exercise depression and the spiders web .

Exercise and depression

muscles, fat cells, and liver release a variety of molecules into the bloodstream. Some of these molecules which circulate through the body and where they can cross the blood-brain barrier. Once inside, they trigger a cascade of beneficial changes that can make one feel sharper and happier: one crucial change is the release of a growth hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. When it comes to exercise’s positive effects on the brain, BDNF is  first and foremost.

And there is always the Chicken and egg argument  delivered  by those couch potatoes  i.e. is it the exercise on its own per se or is  it just  the mere fact of doing something that one enjoys  that leads to the improvements in mood and memory .

our brains are like a spiders web of connections with  links between different parts of the web  and  these links allow the brain to   combine  what  we are seeing with what  we are moving with our hands, all the while whilst listening to our kids squabbling over the  remote control and it is the BDNF that is responsible for strengthening these connections, ‘hence the runners high ‘ and this leads me onto  another benefit of the connections between different areas of the brain –    and the more one practices using these connections then the more strongly they are held or formed ; so what this means is it is  important to do exercise as well as practice  the executive functions  of  the brain –  it is a little bit like trying to grow grass without any fertiliser and in this analogy  the EDNF IS equivalent to the fertiliser; and which connections  are strengthened are  all dependant on us, so returning, to the grass analogy if we want there to be a very good covering of grass next to the house then we will need  to ensure we put a lot of seed there   , and if you want to ensure your memory retains its  clarity then you will need to practice using this  and I am almost proof positive that this can be achieved  because this is  exactly what has happened me.  My slate was essentially  wiped clean or it was definitively  removed from me. but the cleanliness of my  slate must be considered  under review , because I am Australian , assuming I still have any  slate left  to me   and I am  tempted to title this post the runners high and grass  growing  because I am pretty certain that the thought police would not be too happy with this

wistful contemplation

Wistful contemplation

Is this all a human life    is?:  can it be just reduced to wistful contemplation because. sure, I have clearly not died i am pretty certain there are no such things as ghosts well certainly not ones that can type.  I guess I am feeling like  that is all I have now is my memories  because liv has made it  plainly clear to  me that there is  no going back

I have recently been presenting my story and how it  was that  I have come to be so   much of a doughnut  and  how my family were told by the supposed exerts that I would end up not a lot better than a dodgy Brussel  sprout      and how  it was that I lost everything that was dear to me dear to me.

First there   was  my wife and my family and career   but  not in  one foul  swoop    and how it is  I have come  to be so and this presentation has  got me to  thinking about all of these things  that I have lost and sure  they are not completely removed from me but it is so far from what I ever thought I  would have when I had a family and I cannot really  hope for any more than wistful contemplation but it does Make me think because liv and i were so close,  and    given that is all I have now   is this  wistful contemplation . but it does make, me think is this  all we   are   is it just memories of times   past and in essence I have had the absolute marvellous opportunity to experience death and the  second coming but without the beard  and  the walking on water ,  or any other adulation and so it is i have  been  given the   chance to die to all of my loved ones   but also to  come back from death     with my memories of what was , and to  think about what  I had, and perhaps this is all one can  expect to have is  to give ones children or loved ones memories of what is possible or achievable – and it is here that lies immortality

not everyone is perfect

Not everyone  is  perfect        not everyone remembers everything  every  time. and there are   times when everyone forgets their mug of coffee and i have been thinking each of these small slip ups are emblematic of my brain injury  and not everyone remembers everything  very time and do I not know that given my unwanted experience of  the scarers   and    and given my   sense of humour  i would  just  love to see the shiver ruining down their  spine as thry read this

do not look back

Living with and living through and i have lived through the trauma but now I am living with it well unsurprisingly  it is the latter that is by far the worst and there is  the long interminable . continuance of a life that I   just do not think I should be living  but worse than that it is s a life that I do not want  to have to be live  it is not  just the separation from my friends and family it is the relative isolation from them  all.


