Thursday, 29 January 2015

Week 26 - The Grambler on colonoscopies


Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and will be missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

 

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

 

His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…

 

Dear Mr Grimshaw,

Here’s one for you.  Which English club were the league champions of the inaugural season of the English league and also won the FA Cup in the same year?

Yours sincerely,

Preston Knorr-Thend.

This week I am attempting to make this a proper ‘realtime’ blog, because something is happening that really should be discussed – Mrs G and I are going for colonoscopies.  It is all to do with us being Stewart’s blood relatives.  Could there be a family link?  We were told that only 5% of cancer cases are hereditary, but are being put through this procedure just to check. 

Prior to telling you of my experiences I would just like to tell you that Mrs G had her appointment before mine and was immediately given the all-clear.  Yay!

Now, on with the ‘diary’.

Wednesday is the day of my procedure, but I have to ‘prepare’ myself…

Tuesday early morning

I am only allowed certain foods this morning.  I would normally be tucking into a bowl of creamy porridge with honey and blueberries.  Mmmm… Sorry, I’ve just dribbled down my chin at the thought of decent food.  Why?  Because everything I seem to have in the house that I might eat for breakfast is on the forbidden list.  Toast?  Allowed only if it is white bread.  Don’t have any.  Cereal?  As I said, I eat porridge; Rice Krispies or cornflakes are allowed.  Don’t have any.  What about yogurt?  I like yogurt.  Maybe I could have one of those.  Yay!  Flavoured yogurt is okay.  Not anything red or blackcurrant, though.  Damn, only got strawberry and cherry varieties.  Blast.  Fruit?  No.  Smoothie?  Ditto.

Oh well.  As I write this I am ‘tucking’ into two water biscuits with a bit of cheese. 

Ah, you say, but why didn’t you plan ahead and buy in some ‘suitable’ food.  The answer is, the change to my diet is for one day only.  24 hours.  Why buy in a load of stuff that I wouldn’t want to eat any other time.  The water biscuits were okay.  They were.  Honest.  Aye well, maybe not.

Tuesday midday

I am a bit apprehensive about going.  It is necessary of course.  I suppose you could liken it to going to the dentist when you have toothache; you know you won’t enjoy the experience, but it is worth going through it for the relief it brings.  Although I am not in any pain, the procedure, though unlikely to be a pleasant experience, should (I hope) bring some sort of comfort when I am given the all-clear (fingers crossed and other such superstitious nonsense).

Tuesday 1pm

I am eating my last meal before fasting for 24 hours prior to the procedure.  I am reminded of the expression – ‘the prisoner ate a hearty meal’.  Apparently, in the days of executions, a prisoner could request a special meal (within the capabilities of a prison canteen, no doubt) on the day of his or her execution. 

In France, prisoners were given a tot of rum.  As a condemned person only learned of their impending demise on the day of their execution, it must have been a bit depressing to hear the drinks cabinet getting opened up early in the morning. 

In the US, alcohol is prohibited.  What?  Last day alive and they want to turn the condemned into a tee-totaller?  Miserable bs! 

I digress.  My last meal is not particularly hearty.  Most hearty things are not allowed.  Things that are allowed can be summed up in a word – bland.  White flour products, eggs, cheese and potatoes are allowed, so my meal was a cheese quiche with mashed potato.  Dull, or what?

Tuesday 5pm

Starting to feel a bit peckish now.  Unfortunately, the only things I am now able to peck are weak, watery drinks.  Nothing milky.  A cup of tea doesn’t really reduce my peckishness.  Normally, I am happy to go from lunch until dinnertime and not feel in the slightest bit hungry.  Think I’ll have another cup of tea.

Tuesday 7pm

I have just mixed up the ‘drink’.  You have to mix up two different powders in a litre of water.  Then drink the mixture over a two hour period.  First taste coming up…. Not so bad.  Sherbety.

