Wednesday, October 18, 2006

File under typical (a.k.a. Back to the middle ages Pt. 2)

As I wrote, smelled like the whole small department of my day- respectively nighttime job at the newspaper getting sacked pretty soon for some weeks now. Recently my mates learned some more details at the workplace, making it rather a definitive, though our employers still busy denying everything. With the same details plus a report in a paper, also became clear another department going to fold in just as well. Surprise, surprise, the employers didn't bother telling them either.

Business as usual, a.k.a. straight back to the middle ages. And while I'm at it, don't ask me how many months till I'll have my sick benefits transferred to my account, again, and by the way I mean all of it and not just a fraction. Not to mention the many times they tried pulling a fast one by having us sign new contracts, claiming the pay'd be just the same while actually being a quarter or third less. Oh lovely, in future will have to pay only 2/3 of rent, health insurance etc, hawhawhaw. Whereas all the time, the company's profits going up, not down.

Well, actually turned out to be a 'misunderstanding', the discrepancies with the new contracts. At least that's what they said every time as soon as we were able getting us some back-up to expose the whole deal. Suddenly getting them back at the table, adding the 'overseen' wage elements pronto.

Looks like now we're getting it for not letting them f**k us over earlier. Ok, I'm aware that actually I'm still off comparatively well. Nonetheless reckon some greedy bastards will never learn until one morning waking up to why again the lovely ways of peers and serfs never lasted forever yet. Business as usual just as well, though I wouldn't hold my breath.

Anyways, when eventually all of the mates got an invitation to a surprise meeting at short notice, no big guessing bout the agenda item. And surprise, surprise, turns out we were just about right. Looks like next year I might be on the dole for the first time in my life.

Still a bit shaky on my legs, back to slow motion zombie style, not exactly fun running round. Still was happy having dragged myself there. Cause else they'd calculated my monthly pay for the cancellation period from a timeframe when I was hardly working and therefore had earned pretty much nothing in the first place. Nice try.

Just like the boss, after he eventually agreed using a month I was wasn't sick or off for the calculation, telling me how now I got off real well and with a freebie. File under guess what.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nice one for a change

Still a bit dizzy from the painkillers, though hope being off soon. Actually gave it a try this morning, but after a while decided sticking with them for another day and then try again.

On my way back to the beauty farm, Oct 17th.

Changing the dressings, surgeon said he's still happy so far. And with me still on antibiotics there'd be no need of changing the drains daily, so I can just keep them in as long as seems fit before removing the stitches next week. Plus despite the original dressing almost dripped, over night the bleeding had almost stopped. So as long as it keeps developping nicely, my mate'll be able changing the dressings and taking care of the wounds no prob, so I won't have to travel almost 2 hours every day just for that. Knock on wood some more.

Have to admit, after having a look at the results in the hand mirror before putting the new bandage on, I'm quite pleased with the outcome too, especially with the lines of the wounds. Though am happy we took the time to rediscuss this in detail right before the surgery. Still think I wouldn't have liked the way he'd proposed doing it originally. I.e. like he'd done the lateral lump, leaving a cut around one half of the base, flapping the remaining skin of the other half round, tailoring it to fit.

8th August. Lateral lump removed, ones on top punctured.
© Anger 2006
Now I can see why he preferred doing so there, mainly because now the scar's more to the back and can't be seen from front. But on the downside this implied using more of the skin on top of the lump, which's even more stretched and strange looking than the parts at the base. Which means now there's another more or less bald spot that won't recover.

Ok, on the top of my head probly won't have no more hair soon enough anyway. However, cause of the general condition of the skin on the lumpies, still think makes more sense leaving the cut in the middle, using the base skin from both sides while removing the one on top.

Fortunately wasn't a big discussion. And though I had visualised having it done more symmetrically, still won't complain for a change. In contrary, definitely like how the new cut kinda connects the already existing scars, with just 2 smaller vertical cuts on top to tailor the rest. Which I've to admit looks even better than what I imagined myself. Also think he did a good job by deflating and tailoring the tricky bastard a.k.a. the smaller dexterior lumpie.

