Wednesday, October 07, 2015

More hospital visits

Yesterday to Guy's ENT to deal with persistent nosebleeds The consultant Dr L prescribed topical application of  one antibiotic four times a day for two weeks followed by a different antibiotic for another two weeks, and then a return visit to ENT outpatients.

Today was yet another visit to King's, first to have the six-monthly EVAR check-up to make sure there are no leaks from the plastic aorta, and then for a consultation with Dr R the vascular consultant. He was pleased with the EVAR scan which showed there had been a further contraction of the original aorta, though I can't see why that matters considering its never going to be used again. He looked at the ulcer on my left ankle and said it was progressing normally, only recommending the use of foam wound doughnuts to protect it from danage.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


There's a lot of hysteria in NATO foreign ministries and media about Russian incursions into Turkish air space, but Turkey's policy on Syria is not aligned with NATO's. Erdogan's main objective is to get rid of potentially troublesome Kurds of the YPG, who have been the most effective opposition to the Daesh. It was with great reluctance that he allowed a small contingent from other YPG-held territory to cross through Turkish territory to help defend their beleaguered colleagues in Kobane when they were on the verge of being wiped out a year ago. If the Turks don't agree that the eradication of the Daesh is the paramount necessity for restoring peace in the region and allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees to return to their homes, we should be looking for other allies with the necessary muscle to do the job. We should be holding talks with Moscow on how to avoid incidents in the air that could have disastrous consequences for both Russia and NATO, and building a new coalition in which all participants are on the same wavelength. Patrick Cockburn as usual makes a lot of sense,

Monday, October 05, 2015


We spent from 11.00 to 20.00 in the Haematology day care centre at King's, where there were too many patients for the staff to cope. Blood test finally 14.00, results back 16.00 and the transfusion started at 17.50, finishing 20.00. Hb was 95. not as low as I expected from the way I was feeling, but a drop from 106 only four weeks ago on September 11.

Blood tests, last 9 results

5.10 18.09 10.09 3.07 17.06 9.06 27.05 25.03 2.03 Normal
Hb 95 106 81 104   107 93 96 98 98 130-180
WBC 1.95 2.53 2.39 2.85   2.85 2.55 2.91 3.15 3.36  4.5-10.0
N'phils 0.87 1.05 1.02 1.16  1.17 1.14 1.3 1.57 1.78 2.0-7.5
Plt 225 2.41 2.41 249   232 296 342 369 449 150-450

Thursday, October 01, 2015


We had a lovely visit from Rubab (director of the International Imam Hussain Council) yesterday,  with her husband and her little boy, and they brought a superb birthday cake!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Today is my 87th birthday, with thanks to the NHS and particularly King's College Hospital for keeping me upright still. As my family are aware, I expect to die around July 2016 but they all say I will continue past that horizon. My feeling about it is that quality of life is better than quantity of life, so its fine to step out of Samsara while I still have my marbles, eyesight and reasonable mobility. (the miracle cure for macular degeneration isn't likely to be available for another five years, by which time I will be long gone)

Today we had a stairlift installed, because although I can still manage the stairs, its with increasing difficulty, and I didn't want to wait until one day I get stuck. Luckily its only necessary to navigate stairs in the House to get to the W rooms; otherwise the route to the places on different floors there are all accessible by lift.

PS we just watched a TV programme about two people with terminal illnesses who donated their bodies for medical research. One of them had a good deal of pain at the end, and once again I wondered how those who are against assisted dying can square their consciences with the fact that palliative care doesn't work for one in five of the terminally ill. I certainly hope I'm not one of the 20%, and that when I do come to the end it will be at home, and that I can avoid too much dramatics.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Visit to GP

A visit to Dr M to get her advice about the ulcer on my ankle, which has lasted since June. Her colleague had prescribed a week of antibiotics at the beginning of September, and I was supposed to go back if that didn't clear it up. I missed that, but this time we have a telephone consultation next Monday, and presumably Dr M will then add another week if necessary.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lords retirement age?

Sal Brinton, President of the Liberal Democrats, suggests in today's Independent on Sunday, that there should be a retirement age of 75 or 80 for membership of the House of Lords. Its my 87th birthday in a week's time, and there are three other LibDem Members who are 87 in October - Dick Taverne, born October 18; Bill Rodgers, born October 28, and Geoff Tordoff, born October 11. Maybe the House could manage without us, but I made a public declaration on my 80th birthday that I was never going to retire. If its any comfort to Sal, I expect Myelofibrosis to catch up with me before I get to 88!