21 Sep 2013

And Then A Bit Of Jabbering….

Coincidently with going down with flu, I received an invitation from the Doctor to attend a 'walk-in' for a flu jab. Spookily, we also got an invitation from a chimney sweep to check our flue. The Doctors invitation I will politely decline by not walking in. My little nest of vipers on the other hand, will accept this year mainly, I'm sure, because it's something for free. 

Why will I decline? No particular reason other than, rightly or wrongly, I tend to let nature take its course. Unless. Unless my back kicks in, or is that out? However, in the future, having discovered the minor miracle of a chiropractor, muscle relaxants may be taking a backseat. 

I'm also fortunate in not having had to visit a doctor many times through my time. In fact the last time was back in 2008 and that was only for a work medical. Only? Damned if I wasn't declared dead during that memorable visit!! 

As an addendum to that post, shortly after my near death experience a very good friend of mine, for the sake of anonymity let's call him Big Q the Mud Man, who was just a tad older than I, and, unless either of us has been caught up in some sort of space-time continuum thingy, is still a tad older than me, was doing the same stress test and that was the last thing he remembered upon waking up in intensive care. Yes, all ended well for Big Q as well. How ya doin' old friend?

Okay, back to jabs and needles. Haven't had many, even during school days the Polio jobby was drops on a sugar-lump, remember? Possibly still is. 

Then I went to sea. Back then, upon arrival at some ports, mainly round Africa, the very first thing to happen was all hands were summoned to the mess-room for a jab. Now I  have no recollection what these jabs were for – to protect us from them or them from us? Looking back it was probably just an official money making scam. And the Doctor? Also on reflection, most likely the one local guy with a white, okay, off white shirt and black pants.

What this little puppy couldn't understand, first time I was involved, was the rush by the crew in an attempt to be first to be jabbed. Some sort of ruffy-tuffy thing?  Me? Hang back right at the back to put off the inevitable as long as possible as any sane kid would do.    

Big mistake. Why? Well, remember this is back a whole way before even a long time before that time; almost to the beginning of recorded time. A time, to miss-quote Douglas Adams, when the stakes were high, men were real men, ships were real ships and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.  

So, what's to do with the big mistake? You got it? Average crew of forty-five or so for a jab. Number of needles to be used? One. After that needle, and how old was it already? got pushed into a bunch of thick skinned, muscle bound, hairy sailors arms, and it came to me at the back, it was like being injected with an extremely blunt HB pencil.
"Whoa! Gonna hav'ta hammer this blunt sucker home!" 

Hygiene? Oh, come on, of course there was hygiene. That lady with a limp…. what? Oh – lamp - took care of that, right? The needle was wiped between jabs with a gauze pad dampened with a little meths. Pardon? No, just the one piece of gauze for whole jab job. 

Never saw a meths bottle either but this could be because the Bosun always seemed to be first in line and he was known to partake in a drop of Brasso filtered through a sock on occasion, come hard times, so a small bottle of meths would be too great a temptation not to pocket.

Yes, there's always an up side. The fact I survived is pretty high up on that list, also there was no need for one of those new fangled, sadly named Sharps Disposal Containers.

The irony is that so many of us old folk survived so much back in the day without assistance only to nearly get killed by modern day health check assistance programs.

Quote;  Jay Leno.

“Nineteen percent of doctors say that they'd be able to give their patients a lethal injection. But they also went on to say that the patient would have to be really, really behind on payments.”

            Ambrose Bierce.

“ENTERTAINMENT, n. Any kind of amusement whose inroads stop short of death by injection.”

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