Just after surgery, Oct 16th.
© Seelenlos 2006
Well, maybe I'd also just lowered my expectations after some of the previous sh*it, but this is the very first time it actually looks better than what I had hoped for in the first place.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Skin beats scissors

Whoa, I did it! Actually had thought might been a bit an exageration the surgeon telling me earlier my strange skin would ruin his precious surgical scissors, but well, here's the proof:

© Seelenlos 2006
Besides, surgery went smooth again, despite this time removing two lumpies at once, plus me bleeding too much as per usual. Also the anaesthesist did a nice job too, keeping me conscious all the time. As for the carousel when she started pouring in the good mix via the drip, guess I'm getting used to it by now, since I perceived it as less intense every time. Pulserate as low as it gets during the whole show. And since they reckoned as during all the previous sessions local anaestesia plus the drowsy mixture would do no sweat, even was allowed eating some before turning up for a change. Which came in even handier since this time had the appointment at 4 pm.

Like always my scalp offered plenty resistance right from the start when he began injecting the local anaesthetic, producing this kinda ripping sound each time the needle eventually went through. Not to mention the even more explicit sound effects as he went gnawing through the skin with the other tools, wrenching, tearing, shredding, snapping. Pity can't have a go actually seeing what he's doing.

So was just enjoying the soundtrack, when suddenly there was a most unusual cracking sound, followed by metal pieces clanging on the floor. Next thing he's causually informing me I finally really wrecked his scissors on the spot, then going on with a replacement, scraping all the nasty stuff out, tailoring the remaining skin and sewing the different layers up.

Still can't wait having all them photos on my screen. Also am curious how the resulting scars and stuff will look like. Though reckon will be able having a first peek tomorrow when going for a check plus to change the bandages.

Again put in two small drains made of surgical gloves, so hopefully no more headaches. Seem to work swell, cause despite the huge load of gauze he put on top before fixing it with surgical tape, blood and juices already seeping out. Am glad still having some of the plastic coated paper sheet left for my pillow, same stuff they use for covering the surgical table and of which the assistant cut me some off the roll earlier. Still, new dressings tomorrow won't harm, and washing wy wool cap either.

Till then, guess I'll just be glad not having to endure the daily disinfection routine anymore. Plus of course hoping there won't be no more friggin complications, knock on wood. Don't want to miss another flight, and am scheduled to attend the annual UFFC rally to Downing St. No. 10 end of next week, plus doing another show @ LARC, both I'm quite looking forward to.

Again the surgeon stressed he was very pleased with how the lumpies had been taken care of, reassuring me there shouldn't be any more trouble with the infection that kept bugging me for about 1 1/2 months now, though I'm to stay on antibiotics for about one more week.

Knock on wood some more ...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

F**ked up royally

Got feedback from Prof. Hoffmann on my corrections of the layouts for our book by Paul Leppin I did in London last week. Sheesh, can't believe it.

Ok, was a bit complicated there not just with the lumpies n all, sometimes not too quiet and even less relaxed anyway, plus most of the original layouts for me tied to not really heart warming memories in the first place, and many of the actual texts I had to fix dealing with similar matters on top.

Still remember feeling like sitting on needles while doing it, quite exhausted afterwards and sooo glad finally having it off my screen. Talking bout wishful thinking ...

But still, how I f**ked it up is way less than tolerable at all. I mean, the amounts of typos I failed to correct would be one thing, but the new ones I managed to add, aaarrgh!

And the worst, of course now just have to get back on it, trying to do a better job this time. Am feeling uncomfy already.

Sometimes when some things go bad it's like just about everything seems to suck.

Not happy, not happy, not happy.

... two days to go ...

Friday, October 13, 2006

This one's for you

Just back from the surgeon. He was very pleased with the development of the lumpies, also said they'd be taken care of really well. So guess it's high time to send out a big THANK YOU to everybody who was helping me out with them during the last weeks (first in order of how many times you were doing so, then chronologically):


Couldn't have done it without you, and resilient strains n all aside, frankly doubt if any med pros would've done such a marvellous job in the long run either, cause I bet they wouldn't been game for disinfecting each one of them twice every time, argueing one rinse with peroxide would've killed anything inside no doubt, though personally and from my own experience I do know for sure with these bloody lumpies o' mine and the nasty stuff n bubbles inside unfortunately that's just not the case.

So thanks a lot mates, and since probly won't meet some of you again and therefore wouldn't be able returning the favour in case you'd be similarly in need once yourself, may a gentle and kind stranger help you out just like you did to me.

