Irregular Programming

After chatting about shiftwork last week, I planned to spend this week talking about why we’re working longer and later hours. But then some stuff cropped up, and there’s going to have to be a change to our scheduled programming.

First, here’s LongSufferingReaderOfTheBlogPaul’s favourite track of 2018 [sic], regardless.

Rule of thumb: That guy would never swimmie-swim knows what he’s talking about

[Sleep patterns messed up? The Apoplexy Tiny Letter can help with that.]

Now the embargo has been lifted, I can reveal that the person I had been talking to about my stroke experience before last week’s post was the Communications and Engagement Manager of the British Heart Foundation.

The BHF was gearing up to push a campaign focusing on co-morbidities relating to heart conditions, and the need for continuing research into heart conditions. It’s all interesting stuff, and worth knowing about whether you have a heart condition or not.

Bearing in mind it’s not always that obvious

Yeah, it’s really not. I’m reminded of talking with folks in my Aneurysm Awareness group back in Brooklyn and hearing about people who had golf-ball-sized (and larger) brain aneurysms, and had had no idea until those aneurysms were imaged.

So I thought that it might be worth sharing some of the things I learned from the BHF campaign.

Evergreen image
Wait! This info is interesting and useful!

The headline finding of recent analysis commissioned by the BHF is that

[n]ine in ten people with coronary heart disease in Scotland are living with at least one other
long-term condition, such as stroke, dementia and high blood pressure.

Nearly six in ten people living with coronary heart disease have at least three other long term conditions.

Ooh! Ooh! What do I win? Oh.
Congratulations, Stroke Bloke!

Yeah. Thanks, everyone.

Not only that, but the number of people living with heart and circulatory diseases living with five or more additional illnesses increased fourfold from 2000 to 2014. Long-suffering readers might not be entirely surprised by these figures, knowing that people are living longer and longer and that the heart has a finite life.

Are you getting exited yet?
“Just get an extra set of regenerations, it’s cool.”

But as usual, things are a bit more complicated than that. The BHF campaign points out that the reasons for this are poorly understood and not fully accounted for by an ageing population.

[M]ore research is urgently needed to improve our understanding of how conditions like stroke and vascular dementia are connected, and to develop new treatments for people living with multiple conditions.

Well, given all that, the BHF needed a human face to illustrate the numbers behind the campaign in Scotland. A simple face.

Simple enough for you?

The folks at BBC Scotland and STV put together a great couple of packages – quite different to each other – to present this information. And there was a proper medical person saying proper medical stuff, too.

We got second top spot on BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland and STV’s News At Six on Tuesday. Only Brexit and Michelle Obama’s visit to Scotland managed to get in front of us on the news agenda!

It's *Thursday* now, Stroke Bloke
How’s that for a late blog post excuse?

Well,’s always said that our crazy, mixed-up world has a strange set of priorities!

In all seriousness, the BHF’s analysis is important and worth checking out, and I was very happy to help get the word about it out. Get the full release here.

And here I am on the Beeb, and here on STV. If you’re more of a written word type – and you are reading, right? – you can get a version of the story that appeared in The Scotsman and The Evening News here.

I'm a Marvellous Marvin Hagler man, myself
No mas, Stroke Bloke! Have mercy!

Fair enough. Next week, back to our regularly scheduled programming…



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6 thoughts on “Irregular Programming

  1. Nifty!

    Draconian international streaming restrictions mean I can’t stream that Beeb clip, but I’m assuming it’s similar to the twitter version on skv, just a bit Malcolm tuckererd up. I mean what better way to treat an aneurism that a lubricated horse c .. no wait hold on. That’s not right?

    I’m also glad you like that song. I really like that song. But I’ve been spending some of the summer, when not working on our current goofy goof, working on my guitar playing technique and that has be back learning the music of Rush, but this time on guitar. (If pressed, I could play bass in a Rush cover band right now, as long as we stopped at power windows. Just in case any readers need a Rush Coverband Bassist in the NYC area).

