If We Were Having Coffee: Guest Post– Nov.02/2014

Terrorism and Hopelessness

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again inside Willow’s home where it is nice and toasty, tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. We’ve moved inside to beat the winter cold in the garden. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Here in Canada the debate has started over whether the “terrorist” killing in Ottawa was in fact the doings of a sick young man or a terrorist. Our government continues to categorize it as a terrorist action while a great many more thoughtful sources have started a dialogue on our mental health care system. In the name of terrorism, our government has begun making laws that increase police powers and allow evidence to be held in secret. Idiots. The last time they tried that, our Supreme Court struck down the laws as unconstitutional. Besides which, how can anyone realistically make a law forever without even taking the time to understand what occurred? This jumping to action without knowledge or understanding is so typically political it is tantamount to voter pandering. Idiots again. A waste of time and energy that could be better spent understanding thesituation. Sigh.

That was my rant for the post ladies and gentlemen – Thank You for your patience. How does your government handle terrorist occurrences? (After the fact.) Do you think they could perhaps do it better? Would you like another cuppa? A sweet? It’s nice to be here in the warmth of Willow’s while looking out at the cold and rain, isn’t it?

Personally I’ve had some ups and downs this week. On the bright side, a new medication has decreased joint pain and allowed me to walk easier, safer and further. On the down side I have developed a condition called “restless legs” in dialysis which actually got so bad Friday night that I had to terminate treatment early and was left feeling like a wrung out dish rag. I have a consultation on Monday, so hopefully the doctors will be able to suggest a treatment for this problem. It actually didn’t occur to me until right now that the two may be connected – Hmmm – I’ll have to check that out. How’s your health this  week – better, worse, no change? Truly good health is a gift that goes uncelebrated until it’s gone. Do you agree with that?

I was sitting outside the hospital on Friday waiting for the second half of a test that required before/after radiological imaging when an older looking gentleman sat down nearby and started a conversation. He was dressed in hospital gowns and flip-flops and seemed like a very cheerful person. There is a psych ward on the fourth floor and it is common that the patients walk around outside, providing they are stable and safe and likely to return to the ward. For this reason conversations sometimes will take surreal directions – it is best to be wary. Anyway, he indicated that he was self-admitted for suicide watch. His story was that he was at home trying to suffocate himself with a plastic bag and found it uncomfortable – the plastic entering his nose and mouth. As a result, he decided to try and invent a more comfortable way to do this and was designing a cardboard insert that prevented the plastic from bothering him while he was suffocating. He was part way through the development of the new technology when he realized just how insane that really was and called the emergency number (911 here) for help. Having told his story he wished me a good day and departed back into the hospital.

During his story the gentleman had mentioned that he had finally received his first pension cheque while in hospital. He was 61 and had recently retired. He had a lot of bills and no money. He indicated how nice it was to have money in his bank account for a change. It was impossible to ignore the correlation between his lack of money and the attempted suicide in his story. He seemed in decent physical health and was cheerful and well spoken. And he had lost his will to live. Any thoughts? Have you ever met someone like this? It was the first time I had had such a conversation and it was thought-provoking for me.

Would you like another cuppa? I think I’ll have a sweet as well. Willow and I are honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/     

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 01:27:53

    Thanks for the opportunity to guest Post Willow. It is very nice here inside your home as we sip our cuppa and chat. The weather grows colder and wetter outside and the physical and emotional warmth here inside is very comforting.


    • willowdot21
      Nov 02, 2014 @ 11:40:59

      Hi Paul sorry for the delay in replying, I am so glad that to all feel warm and comfy in here! You are all very welcome and I look forward to these meetings each week. How strange we both spoke about hospitals this week and the difference between private and state hospitals! I was very sorry to hear that you have not been so good and that the treatment has thrown up an new problem I do hope that it will be sorted soon for your sake.
      I was as saddened as you by the strange tale of the probably, usually sane man ! He would of worked hard all his life only to be brought down by lack of care and money!.. On a lighter note it was almost like a Monty Python sketch. EG . Two men sitting on a bench discussing the pros and cons of making suffocation more comfortable!!
      As for the Terrorism Headline I still think it is because it more sexy that a mental care slip up and whats more they do not need to apologize or amend any practices! But that is just me being me! Well Paul how about a coffee and lets have a bacon sandwich…. don’t tell the others they will all want one !! xxxx


  2. Paul
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 11:57:33

    Yes, it was a surreal conversation with the patient – I did chuckle as soon as he did when he expained his epiphany : that his actions were very paradoxical. He seemed so cheerful and engaging – and he seemed well spoken. Mental illness is a very elusive and difficult thing and it needs more attention.

    A bacon sandwich sounds great – I have some fresh tomatoes that I can bring too. Thanks Willow.


