Feb 17, 2009

Welcome to the Rutlander hypochondriac blog, entry 758 and counting.

So... kidney stones. Apparently the worst pain it’s possible for a human to experience. I can vouch for that. Mrs H disputes it, of course, especially the bit when I tell her it’s worse than childbirth. As she pointed out: it was a male doctor who said that to you, wasn’t it? Yes dear. But I kid you not, it was quite horrific. Especially the bit when I went back to the Big City hospital (see previous medical-themed blog entry). This time they deduced I had a pain in my back. Quite good really, seeing as how at the time I was on my knees throwing up from the aforementioned pain. This was caused, the doctor explained, either by a pulled muscle or kidney stones. Great. The treatment: go home and keep taking ibuprofen. If it gets really bad, have yourself some paracetamol, too. If it gets really bad?

After a trip to my real doctor the next day, it’s confirmed as kidney stones. He gave me the Really Good drugs to kill the pain. And it ‘passes’. Quite how something that small can cause that much pain is beyond me.

Nice dinner party /pub anecdote, especially the bit about the hospital. Again. Which back in the real world leaves me with the classic dilemma battling it out in my head. Do I bother making a official complaint? Okay, the diagnosis covered all the options. But to leave someone in that much pain in the lobby of a hospital A&E department for over an hour and a half before even seeing an assessment nurse (in that time five people got through ahead of me, I don’t begrudge them that but the nurse only needed a minute before she handed me some extra painkillers) is actually way beyond a joke. As was telling me to take ibuprofen, which does nothing to alleviate that level of pain. On the one hand, in perfectworld, I’d see such a complaint noted by the hospital authorities and swiftly and efficiently acted on so that no one else suffers like that. But here and now I know damn well that all I’ll get is a photocopied patronizing letter from a subcommittee’s teaboy thanking me for my valued input, and nothing whatsoever will happen. So what’s the point? There is however a third factor, I am now of an age and mindset when I can be as stubborn as I am grumpy. And trust me, after that experience I was extremely grumpy -as Mrs H will confirm. I sent the formal letter of complaint in. I’ll let you know what happens, if anything ever does.

Meanwhile back home, the new kitchen is finished, so for one glorious decadent weekend we were a two-kitchen family. Then the builders started ripping out the old kitchen. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’d never seen so much dust before, and it gets everywhere even with lots of polythene and taped up windows. Really, everywhere.

Finally got to see Burn After Reading, which was just as good as I’d hoped. Also over Christmas I watched Mama Mia. I should point out we have the CD, so Sophie and Felix know every word to every song, and sing them on the school run each morning. Yes, each and every single morning. Now I don’t know what the professional film critics were expecting from a musical based around Abba songs, because they certainly gave it a whole load of bad reviews, but for a musical based around Abba songs it did exactly what it said on the box. I even sang along. Next boys film night is already planned for the new Star Trek release.

Oh yes, and I’m still writing Evolutionary Void.

Peter F. Hamilton
Rutland, February 2009

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