If people don’t talk about it, then people can’t find a treatment that works (Ruby Wax, Ch 4 23rd July 2012)

So dear listener, this blog started when my (so far so good) successful cancer treatment started; it then talked about my (so far so good) previous recovering from alcoholism and latterly it has been talking about anxiety and depression – of which I have some experience but there are others out there about whom I care who have a lot more – hence the opening words from Channel 4’s doc on depression and see more later.

But, and Skippy and I have thought about this week’s subject for discussion. Long and hard. I have had another medical problem this week. For the first time that I can remember. Constipation. 😦

I am seeing the doctor about a urinary tract problem (a so much nicer way of putting it than bladder problem. Thanks Dr W) and it’s not that serious. It’s the kinda thing most men of a certain age get and ignore. (That certain age is when they are considered to be potty trained and are left to pee on their own) But it was the reason that my cancer was discovered so I pay attention to the needs of my urinary tract.

I was going to the surgery anyway and had to give a sample – eventually- and will find out results soon time. Mentioned the constipation and was given a script for a very sweet liquid. No. I did not read the instructions. Yes. I do drink these things straight from the bottle. And ate Senokot. And chocolate. And had acudetox. The result? Obvious. But not until Wednesday night.

The smell? Horrendous. The answer? Fork Handles. Pomegranate. From Poundstretcher.

It was an interesting introduction to t850 Towers for my new tart warmer. With tarts. I already had t-lights. Oh, the things I learned from Study buddie Fi. Voyages of discovery were not limited to North Ayrshire supermarkets. I can recommend the smell of Midsummer’s Night. It’s black. 😀

And no. No connection but I’ve just seen a pic of Prince I Am William wearing an Adidas polo shirt L Is the Royal Family now sponsored? And doesn’t his wife look like a young Lorraine Chase?

Oh, and name a famous Belgian other than Tin Tin or Poirot. Bradley Wiggins.

No, Channel 4 have been running some progs about mental health issues and stigma attached and the basic idea for my Domination Degree is now with the head of the school. I’ll talk about the Ruby Wax prog below the line but I also watched the Jon Richardson one about OCD cos some folk think I have that. I don’t. And I think this prog proved it.

Yes. I am tidy but surely everyone has a wardrobe where t-shirts are tidied and sorted every two weeks; where the clothes go from black denims all the way through to light blue; shirts are similarly co-ordinated; then someone else’s clothes; and then the actual black shirts and black trousers (altho’ I should point out that I am neither a neo-fascist nor a doorman at a City Centre club). And the underwear is in two piles but I won’t explain why. 😉

And anything I buy has all the packaging removed as soon as it arrives in the house, eg, the cardboard holding six-packs of Red Bull together or the plastic wrapping holding together five tins of tuna (so nice on toast with salad).

And all clothes, whether denims bought from charity shop or proper shirts given to me by Son Brian in box with those pins, get washed before I wear them.

And doesn’t everyone do this with dishes? Wash them; put them on drainer next to sink; pour boiling hot water over them; leave them to stand on worktop; and then put them away. No. No germs.

I remember talking to a young woman from Greenock –a heroin addict- whose addiction was under control but had been replaced by the form of OCD where once somebody left her house, she had to clean it all. Maybe there’s something in that where I am concerned.

And see the wee girl in the news story about the flu vaccine being given to children? I seriously thought they were jagging her up the nose!

But finally, isn’t it strange when you read a book and someone you know is mentioned in it and described exactly as you remember her? I’m reading this book by John Peel and his wife (I hate the word widow). It’s once Pig (his wife) has taken over the writing and she mentions one of the nicest producers I ever worked with – Fiona Couper – who is described as having ‘a schoolmarmish manner’. That was Fiona – cardigans and pearls. But she was soooo nice to work with. She used to work for Jackie – a well known young woman’s magazine. She made up the readers’ letters and the horoscopes amongst other things. She said.

Cya, (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? It began life as volunteer in a rehab project this weekend.

Johnt850, missing the sand in his shoes.

So I’m not sure what to say about the recent plethora of mental health progs on Channel 4 and one on BBC 2 on Friday at the same time as the run-up to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics – not sure what that says.

Ruby’s was good. She has her own troubles with depression and turned them into her stage show. She encourages people to speak out but I know not everyone wants to. About any of the taboos. Including constipation. Within minutes of me entering various Glasgow hospitals after my Cold Turkey Sunday, my neighbours and family knew and so it wasn’t a secret. They must have seen the ambulance.

I was talking to my legal last week and it was he who was one of the first, two to two and half years ago, who said I should take pride in what I had achieved. And I now do. But it’s not arrogance. I have shared my alcoholism at conferences with Heads of Health Boards (LTCAS a few years ago) and quietly with people who have asked about my cancer at Prostate Cancer Charity information stands. Word of mouth will always be the best way of helping people. Trust me. Ask my legal and everyone else having lunch in that same restaurant.

I bought the new Gaslight Anthem album last week. None of the tracks are on Youtube yet. So this is one of their older tracks. We have still to dance under the stars and maybe then we can talk.



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