Monday, December 29, 2008

Not quite dead, just very tired after a few strange days at work.Going to work in the dark and returning home in the dark with assessments of Christmas party people during the last few grey really does feel like the Twilight Zone.
To add to my feeling tired, a self induced lethargy, my waistline feels somewhat expanded after the mincepies and other goodies. I had two satsumas today to balance things out....I suspect a long way to go for a true balanced diet. I am also missing my local pub with cask ale and real people. No offence to lager drinkers but the boring bastards currently propping up the bar plus staff with no interest in the customers = shite pub. I'll have to do the unthinkable: give up beer or find a new local. The usual January lack of readies will mean an enforced stay indoors with an alcohol free existence so that horrible choice can be deferred for a few weeks.
Ho hum....TTFN.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I sit here in my new socks, pants, t-shirt, sipping a fine ale and smelling sweetly of sea scents whilst listening to Jools Holland. Yes...presents from Santa unwrapped and utilised. I am also rather too replete with mince pies, turkey, chocolate, etc...All this despite having worked over the last two days, sprinkling crisis glitter and tinsel over the needy. I hope you all had a lvely (insert i or o) Christmas and got what you wanted.
Work itself has been steady with assessments of people with alcohol problems, debts and police requests regarding those who after too much booze decided to take on the world and its brother. Having failed in that singular endeavour and in an attempt to avoid the full impact of the law they then claim to be 'mentally ill'. A headache and listening to Barry Manilow does not count as a serious mental illness. On the plus side we have supported some lovely people who appreciated the extra support. Ensuring they could enjoy Christmas and help was there when needed really pays off.
As for the interview....I clearly am not management material in the 'new NHS'. C'est la vie. I can quietly continue in the job I enjoy and focus my efforts upon extra curricular activities. Namely my studies and a desire to complete my degree. I have some plans for a couple of years time which have little to do with my work but will bring me a lot more satisfaction, especially since they will lead nicely into my eventual retirement in several years time. It feels odd thinking about that but there is a general feeling amongst us older, experienced staff that we are necessary to hold things together but that we are not appreciated by management. We don't look pretty, speak PC or think in the prescribed PC way. Oddly enough the patients like us and I'll be fucked by red arsed baboons before I use 'service user' to describe the people we work with. That is more appropriate for passengers of the local bus services, not the poor sods who are being told they have more choice and are being 'empowered' but can see the emperors new clothes for what they really are.
Semantics, shemantics...same antics...I'll step out of rant mode now. It is Christmas and the season of goodwill to all. Enjoy the rest of St. Stephen's day and TTFN.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

DIY today and moderately successful. Several scrapes, one cut with yer actual blood and various aches and pains. A one hour job took me only two hours to complete and is only slightly wonky. I would post a photo but I think you would laugh. So here is a photo of a competent DIYer...She is also more attractive. I wonder if she is available for some woodwork?

I also applied myself to some studying for the interview, in between parking wars on Facebook and cups of tea. Aside from the above I made some homemade rice pudding. It went down well with Mrs C although she said I had overdone the sugar. Another quiet night in as the moolah is thin on the ground but another bottle of this is waiting for me although this website gives you some other info for the beer lovers amongst you. I had one last night, the only beer I needed (see the strength) and it was slightly thin but delicious. Go out and buy a couple for Christmas Day.
Off for my beer and Genevieve's Sunday Folk.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This close to Christmas and it does not feel at all Xmassy. I had to spend a few hours at work today on my day off to put together my power point presentation for the job interview which is 37 hours before Christmas day. Very odd time to hold interviews and that in itself tells me something about the potential job...from pan to fire comes to mind. I take the view that I will prepare for the whole interview with a 'management' head on as well as my clinical head. If I get the job, an excellent result. If I don't, well...more interview experience and a return to my original plan to leave job hunting until the spring. But all the interview preparation does get in the way of Christmas and I am also working over the holiday.It is hard to get in the festive spirit with that ahead.
Ho Ho Ho Christmas crisis, here's your festive tablets and mince pies.

As for the shopping, we have to buy the trimmings and some goodies for Christmas and Boxing Days. Everything else has been bought or deemed unnecessary.
As for tonight, I think a quiet night in front of the telly and a decent real ale after I have rustled up some comfort food.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have slept for six hours out of the past sixty hours.....I need sleep tonight or I'll find myself wrapped around a tree tomorrow on my way to work. I'm already worrying about this bloody interview. Maybe a beer tonight will help.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

I got a mention on the radio!
I sent a rather bad joke to Genevieve Tudor's Folk show and she gave it a mention.
That and the hot chocolate should cure this blasted manflu.
I'm chuffed to bits...
I am easily amused.

