UK General Election (More)

This idea of opposition parties uniting and fielding a single pro-EU (or soft Brexit) candidate in each constituency is quite amusing, but I see two problems:

  1. Could the parties ever agree on a candidate?
  2. After you’re elected, where do you go from there? I mean, fine, you do what you can over EU membership, but in  the background there is a country that needs running.

UK General Election

This announcement of a general election, the timing is interesting. Already, the Conservatives appear to be framing it as a Brexit “Let’s get on with it” vote, which of course deflects attention from the cuts being made in public services. It will be interesting to see if this succeeds or not – I suspect given the largely-Tory media that it will.

It is funny, they have used this tactic before – as a facade that they are a party of low taxation – with people either not realizing that low taxes is code for reduced public services, or realizing it and willfully being complicit in it. And this in the face of data which showed that these middle-managers were no more competent at managing deficits than middle managers before or since.

I don’t pretend that my own situation has changed my overall view, but my experience is that somebody spends their whole life contributing to the system, and then a single event happens which makes them glad that some kind of safety net exists. In my case, a ballpark estimate is that this event (the stroke) cost something like £20k, plus taxes that I never paid because I was convalescing rather than working (probably the same amount or more). I’d venture to suggest that, without support from public services, this would be beyond the means of many people.

Labour, or indeed any opposition party, will do well to focus people on these cuts rather than on Brexit. Back in the days when common sense ruled, Europe was rightly seen as a nothing more than single issue which divided parties.

As an aside, if this goes through, it makes a mockery of fixed-term parliaments. Perhaps this means that legislation which attempts to bind the hands of future parliaments is doomed to failure?

Incidentally, my main issue is that I would like to see parliament with as much democracy as possible. I don’t really see this in the first-past-the-post system, so any party which wants my support would need to be committed to change this.

Even more confused…

Following on briefly from the previous post, I have already mentioned my blood sugar values as I was admitted to hospital. I conveniently blame my stroke on diabetes – certainly I am far better controlled now than I was then – although my blood sugar values on admission don’t really support this. I can only assume that a prolonged high blood sugar can account for this.

The other inconsistency, and I mentioned this to the nurse when she started accusing me of not having taken care of myself, is that I had been taking tablets for several years, both for my diabetes and for high blood pressure. Yet the first thing the doctors did when I arrived in hospital was to change my meds, to both insulin and new blood pressure drugs. So I feel it is only rational to say “You changed my drugs. Fine. But does that mean I was on the wrong drugs beforehand?”
I mean, my doctor was always a lovely chap, but I have to ask the question.
I hasten to add that I know the answer to these questions is “we’ll never know”, since we understand so little about the complexities that comprise the human body, and also the NHS’s desire to look after its own. But a valid question nevertheless. One that shut this nurse up.

Confused

My memory of the time around my stroke is very confused. I chuckle when I see these FAST messages from the Stroke Association, because this certainly isn’t consistent with my own experience.

I remember first feeling that something was wrong on a Sunday morning, as I got up. But we had arranged to go to the cinema that day – Dads Army! – and, beyond asking my wife to drive  because I was unsteady, carried on as normal. At the end of the film, I found it difficult to walk, and was lurching, looking for things to steady me all the while. But there was no pain in any of this – in fact there was no pain throughout the whole experience.

The next day, a Monday, my wife convinced me to go and see my doctor. He did some preliminary tests, then sent me to the local hospital. I remember he measured my sugar, and also remember that it was around 12. Not particularly low, but not excessively high either. Anyway, my wife drove me to the hospital, I saw a guy who did some tests, handed me a couple of pills, and sent me home.

I lasted until the following Wednesday, when there had been no improvement. Back to the doctor’s surgery, back to the hospital. Along the way, mt doctor measured my sugar – still around 12, although I had hardly eaten anything in the past few days. This time, however, the hospital admitted me and it transpired that I’d had a stroke. There then followed a month or so in hospital, when for much of the time I had no use of my legs..

As regards dates, I have a memory of coming back from hospital on 11 March 2016. Backtracking, I know I was just about in hospital for Valentine’s Day, so I assume that these events happened in the week leading up to it, so I was admitted on 10 February 2016. Unfortunately, I’m no longer in contact with the stroke consultant, so I’m not sure how I can check this, although I am back on the ward regularly (in fact, I was up there yesterday), I suppose I could ask them if I feel strongly enough about it.  And, to complicate matters further, I thought I was discharged on a Wednesday, but 11 March 2016 was a Friday.

Of course, not only is the stroke itself shrouded in mystery, but so too are the events immediately preceding it. I remember one of my last pre-stroke purchases was my Sony tablet, and looking at my emails, I see that this would have been in early February 2016 – I can see the order but have no record of the delivery..  But I remember struggling to configure it – including getting a SIM card for it – while I was in hospital.

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when I received a letter saying that the 12-month subscription I took out last year had expired on 25 February 2017! I’m not disputing the subscription itself, but that date would put me firmly in a hospital bed! And this when I would have had very little technology on me, and even less desire to use it.

Murkier and murkier…