Saturday, 19 October 2013
It gives only the tiniest impression of just how horrible I look at present.
I have had bouts of eczema all my adult life, some fairly mild, most not so mild and on various parts of my body. The most severe has seen me hospitalized on three separate occasions, but none for the intensity of the itching has ever come close to this latest attack on my eye-lids and face and neck.
Stopping yourself from scratching is virtually impossible and of course, the the itch is scratched the worse it becomes and the swelling of the area grows to gigantic proportions.
This has been going on for nearly three weeks (hence the lapse in blogging) and has twice improved enough to let me put in an appearance in the parish office, but each time it returns it is more severe and is now so bad that I am ashamed to be seen.
Needing to shop this morning and faced with a red swollen face with huge folds hanging over small reptilian eyes I decided to go as soon as the shops were open in order to meet as few people as possible.
Headed for Boots where I had a long talk with the pharmacist, who was most helpful and pointed me in the direction of some oil-based treatments which she thought would be more useful than anything I was currently using. I then went to the opticians section where I bought the biggest pair of sun glasses I could find and put them on.
I hastily shopped in a nearby supermarket and got a taxi home.
Have washed my face in the recommended product and slathered the cream all over my face and neck and now look like an albino reptile rather than a red one.
The itching is still there but I will persevere with this treatment while once again failing to appear in church tomorrow, having also failed to go to choir practice.
I am not yet ready to walk under a bus, but the time is rapidly approaching.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:16:00 pm
Saturday, 5 October 2013
Never one to willingly admit to being old (not the same thing as admitting my age), I feel the time is approaching when it will be necessary for my own survival to say openly "I am quite old and need a bit of help".
Yesterday shopping in town I left M & S to cross the High Street, three heavy bags in hand and made the fatal error of not heading for a taxi. Instead I passed half a dozen of them on my determined way to the bus stop.
The bus in question was a small single-decker with only a few (already occupied) seats at the front, and the rear seats were up a couple of steps. By now my arms were aching and it was a struggle to get to the seat.
Arrived at my stop, having to reverse the procedure and climb back down to the front I dropped one bag, had to stop, holding up the bus while I gathered it - and my wits - together and started the walk home.
This is a mere eighth of a mile or so yet, by the time I reached my doorstep my arms were nearly pulled out of their sockets and my back was aching abominably.
Dropping the bags into an armchair I fell into another one and sat for 10 minutes before I could face putting everything away.
By then my back was so painful I could hardly move and I abandoned all attempt to do anything else but lie down and rest.
Later I phoned to apologise for my non appearance at choir rehearsal, feeling a total twit.
This morning I spent half an hour doing a bit of dead-heading and light pruning in the front garden, a job which even two years ago would have taken me five minutes.
Glumly returning indoors to start cleaning the house, I suddenly realised, this is what getting old is about.
Not looking despondently in a mirror wishing one's youthful face to appear, rather than a lined, drooping sagging old wreck. Not even looking wistfully at young slim women and thinking "I used to look like/better than, that". Not even waiting in vain for an appreciative wolf-whistle as in days of yore.
No, old age is about not being able or even wanting to do the everyday tasks which were tackled so lightly and unheedingly only months? well years ago.
Unfortunately the human body does not arrive complete with repair kit and spare parts, so the wearing-out process takes its toll.
Many people I know are far less able than I to go about their everyday business without aid, and I am grateful for my own reasonably good health and strength, but oh dear, the time is arriving when asking, paying for assistance for even simple little things will be the stuff of life and I do not relish the thought.
So, back to my original question. When is it alright to admit to being O L D?
Posted by Ray Barnes at 1:22:00 pm
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
Along with late butterflies my Buddlieas are playing host to a whole army of spiders.
For weeks now I have been feather duster armed evicting the wiry thin long-legged ones from the house but am being assailed on all sides by their horrid cousins.
On Monday this week the parish administrator leant over the back of the office sofa to put something behind it and retreated hastily, having seen a large black beast lurking in a box.
Yelling for the caretaker (and she can yell), she and I, left the office at speed.
A few minutes later, another volunteer braver than either of us, had picked up the box and dropped its inhabitant outside in the churchyard.
This morning at the bus stop, it was drizzling so I was well under its roof until I suddenly found an absailing arachnid in front of my face. Luckily the bus came so I beat a hasty retreat, shuddering.
Half way through the morning, there was a yell from the bookkeepers office upstairs and she ran down the stairs closing her office door first and also shouting for the caretaker.
By the time he had made his unhurried appearance there was no sign of the invader and we all spent the remainder of the morning looking nervously around before touching anything.
Since it is Harvest Festival this coming Sunday and we are slowly gathering a mountain of donated goodies in the office in preparation for displaying them at the service, I am treading very warily around bags and boxes only too aware that their contents may contain the odd surprise.
What is it about this season that produces the desire for confrontation in the (hearts?) of this eight-legged brigade of nasties?
Why can't they just go about their arachnid affairs without the need for face-to-face tactics?
Why am I such a wimp?
Posted by Ray Barnes at 4:38:00 pm