Monday, 19 September 2011

My First Post on This Blog by Me aged 52

Okayyyyy.  I've finally bitten the bullet and started to write.  Mind you, in keeping with the title of this web log (remember that?) it's biographical and candid or, if you so prefer, self-indulgent and whiny.  Oh no, I hear you cry, another Liz Jones!  Well, quite possibly.  I will let posterity judge this one.

First things first.  Why now?  Why not earlier, Trev, you old lazybones?  It's just a keyboard, after all.  No heavy lifting or strenuous manual labour (although I might be using a modified version of Babbage's Difference Engine with brass keys and a cast-iron chassis - doubtful, though, as Argos have stopped stocking them).  Where's the challenge, you cry?  It's just: sit down; start PC; open relevant software; sip delicately from mug full of tea and write.  We'd have finished our one novel that everyone has in them by now.  Get a grip.  Cuh.

Well, I have to admit that these are all good points.  Very relevant and so forth.  Excellent.  Yes.  Except for several things...  Firstly, it's the old-fashioned Black Dog.  Famously (that is, famously in mental health circles; I've can never remember seeing it quoted outside of a depressive illness context) Winston Churchill wrote of being bedevilled by depression, which he referred to as his "black dog".  It's the main one of the things that can slow me down.  "Hang on a minute, Trev" I hear you cry, (as we're on first-name terms already;  doesn't time fly) "Great Britain's beloved ex-leader was quite well-known for whizzing around and, well, for doing lots.  Why aren't you"?  To which I can only reply that it affects different people in different ways.  But, unless the General Medical Council have been playing a little bit of a jape at my expense for the last (oops - goes into finger-ticking mode as tries to work out just when it was that I stooped being a person and became a condition) fourteen years then it's the main factor.  Although they hadn't diagnosed my thyroid deficiency at that stage.  Indeed, it wasn't even considered as a possibility until (off the top of my head, which isn't an instruction to hairdressers - it'll fall out unaided, thanks) two-and-a-half to three years ago.  I dare say at this time even the readers who have stayed this far out of politeness (which is nice; not enough of it these days) or friendship (ditto) are frothing at the mouth and shouting at their monitors "Oh, come on!  No-one knows what the thyroid is ANYWAY!  You're just making this up now".  I wish that I were, good people.  I wish that I were.  I never knew myself that the thyroid is responsible for how energetic we are.  It turns out (for those of you too idle to check out the link - and to think you criticise me) that it's very, very, VERY important indeed in this role.  Let's put it this way.  I was collecting my prescribed medication at a friendly local chemists, you know, just lining up the fork-lift so as I could get it all home, when the pleasant chap who dishes out the drugs pointed out to me that I can get my Levothyroxine (as it's known) that does the work of the missing thyroid-generated stuff for nothing, even if I work.  My blood ran cold.  Not only had I suddenly remembered that maddening song by the J. Geils Band, whose lead singer's sensibilities were shattered into a thousand pieces when he saw the girl he fancied at - oh, I don't know, was it school - flaunting it all in a gentlemen's periodical, but also I realised that the government don't tend (despite what readers of the Daily Mail think) to give stuff away.  Why such altruism from such people, I fretted.  When I finally stumbled indoors, frantic with worry, I lurched over to my trusty PC  and fired it up (these Babbages are made to last, I'll give them that).  I found this.  "Once the thyroid gland becomes unable to produce thyroxine, it will generally not return to normal function. This means that once thyroxine replacement is started, it usually needs to be taken for the rest of a person’s life".  Great.  What happens if you take too much?  Hopefully, won't I be Captain Energy, known throughout Christendom as the man who Makes It Happen?  Won't I?  Ah.  Apparently not.  It's not outside of the boundaries of possibility that I could be known as Captain Dead.  So, let it be known that I, officially, walk a fine line.  I can only do stuff, pretty much at all, with a mixture of manufactured chemicals in my body.  The worst part is that, when I was having the initial dose adjusted, I suddenly found this "energy" that the earth people spoke so much of (presumably 'cos they had  - well, you know - energy).  It was fantastic, but only tended to last three to five days, then I was back in bed again until the next adjustment.  Confusing, and not fun.

So there we are.  My General Medical Council-endorsed reasons for not being a literary powerhouse.  This is without going on about my gout, which I shall save for you lucky readers for another time.  For those with thyroid-related issues then please click this link.  I feel for you if you don't feel up to it.

Thank you all for making it this far.  As a reward, feel free to print out the attached coupon for a free Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-Head Coupe.  They might not honour it as I haven't been in touch with them yet, but they seem like very nice people (when I was a design student at Coventry University - Lanchester Polytechnic, as it was then - we went along as a class on a Press Day to the very first NEC Motor Show.  Probably the nicest treatment I received, as a penniless student and with only a vastly outside chance at being a designer for them, was from the avuncular chap on Rolls-Royce's stand.  He not only chatted in a friendly and encouraging fashion about their expensive and well-built cars but he also insisted I sit in their most expensive models at the time.  They were the Camargue and the Phantom V.  Fantastic.) so it might be worth a try.

Ciao, people.  It's been real.  Who knows, I might even write something else here at some stage...

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