We shuffled along to our monthly consult with Dr P to get some better news. The PSA has gone down from 12 to 10.4. Everything else in the last blood test is looking good as well (liver and kidney function and so forth). Dr P repeated the usual flattery about how well I look, which I must say, went down well. But it was the headline number which was reassuring; not so much the quantum, but its welcome southwards direction for a change. Of course it will continue to move around, and doubtless give us concern again. But for now, we’ll take it.
Things elsewhere are improving as well. After our recent excursion to the Blue Mountains, my beloved came down with a nasty cough, which morphed first into a virulent cold, then sinusitis, complete with throbbing pain in the top right hand teeth. Her face also became swollen on that side of her face in a fashion she found most unbecoming. A phone consult with a GP (not her regular one) produced a prescription, delivered via SMS, for an antibiotic. This had some effect, but not as quickly as we had hoped. So we were able to get in to see her regular GP in person, who gave her a stronger antibiotic script (Augmentin). She supplied a script also for a super-duper analgesic with a decent whack of codeine. A few days of this combo have pretty much eliminated the swelling and tooth pain. The patient has also progressed from foods like soup, yoghurt, and mashed banana and mango, to more solid fare.
While this was going on the GT also to be dropped off for a service (booked weeks ago), and I had an appointment with my GP to renew my mental health plan. In one of the better kept secrets of public medicine, one can receive (on the say-so of one’s GP) six subsidised sessions with a psychologist. This can be extended if desired by a further four. This initial lot of 10 sessions can itself be extended, again under the aegis of the GP, by a further 10. These, in combination with an antidepressant, have been brilliant. For anyone feeling worried or distressed (and there is a lot of worrisome news around), I recommend asking your doctor about this. I was lucky to find a psychologist pretty quickly – they are usually snowed under. Another positive also is the number of people who are being open about their mental health struggles, and who are encouraging open discussion of these issues, which may lead to people seeking help.
With the unusually vile weather in Melbourne, and my beloved being laid up, we have been cocooning and watching the Kingsman movies (pure spectacle), and one for Agatha Christie fans, See How They Run. There are some good series on Disney as well; Andor, which is a kind of Star Wars prequel, and The Offer, a series about the making of The Godfather. All replete with A-list talent and excellent production values. This morning I also finished vol. 2 of ‘In search of lost time‘: In the shadow of young girls in flower. (Other translations give the series title as ‘Remembrance of things past‘, and the volume as In a budding grove. The former title is a bit more accurate; Proust aficionados just call the cycle ISOLT. ) November 2022 being the centenary of Proust’s death, there is a lot about him in the press. In the case of both the primary and the secondary materials, there’s a lot of it about. (Thanks to everyone who has sent me messages about these pieces.) There is a great article by Helen Elliott about this centenary, and Proust in general, in The Monthly . Unless you are a subscriber, you will have to give them your email address. Live dangerously and just do it. Neither care nor responsibility!