Friday, 25 May 2012
Never Lose Heart
So the time has come to divulge why a blog called the Accidental Bus Driver, about a bus driver who drives buses, has not recently done much writing about that topic.
It is momentarily out of my control. It's my ticker which has caused the cessation of driving. I empathise with Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States, who said:
'Except for the occasional heart attack, I never felt better.'
Legally I am tied. There are strict rules in the UK and the DVLA impose certain requirements and restrictions on driving large vehicles with a medical condition. It is rightly so and it would not look good if the Accidental Bus Driver inadvertantly drove a Mystery Tour of octogenarians or a bus full of schoolchildren over a cliff, clutching his heart as he did so.
The difficulty is the bureaucracy.
'Have you got anything? Any illness?' asked one official.
'No,' I replied 'I am under investigation.
'Well - ring us back when you have,' and he put the phone down.
'Can I drive whilst under investigation?' I asked another official.
'Can't advise you there. See your doctor.'
'Can I drive?' I asked my doctor.
'The guidelines don't specifically say you can't drive,' said the doctor, 'but I can't advise you because it's what they don't say. and if anything happened, I suspect they would throw the book at you.'
Now I am under investigation no more. I now know I have two blocked arteries. i am now in a queue to see if I need a stent or two - then it should be fixed as the rest of the heart is fine and healthy.
'Good news. It's not life shortening,' said the specialist.
'Not good news for my blog readers - I could be still writing this drivel when I am 102.'
'No we'll have a cure for that by then,' he helpfully said.
The heart units in the hospitals are fantastic. The staff friendly and professional. They discuss risk the whole time, which suited me being from a bookmaking background. I was a 1000-1 shot not to come through with a complication. The language is stilted. It is a procedure not an operation. An angio not an angiogram. There are anacronyms for everything. Letters were flying around my tiny, overloaded brain, and I was asked to say my name, address and date of birth by everyone I met.
Being an observer of life, it was the patients who fascinated me. I was honoured to be a mere youth in the ward where all the others were in their eighties or nineties.
'Are you taking warfarin?' the nurse asked the patient behind the curtain in the next door bed.
'No I haven't had a glass of water,' came the indignant reply.
'She's deaf, you know,' said the accompanying friend.
'Ooh you are wonderful. I really feel I am having great treatment,' I heard another patient say to the nurse as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.
'Complete and utter waste of time,' she said to her companion after the nurse had left in a fit of two facedness, little realising that the expression 'the walls have ears' could not have been more true.
I hope I am not like that when I get to that age and have to go to hospital. Getting a reputation as a grouchy old man would not be good. Then again, maybe I am like that already.
So this blog will continue to observe. Humourous? I don't know - that is in the eye of the beholder. It will be an attempt to translate things in life which make me smile. Someone told me that they liked my mother because she had a love of the absurd. That I my try to replicate, because I do too.
No let me get back to my cracker made out of low fat sawdust, with a thin film of 'I Can Completely Believe It's Nowhere Near Like Butter Or Any Known Dairy Product Except For It's Jersey Yellow Colour' and a gherkin on top.
I feel like the first and last low fat bon viveur.