I see the new consultant in the morning. I have my history printed thanks to this blog – without it I’d never have been able to remember exactly what happened and when – and I have the other details that he will need.
I do feel a little like it’s all starting over again. It’s starting afresh, having this “second opinion”, which is good, especially as he is even better qualified than Consultant Nr 1, but I don’t expect to have quite the same relationship with this one as I did the last.
Which is a bit of a shame. These people become extremely important in your life when the decisions that they make can quite literally mean that you have a better or worse chance of living to your 60th or 70th birthday. It would be nice to think that you can become fairly friendly with them, under those circumstances. However, much like it doesn’t do to get too friendly with staff, should you need find the need to sack some of them, so there is a good reason why the consultant/patient relationship needs to be kept at arm’s length. They need to be dispassionate about the decisions that they encourage you to make when it comes to treatment and don’t need to get themselves personally involved any more than any empathetic person would.
Not that I think that I was very friendly with Consultant 1, but I had built up a rapport with him and his staff and he did get a couple of bottles of wine and a Christmas card from me. Regardless, I am not seeing these people to make friends. I am seeing them to get the best advice and treatment that I can so that I can spend more time with my real friends and family.
That’s what this is really all about.
Which brings me to “Darkside”, a radio play written by Tom Stoppard around the music and themes in Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, an album that has been the soundtrack to my life for nearly 40 years. I can’t claim to be 12 when I first heard it, but I can’t have been much more than 14. It’s the only vinyl album that I wore out twice. I listened to the play on the way home this evening – some challenging themes of life, death and philosophy in there, but I felt that there was something missing. The narrative was a bit disjointed. The fading in and out of the music meant that neither the music nor the play were allowed to speak for themselves, if that makes sense. The play would have been better without the interludes and the music most certainly doesn’t need a play over it. Oh well. Maybe they can develop the play into a “proper” play and flesh it out fully. An interesting and worthwhile idea, though.
The most important thing to take from the album, in my opinion, is the lyric from the song “Time”
“And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun”
And from the play
“Life is not a drill”
I have been listening to that album for 38 years and sometimes it’s still tempting to think that the starting gun hasn’t gone off yet. Well it has – a long time ago. I missed it, and have been playing catch-up ever since.
We come this way once and once only. One day it really will be your last and those ten years or even ten days that got behind you will feel like a lifetime.
Make the most of every day. You know it makes sense.