This one's for you.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sorry I didn't make it (Tears are a gift from heaven Pt. 5)

The only good death I remember was my grandmother's about 5 years ago.

She'd reached the grand old age of 95 when she died, so there's not too much complaining about eventually giving in, at least not in my book. However, still feel she could've gone past 100 no sweat if she only had wanted to. On the other hand, I can understand why not.

She'd always been very reluctant about having to move into this home for the elderly. Her own parents had died in her and grandfathers house, where they had a little appt, both also over 90. Frankly think it wouldn't have harmed if my parents could've waited some more before selling their house and taking over grandma's appt, but that's the way it just happened anyway.

I mean the home where she was living after wasn't actually a bad one, no way, but still could feel for her. Especially after my time in airport prison, I remember stepping out of the elevator, going down the corridor with all the doors and suddenly looking at it quite differently than ever before.

During her last years one could clearly see how the joy of life left her, and she also used to regularly mention she'd pray and hope she wouldn't have to reach 100. She was never bitter, but every time I'd visit her and hug her some, she'd cry a bit. Since my grandfather'd died 20 years earlier and all of her old friends going one by one as well, guess she felt pretty lonely.

The day she died, my parents called early in the evening, but I was just bloody stupid as not to hit the train immediately, cause I had to go to work at 11pm, and when I rushed as soon as I could the next day, she was already gone.

She looked a bit strange, cause they had fixed her a bandage vertically around her head to prevent her jaw from dropping down, but she still didn't look like she'd suffered or put up a fight. Her skin was already cold and a bit pale, and at the root of her fingernails you could see blood starting to coagulate below.

I remember holding her hand before leaving, people already waiting outside the door to wheel her away to the morgue, thinking 'Sorry I didn't make it in time', and I felt like I would have to cry, but I couldn't. Same old, same old.

Almost every time I'm on a plane n above the clouds, seeing the horizon far, far away and the big, big blue arching over it, becoming darker and darker, I see her and grandfather rising miles high through the clouds and into the sky, thinking 'Sorry I didn't make it', and then I cry rivers and don't give a flying f**k what any of the other passengers might think.

(continued ...)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jet set by foot

Still knackered as can be. At least got some showers for a change, the one thing they didn't get running @ Rampart was hot water, so I was really dying for one when arriving back in Kennington. Show in Oxford ok, despite in the end had no beamer, so just had the 17" display on my posh laptop. Guy helping me out with the lumpies before A-ok. Though no dosh just once more, so I'm pretty in debt by now.

Other downer was, had to walk almost an hour there getting the really f**cking early bus back to London for getting the other one for the airport, so in the end slept little less than an hour. Was this posh bus line I only could get cause off-peak they're renting out excess seats to megabus (the reason why it had to be the really early one). Nice part though, in the front row in the upper deck there was a power plug, so I could unse my laptop and listen to music whithout draining the batteries yet.

But was I glad I left most of the luggage in Kennington to collect just before going to the airport, dragging it tho and fro in Oxford would've been too bad even for tough sh*t. Of course then missed one bus at Victoria, while the next got cancelled, so in the end had bit a run towards the check in, but still made it just fine.

Surprise, surprise, lady behind the counter even pulled a new one. When I presented my GP's letter about the prescripted stuff box, which is a standard form coming in englich, german and spanish, she hardly glanced at it and said, 'Won't work, can't read this.' So I pointed with my finger to the english section, replying, 'But it's in english', and hussah, suddenly she could read it no prob. Well, never blame a girl for trying.

Eventually rushed some more over to fragile goods and then through security, though surprise, surprise no 2, of course the plane was just late again. Got security no 108, but still secured my usual window seat anyway.

So back in Zurich now, just returned from work. Got a preliminary appointment at the beauty farm tomorrow rsp. later today, while surgery is scheduled for next Monday, so better make sure I'm catching up with sleep in order to be as fit as possible.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dissent or rot (Always felt like a Pariah Pt. 2)

Having grown up in a conservative household during the cold war, you can bet I was told about the brave dissidents within the then actually existing socialist countries. Being a good boy, of course admired them too. Actually a bit too much perhaps. Not for my tastes, but obviously for almost everybody else's.