now I am from Australia   . where I grew up and it is here that my real friends are. Those who really know me and who I am and more importsnly,

know where I came from: and


it is strange. I am always told I need to look forwards but it is one’s history that predicates one’s future or at   least one’s reactions in  the future and it is this that drives me forwards  trying to ensure my life’s travail’s do not   impact too much   on my children , but it is  a great thanks I must give  thanks to my wife for ensuring toy are  still lively but tht would be   massive understatement or a very great   misrepresentation   of the facts


lets hear it for men

Lts hesr it  for men

Now given everything that is swirling around  in the news at the moment  and the social media given feminism  and the    LGBT movement , well you may be mistaken   To think men are  truly subservient or worse of  secondary importance as opposed to being  the glue tht sticks everything together  in more ways than just one ; and this  is  the purpose of this  piece or it could be argued it is a cry for the facts to  come  out   or for them  to  be a little bit  more widely appreciated   and sure  I can hear you all  say

I am just An Australian chauvinist but this is purely factual   and only the fats will be recorded here.

Well there is s strong movement to remove the role of men at present such that a man must earn the money for the family and also be the shoulder to cry on for his wife and also he, must   cook and clean,

and look after the kids as well as earning the family income

now from the moment one has their first child:  all of the   warning signs are  present in  the delivery room  for all  to   see and men  ignore these at your peril : well at  my first born I was directed to the corner of the  delivery suite  by the mad- wife whose sole concern   was  to ensure I was properly and    rightly denigrated for putting  your  wife into  this  this position  now I  am no expert in this because I  was just   a lowly intensive care consultant  as opposed to an obstetric and gynaecology consultant but I  am pretty certain that she had a small or significant  role to play in  creating this  disaster.   now from then on it goes  from  distinctly bad to quite definitely worse,   as if you thought that could be  at all possible  as   firstly you get to  see your wife  cry out in pain and fear and then meanwhile  all  you can hear between  all of  the yelling in a very confined  hospital room is the  mad-wife glowering at you for all that  you have done to your wife   who is  presently wailing like a banshee and as  you get to the  end of this  oncoming train crash you are  still quite nervous, not just for your wife but also  for your unborn child  as  well  and  all you can think of,  are all of the I previous  disasters that you have been called to  as  a  doctor . and then as if this were not enough the aforementioned mad-wife then asks you if you want to come to the business end of the proceedings of your wife and  cut the chord    but no should come  the answerbecauase you want to  remember how it was   as oposed to being  left with any memories of how it is as if you  did not have enough mental scarring of the day’s  events.  Now I was very certain I do not want to be left with any more mental scars. and then your wife rolls over and says I want another one not realising the abject terror you have just gone through. And compounding it all are all of the friends and relatives who focus on just your wife  and  are practically ignoring  you like apiece of chewing gum on the pavement because for  years and months at lest you will  still have the mental  scars  of which your wife is  blissfully  ignorant of your terror  and   once again  you  are required to  stand  strong. As if nothing had happened it all  was just like a normal day , and heaven help the husband who  does not show some sort of solidarity with his blissfully ignorant wife a who   gets all of the ayurvedic head massages  I mean just how many heads can one person have. And most t importantly you do not want the head  fixed  but you want the business end all returned to some  semblance of normality or beauty

Socrates can go and take a running jump

Now I have been told my old job is not the same anymore  and I  have come to the  conclusion that  it is not for me but not only that i do not , want to  do it anymore but  I want to do something else that gives me a sense of achievement  and as  Socrates said the examined life is not worth living  but  I can tell him for absolutely nothing :  that the constantly re-examined  life is not much  chop either  now what I  want is my field of dreams because it seems that all I Have  is a barren patch of land with  some decidedly hazy   and sketchy  memories

