Title: Every day Author: David Levithan Year: 2012 Publisher: Knoph
'A' is a sort of spirit, he has no body of his own: each day he inhabits the body of someone his own age, a different body each day. Sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl. Obese, beautiful, bullied and a bully, blind, athletic, a varied life, but 'A' is always aware that it is borrowed. 'A' is honourable and careful with the bodies, knowing that others will have to bear the consequences of anything that is done. Then he falls in love with the girlfriend of the current body he is in and he wants to stop moving on, to stay the same, to be with her. Totally original book, will appeal to anyone who loved "The time-traveller's wife"
Whilst levering the nut out of a macadamia shell I must have trapped some nut meat beneath my right thumb nail. The thumb became odd looking and painful. Foolishly I went to the local chemist, showed the sales assistant my thumb and was talked into buying fungal treatment and told that it might take a week or more to work.
My thumb got worse,swelling and turning grey at the end. The merest touch would make me shriek with pain and it throbbed in a tedious manner. Paracetamol barely took the edge off the pain enough to let me sleep.
Fortunately I got an appointment with a doctor first thing on Monday morning. Not my usual G.P. but by then I was contemplating cutting my thumb off, so a competent and empathetic doctor was a good choice. She quickly diagnosed bacterial infection, removed some of the pus, bandaged me up and gave me prescriptions for pain relief and antibiotics. Oh the relief!
I went back to the surgery every couple of days to have the wound drained and re bandaged (each nurse has a different technique to bandage a thumb). It took more than two weeks to clear completely. Just as well I was on annual leave, visiting the doctor so often takes time.
Lessons learnt: Roast macadamias, the nut just falls out of the shell when cracked.
Don't muck around with infections, they are most likely to be bacterial Look after my thumbs, it is difficult to do ANYTHING when the right thumb is out of action,oppose-able thumbs make us independent humans.
Zombies walk around, grey skinned and with arms outstretched and moaning because they are in great pain.
My son has just achieved his restricted driving licence - this means that he can drive alone or with us, with a curfew of 10.00pm. The testing is very tough, I suspect many drivers on the roads today would not pass the practical. We are both a bit critical of those on the road who are not up to standard with their indicating.
Two commandments apply to driving - be kind and be informative. (They also apply elsewhere in life)
The kindness is in letting cars into a stream of traffic, particularly if they have been sitting at the exit of a side road for some time, giving lots of space and time for a learner driver to complete a manouvre, letting a vehicle coming the other way through a smallish gap first....
Some depressives describe being followed by a black dog. This metaphor doesn't ring true for me at all. both the black Labradors that I have known; Bronson and Leroy have been cheerful and comforting personalities. My depression metaphor was a troll, an malignant presence who stole my contentment.
I visited the two cheetah that reside at Auckland Zoo. They are not disdainful of human admirers, more indifferent to them. Lions might be called regal and tigers majestic; cheetahs are something else, something lighter but very special. They are lithe and muscular, focused and dainty. As we walked through the near empty zoo, they were alert but relaxed. A feral chook came just a little too close, a burst of action nearly saw the end of that bird, Anubis only slowed at little by the woman on the other end of his lead. Only male cheetah are selected to be 'ambassadors' to have such close interaction with members of the public. This is becasue they are even-tempered, apparently the females get irritable and unpredictable at certain times of the month. We accompained the chhetah back to their encloseure wherer they had breakfast of bunnies and bit of wild, culled horse.
My husband and son bought me a cheetah experience for Christmas, but it wasn't until the 11th of July that I could use it. Worth the wait! I got to the Auckland Zoo early, the time with the cheetah starts at 8.00am and lasts for 1 1/2 hours so that we had the zoo practically to ourselves. There was one other person, a young woman on the tour with me, four zoo staff and 2 cheetah. Anubis and Osiris are twins, orphaned early and have spent all their lives in zoos. They led us around the zoo grounds, into the elephant enclosure (Burma wasn't out of bed at the time), to look out at the skateboarders and geese in Western Springs, to look at the traffic along Motions Road, through the Vetinerary Dept, past the NZ birds free flight area and back to their enclosure. Although they were on leads, Anubis and Osiris were in charge of where we went. They have mastered the 1000 metre stare, looking into the distance, sometimes right over my shoulder. They leapt up onto rocks and tables ti improve their view, but also to allow us to stoke them. One of them has a short mohawk sort of mane, the other has more belly fur. The large dark brown spots and interspersed with smaller lighter spots. Their toenails don't retract, they look a bit like dogs' nails (very sturdy). Their ears are expressive whilst the rest of their face remains still. Their eyes are dark brown with a round pupil (unlike night-hunting cats with a slit pupil)
I have a weird condition which means that I check out for about 30 seconds every so often. On average once every two months. That said, it can either be a year between blackouts or less than a month. Being unconscious for such a short time doesn't seem such a big thing, but once when driving I caused an accident, fortunately everyone was wearing seat belts and I wasn't driving very fast. My mother in the passenger seat thought that I had died, it was pretty scary for her. Usually I just drop whilst walking, then pick myself up quickly and carry on.
This condition has lots of names: blackouts,vasovagal syncope, drop attacks, swooning.
On Thursday the 13th December 2012 I finally went into North shore Hospital for an operation to get a loop recorder. Over the 5 years that I have been a victim of the drop attacks the various doctors that I've seen have not come up with any diagnosis. No diagnosis; no treatment; no cure. The loop recorder monitors my heartbeat and if my heart stops during an attack (as I think it does), the device will note that too. It is the size of a flash drive and will go just under the skin over my trapeezus muscle
Mum drove me down to the hospital, so anxious for me that we got there at 6.55 for the 7.30 appointment. I was taken in to the ward, asked to undress and given a "delightful" gown. 3 nurses fussed over me, checking my identity, lack of breakfast, drug-freeness, allergy status plus washing my left breast and shoulder. A 'lure' was inserted into my right elbow joint, and sticky domes placed over me seemingly randomly. A little later I walked into the operating theatre. Everyone masked and gowned and the room slightly chilly. It was odd to be lying there with nothing to do, whilst everyone else was busy. A nurse washed me yet again, twice. They plugged me into various monitors measuring heartbeat and oxygen level. Gave me a slightly painful local anaesthetic, pumped some sedation into me through the lure and dropped a paper sheet over my face making sure that there was air space in front of me. I was totally out to it, came to to find the incision already glued together, plastic bandage over it. They wheeled me back to the ward and I dozed for an hour. The nurses bought me water, coffee and very welcome club sandwiches. I waited for another half hour than Mum came to pick me up at just after 11.00 am