Though barely a teenager, didn't take too long till I realised, while my parents did have two volumes of GULag Archipelago displayed in their bookshelves, hardly bothered reading any of them (ok, didn't do so myself till pretty much later). And when after Prague '68 many Czechs got offered asylum in Switzerland, surprisingly most of them being well trained lab workers or other studied professionals, not to mention usually not too adamant to criticise injustice here or elsewhere. And while my parents and other grown ups continued idolising foreign dissidents and their brave struggle, the longer the more I realised they'd be the last having the balls to stand up and risk anything for an unpopular conviction themselves.

Not exactly my kind of heroes, I'm afraid. And very unlike e.g. Adam Michnik almost a decade later, defiantly proclaiming stuff along the line of 'you can lock me up, but but you won't make me comply'. And while I might not agree with everything he was about lately, still respect him for having the guts of sticking with his creeds (though perhaps it's no coincidence that after Abu Ghraib western newspapers started qouting him considerably less -- if at all). Cause that's what it's about, not blindly doing as you've been told, but making up your own mind also if the consequences are a bit less favourable.

And while I despise violence and lynchmobs, when walking the street with the ordinary looking house where the torture cellars were and then visiting the nearby park, seeing the trees still standing where the people after liberating the prisoners had dragged the screws and strung them up in Budapest '56, couldn't condemn them either nor help myself thinking 'yes!'

But even then, even in my remotest dreams never dared thinking I'd ever be doing time myself. Even less in an increased security jail in the 'model country of democracy'. Not to mention that it'd be for the "thought crime" of having made a film the local authorities obviously didn't like -- just like in one of these dreaded oppressed communist countries they'd always been cautioning against at home and in school ...

Which is where I finally started reading Solzhenitsyn's GULag Archipelago, beginning with the 3rd volume, embracing it like few books before. Cause, despite considering myself lucky, like after my short stint 'only' having to swallow cortisone for some 5 years insted of having been plain snuffed like in the 'real thing', it was all there: the humiliation, lies and deceits by the screws and administration, the 'games' amongst the inmates, but also the gallows humour, and the biggest paradox of it all: 'I'm grateful for the prison having been a part of my life. It was therein that I nurtured my soul ...'

Not to mention realising, the prison outside being only a slightly watered down version of basically just the same. But you know what? 'You can lock me up, you can abuse me and kill me, but you won't make me comply ...'

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Breaking and entering

Phew, that was a near thing! Had to go out do some stuff yesterday afternoon which took a bit longer, so only returned after 8pm looking for the victim of the day helping me with the bandages n stuff. Now as said before, the later the evening gets, the more difficult the task, not to mention on a saturday when most folks have other things in mind and/or are not exactly capable anymore anyway. For some bloody HOURS kept harassing EVERYBODY, but turned out nobody being willing or able.

Already started considering doing it myself in front of a mirror (as well as possible that'd be), when finally met this guy living up the street coming home who agreed helping me out once more and really, really made my day. Actually rather early morning when we finished, but still not too late for donning one of my trusty magic caps, walking over to Aldgate and and burn some money by hitting a cheaply priced club, going moderately apesh*t. Subwoofers definitely a bit small for my taste, but as for the tweeters, boy was I glad having some earplugs with me!

Of course on return to thee rampART finding the door locked and nowhere nobody available with keys or at least some crashspace till noon. Tried hard for a while waking somebody up, also up the street and round the corner, but didn't succeed. So in the end opted for breaking and entering, which was't particularly easy cause the people running the squat are used to these sort of customers, so their countermeasures were tried and proven. For obvious reasons won't go into the details, let's just say didn't actually break anything but nonetheless hit the sack with some pretty deep scratches on my right hand and up the arm, ouch.

Punishment follows swiftly ... Going to the toilet after waking up, through the window spotted a minor invasion of dark blue bullet proof vests plus the occasional hi viz accessory crowding the alley in front of the building. Uh-oh. Nah, didn't expect them being here for me, even less for breaking and entering a squat. Despite had zero inclination of becoming a collateral damage of whichever operation either. Turns out, there's a Sack Parliament meeting going on below and as usual the Forward Intelligence Team plus reinforcements eager taking the picture of everybody entering or leaving the building, or else ... They were quite persistent, but fortunately went before I had to leave the house.

