This article, was designed by Bartholomew Utterwaithe (66), to offer help, support, succour and advice to those of the population who are entering their 60's - in an effort to lessen the culture-shock suffered by many, when they also get made redundant at 62 years of age, then suffer heart failure.
It is not intended as a solution for the those who are about to lose their concentration, bladder control, suffer impecuniousness, frustration, disabilities, lose their memory, and attract the usual ailment as Bartholomew Utterwaithe himself has, of Deafness, Cancer, Arthritis, Stuttering, Impetigo, Hernia, Angina, loss of vision, Panic attacks, Lupus, and living in a house they cannot afford to get the roof mended on.
In 1999, this advice was originally intended to be presented in the 'Help the Aged Gazette', but Mr Utterwaithe misplaced the completed document.
Luckily for us at the Spoof, when his armchair collapsed last month, and he found a memory stick with the document on it that had fell down the back of his chair amongst the tissues, biscuit crumbs, phlegm, and assorted dead insects.
So he's updated his advice, and posted it here, in the hope that his direct approach will aid others to come to terms with their upcoming Woes, dilemmas and coffin-approaching activities.
Any advisement, prescriptions, comfort or counselling, had been gleaned from Mr Utterwaithe's own experiences.
It takes the form of a Scenario - followed by Scenario Advice for that situation.
Scenario: You are made Redundant:
You will have been working for the company for over nine years, never having taken a day off sick, and only been late on one occasion.
This particular Christmas, with so many others off sick, you work an average of over 100 hours for three weeks, sleeping for a couple of hours each night in the security control room - proud of your dedication!
The week after Christmas, the managing director leaves a note in your mail tray, advising you that you are being made redundant, and have 6 weeks to your last day. This is lengthened when other staff go off sick again, and on your last week with them, you work over 104 hours, all at single minimum rate. The managing director avoids you for the rest of your time there.
Months after you have departed, a new company name is adopted, and the firm launched by the same managing director and staff.
Looking back at event, I would advise you to get a private pension as early as possible, accept that no one from the firm will contact you after you have left, and to murder the managing director... slowly and painfully if you want to obtain the greatest satisfaction. (Specific advice readily available - Contact Bartholomew Utterswaithe)
Scenario: Signing on
Don't bother to call at the JCP before your last day on the job - they will only tell you to call when you are actually out of work. They wont even tell you what documentation you will require.
Try like wot I did, and foolishly live on your bit of redundancy pay for a bit, but do not expect to get anything silly like a job interview until at least two years have been suffered calling at the Benefits office, and spoken to like the idiot I am.
After the first 6 months a nervous uncontrollable tick will your left eye, this is to be expected, do not over-concern yourself with this, you will soon have far more serious ailment to suffer and cope with I assure you.
Scenario: Interview at the JCP about moving you to Pensions Credit system
You are summoned after 6 months to an interview at the JCP!
Do not do as wot I dun! When the young man in nappies behind the counter fills in your details and shows you the computer screen to confirm them - don't point out the two misspellings and lack of capital letter on your Christian name! This only annoys them you know!
Scenario: Things get fiscally tight!
Don't hang on to any hopes that you might find employment soon or at all!
Sell the car ASAP, you won't be allowed to drive in a few months when you come out of hospital anyway! You'll save on servicing, fuel, tax, insurance, and hassle. You must just accept that your bus-pass is now the most valuable item you have left! You'll be knackered for shopping, but will not have much money left to spend on it anyway soon.
Scenario: The start of your ailments!
You will start to get painful welts on your hands and feet - and the GP will send you to see the Dermatologist at the hospital - after eight-months they will send you to cardiac for an ECG, and you will be kept in with Heart-failure.
You will be sent to another hospital to see a heart surgeon, who will tell you that you require a new Aortic valve fitted, and give you a choice of a mechanic, or biological one. you will ask the difference, and he will tell you that the biological one will last longer, but will have a higher risk of rejection than the mechanical one. If you have the mechanical valve fitted, you will be on Warfarin tablets for the rest of you limited life. So opt for the mechanical as wot I did, is my advice at this stage, despite the fact that I am now actually on eight different medication at night, three at midday, and seven in the mornings!
Scenario: Dentist first
You will be sent to the dentist (when you actually find one that will accept you that is), and have several visits, filling, and extractions - at this time other ailments will appear, Angina, Lupus, Impetigo, Panic attacks, and your nervous twitch in your left eye with gain in momentum, when the bank manager sends you a letter to make an appointment with him!
Sod the bank, you might be dead in a few weeks anyway. (You'll probably regret it if you take this advice by the way!)
Scenario: You go in for pre-procedure checks and Angiogram
The medications they give you, ensures it is actually a pleasant experience - it's afterwards you need to be worried about!
They send you home the next morning at 0550hrs! You have to ring someone to ask them to fetch you.
You tend to start losing your popularity around this time!
Scenario: You go in for the Operation
The staff are obviously under pressure, they pump you full of necessary drugs, and you are taken down to the theatre, you wake up in agony, but find interest in the cocophany of utensils, tubes, monitors, wires, that surrounds you. You are only partly aware of anything else.
The next day you are moved to normal intensive care, where a chest monitor drops off of your chest, and you become the villain of the ward!
A day later you are moved to a side ward, and have to cope with such dreams and imaginings, and go to the WC on a zimmer-frame - the agony is horrible.
But nothing compared to when the well versed and skilful nurses appear a day or two later, one sits on your legs, one holds your arms, one squirts Morphine in your mouth, and one get the pliers and pulls out the thick twisted wires that were holding your sternum together - Argh!
Another nurse comes and take you for walks up the corridor and stairs, telling you how to avoid the pain as much as possible.
The 6 day stay in hospital ends after four days, "We need the bed for an emergency" you're told as they hand you your medications, and forget to take out a drain!
Don't expect to wash, toilet, or walk without excruciating pain, it's all part of the procedure. Meals on wheels from the council is the best route to go with for a week or two when you get home, and realise you've left the oven on for 5 days - it will no longer work!
Scenario: You become blessed with Arthritis
The knees are worse than the hands, but you will be more concerned about the welts and growths that have re-appeared on your hands, feet and legs.
Back to the Dermatologist who could not find the reason the last time you visited. So he puts you back on the Trental Pentoxifylline Early Release tablets, they seem to control whatever it was a lot. You will wonder if you will ever manage the medications correctly - apart from falling asleep and missing either your morning noon or evening medications, you will manage fine, eventually. But - the water retention in your legs will need medication, and you might be given Furosemide, if you are, be aware that they are very effective - and as you have been advised to walk vigorously each day, control when you take them! Luckily the walking, or hobbling when Arthur Itis is with you, doesn't make the pain any worse than if you didn't walk. You might try walking into town like wot I do, and window shop - it might piss you off knowing you cannot afford what your seeing on display, but it's better than not walking methinks!
Scenario: The Mind does its own thing!
When you realise after a year or so from the operation, that your mobile phone has not rang for ten months, your becoming depressed, you impecuniousness is growing, the only visitors are the postman with bills, intimidating Romanian and Polish street beggars begging, youths annoying you and throwing things at your window and door, the utilities man, and cowboy builders trying to get you to pay for roof repairs that you have no money for, the depression become oddly understandable.
Ah well... sod it!