Rather a gap in my thoughts, some of which I attribute to Covid as I found the recovery slow and laborious in that one day’s exertion would be followed by the next day’s exhaustion. However, what was worse was the subsequent ‘brain-fog’ whereby concentration was poor, even on things I normally enjoy and my driving was appalling. Still I have recovered but it just leaves me wondering how I would have fared if I had not been vaccinated.

The NHS still continues to astound me. My GP rings me up to say that she has reviewed my PET scan and there seems to be evidence of an aortic aneurism - a bulge in the wall of the aortic artery which runs down from the heart to the lower limbs) and I require an ultra-sound scan. And wow! - three days later I am given an appointment and just 12 working days later I have that scan performed by a specialist team with the verdict given in minutes.

There is indeed an enlargement but it is within normal bounds so I can forget about and carry on with life as normal but just watch the blood pressure. Getting old is hell - all these different conditions which crop up get to be boring when one meets others of similar age but, as a friend of mine responded when I queried his belief that a few early morning aches and pains were desirable, ‘If it hurts when you wake up, then you know you are still alive’.

Anyhow back to facts. Its exactly two months after my first hormone injection and I can certainly report some changes. The most noticeable is that my sex drive has all but gone which really saddens me as my lovely wife and I have always enjoyed are most intimate times of affection. Who knows whether we will be able to re-capture those moments of ecstasy but for now they are but a memory. I am also putting on weight so reviewing with some urgency how much I eat and drink.

Still there are compensations as am saving a fortune on razor blades: all my life I have had ‘five o’clock shadow’ by midday and now I only need to shave every second or even third day. Also brings out the (until now) carefully concealed misogynistic thought that we men should emulate the feminist lobby and demand essentials which are dictated by our birth defined sex. After all, just as women require the provision of monthly menstrual comforts and these are increasingly given for free, surely by the same logic, men should be given free razor blades. Before I get howls of outrage, please think about fairness and sexual equality.

Anyhow, given the savings to be derived for economising on blades - these are amongst the most commonly shop-lifted items in chemists and supermarkets - clearly should have started this treatment earlier.

This is an odd limbo period: after the flurry of phone calls and appointments, scans and further appointments which filled the first 12 weeks of living with the ‘Lump’, this hiatus of reduced shaving and no immediate activity comes as a shock. I am just waiting for the phone call which will herald my radiation treatment as that will dictate my daily routine for seven weeks.

Accordingly, long term planning is impossible and it looks as if our booking made last year for a holiday in a stunning location in the Lake District will be enjoyed by all the family except me - but then without an encounter with the Mekon Death Ray all long term plans would be in jeopardy anyhow.

Author: Mike Sheil