Expat@Large

Mr Grumpy Stoned Out

Posted in drug abuse, feet, Mr Grumpy by expatatlarge on May 11, 2011

I think I’ve mentioned the core of this (the last two or three paragraphs) before, but as I have forgotten whether or not, you probably have as well, so I’ll repeat myself (or not, if I haven’t mentioned it before after all).

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Mr Grumpy was shopping for some obscure objects he desired, one of which was tamarind paste (a jar of which, unbeknownst to himself, was already at home in his fridge) and some fragrant jasmine rice. Fortunately, though at the time he did not realize it was fortunate, the Chilled Repository was bereft of said items, or at least of the former item and so he did not bother to purchase the latter at that time.

There was another Chilled Repository across the way (i.e via the tunnel under the road) that might have a small jar of the (seeded, strained) paste of the fruit of tamarindus indica, said the helpful young man who had been unloading bottles of sparkling mineral water (of which, damn Mr Grumpy had forgotten to buy any, for it was sparkling mineral water he really had wanted when he had walked to the shopping mall in this sticky Singapore heat, and such is what happens when you don’t make a list of things you need before leaving home, whereas not being able to find tamarind paste when you don’t even need it, I mean didn’t anticipate you’d need it, even though you really didn’t – need it I mean – is another matter all together, basically due to only thinking of using tamarind paste after you had browsed through a recipe book in the Chilled Repository so that you were now looking for jasmine rice and tamarind paste, and you forgot about the sparkling mineral water, all because you saw a photo of a dish – stir-fried chicken with lemongrass and tamarind – that made your mouth water and that you have all the ingredients for, conveniently, but not, you incorrectly assume, the key ingredient, tamarind paste), the young man who had looked at the same display that Mr Grumpy had been examining and re-examining just prior to his enquiry, a display of jars of various curry bases, chili pastes, sambal olek pastes, black bean pastes, but not, Mr Grumpy could have told him (what, is Mr Grumpy blind? Is Mr Grumpy stupid? he almost thought but, in the end, didn’t), tamarind paste, and said there was no tamarind paste here, and who had then gone off to ask someone more intelligent and approximately omniscient in the matters of this particular Chilled Repository’s stock, and who had come back to report that not only was the store out of tamarind paste but also that the supplier of tamarind paste was similarly shocked by the absence from his own stocks of the sour, sweet ingredient Mr Grumpy thought he needed, but didn’t really.

Mr Grumpy said to the young man, thanks, that’s great, he’ll try over (through the under-pass) there.

So he walked out of the Chilled Repository sans tamarind paste, sans jasmine rice (to go with the chicken and tamarind dish as he only had brown rice at home which is healthy in a low glycaemic way, but yuck in a low appropriate taste for rice to go with this Vietnamese dish way – well, it was in a Vietnamese recipe book), sans, he now recalls, sparkling mineral water, and into a throng of pedestrians caught in a bottleneck between stores and stalls in the shopping mall, adjacent to and blocking his path to the escalator he needed to descend.

This ambulationary stenosis had a variety of causative agents, and of predisposing risk factors. Some pedestrians were floating in the absent way of people (oops, he nearly said ‘people in Asia’, phew!) who want to buy to something but are not sure if this is the shop that sells that something or if that might be it in the window over there or if it might be better to come back tomorrow. Some were precessing on one spot as they rotated and counter-rotated while conversing with shouts and gesticulations (some might have interpreted this as arguing) about which way to go next. Some were iPoblivious and ambulating irregardless of the traffic in the slow-time-warp of some hideous Asia-pop ballad. Some (particularly the old and infirm) were just on-coming, relentlessly, in the manner of those who don’t give a fuck, a broken hip would finish the day off nicely thanks.

There was a width of maybe five people available between the stall selling revoltingly sour sweets (those made of tamarind) and the pretentiously unpretentious Shoppe d’Body, but fifteen had converged to that one area and more were coming….

And Mr Grumpy stood back. He let the macrame of human bodies untangle itself and he waited to move, obligingly avoiding kids who would be described as feral were they not so impeccably attired (patting the delightful creatures on the head as they attempted to blow the legs from under him with irresponsibly fast and furious public games of chasey, or hide-and-seek or kill the ang-moh, on the slidey, slippery floor) by their completely inattentive parents, and wheel-chaired centenarians, and he smiled.

