As a result of me mentioning my coughing fit, couple of days ago, I received an e-mail from the good Dr Michael in Australia, cautioning against eating toast and even bread, he mentioned semi-fluid food. What a horrible thought. God forbid I will have to keep myself alive that way, at least not in the near future. He hinted rather ominously to his medical experience over the years over this issue which, I suspect, means that he knows of a number of people who have choked to death. Â Anyone can choke at any time, if the food goes down the wrong way, as they say. I do remember once getting a fish bone stuck in my throat in a restaurant and, finding it difficult to breathe, started to choke very badly. in fact, I think I fell to the floor and probably turned blue in the face, at which stage my dear wife looking down at me, said something to the effect, for goodness sake, do get up and stop making such an exhibition of yourself. Then, I believe, someone who knew about such things, stuck their fingers down my throat and dislodged the bone. I’ve always wondered how anyone so caring and sympathetic as ‘my lovely’ could be so seemingly hard under such circumstances. I suppose it is the old British stiff upper lip and all that. I know that choking is one of the common symptoms of MND but Â thought it did not come into play until the throat muscles were affected. I hope, in my case, it was just a one-off, at this stage, although I shall certainly raise it during my consultation at Papworth next Monday. I must also asked the good Dr how he would deal with the choking patient in a wheelchair or armchair.
In writing about choking before I forgot to mention the little ditty which has always amused me:
It’s not the coughing that carried him off
but the coffin
they carried him off in.
I also forgot to mention St Davids Day, two days ago. The Welsh patron saints day. With a half Welsh wife with very strong Welsh connections I should have mentioned it. Had we been in Wales I would no doubt have sported a daffodil in my buttonhole as, indeed, I never failed to wear a rose on 23 April, St George’s Day (the English patron saint). I traditionally wore a red rose from then, on all the way to Christmas Eve, plucked each morning from my own garden. I would go from rose bed to rose bed seeking out a flower that was just coming out of bud, squeezing it gently and lovingly with my fingers to ensure that it was at the right stage and would last all day and not â€˜blowâ€™. I used to tease my friends by saying that the bud had to have the same resistance as the pressure on the virginâ€™s thigh. (Not that I would have any idea what that was!) Indeed, the same resistance you would feel when selecting a perfect cigar. The point being that I was always lead to believe that the best cigars, from Havana, were hand rolled on a virginâ€™s thigh. No doubt a lot of nonsense but an amusing thought when you are selecting one.
Talking of forgetting, how could I possibly have forgotten to mention the astonishing Irish victory over the English cricket team in the World Series. The Irish being little more than amateurs against one of the supposedly giants of the game. Ireland does not even rank for test match status, so it was an amazing victory which certainly casts a shadow over the English hopes of winning the Series or even reaching the quarter-finals.
Beginning to forget things always makes me anxious that I might be in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Suffering from what the medical people call’ short term cognitive impairment’. My personal view is, if you can remember this term you are not suffering from it. I was interested to hear on the radio this morning that they have made another breakthrough in stem cell research where they believe they will be able to produce brain cells which will replace the damaged neurons which affect the memory. Not a cure, as yet, but an advance that will slow or stop the process. I suspect that there may well be a spin-off ultimately for MND and the neurons which cause the muscles to atrophy. In my 3 March 2009 entry, I included a video, entitled I Forgot which readers might find rather amusing to watch and listen to.
I was watching a programme on BBC, last evening, called The Human Planet and, for a brief moment we saw hundreds of starving Kenyans picking over filthy rat and fly infested waste hunting for scraps of food.’ My lovely’ and I discussed the horror and degradation suffered by these poor souls, in the light of the record in this country where Â something in the region of 30% of the food that is produced Â ends up as waste and which is not even allowed to be served any longer to pigs, where, at least, it would have been recycled in the food chain. There is something seriously wrong in the world when this sort of situation can occur.
In the end Duncan did not come last evening to tidy up my computer as it was getting rather late and I am much fresher in the morning or early afternoon, so we are going to try to meet up at the weekend.