Life the universe and everything

Archive for the ‘Life and Health’ Category

Christopher Hitchens life and death in 10 days

leave a comment »

On the Tuesday 6th December 2011 I stumbled across someone that I had never heard of before. His name was Christopher Hitchens. I had been searching the internet trying to find out what percentage of google employees (read ‘geeks’) are atheists. It turns out he gave an atheist talk at google. My question wasn’t answered but I found myself a new hero.

I was so intrigued by this man that I began to search the internet for videos and articles to learn more about him. As an atheist, I found his opinions on people, God and religion so closely matched my own. His passion, intelligence, knowledge, razor-sharp wit and eloquence gave him the public platform he wanted and deserved. In debate he used logic, common sense, reason and knowledge with devastating effect.

It was only a few days after I discovered Hitchens that I learned of his Oesophageal cancer diagnosis in June 2010. I was stunned.

He has been asked many times since his diagnosis if it has made him change his view of religion, a question he despised. Of those that would pray for him he responded “…I don’t mean to be churlish about any kind intentions, but when September 20 comes, please do not trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries. Unless, of course, it makes you feel better.”

Today, I learned that he is dead. Eleven days ago I had not heard of Christopher Hitchens. Today I mourn his death.

I encourage anyone not familiar with the man to google him now. You will only be the better for it.

Written by barnabyfry

December 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Panic Attack

leave a comment »

At four o’clock this morning I suffered a panic attack. I have had similar events a couple of time over the years but it was Emma that found all my symptoms tied in with a panic attack.

I had a couple of bottled beers the night before but only a couple. I also had a decaf coffee.

When I awoke my first thought was that I’d been given caffeine instead as I felt suddenly alert. I felt slightly breathless and started taking deeper breaths through my mouth. I started to worry that my heart wasn’t beating properly so I wasn’t getting the oxygen I needed. I pressed a finger to my jugular to feel my heart beat … it seemed slightly irregular. I felt a little alarmed. Could this be a heart attack?

I went to the toilet and I noticed that I had sweaty palms. I tried to pace the bathroom to calm myself but started to feel faint. So I returned to the bedroom and woke Emma. I said I felt weird and light-headed. I then laid on the bedroom floor with Emma standing over me. It was in these seconds that I kind of lost awareness or passed out for a second.

When I recovered I felt a bit better but I had pins a needles in my hands and forearms. I got back in bed but started to shiver uncontrollably for a few minutes until I calmed and eventually went back to sleep.

I wanted to write down these symptoms while I still remember them. Having read about panic attacks it is now obvious that that is what it was. I had almost all of the symptoms described.

My previous episodes include a ‘funny turn’ after I got a strange sensation in my groin lifting heavy equipment after a gig (nearly twenty years ago). That incident involved worrying that I had a hernia, feeling weird, getting out of a car and lying in the rain and seeing colourful bizarre dreamlike images during a few seconds of unconsciousness. Apparently, I heaved several times as if to throw up during my unconscious spell.

I have also had bad reactions in the past when having blood taken (nausea, sickness and cold sweat). Last year I had a similar bout after a nasal endoscopy which involved nausea, vomiting, numbness and very strong pins and needles in my hands.

It is strange though, that I had a local anaesthetic to have a small benign lump removed from my upper arm three years ago and watched the whole thing with no ill effects.

I hope that in future I will be able to recognise the signs and calm myself before the panic attack develops. It is clearly mentally self induced although the physiology of a panic attack is real enough.

Written by barnabyfry

December 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Life and Health

Tagged with , ,

Little Wounded Soldier

leave a comment »

Joshua’s illness persisted for the last few weeks, turning from a fever to an upper respiratory infection and leaving him very poorly.

To top all that he ended up with a skin infection around his eyes which warranted a trip to A & E at the Childrens Hospital on Tuesday.
Poor little man Poor Joshua
We were told it was Periorbital Cellulitis which is a serious but treatable infection of the tissues around the eyes. If left untreated it can spread to the eyeball and eventually can traverse the optical nerve and spread to the brain causing meningitis.

Joshua was admitted and treated with intravenous antibiotics for 3 days. The poor mite kept having to be recanulated in almost every available vein as they were tiny and the canula kept coming out. This treatment killed all infection in his body and left him feeling much better and the swelling around his eyes had reduced. Emma stayed with him on Tuesday and Wednesday and I stayed on Thursday.

We returned home on Friday afternoon with a course of oral antibiotics which Josh must take every 8 hours.

The last two days he has laughed and smiled more than in the last two weeks. Much more the Joshua we are used to!

Written by barnabyfry

November 19, 2006 at 11:49 pm