34 Graduation Profanation

I finished the course of antibiotics.  That’s the third different one in the last month.  I shouldn’t have any bacteria of any description, my insides must be sterile.  Cleaner than a nun in a bath.  It’s a shame, really, that they don’t work on your mind.  Mine could do with a purge. Reset the foul grubby thoughts and evil language that pervades throughout this blog.  But then, friends, would we lose some of the entertainment value if I were to stop writing as I think it?  Yes, I feel we would.  It’s my therapy. So, let’s be happy that antibiotics don’t cleanse the mind, and I’ll get back to the self flagellation with a knotted rope.  In my mind of course.  I delivered my wee sample to the labs on Friday and I went to see the doc on Monday afternoon, when the cultures would be complete.  Unfortunately, they weren’t.  She says the blood has gone from the sample, but my white cells are still very high.  White cells fight infection.  Hopefully, the antibiotics have done enough for my system to finish it off.  I don’t really fancy another week of the belly busting pills.  Super GP says she will ring later.  Or get the nurse to, and we’ll have another on of those conversations…

You’ll be pleased to hear that all the lucky guests who ignominiously starred on that winner of a show, Bride and Prejudice, all received their nuptials with a full complement of dissenting family members.  It was revealed to be a complete anticlimax, at odds to the advertised snippets prophesising all manner of heinous vengeance from the outraged parents.  Slapped arse face women tutted a bit.  Bigoted gay hater dad cried for the first time in his life, and lesbian daughter disowner decided a life of peace was better than one of regret. Happiness all round.  Apart from living with the fact you’ve just laid bare your homophobia to the nation on tv, and now may live your life, looking over your shoulder in case of regal retribution. 

Here, I sit, dog at feet, enjoying my last freebie in the local café.  Cancer and it’s treatment seems to have lasting effects on people in different ways.  I remember Dad saying he had some peripheral neuropathy after some of his treatment.  Tingling and numbness in your hands and feet.  He said it did improve, but never went away completely.  He also had some radiation proctitis, an inflamed rectum, causing some urgency.  He drove around with half a dozen toilet rolls in his car for a couple of years, such was the problem.  He suffered, with great dignity and comedy, but didn’t have the literary opportunity to share like I have with this blog.  His experience was worse than mine.  To have prostate cancer and treatment, followed by the sudden demise and loss of his wife, then straight in to chemotherapy for his lymphoma.  So brave, so stoical.  I think that his experience makes mine easier.  Mine is nothing compared to what Dad endured.  What a champ.  It makes it easier for me to share.  Hopefully there are a few reading that are finding some comfort and some humour in my tale, and are inspired to keep their chins up, if not their peckers. 

Ok, back in the room…  A great sacrifice.  I have been forced to give up coffee.  The previous lot of antibiotics, that increased caffeine’s stimulative effect, seem to have become longer lasting than I expected.  A nice double shot latte, now has me flushing, in more ways than one.  My face goes red, and my arse goes brown.  Sudden griping belly ache, like a Chinese burn to my colon, has me dashing for the bog.  I wonder if it’ll go back to normal one day?  A man like me has to do only a couple of things at once.  After having many years experience in some tasks, I can even manage maybe four or five at a time .  Like breathing and walking, whilst talking.  Digesting food and sleeping whilst breathing and even dreaming.  Driving, swearing and gesticulating.  However, mostly I have to concentrate on the job in hand.  Women can multitask better than men, in my experience anyway.  Wifey appears to be able to have sex whilst thinking what’s on special in the supermarket this week.  That kind of thing.  My point being, that having to concentrate on not pissing myself, along with remaining upright, breathing and such like are very taxing for me.  Add in a griping colon and the very real chance I may shit myself is pushing things to the limit.  I’m sure that one of those will fail, and I’ll fall over, piss myself, stop breathing or crap my pants.  Unfortunately, the Tena men pads are not designed to catch spills from your arse, unless you plump for the full on nappy pants, so I’m best to avoid coffee for the foreseeable future.   I’ve stopped the chai.  I still never really discovered what was in it.   It tastes like it’s got as many calories as a cake, and I for one, certainly prefer cake.  So I’m on to tea and cake.  How very English.  Oh, the phone.  Hang on.  That was super GP.  I need to collect a script.  For a different antibiotic.  Sweet Mary mother of god.  I’m not too sure that I’m up to it. 

I get wifey to pick up the script for me on her way home, along with the pathology.  It seems that the pseudomonas has gone, to be replaced by a super resistant strain of E. coli.  This is a sobering read, and perhaps indicative of the seriousness of our battle with bacteria. 

Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin-Clavulanate

Cefalexin

Cotrimoxazole

Cefepime

Ceftriaxone

Gentamicin

Norfloxacin

Tobramycin

Trimethoprim

This particular strain is resistant to all these antibiotics that are normally used for UTI’s.  All of them. 