  3. markbialczak
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 14:14:01

    Wow, Paul. It’s all related today. Willow’s Cuppa about her husband’s ability to pick the private hospital in England. Your questions about Canada’s laws about terrorism. Your restless legs and long walks. The self-admitted patient’s lack of funds and first pension check at 61. How much does our government care for us? How much do we want them to? Do they do a good job, fair job or lousy job? In the U.S., my feelings are that I wish dearly the needs of the people who elect them are paramount. Election day here is Tuesday. The merry-go-round in Washington, D.C., and all the state capitals will start up again on Wednesday, and we shall see. Have a good week. I hope you feel better, my friend.


    • willowdot21
      Nov 02, 2014 @ 16:44:19

      Here here get better Paul!!xx


    • Paul
      Nov 02, 2014 @ 16:53:43

      Thanks so much for dropping by Mark! Yes, there are issues around service delivery in a lot of countries. i heard a quote from the Australian Parliament a while back that I thought was on target and true. A member stood up in their Parliament and said :”Politicians are like bananas – they come in straight and green and leave crooked and yellow.” And it is so true – the political parties are forced to do the bidding of big business, even here in Canada. i can tell you a personal story that will curl your hair about that here in Canada.. It invovled a problem that i had with a closing insurance company and and the gov’t. The insurance company won, even though I went to the highest levels of gov’y to complain about the laws and ask for a new bill to be written. The insurance comanies patted the gov’t on the head, said “We’ll take care of that” and never did and the gov’ dropped it. Our insurance companies contribute to both major political parties – wouldn’t want to upset them would we.

      Sorry Mark – my soap box.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and i hope your election goes well this week.


  4. Roy McCarthy
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 14:35:05

    Thoughtful post Paul. On good health I certainly intend to enjoy every day of it that I can until I’m struck down. You get to appreciate this gift the older you get and observe others around you that are sick or disabled. And, like your suicidal gentleman, one occasionally ponders why our health services maintain us so brilliantly into very old age with nothing to live for.


  5. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Nov 02, 2014 @ 15:39:49

    What a sad state of affairs that this poor man tried, didn’t succeed and then had to share his circumstances. I’m glad he didn’t die but it must have felt icky to hear such statements made so matter-of-factly.
    About Ottawa, I feel they jump too fast and not always for the best. I shake my head a lot lately and not with relief.
    Lovely table you’ve set. Simply gorgeous.


  6. tesscol
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 13:08:08

    Paul. I really laughed at your story of the gentleman having trouble committing suicide! Forgive me!I should be more sympathetic!
    I am late for coffee this week……I don’t know how I missed the invitation at the weekend.
    Last week’s highlight for me was a trip to London. I met up with my second son his wife and my 2 granddaughters. We headed for the Tower along with many others. The ‘tube’ was packed and there were huge crowds in the park surrounding the Moat filled with ceramic poppies. Willow told you about her troop and posted photos too.
    I have to go now as I am expected at a Knitting group……..I see Willow told you about my skills in that craft! Not that amazing really.
    Catch you next time


    • willowdot21
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 13:10:20

      Yes we will be expecting you early this Sunday!!


    • Paul
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 20:53:41

      Hi Tesscol! Sounds like you had an awesome trip to London with family and seeing the sights. I’d like to visit someday, but the chances are slim – unless i win the lotto, then i might make a tour to visit you guys. It is possible to tour while on dialysis, the treatments can be done virtually the world over, but have to be planned well in advance and paid for in cash. like i say, with a lotto win it is possible. ha! I’ve been busy today tending to two guest posts i have going currently and when i was checking out Willow’s post of the day, she mentioned that you had commented over here. I’m sorry it took too long to get back to you. I panicked when i first thought i’d missed you for the whole week – Whew! sorry.

      I gotta tell you the gentleman at the hospital was actually laughing at himslef after he told me what he had done – as long as it didn’t work, it was very surreal and funny. he actually said that if you couldn’t laugh at yourself what was the point of life.if it had worked, though, any awards he got for the invention would have had to have ben posthumously. Ha! You sound like you may have been around hospitals some. I know, having spent time there myself that the humor can get quite dark – funny as long as you understand. I think it is a relief valve for the hard times. Ha! i was in dialysis one day when I was new, and there was a woman with dementia who was sitting in her wheel chair waiting fo pick-up. A few minutes later she was gone and the nurses and staff went crazy looking for her. Thankfully .they found her elsewhere in the hospital (it is a huge hospital – a few square miles). I was teasing the nurses afterwards asking if they lost patuents very often then i realized how thoughtless that was, and i apologized.. The nurse just laughed and said they lost paients occassionally both ways. the humour takes some getting used to, for sure.

      Anyway, glad you made it over here today, and i’ll see you next Sunday. 🙂


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