Planned Obsolescence

You’re sick, you’re old, you’re vulnerable

We’re questioning your worth

Your contribution’s negligible

And has been since your birth

 

You’re young, useless, culpable

Your prospects nullified

We’ve weighed you up, unapprovable

Reduced spending’s justified

 

You’re unemployed, uncoachable

You’re lazy, mental, broke

We dole it out, you spend it all

On drink and fags and dope

 

We care, of course, we’re honourable

Our policies humane

All of them enforceable

Lessons sanctioned by champagne

 

We’re wealthy, placed and personable

You’re excess baggage, weight

We’re necessary, you are not

A drain on social state

 

We’ve worked it out, forecastable

We only need enough

To function, you’re expendable

The breaks, we know, are tough

 

The rabble are forfeitable

Population needs decreased

We’ve cast our charts, all graphable

You’re due to be deceased

 

We spout, believe you’re gullible

We coat facts with our gloss

Your presence here untenable

Quite frankly, you’re no loss

 

Don’t think that we are horrible

We’re really not, you know

We have to be responsible

And you have got to go

 

We’ve pruned the tree, it’s laughable

You used to own the lot

But things change hands, all leachable

Either got it or you’ve not

 

We’re afraid it’s unpreventable

We just can’t go on this way

You may say that life’s lamentable

But you don’t really have a say

 

So that’s it folks, regrettable

If you’re chosen, hop on board

It’s been, you know, all calculable

Order will be, soon, restored

Arguably the greatest institution of Britain is its National Health Service (NHS). How long before it joins this list? (See UK) What were once publicly owned, privatised.  An ongoing policy of dismantling. Neglect, claim insupportable, sell for a song, profit the few, failure to reinvest. Charge or divest. To the detriment of the infrastructure. Blame the populace. Social engineering a la government. This will be the ‘sharing society’ then?

Trust Held

I almost lost my seventeen year old daughter at the weekend. I let her go to a music festival, trusting in her judgement and in others. Part of that trust was misplaced. She made a huge error of judgement, did something incredibly stupid and ended up in intensive care on a ventilator. No drugs were involved. Except alcohol is very much a drug.

Behaving irresponsibly with it is something probably many of us have done. I know I have. We experiment, we find our limits.

I let a girl – a really good and sensible girl – a really inexperienced girl – go off for a long weekend, out of my reach, out of my jurisdiction, out of my hands.

She failed her own test. Tested her own limits. Stopped breathing.

Her friends, others there – young people – young people who so often get a bad rap – seventeen and eighteen year olds – saved her life with their quick actions. They, the medics there, the staff in the hospital she was taken to – all of them – in the hands of god – returned my girl to me.

She’s fine now, home. She’s shaken, she’s weepy, she’s in some disbelief.

Chris Nelson put life in context for me today. My trust is very much shaken. But also, weirdly, very much reinforced in others.

My daughter, my whole family, owe a huge debt of gratitude to every single hand that reached out and put love and care into action. I can’t ever begin to repay them. I can hardly bear to think of the consequences had they not. But I can’t stop thinking of them.

At least one person lost their life at that festival. How many more ended up in hospital I don’t know. From speaking to the nursing staff and others there I know that two hospitals admitted people – both young and old – with various injuries and complications arising from drugs, weather, conditions at the site, violence.

Eighty thousand people with access to almost unlimited freedoms gives license to act stupidly, irresponsibly, dangerously.

One mother, allowing her seventeen year old to participate in what I never felt quite right about, going against my own judgement, facilitated what occurred.

I’ve made some dumb decisions in my life – like mother like daughter? I’ve been incredibly lucky that none of those decisions have resulted in near death. This was not one of them.

How do I ever trust myself again to…. just how do I ever trust myself again?

One of the reasons I think I have always trusted, despite it sometimes being misplaced, is the belief in inherent goodness in people. Yes, sometimes, I’ll be wrong. But a lot of times, most of times, I won’t.

Rachel fucked up big time. She knows that. She’s learned something it can take a lifetime to learn – that life is precious and we can’t afford to play roulette with it.

I’ve learned that my faith in people is not misplaced. That there will always be people who rise to occasions, go above and beyond, because they’re good people. There are far more of those about I believe than the, admittedly, many who don’t.

