I was in two minds about today’s torture session at the gym.
I call it the gym simply because it is full of stationary yokes that you pedal with your feet or your arms, or row, or run on, or simply devices to make you ache all over afterwards. If those fucking machines actually moved, I’d be half way to Galway by now.
Anyways I got as far as looking up the hospital’s number and actually had the phone in my hand when I decided to fuckit and go in after all. I ain’t no quitter.
Numbers were back up today. We were five in number but one came with a note from his mammy excusing him because he had a torn tendon or ligament or something. He was sent home with a big grin on his face. Bastard!
After the session I realised it was pissing rain. At first I thought it was just sweat that was pouring off me, but it was in fact raining.
I haven’t really driven the car in rain before. I had used the wipers before [naturally the switch works in the opposite direction to the one on the old Focus] but this was serious downpour stuff. This was compounded by the fact that I was still sweating and radiating heat like a two bar electric fire. Of course the car steamed up and I couldn’t see out properly. At this stage I was on the motorway so I couldn’t really examine how to operate the windscreen demister. It’s complicated in the new car as it’s all mixed up with air conditioning and other weird stuff, and all the controls are near the floor. I ended up driving home with the heat full on which of course just made me radiate even more heat and sweat all the more. The windscreen stubbornly remained opaque so I steered from memory.
I also haven’t discovered how to activate the rear window demister.
I think it’s getting close to the time to Read The Fucking Manual?
I am a bit surprised at this, as I had never even entered a gym before and have a distaste for any exercise with is non-productive. A brisk walk to the pub is fine. Repeatedly raising a weight [how heavy is a pint of Guinness?] is grand. But cycling frantically without even moving an inch seems pointless.
Last Monday, when I started, there were eight of us. On Wednesday there were five. Yesterday there were three. This course seems to have an incredibly high mortality rate? But then when you take the victim of a coronary and force him into an exercise that raises his pulse rate into the high hundreds it isn’t too surprising. I wonder if there is some kind of prize for the last man standing. A job as an apprentice with Alan Sugar?
On another note, I have noticed some distinct side effects from my “episode”.
I think I mentioned before about the bleeding? One scratch and the blood just pumps out like water. That can be quite messy, especially after a session in the garden.
Then there is the bruising. Huge multicolour bruises appear without any apparent cause. I caught my shoulder on a door during a moment of absent-mindedness and the whole upper arm now looks like The Aurora Borealis. I have little bruises on my hands and legs too and no memory of the knocks that caused them.
The main one though is the cold. Herself is a fierce one for feeling the cold. She would have the central heating on ten months a year. I on the other hand had an almost total immunity to temperature and would grudgingly use the heating for two months a year. That has changed. The first sign was my fingers turning blue and numb. When I was helping Herself through some manoeuvre she would scream that my hands were like ice. I had to take her word for it as I couldn’t feel them.
Now I have to wear sweaters all the time and will soon have to switch to my Winter gear. Our oil bill will probably go through the roof, with the only consolation being that I am helping to warm the planet.
Our oil bill though will probably give me a heart attack.
Let’s assume for one crazy moment that mankind is somehow more powerful that the solar system and that by some strange twist we are causing the climate to change for the first time in a few billion years. What are we supposed to do? All the shrill news broadcasts told us of our impending doom, but to what end?
Am I supposed to believe that leaving the car at home and taking the bus is going to save the planet? Am I to prevent mass extinction by adding some extra insulation to my attic? Am I supposed to panic and turn myself “carbon neutral” [whatever that is] to save mankind? No matter what I do, it will have zero impact on the planet.
But suppose everyone in Ireland goes insane and plunges us back into the Dark Ages? Again, an infinitesimal effect.
Let’s go completely insane and say that all of Europe and the Americas takes the plunge back to the days of mud huts and bows and arrows? What about India? What about China? Suppose they don’t play ball? How do we stop them belching out all these toxic gasses? We cannot force them if they don’t wish to play ball. I suppose we could nuke them, whereupon they would retaliate and the world would end in a nuclear apocalypse? We would still all die but at least it wouldn’t be from Warble Gloaming.
So what is the point in all the Doomsday Scenarios pumped out by the UN and the IPCC?
The only result so far has been to increase all our taxes and to give that Greta Thunderbird kid nightmares.
It started badly as I had to set my alarm for the unearthly hour of half nine to give myself time to wake up, have a mug of tea, have a pipe-full, drive up to Dublin, find a parking place [and a working parking meter] and find the right prefab. I got there on the stroke of eleven.
We had two lectures this morning. The first was How to Cope [my paraphrasing] which seemed a bit redundant as I have been coping for over a month now. The second was all about what to do if someone is having a heart attack. Again this seemed a bit odd, unless I was going to somehow carry out the procedure on myself?
Then into the Torture Chamber.
There were three nurses today. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that they did their work experience in Abu Graib, or Guantanamo. They didn’t exactly try waterboarding on us but I could see they were itching to try it out, for old time’s sake. Instead they did something to all the machines which made them a bugger to operate. Also they increased the time we were on the machines which didn’t help.
Anyways, I survived. Just about.
They are promising that things will be tougher on Friday.
I had my first session today with the mob in the local [i.e. not the other side of the city] hospital.
It started off badly as I arrived on time but had a problem finding somewhere to park. I eventually found a spot and went to pay for it. In the past I have seen their clampers in action so I wasn’t taking any chances. Anyhows I discovered their Pay And Display machine wasn’t working as it just regurgitated any coin I put in. So I had to waste more time finding a machine that worked.
Then I had to try to find the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. Fuck me but that was a pain in the arse. I eventually found it behind a prefab which was hidden by another prefab which was hidden behind a wing of the hospital. Naturally by this time I was late. I found the room which I realised was the right place as there were two physiotherapists and seven blokes around my age looking somewhat bemused.
Anyhows, they welcomed me and wired me up. Fortunately this time I was connected to a portable machine which was strapped to my chest. They took my blood pressure and we were off.
First we had a sort of Line Dancing thing, prancing forwards and backwards and then sideways. The hardest part was synchronising my steps so I didn’t wallop into the blokes either side of me.
Then we hit the machinery. I was awarded first go on the bicycle thingy where I pedalled for a couple of miles. Just when I was getting into my stride I was switched to one of those conveyor belt yokes where i started to run. They took me off that straight away as for some reason they reckoned I was going to do myself [or the machine] some damage.
The rest of the session I was stuck on various machines where I rowed, boxed, pedalled with my arms, hopped on and off a box and generally tortured every part of me.
It did occur to me that everyone else had had a week of this and presumably they were all moving up a few levels. So I was started at a more advanced level which was mean of them.
At the end of the session I was taken aside to answer a few questions as a newcomer. Of course they asked if I smoked. The Antis spend their lives lying so it was only fair that I lied back? Fuck them.
I’m back again next Wednesday but have to go in early for a lecture on health.