Old friends


I had lunch today with seven other guys from Northam High School days. There was one I didn’t remember – he was a year behind us and in those days that was a canyon. One was in a wheelchair with MS but all the others are still in good health (assuming I am).

But the flies! They came free but we were in an outside area and we were constantly shooing and waving. Change of season I suppose.


The medication for my shoulder pain seems to be working. I awoke this morning on my left side, which has been too painful to sleep on for the past month, so it must be better now. Still aching a bit today, but nothing like last week.

But the side effects of the medication are not nice. “Feeling drunk” is right. My balance is affected and I tend to want to veer right. I’ve nearly fallen a few times – but I didn’t. Also I’ve developed a tremor in my fingers and some involuntary arm movement (jerks) . This was confirmed by a friend who’s also been on the same medication. I hope it wears off.


Jeez I miss Minnie. It’s been nearly 8 weeks now and it hasn’t got any easier.




Jellyback? Nope.


How about that!

Well, the CAT scan showed that I still have a backbone. More specifically, it showed that the hole in the vertebra (the foramen) where the nerve bunch diverts off to the arm and hand is narrowed by age related degeneration. As well, the disc is slightly herniated, putting more pressure on the nerve bunch. No other problems, thank goodness.

This isn’t disastrous, but it still hurts. I’ve been put on yet another medication which is specifically for nerve pain, but it takes a week or two to start working. It’s not working yet, but the early side effect is making you woozy and tired when you wake up in the morning, like feeling drunk in the pharmacist’s words. Yes, ma’am. It’s supposed to wear off, but until it does, I’m doin’ a lot of sleeping. Trouble is, I can’t find a painless position, so I’m taking Tramadol which makes me sleepy too! Only in early afternoon do I start to feel any energy.

I’ve been referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, who in the GP’s words, doesn’t believe in cutting if it’s possible to avoid it. Sounds good to me. We’ll see what he says, but there’s a waiting list. Meanwhile, I just have to keep takin’ the pills.


The GP gave me a little poem yesterday about saying goodbye to your dog. It’s supposed to be a comfort, but it didn’t. Bloody hard.


I’m onto my last IKEA assembly now of the current bunch of seven items. It’s a large cupboard unit with frameless glass doors. This is to compensate for the woefully inadequate kitchen cabinets I inherited.

I’ve got shelf space and storage now, at last.

I’m thinking that both spare bedrooms are just about ready to rent out if I want to. I wonder what it will be like.

A pain in the neck!


Urrrrgghhh! It’s just one darn thing after another. For the past week I’ve been fighting pain in my left shoulder, going up my neck and down into the shoulder joint and the upper arm. I saw the doctor on Thursday and she says I’ve got C6 neuropathy. A nerve is being pinched in the C6 spinal joint. There’s a bit of numbness in my left arm and thumb too.

I had a CAT scan yesterday and will know the result on Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, I’m dosing up on Panadiene Extra every 4 hrs and trying to stay immobile, as the pain does go away if I can keep it still for a while.


One good thing about living up here is that you can get an appointment at the scanning place quick smart – no crowds, no waiting. The nearest is at Currambine, about 10 mins drive away. “Yes, sir, when would you like to come in?”

Funny – I get to 66 without ever having a scan done, and now I’ve had an MRI and a CAT scan within 3 weeks of each other.

I knew it!


I knew it. The correct way to pronounce bruschetta.

“But we monolingual Brits have less right to pass judgment. We have the worst language skills in Europe. Many of us can’t even properly pronounce the food we eat (bruschetta is “bru-SKET-a”. We should stop saying “bru-shet-a” if we don’t want to drive Italians crazy).” (From The Guardian today).

I’ve been asking around this year and most people say bru-shet-a, but I’m sticking to my guns. It’s bru-sket-a.


Phew. One of the side effects of the new medication I’m on is fatigue. I can verify that. It’s supposed to wear off but I’m not up to the full dose yet. Some weeks to go. Doin’ a lot of sleeping.


Well, how about that. Just after I wrote that, the phone rang and it was Perth Clinic asking how I’m getting on. I mentioned the fatigue and they asked me to make an appointment with the doctor at the clinic, which I’ve done. Neat.