Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Truth about the Tooth


Couldn't find a picture of lavendula dentata so this will have to do.

Some decades ago the boyfriend I was besotted with, asked me if I would drive him to the Outpatients for an operation to remove his wisdom tooth. Not my idea of  romantic day out.. but just being with him was surely enough, even in the drab, depressing waiting room of an ageing hospital A&E.

Whilst we were sat waiting for him to be called in - he dumped me! Yes.. there and then in the clinical confines of casualty.  Perhaps he thought the atmosphere would protect him from my wrath and hysteria. He was wrong.  "Why are you doing this now?" I howled, unable to believe the dreadfulness of it all.  "Because I thought I would get all the misery of the tooth and you dealt with at the same time!" he replied. I pulled myself up and spat at him "Well I hope it fucking hurts!"as I stomped out of the waiting room and drove home through a black mist of emotional gloom and tears.

I am reminded of this charming little anecdote by the continuous pain that has been emanating from the area of my wisdom tooth for the past two months.  Three dentist and two doctors over a period of five weeks proclaim that it is not the tooth, coming up with a range of possibilities from sinuses to trigeminal neuralgia.  [You really don't want to have trigeminal neuralgia - I know because I've spent a lot of time on the web reading about it and becoming increasingly depressed at the possibility.]

I see a 'consultant'.  It is not a good time of year for 'consultants' because they are mostly spending their ill-gotten gains on holidays but the one who isn't sunning himself in the Bahamas sees me.  I tell him it feels exactly like toothache and that the pain only goes away when I take painkillers and I've been taking painkillers for six weeks.  When I see any of these bods I don't take the painkillers in order not to mask the excruciating pain so they will get more of a clue what is wrong with me. "It's not the tooth" he pronounces finally in a 'that's it and goodbye' kind of way.  I throw an emotional strop, wailing on about the pain and the effect it is having on my ME and how I can't go on... blah blah.  His secretary takes pity on me and fixes up a brain and sinus scan there and then.  It is a tuesday and by a fortuitous coincidence the brain and sinus scan van happens to only be there on tuesdays!  They rush me down to the van before I get chance to become too hysterical.  I've seen House.  I know the minute I get shoved head first into the scanning machine I will have a massive panic attack and then blood will start spurting from my eyes. Nobody reassures me - or indeed says anything other than mumbling "a couple of minutes" when I ask how long I will be stuck in this tube.  I close my eyes, feel the table I am laid out on slide into the machine, a whirring noise starts, I try and think nice calming thoughts but can only remember episodes of House.  Two minutes later I am out and told to come back in a week for the results.  In the meantime just keep taking the tablets.

I am like a Sock with a sore head.  I have never really considered the possiblity of what it could be other than tooth or sinuses. If we don't know what it is we can't cure it and I may face a lifetime of pain from some unspecific facial neuralgia. I have already used up my sympathy allowance from most of my friends and dare not whine on about it anymore which is a problem as  I have nothing else to say - it is all consuming.  I single out Fat Rascal to take the brunt of it. She lives up a mountain in France and surely any news from the homeland is better than none.  Fat Rascal doesn't watch House but sends extracts of my whingeing email to M. in Paris who does, and in fact quite enjoys hearing about health problems.  An email wings it's way back from  Fat Rascal.  "M. in Paris suggests that the bad news is that if it is House then it will almost certainly be some Japanese brainworm you have picked up on your travels - the good news is that if it is House then he will cure you with a short course of anti-bios."

Reassured that at least I am not alone in my fears that it is a brainworm of some description I go back to see the consultant.  "The good news is that your brain and sinus scan are completely clear, no sign of tumours, cancer, sinus problems or anything".   "So could it be the tooth?" I ask.  "I don't think so as that didn't show any problems either."  "Well how about you try anaesthetising the tooth and then if the pain goes away that might indicate that it is indeed the tooth?" I suggest.  "Yes we can try that but as you have taken painkillers already we will have to make another appointment."  I am wondering how much I should charge for my advice.

The consultant decides at this point to take his holiday - there's a surprise.  Whilst he is away I find the pain is worse but the good news is that if I swill cold liquid over the tooth the pain is sudden and beyond excruciating  - like someone digging a red hot screwdriver into my gum.  This now happens every time I swill cold liquid on it and is, in my opinion, conclusive proof that it is the tooth - which is what I said all along.

Lets hope that I am nearly out of the woods on this one.  If someone doesn't fix it or yank it out soon I will pull the bastard out myself with a pair of pliers. It's spoiled my summer but its not like there has really been a summer to spoil. Let's just hope that I have got the misery of the pain and the rain over with at the same time.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Conceptions of Conceptual Gardens

After the astonishing success of this years Conceptual Gardens at RHS Hampton Court- I've decided to put forward an entry for next year.  I have come up with two very different conceptions and I wondered which of these you think most likely to get gold!

My visions are

Schrodinger's Catananche

We place a living catananche into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a spray of glyphosate. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of hydrocyanic acid, a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the show period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, pull the spray and soak the catananche.