Tuesday 7.15pm

I have just finished my first glass.  I am already sick of the taste.  Only another four glasses to go.  Apparently, this stuff is supposed to clear out your system.  Nothing happening yet.

Tuesday 7.30pm

Just finished my second glass.  Still nothing happening.

Tuesday 7.45pm

Third glass (Belch!).  Nope.

Tuesday 8.00pm

Fourth (Burrrrp!).  A bit gurgly down there.

Tuesday 8.20pm

Fifth… Excuse me!

Tuesday 9.20pm

Oh god!  That stuff is Cillit Bang for the bowels…  Excuse me again!

Tuesday 9.50pm

Oh dear…oops.  Back in a minute.

Tuesday 10.10pm

Surely there can be no more…wrong.  Back soon…

Tuesday 10.20pm

Hopefully that is the end of it.  I know I made that sound worse than it was.  There is no pain involved.  The drink itself was not unpleasant and you can improve its flavour by adding a bit of fruit cordial.

Wednesday 6am

Had to get up really early.  No, not for that.  Actually managed to sleep without any 'incidents'.  No, I had to get up to make up another litre of sherbet drink.  It didn't seem too bad last night.  Not so nice at 6 in the morning.

Wednesday 6.30 am

Onto second glass. Starting to hear those gurgling noises. Time to prepare myself for a climb up those stairs...

Wednesday 7.00 am

You don't really need to know what is happening right now.  Just talk among yourselves.  Be with you shortly. Don't call me Shortly.

Wednesday 7.30 am

See previous entry.

Wednesday 11.00 am

No I haven't been sat on the bog all that time. I went back to my kip for a while. Well, all that s******* takes it out of you.  Literally.  Admittedly, I had to get out of my kip a couple of times, but not for the same marathon sessions. As I said in my comments from last night, there is no pain involved, just a lot of inconvenience. Talking of inconvenience, I wouldn't recommend going through this unless you have immediate access to a toilet; don't think you can carry on as normal.  For at least 16 hours, you should be positioned such that it will take you no more than 10 seconds to reach the loo.

Wednesday 1.00pm

Now at hospital awaiting my turn.  There is a television in the waiting area. Unfortunately, it is tuned to Loose Women, a 'chat show'. After that the news comes on.  Main topic, the crisis in the NHS. Doesn't do much for your confidence.

Wednesday 1.30pm

I am lying on a bed/table in a small room/theatre. I am being told what is about to be done.  I won’t go into details.  You don’t want to know.  Suffice to say, any modicum of dignity I might have had, is long gone.  Also I can’t get it out of my head about these medical staff.  What a horrible job they have to do.  How dare politicians use such people and their jobs in a war of words to get votes. 

In my view, and it has always been thus, there should be no such thing allowed as private medicine.  All efforts should be made to make the NHS the best health service in the world. Hear hear! Who said that?

Wednesday 2.20 pm

Having slept through most of the procedure, I wake to find I am lying on the same bed/table as I was earlier, but am now in a different room. There are others around me, who have also been through some sort of procedure, drinking tea and eating sandwiches. Presently, I am offered the same. After fasting for so long I could eat anything - even the pork and stuffing sandwich I am given. It's all they had.  Perhaps there had been a run on chicken sandwiches.  No matter. It tasted great.

So that was it.  My first experience of preparing for, and going through, a colonoscopy.  The preparation for it seemed to be the worst part. The actual procedure was at times uncomfortable - it occasionally felt like stomach cramp - but it was certainly not painful. As I said, I went to sleep for most of it.  Even the preparation, in hindsight, didn't seem too bad.  I certainly wouldn't tell anyone, as I had been told, that it was 'absolutely terrible' or that I wouldn't go through it again 'even if they paid me'.  I would actually veer the other way and say, do it. It's a worthwhile procedure and can show up any irregularities.

It is a necessary procedure if you should have any fears whatsoever about bowel issues. If your doctor is unwilling to suggest it, you suggest it.