'Forward intelligence' spelled out: FIT @ Gleneagles G8, 2005
(Photo © Guy Smallman)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

'If looks can kill, they probably will and they did ...' (Body Fascist Pt. 11)

'... kill you because they hate the way you look.' Nabil Shaban: Body Fascism and Genetic Cleansing

First learned about Dr. Nabil Shaban some months ago while researching on the obvious keyword of Body-you-know-what. To beeb buffs he's probly best known for his role as the alien Evil Sil in the Dr. Who Series (btw 10 years before the Sil of Species), while others might know him from various other plays and/or films, as author of the book Dreams my father sold me or as co-founder of Graeae Theatre Company of Disabled People. Nabil Shaban also generated some ripples when, after the UK joining the war in Iraq, he went to Downing St. 10 and handed back a grant of 25'000 quid cause he felt he couldn't accept the 'blood money'.

Nabil Shaban in Born of Fire (1989). Inside # 57 Interview

What really struck me of course was some of his thoughts on the topic at hand, of which without further ado I'd like to share some excerpts:

"Body Fascism", a term I created in 1983, which places a value on a person’s worth on the basis of physical appearance or attributes....thus someone with an able body that appears perfect, fit, hansome or beautiful, has a superior status...whereas a person who deviates from a socially or culturally physically acceptable norm...i.e too fat, too thin, too short, physically deformity e.g hunchback, wasted hand, clubbed foot, impaired in mobility or senses (blind, deaf etc)..."ugly" in some shape or form....are deemed to have an inferior status. Consequently, the heroic, the romantic, the good, the desirable are portrayed/represented by performers whose physical or bodily attributes evoke the greatest sympathy / identity from the largest possible audience. [...] The problems of Sexism, Ageism and Racism in the performing arts are particular aspects of Body Fascism. "Body Fascist" Market Forces are not just a problem for disabled people. There is no Fair Play: Disability and the Performing Arts

The first people that were gassed in Nazi Germany were disabled people. Not Jews, not gypsies, not communists, but disabled people. The first people that were being castrated, sterilised were disabled people. And the first babies that had been murdered in hospitals by Nazi doctors were disabled people. So the general public should look at what happens to disabled people and realise that that is a warning of about what's going to happen to them next. So it's actually in the interest of non-disabled people to fight with us, to be our allies.
Dail Interview

And who said women are more interested in personality! What a load of bollocks! As a disabled man, I have learned that women are just as Body Fascist as men.
Inside # 57 Interview

The other thing I noticed was that I started to become sexually interesting to women once I became an actor, started to appear on stage, television and film and become a minor celebrity. Suddenly, I found women who wanted to be my girlfriend, even though I was still disabled. As Henry Kissinger said, "Power is the biggest aphrodisiac". My fame and success was giving me apparent power, and that was what was turning women on. It wasn't me, myself, Nabil that had metamorphosed into a gorgeous looking bloke. I was still the same. I still hated seeing myself in the mirror. It's not surprising billions of people want to be Hollywood movie stars or rock stars, because they instinctively know that even if they are conventionally "ugly" or just plain-looking, the result will still be sexual pulling power. Inside # 57 Interview

Tuppy: If you hate seeing yourself in the mirror (although most people do) could this mean you share body fascism yourself?

Indeed. In fact, that was why I originally came up with the term. I was meditating on my own aesthetic prejudices, particularly as an artist, I made myself be aware of my preconditioned preferences and questioned them, analysed them, tried to work out why and how and from whence, and were they culturally determined or are they instinctual products stemming from biological imperatives? In the end, I concluded that the Human condition has the ability to transcend all physical, material, social, genetic dictates and that if we are to move on to a higher, more enlightened plane of existence which is the only refuge that can save us and the planet, we must recognise those demons within, however sourced, which commands us to make value judgements on the basis of ultimately superficial criteria....and having put on the spotlight, we can hopefully exorcise them. That's the theory, anyway. Inside # 57 Interview

Tina Leslie and her and Nabil's baby son Zenyel. The 5th Gospel

And the transport situation, this business of locking people out of cities. It certainly started with disabled people and it's getting to point where I'm not allowed to get into London because every time I do, there is a good chance I'll end up with a parking ticket. In fact the London boroughs have decided since the 1980s to ignore the disabled badge and they claim they've got their own badge. But then you may end up having to have about five or ten different disabled badges. You have to use them in every borough you are going. They have become sort of passports. You cannot go to Kensington and Chelsea unless you show the Kensington and Chelsea disabled badge. You cannot to go to Westminster unless you have the disabled badge for Westminster. So now we have this system of restricting disabled people's mobility and movement in the metropolitan areas and it's obvious in London. Dail Interview

