(This diary may contain items some readers may find distressing but no scenes of a sexual nature – unfortunately.)
Thank the Gods that I am not a hypochondriac in these boring, tormented days of virus lockdown it would be a real misery for my wife, Brenda. I do have an itchy scalp though - just the odd bit of scratching seems to ease the irritation. My eyes have started to weep a little, mostly it’s watching Brenda having money in her bank account and no shops to spend, spend, spend. I think one of my eyelids is beginning to swell, but the floaters in my eyes can only be seen when I read. It is difficult to read since my eyebrows now hang over my eyes.
I managed to take the skin off part of my forehead when photographing some goslings by the lock side. I knew the blasted metal sign was there, it’s one of the innumerable signs the waterway authorities have placed on the canal system to state the bleeding obvious or give out useless information pontificating on how marvellous they are. Bang, no bruise, just loss of skin Brenda says, but I’m not sure. Despite government warning I keep feeling the scab.
Nicked my nose when shaving the other day; got a graze that won’t go away, and my teeth have started to itch and my lips flake. There are no dentists, that I know of, operating – bunch of snowflakes scared they are going to catch something. My headaches are getting a bit worse - perhaps a diabetic reaction to the box of chocolates I munch through before Brenda gets up. Must hide the wrappers to avoid a nagging. Need some time now to clear the wax out of my ears as they are beginning to feel blocked. My hands have arthritis and tremble although my hips only give trouble when I go to bed, which is late because of Restless Leg Syndrome, Brenda says if it gets any worse, I will have to sleep on the roof.
After 15 minutes standing, managed a pee but anything solid will have to wait a week or two longer.
Still once I have taken my ten morning pills and my insulin injection I can rise from the sofa without much groaning and screaming because of my painful knees.
There’s a pain that’s never spoken, it’s in my neck forcing the head downwards. From time to time the bones crick and snap. It’s never mentioned because I think it is serious and may need a brace but us men are accustomed to putting up with pain. No need to bother the doctor at a time like this. The last time I reported the discomfort they put me in one of those claustrophobic magnetic tubes and played Radio One to me. I think it was not so much to check the bone structure but to discourage me from complaining to the NHS heroes.
My shoulders have started to ache, a sort of muscle problem or the bone shrinkage. Hope it’s not Multiple Sclerosis (a terrible disease), still that professor bloke managed a long life and the woman on Neighbours has it but you would not know from her actions, only the actors keep mentioning it; something I never do.
My forehead scrape is beginning to weep a little. Brenda says it might need a dab with TCP, but she is not a nurse and didn’t really mean it when she promised ‘through sickness and in health’. The headaches are a little worse although I have swapped the morning chocolate scoff for a litre of healthy apple juice. My nose is beginning to peel from the nick, doubt it will go gangrenous, Brenda says any look is an improvement. Having to keep blowing out my ears as if on an aircraft and rubbing the orifices hard to get some relief, nothing new there.
There is a definite pang of pain in my bottom left tooth – the one on the right is fine.
Have decided to keep a stock of prescription pills on the sofa with me to save neighbours from the noise when I try to get up.
My armpits feel as if they are on fire and I’m sure there are bumps under the skin, gave them a good dousing with bleach - you can now get a particularly thick version called ‘Donald’. According to the internet, the lumps are probably lymph nodes reacting to my various allergies. Brenda says it might help if I start to wash, but why start now. I think after 70 years you get a strong anti-germ covering to the skin. My chest is fine (I had a girlfriend like that once) just the occasional wheezing and, of course, I spend the first couple of hours coughing up phlegm. Good clean grey stuff, nothing of medical importance.
There are bits of fatty tissue hanging from my body like globular spheres on a skinny extension. I suspect long-term cancer, although a friend said they were just fat lumps of no concern. It seems they can be made to drop-off if tied-up with cotton strangulation. Brenda has offered, starting with my neck for some reason.
May be running out of insulin there are only six boxes in the fridge – try not to worry, Donald says you can have too much of medical science.
There is little skin left on my forehead and the weeping hole seems to be getting deeper. I no longer have a nose as far as I can see, which is not very well. I expect it is cataracts which can be cleared once the 1.5 million NHS backlog is despatched. I am now fairly deaf, particularly in the female octave and I am sure some yellow puss is starting to seep-out, but I can’t reach it for the pain in my shoulders. The tremor means I spill most of my drink.
