort”. I heard the sandwich say.

I separated all the lettuce leaves and slices of tomato and checked them. I lifted the beetroot and checked the butter.

Then I realised. It was Gaelic bread.

The President’s Brain is Missing.

I doubt there is a sane person left who believes Trump has any sense, or any credibility, whatsoever. Following the news as it unfolds in the US is like watching some surreal black comedy.

It’s something Peter Sellars might have made with Stanley Kubrick – Dr Kidglove, or How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Follow the Trump.

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS / DEATH TOLL 

Last updated: April 25, 2020, 09:17 GMT
Coronavirus Death Toll

197,694 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of April 25, 2020, 09:17 GMT.
There are currently 2,836,338 confirmed cases in 210 countries and territories . The fatality rate is still being assessed.

Follow the world-wide statistics, or country by country, here.

At the risk of being considered crepidarian: There is no doubt this COVID19 pandemic is just as scary as WHO said it could be. We are seeing now that the countries with the lowest infection and mortality curves are the ones with the best, and quickest lockdown response. Go New Zealand.

Now that testing is becoming more prevalent, and more reliable, many countries are finding evidence there is a significant proportion of asymptomatic infectious carriers among the apparently healthy population. These are not all being numbered among confirmed cases.

In our current world, this is about as apocalyptic as it gets.

I’m sure they said the same thing during the great flu pandemic of 1918 when about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected and the number of deaths worldwide was estimated to be at least 50 million.

The population of the world is exponentially greater now. So is the risk.

Stay safe out there. Good Luck.

Lockdown Diary, Continued.

I’ve just returned from another late night walk around the camp. Over on the other side there is a permanent site surrounded by pot plants, gnomes and ceramic frogs. I was so tempted to move the gnomes and other figurines around, and maybe kidnap one, leaving a ransom note for a pack of M&Ms – or the gnome gets it.

But I don’t know where the CCTV cameras are.

Red, Red Wine pt 2

I bought some more red wine. Fresher stuff this time. Still in the year of manufacture.

Mind you. It cost me four dollars a litre.

I know. Four dollars a litre. Right?

But it’s worth it to get the good stuff.

You have to buy four litres, but.

That’s a lot of Bolognese sauce. Or lamb shank gravy.