There is certainly legislation that is threatening to disabled people. The Mental Incapacity Bill for example is giving licence to kill disabled people unfortunate enough to end up in a hospital. [...] We have got this attitude in this country where disabled people are considered to be useless, so we have a prioritization system now in our health care. So if you are disabled and you go to a hospital, you are less likely to receive proper treatment because they would like to see you dead. And to try and get on to the waiting list, if you are disabled, it's ten times harder than if you are non-disabled. Because again they actually want to see you dead. [...] Dail Interview

Phew, guess with my reservations against clostridium difficile and similar niceties in NHS facilities in the end still can consider myself spoilt n lucky ...

(In case you'd like to check out more of Nabil Shaban's writings on the net, which is sometimes not too easy cause some pages for mysterious reasons can't be googled, best start on his resummee-page and follow every link from there plus the links on the pages they lead you to.)

(To be continued ...)

Friday, October 06, 2006

'Strange hat you're wearing'

Two shows in the midlands cancelled, so still in the smoke. More precisely at the Rampart, just a stone's throw from Whitechapel Hospital, where the Elephant Man used to live. (Actually on the extras on the dvd you can see an ancient map including the very building where I'm writing this, but that's another story.)

Last Monday while bringing some leaflets to LARC, was really lucky meeting this other guy I know. He was actually busy going somewhere, but then still could help me out doing the bandages. At first also was a bit timid, but when I kept going on like, 'No, it's ok, just pull harder', he then just did so. Now the holes in the lumpies are are more comfortably sized again, though the smaller one itself keeps getting smaller n smaller as it's supposed to, but making it more difficult daily, definitely earning it's nickname 'tricky b*stard'.

Am glad I can stay here, also cause there's people showing up every once in a while, which comes in handy when looking for another day's victim, up to now always was lucky finding one. Also cool having fast internet here, trying to get some more stuff done.

Unfortunately the one guy living more or less next door, who'd said he could do it every once in a while, when finally at it suddenly visibly struggling with himself, so guess I'll better not insist.

Also a couple I know going through kinda the acrimoniuos type of divorce, though without having been married. Still just the kind of things affecting my own sore heart not really for the better, but that's how it is.

The other lesser nice thang being this other guy running amok two days ago, breaking the wiring of the electronic lock at the entrance, so I have to be careful not getting locked out.

Plus some news from the Zurich homefront also not sounding too cool. Though far from admitting anything like it, looks like we're all getting sacked pretty soon so the company'll be able to please the shareholders some more.

While on the funnier side, always striking how many people mistake my bandages for a cap.

continue ...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Numb as can be (Tears Pt. 4)

Last May, one Thursday morning, before catching the bus for the show in Brighton, was at this UFFC press conference in St. Peter's church near Piccadilly regarding their ongoing fight to get justice for their loved ones killed by the cops.

As usual shame on how little people showed up. Which was why I went in the first place. Besides picking up loads of the leaflets they were launching, that is.

Been a while since I'd been in a church. Mostly funerals actually. Grandfather, Grandmother, my sister's stillborn, relatives of family friends. (Plus one baptism, for a change).

Only at my godmother's funeral I wasn't there, but en route to Bath screening our infamous film at a festival, actually on the train in from Luton whith a local friend when my mother called on my mate's mobile saying she'd died. (First time I'd set a foot on an airplane after more than 20 years. That much it had made me feel guilty ...)

Though in St. Peter's was the bereaved telling about missing their loved ones suddenly making my sight blur.

Actually at some point had to tell myself like, bottle it now, you can cry as much as you want on the bus, but don't make no racket here, ok? Which was about what I did. Plus starting to write this:

When my godmother died 3 years ago, took me more than 1 1/2 years to realise I'd never really mourned for her. Even worse, that I hadn't cried at all for much, much longer. Numb inside. Numb as can be.

I remember, I'd been visiting her and her husband just before leaving for the UK. Her already being in a real bad shape. Cancer in the liver, just returned home after what was supposed to be the first round of chemotherapy.

And as usual the suckers at the hospital obviously too f**king tight on the morphine. So she was in terrible pain, unable to digest anything any more. Just puked it all out again shortly after swallowing it. Screaming the pain away.

