Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm afraid your leg needs to be amputated, although it could just be a mild sprain...

About a week ago they offered free health checks at work, so I signed up.

Given that a work based health check is by nature mostly non invasive, and given they can only provide basic recommendation advice (generally either "See your doctor" or "Perhaps see your doctor"), what they were basically offering was a chance to get stabbed in the finger.


Anyhoo, they did a glucose/cholesterol test, a waistline measurement and the old "put a balloon round your arm and call it a medical examination" blood pressure tests that have intrigued me since childhood. Everything checked out for the most part, cholesterol and glucose levels were fine, waistline well within normal range, and F&V intake slightly low but easily rectified.

What was above average was my blood pressure. An anverage over three tests put me into the medium/high risk for future development of cardiovascular diseases. Which sounds fun.

Given that there were environmental factors that may have increased blood pressure over normal levels I (Firstly that I had been having a rather stressful week and not sleeping much, and secondly that you had just stabbed me in the finger) I decided to wait a week before visiting the doctor until the world was a bit calmer.

As I waited for my local medical group to answer the phone a couple of days ago I came to an unfortunate realisation.

I had forgotten my docter's name.

This on the whole was exceedingly embarrasing to me for some reason, like forgetting the name of your distant uncle. In my defence since the last time I had been to the doctor I had travelled halfway round the world (and then halfway back again to go home), explored three countries, changed jobs, written a play and a half and spent the last week memorising about twenty minutes of dialogue but none of this really accounts for being completely unable to remember the name of the person tells me to open wide and say "Ah".

The conversation ran something like this:

Reception: Welcome to Moreland Medical Group.
Me: Hi, I need to make an appointment.
Reception: Have you been here before?
Me: Yes.
Reception: Ok, certainly. Which Doctor do you usually see.
Me: Um, which Doctors do you have?


Reception: You're sure you've been here before?
Me: Yes.
Reception: Ok, well, we have Drs Cameron, Lynch, and Teo.
Me: Ok, could I see Dr Cameron please.
Reception: Certainly we have -
Me: (Realising I had picked the wrong Dr) No, wait! Dr Lynch please.
Reception: Are you really sure you've been here before?
Me: Honestly I am.
Reception: You don't sound sure.
Me: Dr Lynch please.
Reception: Certainly.

What compounds the matter further is over the years I had seen all three of these Doctors before, because when you feel terribly sick and work and your concious is insisiting you get a medical certificate you don't tend to be particuliarly choosy. But I'm trying to stay with a regular Doctor because it just makes things much simpler so it helps if I can remember which one is which.

Dr Cameron and Dr Lynch are (other than that they both share last names with film directors, the latter one of the worst and most hideous directors ever to grace the silver screen, the former sadly fallen from former greatness into the seething bubbling mire of mediocrity.) unremarkable in their quite competence. Dr Teo on the other hand, while also extremely competent, has the rather amusing/alarming habit of worst case scenario diagnosis. Specifically, he will start at the worst possible thing my symptons could even vaguely possibly point towards, and then work his way down to whatever minor affliction you possibly have. I have been diagnosed with 'a bit of a cough' with the opening sentence "Well, people your age don't normally have heart attacks," and then proceeding down the list of possible symptons (Including strokes, crushed lungs, and oddly enough tuberculosis) before finally concluding that I should probably take some cold and flu tablets, and leaving me far more likely to have a stress related attack than before I went to to the doctor, which on the whole can probably be considered a step backwards.

As I sat in the waiting room and idly read the posters on the wall and wondered if I should be concerned about posters saying that 1 of every 2 women in the room could suffer an osteoporosis related fracture if I was the only one in the room, I realised with a growing realisation that I had in fact, made an appointment with the wrong doctor. But nontheless, apart from his nomenclature relation to a film director who's films fill me with the fiery hate that burns with the fury of a thousand suns, he was a very polite and helpful doctor especially as I hadn't seen him in about four years.

The end result is that I've got to go off to get a few (expensive) tests done, as my blood pressure while down still creeps into the med/hi risk area. This wasn't so surprising a couple of years ago when I was overweight, not exercising, and generally making a pig's ear of this whole health thing, but given I am now in the normal weight category, do watch what I eat, and while I can't claim to be the most voracious exerciser I do at least get a lot of walking in every day, my blood pressure remains high.

This most likely means nothing at all. But because with all medical things there is always a niggling small "but on the other hand" there is an extremely minor chance that this is a symptom/could lead to development of some form of heart disease, I need to go and get tested. Hopefully it will be a collosal waste of money, but the potential of heading something off at the pass justifies the cost.

So we shall see, we shall see. But being told you're almost entirely healthy is still a good thing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Diary of a Mad Writer #3 - I'll sleep when I'm... tired?

Tiredness is becoming a big part of my day.

There has been some improvement since we changed the script, as I'm no longer losing sleep over the impending poor production, now I'm just losing sleep over the impending looking quite good production as I want it do well. Add in new work hours and a reasonably hectic schedule of late and you've got a recipe for... zzz...

Ok I'm back.

To be honest, tiredness is improving greatly, the play is moving forward ahead of schedule and lines are being learnt and blocking is being planned. Fingers crossed we'll have a good production come April 6. The cast definately have the skills, we just need to get there.

It is exciting to be working on first real project since the priorities adjustment of 2009, but the short time frame is definately taking its toll. After the play is completed I am looking to roll back to a slower paced writing schedule, and focus on some of the non performance pieces (although the TV show remains a high priority and the scripts are to be completed by June).

I think for a change of pace I will work on the Zombie survival project next, it'll give me a chance to teach myself Flash (something I've wanted to learn for awhile), which will also work for the upcoming redesign of

It will also justify the money I spent on teach yourself Flash and ActionScript3.0 text books, but that's another story...

Once TV scripts and Zombie project are completed, work will start in ernest on one of the novels.

Good to have a plan.