Fighting Illness

It’s been a bad year healthwise at Family neOnbubble.

First, my dad was diagnosed with the almost unpronounceable myasthenia gravis. Then my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Luckily, both were caught early and they’re both responding well to treatment. And this week my cat stopped eating and drinking and started staring into space. A search on the internet terrified me beyond belief into concluding that his kidneys and/or liver had shut down. The vet did nothing to allay my fears initially by claiming there was a lump inside him too. As it turned out, though, he’s got feline diabetes instead. For the rest of his life – assuming he stabilises in the next 24 hours or so – I will be administering insulin injections into my cat twice a day.

I would like to sum up this year as an annus horribilis but apparently that’s already been done. I shall call it "The Year Of Arse" instead as that appears to be quite unique.

IllnessSo, recently, I’ve been thinking about illnesses, diseases, and associated ailments, and, more specifically, how we can fight them in this enlightened modern age of wonders and joy. Suppose you got ill right now! What are some of your recovery options?

The pharmaceutical companies have drugs, drugs, and more drugs and they’re cock-a-hoop about getting them to you to fight any illness you may have. For your everyday, not-very-important, hardly-ever-fatal illness such as the common or garden headache or the uncommon and usually nether regions-bound itchy rash they can provide you with ointments, ungents, pills, and lotions that will cure you of your problem in marginally less time than it would have taken your body to organise its defences and do something about it anyway. What saints! For your more lethal, long-term problems with debilitating side-effects … alas, cures seem to be in short supply, but fear ye not for a lifelong treatment is available at a price that’s only exorbitant if you stop and think about it and you simply don’t have time to do that you fool, you’re going to die!!!

Pros: There are many pretty shapes and colours of pills.
Cons: Pharmaceutical companies make one million percent profit off every sale. In my mind.

Before we had drugs we had leeches and apparently we still have them now. And trepanning tools. Sometimes leeches with trepanning tools. But mostly just leeches. Iron age farmer with tennis elbow? Put a leech on it! Run over by a chariot driven by a Christian-eating lion in an amphitheatre? Take two leeches, twice a day! Building a pyramid but whip marks on your back getting you down? A coat of leeches will sort you out!

Pros: Cheaper than drugs and they double as moustaches in period costume drama emergencies.
Cons: Can be confused with slugs who tend to bore under the skin of sufferers and eat their intestines instead.

Aromatherapy Candles
Aromatherapy candles work from the opposite end of the body to reflexology. Whereas the latter healing method connects the soles of your feet to points in your body in a miraculous display of knowledge of human biology missed by people who actually study the subject, the former illness-fighting system scoffs at the foot-based notion and promotes healing through inhaling the smell of lavender. Take that flesh-eating bacteria!

Pros: In the absence of an aromatherapy candle shop run by a hippy wearing fourteen layers of tie-dyed shawls hidden from view behind two hundred wind chimes and a thousand dreamcatchers, you can – in an emergency – sniff a granny instead. Usually from thirty metres away if my experience is anything to go by.
Cons: Discriminatory treatment cannot help those born with no nose.

Miniaturised Submarines
Why would you trust a chemical, an annelid, some plant extract, or a lump of quartz to cure you of appendicitis when a team of experts in a tiny submarine can enter your bloodstream and attack the offending ailment head on? With lasers! That’s right! You wouldn’t! Films like The Fantastic Voyage and Innerspace have shown that if this technology isn’t available just now then it’s probably only weeks away.

Pros: Submarines may be able to sneak up and destroy any battleships accidentally swallowed as a youngster. Can paracetamol say the same?
Cons: Meg Ryan no longer wants Dennis Quaid inside her, so would you?

If the thought of injecting, swallowing, or rubbing your way to health doesn’t appeal then maybe you could do with the healing power of prayer to fight that illness. Mumble, shout aloud, or use your inner voice! It doesn’t matter because God will hear you and help! Even though He could have done something earlier if He’d really cared. Like not infect you with that syphilis. Or make you invulnerable to strokes.

Pros: There are no side-effects from prayer-based healing unless you count sandles and I do.
Cons: God doesn’t exist which can be a bit of a bugger.

Author: Mark

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  1. I think with age – when you reach this age more like it – comes the fact you have to deal with the fact that everyone you know will be dying soon. My last two years have yielded the following:

    Mother (reads: cunt) being diagnosed with lung cancer leading to 5/8s of her left lung to be removed. The huge cross she bares up her ass was unfortunately inoperable. Status: Survived.

    Step Father suffering major heart failure leading to several operations, stints and bypasses. Status: Survived.

    Grandmother suffering from severe diabetes and heart disease – leading to the amputation of limbs due to not changing her diet to better suit her condition. – eventually suffering a massive heart attack only to be revived by paramedics a full fifteen minutes after passing so the family can come and see what a brain dead, severely convulsing, swollen-brained human looks like. Status: Deceased. Never had a chance.

    Cousin fighting a slow, agonizing fight with terminal brain cancer. A miracle baby from birth her body could no longer contain the inoperable and untreatable condition leading to a slow decline. Status: Deceased.

    Non-biological father suffering from heart disease from 50 years of smoking leading to numerous procedures including stints (2) and reconstruction of his shoulders and hips. Status: Cancer fears him. Nothing can kill this man. Not even me.