I say again, he smiled.

He did not curse, nor did he wail, nor did he ger-nash his teeth (Matthew 13:42). He allowed it (them, the kids) to slide by, to let it (them, the parents, wheel-chaired) pass (as must all things, a phrase that is incorrectly attributed to that unknown someone who is known as the apostle Matthew, quoted above, who actually saith “all these things [wars and the rumours of war] shall come to pass”, that is, they will happen, not that all things will die or fade away, as the phrase is normally interpreted, particularly when the George Harrison album of that name came out, and E@L thinks this Biblization was perhaps an attempt to rehabilitate George back into the Christian fold although he was a deeply committed follower of the Hare Krishna movement [“Krishna is God,” he said in that interview, and it’s patently obvious that ‘the Lord’ in “My Sweet Lord” is Lord Krishna and not Lord Jesus] at the time, and that phrase is actually a variation of the Sufist mantra, ‘This Too Shall Pass’, i.e. fade away – the story is that it was inscribed on a gold ring [sound familiar?]) and Mt Grumpy bided his time until, as they say, the coast was clear.

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Point of all this being, Mr Grumpy is no longer grumpy. He is chilled, relaxed, in tune with the universe. Placid. Easy-going. He hardly retains the shadow of the former great whinging and whining Mr Grumpy – being E@L in a bad bad (but not violent, never violent, merely grumpy) mood.

E@L doesn’t have those bad moods anymore. He does, fortunately have good moods, like when the words are flowing, as here, and when he works from home, in order to answer his few emails, be on stand-by for the return visit to the hospital that is just up the road, a mere three kms from his house, whereas his office is 15km and $25 in taxi-fare away, where yesterday he gave some training to eight young women and a Professor, all the time with his fly undone, in order to repeat everything with his fly done up, and nobody calls.

However, when he plans to spend this work-time in and/or sunning by the pool (phone at hand) and he sees that the pool-repairmen are disinterring the pump mechanism in order to preform a noisy repeat autopsy on it, and the pool’s water level is dropping and the water, no longer circulating, is souping up with bacteria and viruses and germs, he is not necessarily ecstatic but nor, verily, is he majorly pissed off. Water, whatever, will swim in it another day, will write on it another story.

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Neither is he amazingly affronted when he is forced (kicking and screaming) to pay $2,000 for three months supply of the drug which is making him so benign. Money, drugs, since when haven’t they gone together? Three dollars a tablet, five tablets a day, you do the math, or more correctly, the arithmetic.

It’s sort of an ouroboros loop, you know the snake eating its tail (an Egyptian motif) – he doesn’t worry about paying big for the drug when that drug is the one that keeps him from getting upset about things as temporary as money, for money, that too shall pass (into the hands of Big Pharma, in this case GSK).

However what won’t pass is the underlying problem. Idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. Which is medical term for having sore feet (or hands, but not in E@L’s case) and no-one knows the fuck why.

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Lamotrigine was initially prescribed for severe epilepsy, then for bi-polar disorder and other mood disorders requiring stabilisation. Off-label (non-FDA approved) uses include peripheral neuropathy, headaches, neuralgia, An expensive off-label use.

Foot pain almost gone – certainly the electric shooting pains and the hypersensitivity (gout-like in symptoms, but not gout) are passed away, but the side-effects?

Calm.

And of course you appreciate that with the foot pain being mostly gone, he would be less grumpy anyway, right?

… E@L examines his pre-neuropathy life…

Nope. He was always a grump.

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E@L heard of a person who had been placed on 50mg per day in order to calm his mood swings, where was either yelling at the dog and kicking the kids (or was it the other way around?) or sitting in the bath for days on end with an electric toaster held over his head while downing bottle after bottle of Verve-Cliquot (all he could afford, he wasn’t gone enough to drink domestic sparkly), during a period of “taking it easy” after being retrenched, and he (I may have been exaggerating a bit there about these symptoms) was back on the Mr Happy trail after merely a fortnight.

He was on 50mg. Per day.