being a a doctor and not a seamstress

Being a doctor

Now I feel I need to strike a very small   note for the NHS who in more ways than one has been responsible for me being here  today  and more than  almost  anyone  are responsible for making me who I am today and I  am not trying pass the buck  here  or pass the  blame   but I  think even I  need to accept a  modicum of responsibility  for me  ; and also it is all too easy to  denigrate all of he NHS but in reality if it were not for the staff who  do  and love what they do  and very often go  above and beyond what their work contrasts say they should’ be  doing  then and only then  would the  whole NHS grind to  a halt , and and this too is why i  intensely dislike all of those union officials yoou hear on the news, such as bob crow to name but one


and I remember vividly being  a junior house doctor running around  the   wards with white coat and pagers And pens hanging off me  and  when it comes too attire well you Had all the bloke  standing   on a ward round in their long sleeved shirt and tie and essentially  sweltering in the heat of the hospital corridors and then you had all of the female  junior doctors who  could  swan in  to work in a  t-shirt  and flipflops but so long as the t-shirt had some accoutrements such as a sequin or two then that could be considered smart . but we had to wear leather soled shoes and shirt and tie  . and a   consultant  siting us all down to congratulate all of us on our first step to  a long and productive   career and then the  same consultant saying to all of  us that  having lots of pagers was not  a sign of importance – in fact it was quite the opposite  the opposite  and also  having an  ever so slightly hang  dog appearance from working the night before, and listening attentively to the  consultant who was       dispensing his or her words of wisdom  and then there was  the outright   unbridled  fear at doing ones first night on call and realising that you were essentially the back stop for  all of the patients in in the hospital



and this is where consultants fell in to  two brackets there were those who ruled by fear and loathing and then thre were those who were just being bloody good and nice people

And  I  also  I remember Being a registrar in  anaesthetics  and the feeling you had when you turned up to the next patient who was in a bit of a state snd all the other junior doctors turned to you looking with a significant degree of relief that you were there and would take charge and everything would be ok and also I remember there were the surgical registrars and senior house officers  who were  the  complete opposite who turned up invariably with a significant degree of self-importance matched only  by their lack of understanding of their very own patient and my goodness they were  about as useful     as  a seamstress at a Velcro convention  and at any emergency situation  they were similarly useful.

and I do  appreciate i am giving the surgeons a bit of a tough time  here and it is not for me to speculate about their  reasons  for becoming surgeons but very quickly i realised that it would be quite useful to  be able to put  everything back together again after you had chopped out whatever bit of offending body part it was that you were removing and so   a significant part of your training was directed to stitching everything back together again but i could not be bothered  with all of that  i was far more interested in diagnosing the origin of a patients illness rather than stitching everything back together again I mean  I was not  a seamstress  and  as I  ever so slowly I rose up the training ladder of intensive care and anaesthetics ; well I  think it was a very comprehensive training where one felt like one could do everything that the consultants were doing and i to remember becoming  a consultant which necessitated an interview with 10 or 11  people all sitting around a table  snd   I was not  exactly sure how I was supposed took at everyone when you were giving your answers


and I do remember the patient who  we had collectively  saved his  life so that on  intensive care  unit   all he could say was that how unhappy he  was that the surgeons had not  sewn  up his skin  exactly so that the huge out stretched wings of  an eagle  tattooed to   his chest were   uneven , and the irony that he could even complain  was somewhat lost   on this fellow,   but I did not expect this to be otherwise anyway  sand.  this was consistent with my teaching on another teaching   ward round by a lovely consultant who said  to us all what do you think about when you see a tattoo, and he said you want to think about was  hepatitis C and low IQ  and  so began my intense dislike  for  any tattoo’s


ok and also I remember cocking up  completely and I  was rushing around like  all of the other junior doctors did  and I  was working on a cardiology ward where we had all of the patients coming in with infective  endocarditis; which meant  we had to prescribe a small truck load   antibiotics for each patient  and I remember  gathering up  every patient’s t drug chart  on the ward becsausae this was the most time efficient way to  do all of the  drug  prescriptions  for each patient  and  I remember  having the chart for one patient and i thought  it was for another patient   and I prescribed  penicillin  despite there being in very large red ink  warning  allergic to penicillin , and thank god the nurses had begun their  drug  round late

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