    Daemon Dog contracting large cell carcinoma which spread like wild fire throughout his entire body in a matter of days leading to tumors choking off his air supply. Status: Buried in my back yard.

    Lastly, My Dear Uncle Frederico who is in complete physical collapse due to smoking for 50 plus years. He has contracted lung cancer, brain tumors, pneumonia, blood clots in his lungs, currently on a respirator heavily sedated clinging to life. Status: I guess I’ll find that out tonight now won’t I.

    So consider yourself fortunate. Things could be much worse. But then again you are still young aren’t you? As for your cat; just say the word buddy. It’ll be quick, humane and there just might enough left of him to put in your car’s ashtray.


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  2. Well you guys are a happy bunch today aren’t you…

    Sheesh, way to get my mood down.

    I’d better take some anti-depressants now, so I can feel even worse when the Doctor reduces the dosage in a couple of weeks.

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  3. Okay, Malice, you’ve probably got me beat on the misery front but I can still punch in a few parting shots.

    My perfectly healthy uncle came back from a night fishing trip just under 2 years ago, went to bed, then wouldn’t wake up. His body bloated, he was rushed to hospital where they discovered his blood was just poisoned beyond recognition. Died after a week; bit of a shock.

    My cousin (spooky coincidence with you) has had a brain tumour for many years and is confined to a wheelchair. A few months ago the doctors said it had grown again after being under control for years and that it was no longer responding to treatment. Her time’s running out; probably only a matter of weeks/months now.

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  4. I guess I didn’t mean to trump your misery and to be honest I really don’t like to discuss things like this but every now and again you write something that just spins my head off/is a remarkable coincidence. I think the last time you did this was with that little image of the Statue of Liberty from Planet of the Apes done up G Dub style. I think you just might remember my response was less than flattering.

    I’ve spent the last week stuffing oxygen tubes and masks on my Uncle trying to coax him back to health but unfortunately he threw in the towel this Friday night. Death and everything that goes with it never really bothered me at all but I mean come on. Enough is enough already.

    And as far as the cousin thing goes we are pretty much in the same boat. She was born with an operable tumor which was taken care of when she was just a child which didn’t leave her wheelchair bound but retarded in the most literal sense. When the cancer came back it came back with a vengeance and took its sweet time consuming her. I’ll tell you cancer is one black rotten bitch, boy.

    Thanks for letting me vent though. Maybe this will let you in on the reason I have been mostly absent from the Internet these past few years. And I never even got into the divorce and long custody battle with my eldest daughters baby-momma. And at this point I think I won’t. Things are more than a little weird around here for sure. I hope your pussy pulls through even though I still hold you directly responsible for the death my beloved pet. Don’t even try to deny it.

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  5. You know there’ll always be a home to vent here.

    Just paid the first week’s vet bills last night; I’m going to spend today cross-referencing all the items on the bill against the inventory for a biotech company whose data I just happen to have access to just to see how much I’m getting screwed over for. I sincerely doubt it really costs £13 for a glucose test and I’m sure he doesn’t need five of the things every fucking day. In further cat news he appears to be anaemic too (although there are conflicting reports from the pathologist) and the vet has kindly let us know that the leading cause of that is feline leukaemia so it’s all happy, happy, joy, joy around here once more. Hopefully, we’re getting the little bugger home today or tomorrow so I can inflict a massive guilt trip on him for spending all the money I’m earning at work.

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  6. Sorry to hear about you Mom and Dad but glad they’re responding well to treatment. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    As far as the cat goes, think of all the exercise you’ll get chasing the bugger around once he’s a bit better and avoiding you whilst you’re wielding the needle ;P

    And if it makes you feel any better, my friend takes care of cats with feline leukemia specifically and they’re usually fine for ages. Thought hopefully it’s not what your fella has to begin with.

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  7. Oh!! Drug companies can get fucked. I pay (well FINE– the insurance company pays) nearly $650 a month for pills alone for spazzy shite and side effect shite!! One of which costs $7.50 a pill—and if they’re putting *so* much money into research, then why isn’t it bloody working the way it ought?!?! Ah yes. Because it’s all going into their fookin pockets. Assclowns.

    Anyone got some extra leeches??

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  8. Cheers Babs. $650 a month is pretty ouch-inducing but at least you’ve got insurance. My vet’s bill for the first 5 days of tests, treatments, and overnight care came to £947 ($1937 at today’s exchange rate; possibly $2500 tomorrow if the dollar continues its awesome slide into the ocean) and we’ve got no pet insurance. There’s been a few days since then that’ll need adding on and some new tests but hopefully that’s more or less done now except for the running monthly insulin, needles, and disposal costs – should be quite manageable.

    In the "Good News Everyone!" category: results from tests show no feline leukaemia and no FIV (feline HIV). Hail Satan!

    On the negative side, I’ve discovered that I’d be a useless junkie as filling the syringe with insulin without an air bubble and without bending the needle seems to be beyond me. Still, as they say, practice makes me curse a lot.

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  9. well u guys have amazing stories but what is the answer to this question: What is done to try to fight an illness or get rid of it

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