The neck pain is starting to keep me prone on the sofa clutching my remaining syringes of insulin.
Stomachs can be a problem. Some say backs are tricky, but I’ve solved my back with a brace, stomachs are always a worry. Is it ulcers, which you can get from stress and worry? So, I try not to worry about the ulcers or stomach cancer but being sick in the morning out of the side hatch is not a good look. I did report the problem to the doctor before the pandemic. She sent me to a private hospital to have a TV camera pushed down and have a good look around. The specialist said he could see nothing, so there was nothing to do but put a TV camera up my bottom. It was all on BBC Two, therefore I have no need to relate what happened. Bowel cancer can be expected.
The forehead problem has joined with the itchy scalp. Took wifely advice and gave it all a good scrub. I will unblock the drain once I can rise from the sofa. The two plastic straws I now have for a nose, work well, but they were not easy to find due to all the bars being closed and concern for the environment – not much on the news about that now.
Washed out my ears with a good solution of ‘Donald’ but not sure it has done any good; the discharge is now blue not yellow is that good?
The tooth that was giving me bother has dropped out, so it is only the rotting gums I need concern myself with now. My chapped lips look like I have had a silicone implant, I have that ‘Trout’ look of an aging glamour girl. If there is a bone in my body not aching, I am not sure where it is. Brenda says no sex until I stop shaking.
Started to take Iron, Zinc, Magnesium and Phosphorous tablets in case I get the virus, but I must be careful when near magnets. I am not convinced that Brenda is taking my symptoms and aches seriously: she says when the sun comes out, they will all clear away. She has taken to spending long periods walking the moorings for ‘exercise’.
When I was a child, in the days of rickets, and old men hit you with a newspaper if you made any insightful comments, my Mother took me to the aged doctor. I had stabbing pains in all my muscles as if someone had a voodoo doll of me. He sagely diagnosed ‘Growing Pains’. I must still be growing, particularly in the thighs.
My head now looks as if I am auditioning for The Elephant man, I am blind, deaf and can only smell plastic. The lumps in my armpits are now melons – which is good for you cannot get them in Marks and Spencer. My chest and stomach have combined churning, but I am saving a fortune on food. I can still manage some of that delicious packet soup, I hope I don’t catch the virus as it is reported you lose your sense of taste.
Mental health is now a great worry in the world. In the days of being hit over the head with a rolled-up newspaper such things were never discussed. Although I once heard my Mother say I was ‘soft in the head’. It was a pleasant refrain from the usual ‘I’ll swing for you one day’. She will be glad they have abolished Capital Punishment although ‘I’ll be put in prison for you one day’ does not have the same affect. So, thanks to mother love and help from working-class newspaper readers I remain clear of mind and optimistic.
It is some concern that the muscle pain, which seems as if someone is stabbing me with a pin, only occurs when Brenda is onboard the boat.
The Army sends me a War Disability pension for my damaged feet. Running in boots has fused the main toe joints resulting in severe pain particularly during cold weather. There is also nerve damage across the toes which means writhing pain across the toes. Please don’t feel sorry for this war hero, whenever I am in pain, I ask Brenda how much they send each month and it eases the pain.
Unlike my head which has taken to prolonged bouts of throbbing. I have given up eating which is good news as I have run out of insulin. For some reason Brenda entirely forgets to pack my insulin when we go away. On one occasion after confirming with her that we had the insulin – twice – she forgot the needles! I am sure it is because she is getting forgetful in her old age. Although she is still a young girl in my eyes (she does read my diary).
The shaking is very bad particularly when Brenda appears.
Alright we are going to have to discuss it. There is no feeling in the genital area, no sense of pleasure, nor arousal, not even when I watch cartoons of Jessica Rabbit. Brenda claimed that age has made no difference and that ‘things’ had always been like that. I insisted on seeing a doctor because I do remember, I’m sure, the odd twinge behind the NAAFI. I was given these blue pills to take one hour before sex. The Doc did not solve the problem of whether you find a sexual partner and wait an hour or take a pill and chance your luck. The pills, however, give me agonising neck ache and wipe me out entirely for the next day. Complained to the doctor but she said that I had just described the main side effects of Viagra. So, the answer? I asked. Well, she said you have to decide if sex with your chosen partner was worth the pain. That sums up life, I think.
Someone kind person asked me the other day how I was. ‘Doing great’ I declared. As you do.