My six-monthly prostate appointment was on Thursday.
I will be honest I wasn’t hopeful knowing how my run of good things happening to me, always pans out.
The week before I had taken a ghostly empty train ride into London Bridge. The new norm is to look at fellow passengers and nod over face masks. I did just that with a fellow traveller walking through the train carriage. We nodded that nod that said we were both on the same page. Ready to open a window and eject anyone with so much as a pre-cough.
The platforms were eerily quiet and empty as we sped to our destination. The train eventually rolled into the station and the few passengers that were aboard left quietly and quickly into a practically deserted station.
I was surprised to see that within the hospital there were actually fewer people wearing face masks than on the outside. That kind of threw me a tiny bit as I expected even the roaches to have some kind of face covering. Hospitals are meant to be the very last place that you really want to visit but I had to get my PSA taken. Other than it being a little less busy than normal and all of the chairs and tables being stacked high in a corner out of the way, you wouldn’t even know anything was different. Not to worry me any further but once I got past Oncology reception, I also happened to be the only patient, on a normally packed ward, waiting to get a PSA test done.
The PSA department is only open three days a week and at set times. I marched up to the door and viewed the times on the door. I was on the right day and at the right time so where was the nurse? I stuck my lip out and took a seat. After five minutes I went back to the front desk and asked the receptionist where the nurse was. He looked at his watch and asked me if she was not there. I looked at him for a second and thought ‘I just answered that question. No, I just came back her because I was lonely and wanted to lengthen my exposure to whatever germs just happened to be waiting for an autograph. In fact, mate, give me something to rest my knees on and I will just run my lip across the wall and floor’. He promised he would find out where she was and would send her over.
About five minutes later said nurse wanders over with a salad bowl in her hand protesting about lunch. It wasn’t lunchtime according to the hours on the door but I smiled at her. The same way you don’t pee off the waitress before she brings your food out from the kitchen. This woman had the power to find a juicy vein in my arm the easy way or a not so juicy vein the hard way. I continued to smile and thank her like she was doing me a favour. She found the vein painlessly and I was soon back out of the door and on my way home.
It was a virtual appointment over the phone. These appointments are like gold dust. Miss one and you have a six-month wait for the next one – if you are lucky! She called bang on the allotted time which surprised me. Of course, I knew she was calling today but I was having a busy day so was not time watching. She went into an explanation about fluctuating PSA results. The sort of unnecessary background talk that you give to someone who just happens to be sitting in a funeral parlour office. My breathing changed while she reminded me of our previous conversation where we talked about some people may have a problem while others just normally fluctuate.
“Your PSA is 0.04 so you are officially a fluctuator”.
My last two PSA results had both gone up, now it was just 0.01 above undetectable. I laughed and smiled. I had hoped my PSA would go down but I didn’t expect this at all. I was ecstatic.
I had cut down on red meat, replaced cows milk with soya milk, exercise regularly and have been taking flaxseed with my cereal. I am not sure if all or any of that worked but they are all things I will continue to do. I had just weaned myself back off the daily lockdown diet coke and ice cream but today I was celebrating. I was randomly watching an episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ with my unhealthy goodies and I had to look twice at the Netflix title ‘S5 E7 The Good Guy Fluctuation’
Could not make it up.
I had reason to expect the worse with this result on the back of news about pops in lockdown in hospital. He has been locked away now for over three months with just phone calls. I had managed to get him once on the phone and it was a heartbreaking event. I was not sure if he knew who it was and it was a very delicate conversation. Since then he has additionally been diagnosed with the condition of Dementia with Delirium. Dementia is well known but the Delirium part are symptoms that may come and go over the course of the day. This is confusion, alertness, rambling speech, rapid mood swings etc. In his notes, they have written that he has threatened the nurse or nurses verbally with a sharp instrument and a metal pole. These are imaginary, not actual. As a result, now the local daily dialysis clinic will not take him and there are only two in the whole of New York. Not sure how this is going to play out, unfortunately.
Its official, the news came out last week.
The majority of McDonalds drive-throughs are going to be open next week. They opened back one in South London and the media reported that the queue was a mile long. Now as much as I want to have an intimate conversation with my Big Mac and I wanted to say that there is no ‘P’ in stupid, I am not joining a mile queue for anything. I thought about taking the kids with me for our first pandemic blowout. I then thought about the endless commentary they would be providing while I am trying to concentrate. I also thought about the noise, the slurping, the dribbling and the lip-smacking.
No child needs to be traumatised by seeing and hearing those sights and sounds.
I will be fluctuating that Big Mac all on my own.