Saturday, 20 February 2021

Diary: A Shot in the Arm

Last March, shielding letter in hand, with infection rates rising and the death toll escalating, I would lie awake at night wondering if I'd be next. It was fine during the day. We were all at home, the sun was shining; we'd go walking daily; family life had never seemed so good. It was almost like being on holiday. But at night I was convinced the cocktail of drugs I take regularly to control arthritis would inevitably lead to a lonely death in a sealed ward, separated from the very loved ones whose company at home I was now so enjoying.

I stopped self-injecting my fortnightly dose of imralumab; I'd already decided to stop taking methotrexate. Both drugs are designed to go to war with my over-active immune system and I figured my immune system might actually benefit from being strong in the face of Covid. I was more terrified of dying a lonely death than I was of lying crippled with swollen joints.

A year on, so much has changed. Not least, the jab which I had this week - better late than never as it seems, in spite of my shielding letter, I'd been overlooked when the lists of the 'vulnerable' were drawn up. But it also turns out that one of the drugs I self-inject (or one very similar) is actually being given to elderly patients with Covid-19 in order to reduce the inflammation wrought by the ravages of the infection. 

And that, as much as my Covid-jab, has been a real shot in the arm.


In other news, last week's snowmen Barney and Bernard look to have started their Lent fast early. 

At least it proves the (rising) mercury diet is working although it's still too early to think of Spring. It's too early to think of giving stuff up for Lent, too, only fifteen days after emerging from a (successful) dry January. This year, instead, I may try to take something up. Painting, perhaps, rather more regularly than the thrice-yearly creation of a greetings card for Sarah. On the subject of which, here's this year's effort for St Valentine's Day...


It's Lincoln cathedral in silhouette (which is the only way I can possibly depict it) in case you should be in any doubt on the matter. And I could hardly blame you if you were. Still, the effect of the setting sun works, I think. The secret seems to be leaving what you want to the brightest section of the picture blank. Not painting, in other words. Which means that the most successful effect derives from not doing anything at all. 

Which is almost the same as giving up, isn't it? Back to the drawing board...  

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