I hope Chris won’t mind me quoting part of his poem here, the first post I read today, something I needed badly to hear, the post that prompted this post of mine. I didn’t want to share my stupidity, my daughter’s, our pain, our naivete, but maybe sharing it will help us and others. Chris’s words certainly helped me.

‘With head high

Stepping out into day’s silent arms

Trusting that the wire will hold…

…As you raise your head once more

And look towards the skies.’

Life is trust. To live is to trust. We hope, we pray, we fail, we fall, we rise. We go on. Trusting, because what else can we do?

My trust, overall, was not misplaced.

My belief in others, in love and goodness, in the hand of god in my life was, in fact, reinforced. Mercifully and with thankfulness that will last my lifetime.

I asked my daughter’s permission before posting this because it is not my wish to humiliate her or to cause her more pain. But, what happened at the weekend, how many people were involved in saving my girl, how much I appreciate the NHS, how grateful we all are for the final result and the care shown, is a testament to love and trust in action. My thanks to Rachel for allowing this. Our whole family’s eternal thanks to each and every one. My trust is held.

No Names, No Pack Drill.

Maybe I shouldn’t be posting this. I don’t want to get my eldest into hot water. But she can’t go public. So I am. I’ve run it by her and she says if I feel like going for it ‘there’s nothing I can do to stop you’.

My gorgeous eldest 24 year old daughter spent New Year’s Eve working night shift in a  hospital. She’s a nurse. And a bloody excellent one.

I haven’t seen her over the last couple of days but I’ve spoken to her on the phone.

Her back is in agony and she has a trapped nerve in her arm. Why? Well, in their wisdom, the powers-that-be at the hospital decided to let her ward operate two nurses down on Hogmanay and told them, ‘you’ll manage’.

Now, if I were a relative of patients on the ward, I would not be happy to think that the ward was trying to function while being understaffed. Makes sense that something will go to the wall, if this is the case.

As the mother of a nurse, the mother of my daughter, the very idea that management thought it was fine to leave them in this ridiculous position leaves me livid. How dare they? She has her whole life and career ahead of her. She has yet to have children. She does not need to go through life with back troubles. Management has a duty of care to both patients and staff and they have clearly abrogated any sense of responsibility by making no attempt to ensure adequate staff coverage. Not even seeking bank staff to supplement.

The mighty or not so mighty pound has spoken again.

Thankfully, my daughter is no one’s sap.

Money or neglect? Umm, let’s weigh that one up. Or is there really any need to?

Hippocratic Oath

One of the blogs I’ve been on in the last week or so belongs to a brave guy from the US who is documenting his experience in dealing with brain cancer. It’s not a sob story and it’s not a pleasant one.

As I was reading his trials and tribulations in dealing with health insurance and government bureaucracy I was saddened to think that he had to even deal with financial problems given what he is suffering.

http://miketerrill.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/need-help-dont-ask-the-government/

I was blessing the existence of the NHS and the fact that in the UK we have no need for medical insurance because the finance necessary to cover treatment for everyone is garnered at source from all earnings.

This, by no means, suggests that the system is perfect. My eldest daughter is a nurse in a busy city hospital and financial strictures cause problems with staffing and beds and waiting times.

Many government-run bodies – health, education, social welfare and tax – seem to allocate a disproportionate amount of money, not to mention time, on aspects of fiscal engineering designed to save money while they only succeed in creating paperwork and motivational bonuses in the wrong quarters.

It does seem, at times that, whether the system is in the USA or the UK, one of the main aims is to thwart those working at the coalface from doing their jobs effectively. All to save a few groats.

My eldest son just returned from Cancun where he had to receive stitches to a hand injury. (Don’t ask.)

The first question he was asked by the doctor at the hospital was, ‘Do you have health insurance?’

Thankfully, he did, although he has to go through a lengthy procedure to claim back what he had to pay upfront.

Fair enough.

I don’t, however, relish being that doctor who (even while maintaining his Hippocratic Oath) has to ask if you can afford treatment before he will administer it.

At the moment, this does not happen in the UK although there is talk of such a thing in order to minimise perceived and actual abuse of the NHS. If you don’t pay in, why should you take out?

The arguments are long and varied and will continue, no doubt.

However, if Mike, from the Blog above, were living in the UK his worries about one aspect of his care would, I think, be fewer.