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Christopher Fowler
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Observatory
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I used to be quite good friends with Clive Barker. The next time I see him, remind me to kick his teeth down his throat. Clive knew quite a bit about pain. He wrote about it in the most visceral, extraordinary way, as if no-one had ever written about it before, as a living thing, something so solid-edged and real that you would come to savour it and even learn to respect and love it, greeting it…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Wellness is a right, not a privilege. This is the last post covering my fairly unusual journey of the last ten weeks. I've reached the so-called 3 day pain peak of my cancer in a time of pandemic (uncomfortable and exhausting but not without moments of hilarity). After the weekend I'll emerge having learned a few things along the way; Health workers, carers and people in essential services, I…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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So there was that. Yuk. Do me a favour, don't get any kind of cancer, especially this one, it's really horrible. I'm here, though, now managing the healing process. I just had my first FEB (Full English Breakfast) in three months (right, minus sausage). I've broken the law every day since Lockdown began on March 23rd because you can't shield at home and travel to hospitals at the same time. Now…
28 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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When you go to hospital you fantasise that it will look like this. A cross between '2001' and 'Gattacca'. This was the view in my hospital at 9:00am today. A cross between an Alan Bennett play and Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road'. It has no external windows (because of radiation). The suites have the unlikely names of Cedar and Sycamore. To differentiate them, both have pictures of a cherry tree. The…
26 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Two days ago text messages suddenly poured in from privately-partnered medical companies who are ambulance-chasing unnecessary services. I started to get an inkling of just how far the government was selling the NHS down the river before the virus kicked in. These have been followed by a sudden flurry of government letters warning me about things that happened months ago, as if someone had poked a…
37 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Doctors and nurses have no time to mess about; you listen carefully, you obey and if complications ensue it's probably because you haven't followed their instructions properly. I found myself in this situation after discovering I had been given 10 ampoules of salt water and some rubber grommets I didn't know what to do with. The problem is that 'there is no umbrella'. There's usually a 'care…
25 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Today I'm in and out of hospital so I wasn't going to post, but nosing through the staggeringly long sidebar of past entries I've collected on this site I thought it would be fun to post a paragraph from the first few that I opened in a kind of bran tub of snippets. If you enjoy them I'll post a few more odd juxtapositions. Dipping my hand into the sawdust, this is what I pull out (and inevitable…
29 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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As the ultimate nerdy child who could end up in A&E after tripping off a kerb with a book in one hand, I sensed I would enjoy a lifetime peppered with doctors' visits. The annual vaccines were a staple, of course; polio, dypyheria and others that left giant permanent scorch patterns on the upper arm. There was a permanent awareness of tuberculosis, whooping cough, chicken pox, measles and mumps…
12 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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The UK government's hilarious mail-out warning the nation's at-risk population to shield - ie. lock themselves in an oubliette and throw away the key, is doubtless falling on deaf ears. It's the latest 'most intriguing paradox' worthy of WS Gilbert; you're at risk if you have an underlying condition. If the condition requires you to attend hospital every day you cannot shield. You are vulnerable…
21 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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See Someone FFS! The purpose of coming out about cancer was to dispel some of the fears people might have about getting a diagnosis at this time. Everyone's experience is different just as symptoms and treatments are different, but the crucial thing is to stop worrying about a nebulous 'thing' and get diagnosed as fast as possible. If you are not in the system no-one will be able to help you…
36 comments

Years