It gives a new interpretation to Mornington Crescent.

Sadly it is the season of wheezing & sneezing and I am full of leurgy. Twelve days now and counting...razor blades in the throat, sore eyes and I can't hear out of my right ear. Wonderful. So I am stuck at home and going stir crazy...

Thank the gods for nightnurse.
Do those mustard footbaths really work?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The new Doctor?
The betting is on Patterson Joseph becoming the new Doctor Who. However, there are other possible candidates...

He has more time since being barred from Europe.

A natural choice...arrogant, travels through time and space at great speed, gets up the nose of pompous types.


She gets my vote!

He'll magic away those nasty daleks....


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Boom Boom!

A visit from one of the denizens of the urban jungle called by for a free lunch over the weekend. A couple of rashers of bacon and some chicken slices swiftly disappeared although the digestives were turned down.

What you can't see are two of the cats watching the proceedings from their front row seats on the wall. Nary a concern about the fox but a keen interest in the food, THEIR food, I was giving away to the interloper. The dog was locked away indoors going berserk because she could see and smell the fox. The cold weather had given her the courage to pop in for a handout and she happily posed for the photo opportunity. It put a smile on my face throughout the day at work. Wonderful!

Apart from that brief excitement I have been busy at work although the referrals fall mainly in the category of inappropriate. Alcohol problems mainly with homelessness and relationship problems. Not a whiff of mental illness. It is like phoning a plumber and asking him to fix your electrics. Yes. We can sort out alcohol problems. We can mediate relationship problems. But alcohol services, AA, Relate, etc... can also do this whilst our true forte is mental health crisis. One example is that of a chap who has a drink problem. Let's call him Bob.
Bob has a drink problem...he drinks two or three bottles of very strong and extremely cheap cider every day. He then phones the police, ambulance, GP or us stating he can't cope and wants to die. Cue service response but Bob is extremely drunk and denies any suicidal ideas. He would like help to stop drinking. He agrees to an assessment the next morning before he starts drinking. However, when we arrive he says he is alright or tells us to stop interfering in his life so we go away. He likes drinking and there is no evidence of a mental illness so no role for us. We inform his GP and the other parties involved. The roller coaster has started because over the next six months we receive twenty plus referrals from a variety of agencies which result in variations of the above theme. He presents as drunk and makes threats to harm himself and / or wants to quit drinking alcohol. Bob is not alone because Amanda, Cyril, Eric, Sarah, Pauline, Paul, Sid, Tom, Geoff, etc... are also doing the same.
Meanwhile, Claude who has problems mixing with people and lives with his elderly mother doesn't get the service he needs because he doesn't bother the police, ambulance, GP, neighbours, etc...This is despite his paranoid beliefs that MI5 are watching him and reading his thoughts. Not a problem but, he refuses to claim benefits and he cannot work, his mother is physically ill and worries about Claude if she has to go into hospital. He is never left on his own but there is no one else to look out for him. We would support him but we aren't able to because we are too busy rushing around to support people who demand help for their alcohol / relationship / housing / financial problems.
Happily for Claude and others with mental health problems we can point those with no mental health problems and one or a combination of the above to other agencies whilst we get on with the remit of the team. Mental health crisis resolution and home treatment. There will be those who cry "Halloa! Alcoholism is a result of depression so it is your job. Get on with it you backslider and trotskyist".
People who have alcohol problems drink for a variety of reasons. Let's look thro' the round window and look at some of them.
1.Addicted to the amber nectar and that craving is all too physical as well as engrained into the very core of that individual's psyche.
2.Depressed - Yet people with depression do not ordinarily crave the substance or become addicted, whether it be alcohol or wotsits. To be depressed does not immediately lead one to alcohol addiction.
3.Psychologically flawed - very probably true but I have yet to meet someone without some psychological quirk of some sort. They do not necessarily become addicted to alcohol and that desperate need to feed the habit.
4.An underlying severe and enduring mental illness - some people unfortunately turn to alcohol to alleviate the awful impact of their illness. Someone with a psychosis may drink to assuage their anxiety and drown out the bizarre ideas or the voices or to manage their paranoia. Medication and support usually allow a full assessment of the true extent of their need for alcohol.
5.Sensitive individuals who have been damaged by the awfulness of society and it's sheer hypocrisy. Alcohol anaesthetises one against the full horrors of the modern world. So why isn't everyone steeped in this cheap anaesthetic?
6. Slid into it as a result of drinking with their mates and the alcohol addiction is a mental illness you cruel heartless cynical bastard CPN you. Bollox! Absence of alcohol = no alcohol problem. Absence of what? = no psychosis.
I have to own up to a personal interest here as well as a professional one. My father is an alcoholic as was one of my uncles. I cannot remember how many alcohol detoxes I have supported over the years, both in hospital and community. The successful ones are successful because the individual accepts it is their problem and takes ownership of it. They attend the alcohol programmes, AA, etc...Sadly I have seen people die as a result of alcoholism, patients, friends and family members. But central to dealing with an alcohol problem is accepting responsibility for their drinking behaviour. Whether you call alcoholism an illness or irresponsible behaviour is many ways immaterial. Drinking 6 litres of cheap cider, or three bottles of wine or a litre of spirits per day will fuck your life up. It becomes the problem of others when your drinking affects those others and often fucks other people up. Family, friends, colleagues, etc... Drink long enough, often enough and to excess and you will possibly develop a mental illness.
As for it only happening to 'wino's'...I have nursed quiet little old ladies, doctors, lawyers, housewives, nurses,etc...with alcohol problems.
My rant took me slightly off track...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Well that was interesting.
What was I hear you ask? Shopping for Christmas lights for the window after the new crap lights from Tesco failed to work. Why would I want to exchange these non-working lights for the same product which also would not work. After trolling through various shops we found the correct* lights which I have now stuck on draped artistically over the window. Mrs C and I made it in and out of the shopping centre before the hordes descended.
We decided, apart from the laptop for No.1, to spend only a small amount on Christmas presents for nearest and dearest. As I am working over Christmas we also agreed to buy only what as necessary for the day itself. A good dinner with the usual trimmings and only a few festive fayres for the occasion. Why people have to stock up for a siege I just don't know.

