Monday, 27 July 2015

You could do with loosing some weight Ms Colour!

It was time to sign up with yet another new doctors surgery. Carwen opened the aluminium frosted door and made her way  over to the reception desk. "I have an appointment with the nurse" I asked. "Right" said what appeared to be a prepubesent member of staff "take a seat".

Twenty minutes later having been summoned to an overly bright practically empty room, Carwen sat staring at the blue lino and watched it glisten as she answered the routine barrage of questions.

Where do you live?
What medication are you on?
How old are you?
Is there a history of diabetes in your family? 
Are you allergic to anything?
When was your last tetanus?
Do you smoke? etc, etc

Then it came the moment she had really been dreading! "Ms Colour lets pop you on the scales". Having done the walk of shame several times over the past years, Carwen got up (silently pondering on whether to bother taking her shoes off or not). It wasn't a case of the outcome of the weight that worried her it was whether her feet might smell or leave a damp residue on top of the machine.  Her mind then flipped a little turn as she wondered if others had left their damp residue of skins cells on the rubbery surface and indeed how many?   Looking up briefly to at the nurse Carwen considered how the question "when was the last time these scales were cleaned and was a cheap W5 cleaning brand or a 99.9% antibacterial used?" would be received; she decided against making an issue.

Stepping on the plate as the digital dial whizzed upwards and ever upwards Carwen stared ahead in ambivalence. She knew exactly how much she weighed. Her brain triggered by the experience and she was zapped back to when she used to weigh herself four five six times a day. The days where going to the toilet or drinking out of and unknown teacup would require a 'check'. Indeed as she thought of the notebook after notebook she had kept over the years she probably had enough weights to plot a fairly impressive line graph on excel.

"Don't worry Ms Colour, worst is over now" smiled the nurse, "we  do need to just find out where you are on the BMI chart though so lets 'pop' you against the wall and get a height". Again silently Carwen moved towards the giraffe badly painted on the far wall, noting with irritation that it had been painted slightly lop sided. "shoes of please Ms Colour, there's quite a heel on those (pause) boots".

Sighing internally Carwen decided that the floor probably had a better chance of being clean than the scales and removed her shoes. She fixed her eye on the furthest wall so as to be most compliant in removing the nurse from personal space as soon as possible.

Height taken and back to sitting at the desk. "Right" said the nurse "you are..." she groaned and let out a breath whilst leaning over the wall chart to the right of her desk. "You are.... (yet more groans as her finger kept moving on deeper and deeper into the chart) "You are... right um well Ms Colour I'm afraid your right on the edge of overweight to obese".

Carwen smiled graciously, "yes". She thought again how over the years she had been on a roller coaster ride of BMI's . Times when she used to have to put a towel in the bottom of the bath so she could sit without hurting her coxic. When sleeping at night required a soft mattress and leaning on any type of wall or hard surface could only be momentary because it would make your bones ache.

"Would you say you had a lot of fats and sugar in your diet Ms Colour?" asked the nurse.

Carwen thought about this question. She thought about all the binges she had once rampaged through all the things she had consumed and then thrown up. She thought about how many rules she had impressed upon herself over the years:

No sugar
No Fat
No complex carbohydrate
Only green vegetables aloud
No artificial sweeteners
No sweetened juices
Only eat nuts 
Only eat salads
Never eat bread
Flour is of the devil it went on and on.

She thought now how she was at present living without any of those rules and how hard she had worked to break each fear down. Grinning and thinking of the doughnut she had shared with her children only last week (unthinkable a year ago) Carwen replied triumphantly " Yes I do have some sugars and fats in my diet". "ok well we will have to keep an eye on those won't we" said the nurse encouragingly,  "you have no idea of how much I will" thought Carwen.

"And would you say you drank as much water Ms Colour currently as the government recommends we should be drinking, eight large glasses a day". "Mmmmmmm" thought Carwen. She thought of how she used to go to Tesco once a week and fill a shopping trolley with 28 bottles of water making sure she drank four litres a day when in loosing weight mode and allowing herself to only have to drink 2litres on a maintenance  day as a treat to herself. She remembered days when the water drinking had been pushed to 5/6 litres and how that had ended up with her face and right arm going numb. Those days where it literally felt as if her body had internally drowned itself. "I drink the right amount of water now" she replied.

"Right I think Ms Colour that with the right amount of exercise and a healthy diet we should be aiming to get a couple of stone of you, If you can manage that then your risk of heart disease (amongst other things) will be greatly reduced."  Leaning back on her chair as if pleased with her synopsis the nurse gently brought the subject to a close by adding "is that something you feel you could achieve Ms Colour and do you have any questions?"

Carwen glanced at the wonky giraffe and tried to stop herself judging the exact angle it would require to put it right. Turning back towards the nurse her thoughts listed themselves into order. She knew she had come to her current weight because of an undiognosis under-active thyroid, all the yo yo dieting, plus a couple of pregnancies and after which she had refused to fall into old bad habits; she knew if she put her mind to it she could loose weight but that would mean letting all those rules back into her life. It was more important now to her that her children had a stable mum setting good examples. Over the last year she knew through the constant daily monitoring that she had not gained or lost any weight for almost six months. That for the first time since she could remember she was not on the treadmill of loosing or gaining. Carwen contemplated how although closer to possible heart disease, her brain stomach and intestines could now tolerate potatoes, starch and chocolate (wheat was still a demon).

Watching as the nurse tapped away on her computer Carwen congratulated herself on no longer using several chemists on a well thought out pattern so as to not be visited to often securing a constant supply of sypositries and laxatives, and replied "No I don't have any questions".

"Ok right then Ms Colour goodbye!". 

"Mmmmmmm" thought Carwen "goodbye". 


Friday, 24 July 2015

Air Zimbabwe advert.

I remember when this advert came out. It was the first air Zimbabwe campaign. We had just got a TV. Whenever the advert came on I would cry because I knew it was true. I knew that if you took all the awfulness and all the pain out of Africa, what was left was a beautiful incredible place. Forgive me this 80's indulgence.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Sticking out

I once watched a series of you tube videos looking at how different communities embrace harsh experiences. For example if a whole set of people have experienced an earthquake then they journey together in the path to processing that experience and coming to terms with it. Everyone in the same boat wobbling along together, everyone having and giving support in the most basic form by just knowing what the other has experienced the same experience.

Similarly we at the moment in the UK have just been through the last few years of our banking system collapsing. Everyone has an opinion on it and has or knows someone that has been affected by the capital fear. Its a journey we as a country have travelled together and are still travelling together.

We have friends that work in the village in Romania (near the old orphanage which made us shudder on early 90s news headlines) and although divided in its opinions there is an understanding for those who grew up in the orphanage, there is a massive amount of unsaid communication as to what and why those individuals are the way they are.