It is sensitive to Meropenem and Nitrofurantoin, and as the former is by iv only, I start on the latter.  My local pharmacist dispensed it, and I filled him in on my clinical details, whilst we waited.  He was fantastic, and really knew what he was talking about.  He explained, in terms way above my understanding (he knew I was a nurse), that the pseudomonas can somehow cause e. Coli to become resistant.  It seems this uninvited guest is becoming a pain.  Let’s hope it’s fourth time lucky.  I’m a fit youngish bloke, with no significant medical history, and am not affected frequently by any illnesses, just the odd cold, and a few gastroenteritis episodes when the kids were toddlers.  That’s it.  I appear to be struggling to shift this infection.  I can’t help but wonder how my stable mates who had the operation at the same time would be going.  25 years older, 25kg heavier, blood sugar levels 25% higher.  I hope they’re doing ok, but it is a sad fact that mortality rates for given operations include a significant amount of time post operatively.  So if you have a one in a thousand chance of dying from a particular surgery, most of this risk is probably not in the actual operation, but in the recovery period afterwards, when the chance of post op complication, such as infections is rife.   However, in saying that, I have one and I’m not dead, and continue to tap out drivel for your reading entertainment whilst you are on the bus, about to haul your carcass out of bed, on your break, or having a shit.  Whenever you choose to read. So all up, it’s not that bad.

It’s my younger child’s graduation soon.  That makes me sound old.  Worry not.  In this very mature day and age, we now appear to have the opportunity to graduate from primary school.  Primary school!  I’m obviously thrilled that he has managed to negotiate his way through school, and of course will be there to support  the journey, but really?  Graduation from primary school?  So the graduation ceremony becomes an event of an epic nature.  Family members from interstate, grannies and grand-pappies, siblings, and step siblings all now feel the need to attend.  The fear washes over our suburb.  Panicked parents hit the local internet forums,  screeching in terror.  It’s all people can talk about at school drop off- they are scared.  What of?  Missing out.  That’s what.  The fear of missing out has consumed the extended families of these children who have navigated through their first lot of schooling.  A modern day monster is born. Luckily, this event is not limited by numbers, but the high school one was so oversubscribed with hangers on, they had to erect a giant screen in the playground to avert a mass civil disobedience occurring. 

The ceremony.  Undoubtedly, some person, with a differing opinion on taste to myself, will endeavour to create a local spectacle by hiring a stretch limo to deliver the kids to the graduation.  They will disembark and join the line.  The line to enter the school graduation is a trial by ordeal, if there ever was one.  An eclectic mix of the working and lower middle classes, with a fair serving of heathen bogans, and even the local gentry in their Lexus SUVs and ubiquitous shiny RM Williams leather soles.  After queueing up for 45 minutes in the baking evening sun, any exposed areas nibbled alive by mosquito’s, raising the remote possibility of dengue, zika or rift valley fever, we will almost certainly become embroiled in a “choking on part of our tongues” session as we endure the queuing hell outside the great hall.   Englishly muttering about those that have such pachydermal skin that they can cunningly try to enter the venue from a tangential angle, thus skipping the 300m line, under the guise of “sorry I didn’t notice”.   Didn’t notice.  WTF?  Just because you decided to start what was essentially a separate queue, by standing close to the door does not give any rights to invade said queue.  Get to the fucking back you ignorant pig.  Will that happen?  No because the deafening tutting silence as we all bite our tongues, but say sweet fuck all, will further enforce the belief that their deviant behaviour is tolerable, thus paving the way for a repeat performance next time there is a line up.  Obviously this is so much worse for the English 10% in the line.  The art of queueing is subtly socialised into our psyche.  There are no queueing lessons.  Apart from the the solitary English lesson required to learn how to spell the actual word and it’s wordlings.  Take queueing for example.  Five vowels in a row- splendid.   Most of the English exhibit autistic tendances when it comes to queueing.  We will have actually chewed off large chunks of tongue in order to refrain from berating the queue immigrants.  Of course, given that it is a school event, everyone will be left to their own devices, with no one there in any official capacity to actually enforce anything that may be specified in the invite.  I would speculate that a significant proportion of the visitors would have found the dress code to have little relevance when one was to consider their actual appearance.  If you plan on spending the evening in polite company, I would have thought that you should really cover your offensive tatts, pack your fat rolls out of sight, invest in a something to cover your feet, and consider bathing prior to leaving the house. 

Once the doors are flung open, there within waits a veritable visual feast as this merry throng forces its way into the hall.  Rows of seats being fought over, token claims staked by a handbag or a pair of thongs like Germans with sunbeds in the Balearics.  An overweight Melbourne cup takes shape before your eyes, as mothers and grandmothers jump rows of seats to get to a prime place at the front, to see little Phelony and Jaxxxxonne get their certificates.   We will be regaled by slightly out of tune singing, and off tempo lolloping around the stage under the guise of creative dance.  Teachers will spout on about what excellent little human beings the majority of the school kids are becoming, but curiously not mention the minority who are fast becoming human bell-ends.  Each child will take to the stage to collect their certificate, and I would stake my house that there will be at least one “whooper”.  A whooper family is one that has decided their needs outweigh the needs of the rest of the cohort.  They feel that the “please refrain from shouting and loud cheering”  guideline doesn’t apply to them, and let rip with a particularly Alabamaesque hooting and whooping when little Cletus steps up to grab his scroll, to the disdain of the otherwise polite crowd.  Spurred on by the odious antics of whooper family one, whooper family two will take up the reigns later in the proceedings in order to out do whooper one.  Wild pig wrestling noises coupled with raucous cheering, and 12 fingered clapping as the whole extended family join in. 

On a serious note, It will be fun, and I will be there to politely clap, at the correct time, to support my son.  Hopefully my ongoing infection might have gone by then, I don’t want to piss my pants when the hollering starts. 

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