The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the spray has been triggered, the glyphosate  released, and the catananche killed. Since we cannot know, according to quantum law, the catananche is both dead and alive, in what is called a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the catananche that the superposition is lost, and the catananche becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy  the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made.

The Nine Circles of Hell

An ever-decreasing circular garden representing the nine levels of hell.

Level 1.  Entirely composed of washed out caramel coloured heucheras

Level 2.  Every day a new Amorphophallus titanum opens and there is never an escape from its all pervading stench

Level 3. Crisp fresh salad growing everywhere but every bite you eat contains a slug!

Level 4.  There is a bed of roses and a naked Rachella lying on it... Bad enough you might think - but....  these are the roses!

Level 5.  A person emerges from some slightly wavy hedges

Level 6.  You are in a room with a television on watching never ending repeats of Love Your Garden

Level 7.  In this level you are thrown in up to your neck in rotting horse manure

Level 8.  Same as level 7 but you are only as tall as Chris Beardshaw

You have reached the deepest level of hell

In Level nine there is only you and one other person for eternity...

and that person is Christine Walkden


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Bad Day at RHS Hampton Court Show


Hampton Court day dawned and I woke up with bad tooth/sinus pain as I have for the last month.  I knew I wouldn't be fit to drive so the Bedsock took me detouring via the most useless time-wasting doctor in the entire world.  The doctor spent half an hour explaining to me how antibiotics and steroids work -  my point being that they haven't worked and I have spent the last month on the internet researching it!  So I came out angry, still in pain and none the wiser as to whether it was sinus or tooth pain that was becoming more and more excruciating. I should have gone home of course but dosing myself up on even more painkillers I foolishly decided to keep going. It was a mistake.  So in a diversion from my usual blogging style here is how RHS Hampton Court looked from a bad-tempered perspective..

First up the 'This is Me' Dyslexic garden - looked like a jumble to me so arguably worked

 I might buy one of these and lean it over the fence into nasty neighbours garden - only he will probably think it is good!!!

Dobies seeds - some bastard had eaten most of the freebie cream scones! I couldn't even feel tempted by them - things must be bad.

I knew that Mark and Lia would be pleased to see me.  

Shortly after I saw a butterfly that matched Lia's dress.

It was in one of the conceptual gardens. Unlike when I went to the Wisley butterfly display a few years back, most of the butterflies in this were alive.

All the conceptual gardens were about worthy but miserable things, rape of Nicaraguan women, London bombings,  loss of the coral reef,  five stages of emotional despair - I knew what they meant...

The Coral Desert

 Except for Simon Webster's  'Do not adjust your set'  which wasn't

And this which represents Chaos - who'd have known?

 I rather liked these swing chairs and so would the cats - perhaps not that colour tho'.  I nearly crawled in to sleep until it was time to go home only at that stage I was still hoping to get a glass of wine to fortify myself.

Eeek! The only saving grace here is the heucheras!!!!

Only kidding. There weren't any saving graces.

This was the only time in the day I smiled!!! Joe Swift was filming and kept fluffing the word fumarole.  I laughed out loud.  I tried to make the guitarist laugh by pulling faces at him but he kept absolutely poker-faced throughout!

Swiss garden - boring! Still at least it wasn't yet another wildflower meadow.  If I see another naturalistic meadow planting show garden I shall scream. If I want to see a naturalistic wildflower meadow I'll look at the motorway verges as I speed past.

Also its been hinted they gave out swiss chocolate later on and I didn't get any. :(

I've seen this of Tony Smith's before haven't I?

  It's Tony Smith's  Ecstasy in a Black Box from Hampton Court 2008 only covered in a job lot of Easigrass!

Temper and pain are getting worse so I am almost overwhelmed with joy to find the Toffee Vodka stand!!!!!!!

Aaargh there is nobody there giving out samples!!!!!!!!!!!


At last! on the Ecover stand they are giving out samples and, thank the Lord, a glass of fizz!

At least they said it was fizz - it could have been washing up liquid.

Even the sight of the Boy Beardshaw couldn't revive me...

 Not a smile for Monty in his peasant jacket

Enough John Hurt already at Chelsea....

 The sad sight of an empty, closed, bar. Champagne and Pimms everywhere nor any drop to drink. I sat in the cold rain with no shelter for an hour waiting for the Bedsock to collect me.

Apart from the heartbreaking idea of so many plants I wanted to buy and couldn't because the stands weren't open... there was just one thing I wanted from the show - a large tin tub from Garden Brocante located near the entrance.  I needed the Bedsock to OK it as I no longer trusted my judgement and in any case couldn't carry it.  Despite the fact that my (and others) Press passes had been given barely a glance by anybody all day the guy on the entrance put his foot down and wouldn't let the Bedsock in without a pass even though I explained it was to help me carry something heavy.

A bad end to a bad day.

Let's all hope that normal service is resumed soon.