E@L is on 500mg. Per day. Forever. If not longer.

No wonder Mr Grumpy is out of the office.

He is stoned.

E@L

What? Led, you hear?

Posted in blog stats, feet, movies by expatatlarge on July 19, 2009

Was playing Beethoven’s Ninth actually.

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Creepy just has a viewing of some the searches that brought people to his site. Obviously many of them are in the Jacuzzi as we speak…

This is a time-honored Blog ritual. For weeks now bloggers have been wondering just what twisted logic Google searches engines use to throw their rantings up whenever something weird or sick gets entered into the little square box. I use SiteMeter. It’s free. ‘Nough said.

In my case, over the weekend, people (countries in brackets) who have been searching for :

1. (?) expat at large
2. (Singapore) don’t be a singaporean
3. (blogsearch Australia) Momentary Madness. (Looks like they decided to come here instead!)
4. (USA) fuck chinese I movie
5. (USA) dr. godot
6. (UK) Thai bar girls get fukt movies
7. (Indonesia) expat@large blogspot
8. (UK) Chinese women I fucked
9. (UK) make bookshelves from railway sleepers
10. (?) you turn me right round
11. (?) expat at large
12. (Australia) expat at large
13. (Australia) pharmacist expat
14. (UK) hawker food centers in the center of Melbourne

have ended up at this very blog. Not at this very post, obviously, but the, you know, whole blog itself sorta thing.

Looks like the Brits are keen on having sex on a recycled bookshelf with Thai and Chinese girls in hawker centers. And it looks like they and the umpires are going to win the Second Test at Lords as well.

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Did want to talk about my health issues, but my chest is too tight [cough, cough] (not Swine flu) and my feet are too swollen, so I put my feet up and watched Lantana instead.

Won every award in Australia but sunk without a trace in the States. Anthony LaPaglia ditches his fake US accent. Barbara Hershey looks as lost as her character, and I don’t think that was intentional.

Best line: “This is not an affair, it’s a one-night stand that happened twice.”

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Bedtime, sorry have to work tomorrow. No, I was not in Jakarta last week, (fucking Jemaah bastards), but I will be back in Bangkok (should I buy a flat?) on Wednesday! Think I’ll skip the JW Marriott there, as well as in Hong Kong which, if the weather clears, I’ll be visiting the week after.

E@L

Feet Update

Posted in beer, feet, medication by expatatlarge on November 2, 2008

Still sore, not quite as bad for a while there, but they hit me (as it were) on the plane home last night. New meds, new shoes, new orthotics. Which is helping, which is hindering?

I am skipping the Tramadol while I take the Cymbalta to avoid Serotonin Syndrome, which I am sure is what I suffered last time. This means I actually am currently taking nothing for pain relief as such, which makes evaluation of the Cymbalta hard to gauge objectively. Would they be hurting even less one wonders… well fucking obviously they would, that’s why they’re called painkillers!

Oh well brunch-time, then to the Singapore Cricket 7s. Maybe beer can be used as an anaesthetic…

E@L

Ups And Downs

Posted in feet, lifts, rants, Singapore, WTF by expatatlarge on October 17, 2008

The Bad Feet are still here. The neurologist has offered me a different SNRI this time, a different drug to Effexor, called Cymbalta. I just popped one. It also has a warning against Serotonin Syndrome if you are on Tramadol (an opioid pain reliever), which I am. A 1% chance of getting hit with that again. Let’s see what happens over the week-end, hopefully not a repeat of last time’s waking nightmare…

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Do others find the lift at the Gleneagles Medical Centre as shitful as I do?

There are six lifts in a semi-circular foyer in the clinic entrance at, strangely enough, Level 2.

There is always a crowd there, gathering in the vast tracts of time between when lifts going UP arrive, as the lifts are never going in the right direction. I am on the verge of being late. I had long ago decided, coming here frequently both for myself and work, that it is best to get into a lift that is going DOWN to the carpark levels rather than to wait the interminable wait for one going UP. That is because lifts from the carpark levels will be full when they arrive at Level 2 on the way UP. That is not necessarily because lots of people got in at the carpark levels, but because other people got in at Level 2 when it was going DOWN, because they couldn’t be fucked waiting for one going UP, and because they *knew* that when it arrived it would be full because other people like themselves who had gotten in the lift at Level 2 when it was going DOWN as well in order to ensure a spot in the lift when the left stops at Level 2 on the way UP again. Exhale.

