Friday, December 03, 2010

Rest of the week

Wednesday morning, regular meeting of my EU Subcommittee F of the Lords' EU committee on Home Affairs. Unfortunately I can't accompany the Committee to Brussels next week because I have a 24-hour cardiac test at King's

Lunchtime, a meeting to discuss the situation of the Hazara minority in Quetta city, Baluchistan. Terrorists have an almost free hand in the city, murdering and driving out the Hazara (who constitute 10% of the population) and other minorities, and anybody else who doesn't toe their line. The federal government does nothing to protect the peaceful citizens, and as elsewhere in Pakistan, the killers are never tried let alone convicted. Are we going to stand on the sidelines as Pakistan develops into a nuclear-armed Caliphate, dedicated to the teachings of ibn Taymiyya, Qutb and Maudoodi summarised in the previous entry?

Thursday, David Alton initiated a debate on human rights in which I mentioned this issue, as well as a couple of points from Tuesday's debate on Iran. ( This time we had seven minutes each, again totally inadequate for the extent of problems we face. I had intended to speak about the current situation in Zimbabwe, which hasn't been covered in the Lords for several weeks, and as there was no time, I tabled a motion for a 2 1/2 hour debate in which, as the mover, I would get 15 minutes. There is a ballot for these debates so the chances aren't great, but I will also ask the LibDems if they would allocate one of our Party slots to the subject.

Friday, I had a misnamed 'sleep eeg' at King's. As part of the test I took two knockout pills, but in spite of lying still for an hour or so in the dark I was still wide awake. The technician said it didn't matter. The note sent out by the hospital reads:

EEG (Electroencephalogram) is the investigation performed in a variety of disorders of brain function. It is often necessary if the cause of a blackout or other recurring disturbance of brain function is unknown The test is performed by placing 8-16 pairs of small disc electrodes on the scalp, using a watersoluble paste. This is a painless procedure and non-invasive......
The electrodes pick up tiny electrical signals from the brain, which are magnified and stored onto a computer. A specialist consultant then interprets the recording. During the test you will be asked to sit or lie down on a couch and relax. At times you will be asked to open and close your eyes. You will be asked to do some deep breathing for up to 3 minutes. It is often necessary to look at flashing lights at different frequencies. Some people find this slightly uncomfortable.
A Sleep EEG maybe recommended if a wake EEG does not show any definite abnormality. This is because in some patients the abnormalities are only seen during drowsiness or sleep, The procedure is similar to the routine procedure except that you will be asked to take some medication to enable you to fall asleep. The test will last for up to 3 hours; this includes a period of recovery time. The patient will be checked by a doctor to ensure they are fully awake and recovered, prior to leaving the department. As you will be feeling sleepy for the rest of the day you are advised to rest at home and remain from any demanding activities, and not to return to work or drive. If the appointment is for a child of 14 years of age or younger they may continue as normal and may return to school.
The technician performing the test will give a full explanation of the procedure and is available to answer any questions you may have. EEG (Electroencephalogram) is the investigation performed in a variety of disorders of brain function. It is often necessary if the cause of a blackout or 6{her recurring disturbance of brain function is unknown.

Lindsay picked me up after the test and I went to bed with a hot water bottle for three hours or so, but got up at 16.00 and have been working since then ( 5 1.2 hours) with a break for dinner.

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