Of course, her husband didn't want me go to her. So I only saw her through the open bedroom door when I left. Sitting on her bed, holding a plastic bucket in her lap, probably trying hard not to puke wile I could see her.

So I just waved her good bye on my way to the appartment door. Last time I ever saw her.

As long as I'll live I'll curse myself for not going over to her. That I didn't shook her hand or put my hand on her shoulder.

Same old story again again ...

(continued ...)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Nasty Part (Zit P*rn Pt. 2)

'Superbug claims 49 lives in top hospitals' -- just the kind of headlines I'm eager to read, but nonetheless the front page of the Observer the day I got back to London. And that's not even it: The above figure's just the as of yet confirmed casualties in 3 Leicester hospital during the past 9 months alone. Plus some other 29 'suspicious cases' still being examined by the coroner, thanx.

Now it's kinda reassuring reading on that the risk of death by the 'superbug' of the tell-tale latin name Clostridium difficile is considerably higher when undergoing gut surgery (well, at least for me at the moment), plus that after infection first there's no trouble, only when you start taking antibiotics (in less than 2 weeks when going for the next round in my case). Also, that unlike other superbugs, C. difficile can still be treated with 'special antibiotics' (as long as you make it long enough till the test cultures are developped, I suppose).

However, concerning my daily disinfection trip, still reminds me of what several doctors and other professionals told me: Better having it done anywhere than in a hospital.

Which brings me to my problem: Since the holes in the lumpies are wounds in regular scalp, they're trying to heal up and close all the time. Which is more or less prevented by inserting the hypo tip several times every day, though sometimes not even that's an overeasy thing to do. But even if so, nonetheless the holes get smaller an smaller every day. Unless you strech (and not to mention rip) them bigger again every time, that is.

Also I got the impression the cyst-skin just below the scalp and around the holes also kinda dries up and in the process contracts, and this b*stard is even a lot tougher to rip open again than my 'normal' skin (which already made the surgeon complain it ruining his precious tools cause being too tough).

All things not exactly helping to keep them holes big enough for the daily treatment, though somebody has to do so.

Which of course is the 'nasty part' obviously not suitable for everybody, not even for the ones unsqueamish enough to do the actual rinsing.

Though I'm always instructing everybody to 'stay away at an arms length' and then while injecting the stuff to 'pull the hypo against you hard, harder, HARDER, doesn't hurt, and never mind the few small drops of blood, please', obviously isn't everybody's cuppa applying the necessary amount of force.

And even if the holes are rather big, you still need to stretch them a bit wider so the sparkling foam of the hydrogen peroxide plus also the excess iodyne can spill out nice n easy. Cause if you don't, pressure will build up inside the lump, and eventually spill out in a huge fountain.

(Which is why I tell people to stay away at an arms lenght and pull the hypo towards them, so that the stuff will spill out into the opposite direction.)

However, if you don't pull hard enough, the whole thing just seals tight after inserting the tip, i.e. you can't inject much, the lump just inflating a bit like some kind of thick balloon, and in the worst case the stuff incl. the nice bit n bobs just going back into the hypo.

Stills from 'Berlin Zit P*rn' © Cecil B. Feeder / Seelenlos 2006

Oops, here we go ...
Not to mention when eventually pulling the tip out, there's a big splash all over the place, covering everything with juice and the other stuff.

... though only a perfectly modest one ...
Which is exactly what happened later the same evening, when the girlfriend of the mate I'm staying with did it for the second time. How much I said 'pull harder', just wasn't possible for her, so the outcome was inevitable.

... hardly going anywhere.
Sh*te, all the nasty pieces glued to the drawer, dripping from the wall, yuck! Must've stuck the opening as well.

Just a fraction of what usually goes directly into the bag.
Ok, by now am used to the daily clean-up after the show, as I'm always sending out my victims enjoying the chocolate bribe as soon as their part's done.

And here they are ...
But that sure was something else, woa! Also loads of cyst-skin, definitely more and fatter than usual, which looks even uglier than the normal stuff, cause it's really white and also tends to form small rolls, looking like some alien sorts of cockchafer grubs.

... tasty little bits'n'bobs'n'pieces ...
Almost expected them pieces starting to wriggle while eventually wiping them away, just by the lovely look of some.