Mrs G and I were both lucky; we were given the all clear.  Others, Stewart included, are not so lucky.  But as I often say in these articles, don't be fobbed off with the 'you're too young to get bowel cancer' line from your doctor.  You're never too young.

Okay, lecture over, let’s get on with the usual drivel.

Any birthdays of note this weekend?  Anyone famous born on the 31st of January?  Of course; loads.  Franz Schub… (I’ll finish it later), Zane Grey 1872 (Yee hah!), Anna Pavlova 1882 (dog that wanted meringue every time it heard a bell), Eddie Cantor 1892 (vessel for holding drink), Freya Stark 1893 (naked explorer), Tallulah Bankhead 1903 (bank manager), Jersey Joe Walcott 1914 (knitwear manufacturer), John Profumo 1915 (campaigner for allowing smoking), Carol Channing 1921 (something you do with Christmas songs), Norman Mailer 1923 (postman), Jean Simmons 1930 (vocalist with Kiss), Christopher Chataway 1931 (runner who talked too much), Philip Glass 1937 (request to barman), Derek Jarman 1942 (jam manufacturer), Terry Kath 1946 (towel manufacturer), Phil Manzenera 1951 (trans: Hollywood director has made a mistake), John Lydon 1956 (butter salesman), Lloyd Cole 1961 (Welsh miner), Minnie Driver 1970 (rally champion), Patrick Kielty 1971 (Irish skirt) and Justin Timberlake 1981 (lumberjack).

A few possibilities for gramblering a toon in there.  Terry Kath from off of Chicago, Phil Manzanera from off of Roxy Music,  Lloyd Cole with his Commotions.  However, I reckon the honour should go to Mr John Lydon who, as Johnny Rotten, fronted everybody’s favourite punksters, the Sex Pistols.


Oh we're so pretty
Oh so pretty
we're grambling
Oh we're so pretty
Oh so pretty
we're grambling
Oh we're so pretty
Oh so pretty ah
Now… and we don't care

We're pretty
A pretty grambling

We're pretty
A pretty grambling
We're pretty
A pretty grambling
We're pretty
A pretty grambling

And we don't care


The Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant gramblerised for your amusement there.  Anyone who was around at the time of Punk will recall that the Pistols and the Clash were looked on as anti-establishment heroes.  At least the front men were.  Lydon and Joe Strummer were both pretty outspoken and spoke out about the politicians of the day.  Unfortunately, Lydon is no longer the angry young voice of punk and is now perceived as a ‘national treasure’ like Stephen Fry or Victoria Wood.  However, he still makes his opinions known and, unlike those two ‘luvvies’, he still ruffles a few feathers along the way.

His greatest contribution to music?  That song, Pretty Vacant. In it he broke the greatest taboo in the English language and got away with it.  Until very recently, there was one word which was totally forbidden on British airwaves.  But Lydon in his Johnny Rotten guise managed to sing it loud and clear back in 1977 and it escaped censorship from the normally straightlaced Beeb Beeb Ceeb who played the record containing this forbidden word.  It even reached number one pop pickers.  Not arf!   Just listen to the pronunciation.  He definitely doesn’t sing it as va – cant.

Let’s get on to grambling matters.  How did we do last week?  We won.  Yay.  Not really.  Oh.  We didn’t even get our stake money back.  62 pee.  62 rotten pee is all we won.  How did it happen?  Read on…

Wolves vs Charlton – Prediction Home win

Result – Wolves 0 Charlton

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

Wolves, who had won five of their last six league games, had the better of first half, but Charlton's Callum Harriott forced Carl Ikeme into a save.

The visitors looked dangerous on the break, and Ikeme was again on hand to turn away Tony Watt's strike.

Benik Afobe almost headed a late Wolves winner and Nouha Dicko also had an injury-time penalty appeal waved away.

Fleetwood vs Crawley – Prediction Home win

Result – Fleetwood 1 Crawley 0

Yay!

