Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Stressmobile: Although it is strapped together with platinum wire, it takes the sternum a good few weeks to fuse back together after open heart surgery. Difficult to imagine, perhaps, but it's difficult / near on impossible to open a packet of crisps at that stage, and they recommend lifting no more than half a kettle full of water; and you can't drive.
All of these simple everyday things we do without thinking, and more, put pressure on the rib cage, and the in turn, the sternum, so after a few weeks of recuperation at home; you're invited to a rehab course. These consist of eight weekly 2 hour sessions doing gentle exercise just to aid mobility and get the muscles working again.
Of course, when you attend something like that, inevitably, someone leaves his or her mobile phone on, and believe it or not, it wasn't any of us rehab athletes. And this woman, who had one of those trendy ladies' business suits on, started patting her pockets as if she was on fire, and looked desperatley worried until she had located and answered her phone.
And irony is never very far away from any of us, and at the end of each session someone gave a talk. One, I remember, was about the local heart club, which we could join and go out with them on walks. That sounded a barrel of laughs, and we didn't need too much excitement, so I passed. Another was about travel insurance agents' who were sympathetic to post-op heart patients, and contrary to the many, didn't charge the earth.
But our talk on that particular day was about stress; and who would be the speaker? Right. The lady in the business suit. So she went through her patter, and then asked what we did to avoid stress? I said: "The same as you should do, ditch that mobile phone. You flustered like a chicken when a fox walks into a hen house. I avoid all of that stress, I don't use a mobile phone!"
Why do people panic so?
Why do they walk around in circles when they're talking on one?
Answers on a postcard, please.