We're waiting for the
January sales.

Working over Christmas isn't all that bad. We will have our regulars whom we'll see and ensure some people get to the organised Christmas lunches (The Salvation Army organise this). Sadly, some people have no one and we are amongst the people they turn to. There are some scrooges in the department who whinge about this but I say bollox to 'em.
Looking at the turkeys above reminds me of the time I worked on the turkey farm in Israel. I also briefly worked nights artificially inseminating turkeys! Funnily enough it was some time before I ate turkey after that (during my veggie years). Free range is better and not the large sheds many of them are farmed in. Talking of food and beasties I must away and buy in food for our little beasties. We had to prise the cats from their various hiding places this morning and turf them out. No snow but very cold, very wet and blowing a hoolie out there.

* Cheap and cheerful.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

First cold of the season and I am going through tissues like nobody's business. Bleugh is all I will say about it. Every second person I meet appears to have the leurgy. Kleenex must make a fortune from snotty people and horny teenagers.
Despite having manflu I manfully made my way into work where the heating is currently off. One of those great ideas: the boiler needs replacing so let's wait until December. Other marvellous ideas include Kosher pork scratchings and DIY nipple piercing kits for the blind. Coupled with that were the several power cuts because the plug in heaters overloaded the circuit. Bracing does not begin to describe it...
I now have two days off in which I can subject myself to the rigours of Christmas shopping. Several presents are still needed including the difficult one for my mother. Plants are a favourite so I guess I'll get her some of those and deliver them to her abode in the land of the East Saxons just before Christmas. At least that was my plan. I may have to pop down there earlier than planned because I am again taking the plunge. No, not baptism....I have applied for another job. Again in the managerial line and it is quite exciting. I hadn't planned to go for any new jobs until next spring but the email popped up and caught my eye. It's local and is a great opportunity. However, I will prepare myself both as a clinician and a manager "Become one with the suit". The interview is just before Christmas so I have a couple of weeks to prepare. Bone up on national policies and how to apply them locally. What can I offer apart from my scintillating coversation and twinkly smile apart from NHS manager speak? I could always think of myself as a product and how best to sell that product. 'Lardy nurse, been round the block a few times and one careful owner. The usual rattles, shakes and damage for a model of this vintage. MOT'd 'til September 2009. Will chuck in furry dice.Open to reasonable offers'.