Antoni Sarcevic opened the scoring when his free-kick from the edge of the box squirmed under the Crawley wall and into the net.

Sarkygit almost made it two but his lobbed effort came back off the woodwork.

Gareth Evans should have made the points safe but his effort was saved before Darren Ward saw his corner cleared off the line for the visitors.

Shrewsbury vs Stevenage – Prediction Home win

Result – Shrewsbury 3 Stevenage 2

Yay!

James Collins scored late on to earn a 3-2 win over Stevenage, lifting Shrewsbury to second in League Two.

Four goals came in the first half, the visitors taking the lead through Adam Marriott's shot from inside the box.

Two goals in three minutes - a neat finish from Collins and a Liam Lawrence penalty - put Shrewsbury ahead but Stevenage levelled through Dean Wells' cushioned volley from a corner.

But Town won it when Collins netted his second of the game from a tight angle.

Shrewsbury manager, Micky Mellon, puts it so much better…

"I don't think there is a person in the stadium, maybe just one or two, who wouldn't say we deserved to win. It was brilliant, as we all want to win games of football. But we have achieved nothing yet.

"Stevenage came and gave it a right go. They dug in for their manager but for us to dig in and get what we deserved was fantastic. We had to stand up to them and we kept going.

"We had put so much into the game and thrown everything at them. We had three or four real clear-cut chances that we never took and it would have been a real shame if we hadn't won. But it was obviously thrilling to get a goal right at the end."

Yep.  Top clich├ęs there Micky.  Still utter bollocks though.

 


Shrewsbury’s Four Tops tribute act - Two goal hero James Collins as lead vocalist Levi Stubbs.


Hearts vs Falkirk – Prediction Home win

Result – Hearts 2 Falkirk 3

Boooo!

Genero ‘Whogives’ Zeefuik gave Hearts an early advantage from close range but John ‘Logie’ Baird equalised with a penalty.

Rory ‘Myrna’ Loy's long-range strike gave Falkirk the lead for the first time, only for James Keatings to equalise.

However, Craig Sibbald put the visitors back in front with a curling shot and this time they held their lead.

Clyde vs Arbroath – Prediction Away win

Result – Clyde 1 Arbroath 1

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

Clyde's Ross Fisher headed in the opener from Scott Durie's cross in the first half.

It took until midway through the second period for Arbroath to level, Mark Whatley nodding in substitute Keiran Stewart's cross.

Paul McManus and Robert Linn both missed the target in the latter stages for Arbroath.

 

Hey ho, on with the show.  What games can The Grambler randomly select from this week?  An almost full card this week – 53 games take place on Saturday the 31st of January at 3pm.  Do your stuff, Grambler…


Game – Result – Odds

Ipswich vs Wigan – Prediction Home win – 3/4

Nottingham Forest vs Millwall – Prediction Home win – 8/11

Crawley vs Preston Knorr-Thend – Prediction Away win – 8/13

Crewe vs MK Dons – Prediction Away win – 8/13

Wycombe vs Portsmouth – Prediction home win – 5/6


What do you reckon?  Worth a wee bet?  Well, The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund will be donating…

£8.72

…to the Bobby Moore Fund if our bet (10x20 pee doubles plus 1x20 pee accumulator) pays out.

And that concludes grambling matters for this week.  There is just the small matter of the teaser for this week and answer to last week’s teaser to deal with.

Last week I asked you what English player played at different clubs for each of his first four national call ups (calls up?).  The answer is Scott Parker who played at Charlton (cap number 1), Chelsea (number 2), Newcastle (number 3) and West Ham (number 4).

This week’s teaser goes back a few years.  Which two men faced each other in FA Cup finals both as players and as managers?

There you go.  Have fun in the pub/gym/canteen trying to find the answer to that one.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther a view of a loo suitably stocked for the preparations required prior to a colonoscopy…



 

Happy grambling.

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