    Anyway I’ve been playing Limelight and La Villa Strangiato until people are sick of them. Then a second and third time!

    I bring this up because it makes me reflect on the freedom of music. Because glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity. No hold on wait, that’s not right either…

    But really the reason I think of this is because the Rush documentary on Netflix (which you can see here: Check out “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” on Netflix, as well as being an excellent overview of the best band that no one cool admits to liking, is also about a group of folks who make a conscious decision to keep creating after an adversity (in the late 90s, Neal Peart lost both his wife and his daughter in the same year; and the band took years to recover).

    And your experience sort of rhymes with that obliquely. Which is why I think your advocacy for treating cardiovascular disease, but also your exemplifying the idea that you can build an amazing and creative life after a substantial incident, is one which resonates with people so well. At least it does for the set of “people” who is me and the fam.

    See, I did manage to pull it back to the point by the end!!

    Be well.

    1. “If pressed, I could play bass in a Rush cover band right now, as long as we stopped at power windows.”

      Nice! Anyone who can learn to play the entirety of La Villa Strangiato on guitar, bass, or drums is a very talented musician, and also a certified lunatic. I say this as a Rush fan who never learned to play an instrument properly. So Paul, if you ever join a Rush cover band in NYC and are playing a gig somewhere, let me know.

      Another fun part of Beyond the Lighted Stage: Neil re-learning how to play the drums from scratch in his 40s, so that he could be just as effective behind the drum kit without expending as much energy. He wasn’t forced to change his style by a catastrophic injury, but he chose to do it based on awareness of the limitations of his aging body. Very interesting.

      1. Very. So, I *am* going to have to check that out.

        What I would also like to see on my telly: an animated version of the Marcelo and Paul version of this:

        Henry and Glenn Forever

    2. Aw, cheers.

      The Beeb version is funnier, but not Tuckeresque. Stroke Bloke’s public persona is all positivity!

      Oof, what an interesting story about Rush. I may have to check that out…

      Speaking of Glittering Prizes and best bands that no one cool admits to liking (although this particular pendulum may have swung back a little), check out the visuals on this beauty.

      1. Hah – you say Simple Minds = Glittering Prizes, I say they equal Endless Compromises. If they ever had an illusion of integrity, it was shattered well before they made it big in America.

        Now, Tears for Fears – that was an uncool band I half-enjoyed as a teenager. Can’t listen to them these days, but I used to shout along to Shout all the time.

        1. Ah, but if your compromises begin from the astonishingly – I think the right word is “confrontational” – art-pop of Real to Real Cacophony, then there’s a lot of room to do some good stuff. In some ways, I don’t recognise the American Simple Minds that is basically That Big Song That They Didn’t Even Write And, What, They Did Other Stuff?

          Can you believe that AllMusic described R2RC as an achievement that’s on a plane with other 1979 post-punk landmarks like Metal Box, 154, Entertainment! and Unknown Pleasures?! Believe it!

          One of the more accessibly moments, there.

          How the hell did that band end up lumped in with U2 and The Alarm as the bands from these islands of the North Atlantic that had the potential to be globe-straddling behemoths? Though of course, I’m at an age to have been introduced to the band by Once Upon A Time, which I guess was when the transformation was complete – ah, for the opportunity to indulge in artistic compromise and have The Kids trawl through the back catalogue to find something like R2RC or Empires and Dance!

          Tears for Fears! A little hard to revisit those old classics; very much of their time. I wonder if they – or Roland at least – went in a slightly different direction to SM, from (accidental?) arena-filling anthems to accidentally stadium-emptying anthems that cleaved to a more deeply-felt vision? Cos I can still happily listen to the title track of Sowing the Seeds of Love. It’s a more interesting take on The Beatles than Oasis ever managed.

          But I think for me, possibly the most interesting 80s pop journey was the one undertaken by Talk Talk and Mark Hollis…

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