When a full lift on the way UP stops at Level 2 because someone has pressed the UP button, all the other lifts that were DOWN in the carpark level, and they are almost empty unless someone from Level 2 has already gotten in when it was going DOWN, they keep bypassing Level 2 on their way UP because there is already a lift stopped there marked as going UP.

Then it takes ages for the doors on the lift that has stopped at Level 2 on the way UP to close. Just when they are about to completely close so that the full lift can go UP and away and allow another lift going UP to stop, some bright spark presses the UP button again… and so the alarms Pings loudly and the doors reopen on the full lift and all the other lifts continue going UP and bypass Level 2 again. The people in the full lift that have been standing there for 5 minutes (they’ve probably gone DOWN in order to go UP too) stare daggers at the fuck-wit who just pressed the UP button. When the doors starts to close again, usually there is yet another fresh fuck-wit just rushing in from the taxi drop-off, late for an appointment, who presses the UP button again. Ping! Open! Sighs of anger and frustration arise from both the lift passengers and from those in the milling crowd who are still waiting to get on a lift going UP for their appointment – which they are now late for as well. Here we have a lift trapped, not between floors, but on Level 2 because of the stupidity of these people and the incredibly bad computer system which fails to prioritize Level 2 as an ALWAYS stop level for all lifts…

A lift comes, going DOWN, announcing itself with a loud Ping! A few people get out and I get in. No-one is left in it to go DOWN, so I wonder why is it marked as going DOWN? There are no other lower levels highlighted. Fucking stupid computer system, like I say. A few others join me, realizing they too must go DOWN before they can go UP. I press Level 5 and the door closes. Ping! It opens again, with the UP button now lit. Other stupid people get in and start pressing all sorts of numbers and I am forced the the rear of the lift. When the full lift reaches Level 5, I have a crisis of confidence. Shit, no, my Doctor is on Level 7. I stay there minding my business, and people in the lift look around for who was the fuckwit who pressed Level 5 and didn’t get out. I look down at my watch, suddenly concerned about time; shit, am I that late? My second hand has come unstuck, I notice. It flops around as I move my wristwatch. Fuck. Level 7 Pings. As many people had gotten out on Level 6, the lift is not so crowded. I wander out and look for the directory of Doctors on the wall. Mine is not there. Shit. It WAS Level 5.

The lift has gone; it was going UP anyway. I press the DOWN button. Pings are resounding everywhere. The semicircular arrangement of lifts resonates the Ping from all levels and all lifts with very little attenuation. They Ping really loudly no matter which Level they are Pinging from. I am forever turning around when a Ping goes off behind me, but there is no lift there, just the sound ringing from some other level where a lift has arrived.

I see the lights of a lift going DOWN come on long before I hear any Ping. Then, Ping! I join the people in the lift going DOWN and press Level 5. I am thinking how stupid I am to think the Doctor was on Level 7. Am I on drugs? There is a Ping and the door opens. I wander out and look for the directory of Doctors on the wall. Mine is not there. Shit. WTF?

I go back to the lift foyer and press DOWN. I wait for a lift to take me to Level 2. Ping. Ping. Ping. I am really late now. Finally I get to Level 2 and check the complete directory of all floors. My Doctor IS on Level 5. WTF? I SHOULD be on drugs, it might help…

Again, I am on Level 2 with the UP lift problems… [Reread those paragraphs.]

I get to Level 5 eventually. Ping. I see my Doctor’s name on the directory, which is laid out differently to the one I had looked at when I thought was Level 5 a few minutes ago. I must have got out on *Level 6* last time! I had heard the Ping and had gotten out when the lift stopped, without checking the level. Shit!

I rush as fast as… well I hobble up to the Doctors office at my max speed. I know he has 15 minute slots, and I am now 12 minutes after my time.

“Take a seat,” says the receptionist. The waiting-room is empty. “The Doctor is running late.”

E@L