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A stroke of bad luck October 7, 2011

Posted by normanmonkey in QPR, Thirtynumbthing.

Apparently I’m likely to have a stroke and not of the good luck variety. That’s according to the letter of invitation for a scan at the local village hall, opened in good faith and read as a fine accompaniment to my
cornflakes and sore head on Saturday morning. That certainly lit the touch paper for the weekend.

Had this column had been fired off  a week before it was going to be a nauseatingly pious and preachy piece on how easy it is to give up drinking fora few weeks. As it turned out, it would have to resort how easy it is to cave in. It appears the only things required to consign a few weeks of sobriety to empties bin is a ray of sunshine, New Girlfriend working and an oldacquaintance saying his wife had given him a pass.

The past three Saturdays had been full of purpose: up early, clear head, morning coffee, papers, no dealing with accusations or recriminations, shopping, and maybe even a period of controlled exertion down the gym or swimming pool. If there was a time not to have fallen off the wagon and wake up full of remorse with a stinker behind theeyes then this was it. I swear the Life Line Screening Organisation had beenhiding behind the bushes watching my arrival home before popping the invitethrough the letterbox. They know their target market. Catch a man at his mostvulnerable moment, just when he wakes up full of woe and staggers down the stairs looking like a bad case of taxidermy toward the buff envelopes.

The way things are going the only invite I’m likely to get these days is a summons, but this is hardly a
step up. It stated that I am ‘now of the age’ where I might want to considergetting a scan order to prevent a stroke. Even more worryingly I was inclined to agree.

I, for one, am happy to take time out to consider the testimony of Mrs Rudham from Oxfordshire and her
carotid artery disease, but not have the ire of the invite turned upon myself:


Quite frankly, I’m in no particular rush to the village hall to find out. Everyone involved would probably have to lie down if they did. God knows what they’d say if they couldsee inside and it would certainly be unprintable, possibly offensive enough toget them struck off.  There’s a good chance we’d all be on the news by tea time.

Let’s take an upstanding artery at the age of 16: introduce it to women, public houses, university, clubbing
and then a job in PR in the age of the halcyon age of the client lunch on expenses. Throw in best friends who include a publican with a pair of tattooed on his arse and a fine wine merchant. Add to those two relegations, an aversion to outdoor pursuits, a string of relationships that could’ve been scripted by
Stephen King, and investment of funds in a high-interest Icelandic bank account just before the crash. Then mix with a number of misspent holidays and city breaks with people who shouldn’t be allowed out of a straight-jacket let alonethe country. Would you be able to see a sound artery to be proud of? I doubt it.

By comparison Mrs Rudham’sarteries were probably as clear as the Channel Tunnel during a train strike. She’s in fine fettle now and about to enjoy a three-month sailing trip with her husband. Good for her. Active. Had she said she was going to spend the next three-months sitting on a commuter train wondering if the Bulgarian cleaner hadrazed the house then I’d have not be so moved.

If the stroke scan invite didn’t do for me, watching QPR lose 6-0 to Fulham on Sunday almost did. Their heaviest defeat in my living memory and there were no scans to show that was coming. What I thought was an aneurysm around 4-0 was just a burning eye-brain reaction to watching ‘One Size’ Fitz Hall go into a tailspin every time someone in white advanced towards him. Keeping score was problematic enough. There followed no drowning of sorrows just a night spent indoors in a torpor trying to forget.

The vow is now to get back on the wagon and focus on wellbeing. None of this is down to my being the age for a scan. There’s more pressing problems caused by Fitz Hall than could berevealed in the village hall. If I can get treatment to remove any memories of that performance lurking in mysystem I will be first in the queue.



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