... soaking in delicious iodyne. Yummy!
(Though only the reglar ones, m'afraid.)
First time before I was off to Scotland she'd also done it which'd been no problem, but perhaps she'd been more determined then. Also the skin of the whole lumps shrunk quite some since (which is the original idea behind having them punctured in the first place), which also doesn't make the treatment easier. Plus before I got away from Zurich Anger'd made sure the holes were nice n big.

So in the end she made clear it was too much for her and despite her original intention she couldn't do it anymore for the next 8 days. Ok, can understand that. However, still just got myself a new small problem dangling from my neck.

Cause definitely don't agree with her suggestion this'd be something best handled by doctors in a hospital at all. Cause on the one hand, most medical pros haven't seen anything like that before either, so they'd have to learn how to more or less from scratch as well (though probly being less inclined of admitting so). While on the other, as said, anywhere better than in a hospital, which is exactly what I'm gonna do, you can bloody bet.

Stills from 'Berlin Zit P*rn' © Cecil B. Feeder / Seelenlos 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

Boozing up for the weekend

Still quite knackered, but nonetheless once more at the airport quite early. Boarding en-oh double-oh-six, haw. Despite some minor trouble while checking in (the very first time I had to weight my handluggage, oops -- plus a short discussion cause of my medical supplies, followed by a frantic phonecall that eventually set things straight), in the end passed security no sweat n fast.

Of course then the plane was late again. So plenty time getting some more stuff done till securing my usual favourite window seat. Only to find out the plane'd be stuck at the airport one more hour before getting allocated a new slot and eventually being allowed to take off. Not to mention the airline company in question jamming in the seats even narrower. So for a change left the powerbook in the box and instead dug some more into one of the books I got while stalking Dublin's 2nd hand shops (guess why my handluggage was overweight ), written by an ex-garda bout her stint on 'suicide proof' Store St Stn (not too much to the delight of some other guards obviously -- see comment).

Derry was cool. Nice people, some interesting stuff going on before the show and two concerts thereafter, not to mention got this nice hi rez vid bout the Dublin riots fuelled by some recent deaths in custody I was on about earlier. Even some more dosh.

Unfortunately as usual concerts over while me just geared up. Plus all over the town a pretty strict closing time in effect at midnight and no decent clubs nowhere at all. Or at least nobody I asked knew about some, though can't really imagine there wouldn't be any somewhere.

Of course when the pubs closed, most people just spilling onto the street, partying on. Everybody staying outside, getting even more pissed. Cops driving their rounds having an eye on them. Reminded me of where I grew up. Though people here drinking considerably harder while smoking way less. Not to mention the coppers looking a bloody lot nastier, boa-ey. No wonder most comments about my bandages involving them. Uh, guess I'm luck-y.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cold B*stard a.k.a. Not even for others (Tears Pt. 3)

First time I encountered death was when my youngest sister died. At least at home in bed in sleep and without pain. I was about 6, and for the life of me today have no idea where from I might've gotten that then, but already was well aware in this world none of the above could be taken for granted at all.

She'd been one year old. Most of her life out of one hospital into the next one. Though before it happened ironically had looked better and nobody'd thought her finally returning home just to die.

Right, wasn't exactly fair not getting older than one, but as I felt still beat going on and on like she'd had to all the time. At least now she could rest in peace. No more hospitals. No more trouble. No more pain.

I remember cradling her lifeless little body in my arms at the treshold of the little ones' room, feeling vaguely guilty for not feeling like crying at all.

But realising, with all the fuss the grown-ups usually kicking up about dying (despite sooner or later everybody would anyway), this very moment probly been the last time in my life I'd be allowed embracing a dead person to say my farewells.

Thinking about it now, find this combination of no tears but thoughts kinda appalling. Still am not too sure whether I wasn't just a bloody cold b*stard then. Probably somehow still am. At least still feel kinda proud for having realised all this crystal clear so d*mn quickly. (However, little did I suspect how very much my suspicion about me not being allowed to say farewell properly would be proved right some 12 years later. Neither there'd even be such things as mortuaries worse than visiting rooms in high security prisons ...)

Or perhaps just numb inside already. Also about that time had started wanting to die myself desperately. And this same threshold pretty soon thereafter being the very place where I'd lost my breath for the first time. Kinda breaking down, only able to breathe very shallowly but really fast. Bit like a dog panting. Taking some eternities till I was able to draw breath more or less properly again.

So much about being a cold b*stard ...

(continued ...)