In Summary

  • Back on March 9 blood appeared in my urine.
  • By late July, I was so weak and my haemoglobin figure was so low, I was readmitted to hospital and given four blood transfusions.
  • There followed an operation to cauterise areas of my bladder.

Considering what has been happening in Kenya these last few days, this column will not be the first choice of reading matter for most Nation buyers on Sunday.

However, I need to explain my absence from last week’s online platform (sorry, folks, but it was the first in many years) and to assure those loyal followers who expressed dismay and concern at my disappearance that I am alive and kicking and still able to hit the computer keys.

The fact is I was in hospital, where I have learned a few lessons, some good, some bad, about our famous National Health Service: Lovely nurses, marvellous ward care, great food, but …

Back on March 9 (the squeamish can skip the following) blood appeared in my urine. There followed over ensuing weeks … a CT scan, a non-anaesthetic cystoscopy (ouch), numerous blood tests, consultations with the cancer department and a cystoscopy under anaesthetic.

This latter revealed nothing malignant and I was discharged with an appointment for four months hence.

BLEEDING

Great! Except, for one thing: I was still bleeding! Didn’t they notice?

To cut a long story short, by late July, I was so weak and my haemoglobin figure was so low, I was readmitted to hospital and given four blood transfusions.

There followed an operation to cauterise areas of my bladder. Result: bleeding stopped, golden pee again!

I can’t pretend to know why what happened happened and I’m not about to second-guess the decisions. However, an email from me is on file and, if it saves some other poor guy from weeks of pointless discomfort, then I’ll take that.

***

Caught in the act! Ex-prime minister David Cameron, who once described himself as a former smoker, was snapped at a Wilderness Festival with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Now out of the public eye, he seems to have turned to tobacco again.

Few ex-smokers would criticise him. It is a struggle many people know about: Have a few drinks and you’re puffing away again.

SECRET SMOKER

Cameron is not alone among national leaders. Former deputy PM Nick Clegg has confessed to being a secret smoker, and Barack Obama, too, has fought the good fight.

The former American President started smoking as a teenager but promised his wife he would give up if she would allow him to run for president.

“Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes?” Obama asked. “Yes! But am I a daily smoker? No! I’m too scared of my wife.”

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