Me and IT by Trevor Plumbly

For BH a dear friend and TH a brother outside law From top to bottom It’s not been the best year healthwise: back surgery in December, a Giardia infection in March, followed by an ear infection in July and now ‘IT’ in August. Cancer, I’ve discovered, is a cunning bugger; it doesn’t announce its presence, it just sneaks in to any body part willing to house it. With me it’s the colon. Like most, I’ve never paid that much attention to that particular part of my body; it’s worked as a waste… Read More

Toupee or not toupee by Trevor Plumbly

Taking a dim view I never took much notice of blind people. They were there, of course, but short of a flush of sympathy and a few guilt dollars, there wasn’t much else I could offer. Things became a lot clearer (excuse the pun) when my own sight failed. In some respects I’m lucky: whilst my particular problem is inoperable, it is taking time to inflict total blindness and, as a result, I’ve been able to adjust on a gradual basis. But yearly visits for specialist assessment always show a little more… Read More

New year resolution by Angela Caldin

I understand that the people who make new year resolutions generally make them about losing weight, adopting a more healthy lifestyle, cutting down on alcohol, taking more exercise or a combination of all four of these. Like many others, I resolved on 1 January to lose some weight by cutting down on fattening food such as biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries, at the same time enjoying low calorie healthy salads, lean meat and vegetables. In my mind’s eye, I saw a slimmer me, glowing with health, emerging by about the end of… Read More

Big boys don’t cry by Trevor Plumbly

It was the season It wasn’t an easy year for the Berbals, but we’re still hanging together. Ange had the pressure of giving up the family pile, all manner of family health worries and of course wrestling with the vagaries and intrigue of the NZ real estate market. Even Ems, usually breezy, chock full of job pressures, kids and carrying her habitual load of others’ problems seems a bit frayed round the edges. For me, it’s been a strange year, beginning with the discovery that my sight loss is on a bit… Read More

Never mind the pain, feel the paperwork by Trevor Plumbly

In the system Getting there was tough, but finally I was IN! Mind blowing nerve pain was now a matter for learned diagnosis rather than a fistful of Panadol. The cognoscenti were confident that the steroid jab was the way to go; sadly it wasn’t and after two stabs at it, my no-nonsense specialist consulted a surgeon and whoopee I was ‘booked’ for surgery! We counted the days, me anticipating a life not restricted to bed, chair and a blitz of medication and Pam perhaps hoping for the return of a partner… Read More