Saturday, 22 December 2012
Placating the Gods of Macula Lutea
Here in Kinellar for full many a day there has been a miraculous falling of small very wet droplets in innumerable numbers from a sky simultaneously dark from the absence of light and wet from the presence of the aforesaid rain-like particles. I know not if you have had similar experiences where you dwell. Some say that this may presage a cosmic Bath-Night of the Soul, but fortunately The Lord has provided us with Welly Boots of Holy Rubber, which has a remarkable tendency to keep out the wetness and so protect the moral integrity of the sacred feet. The peculiarly named Burn shows as yet no tendency to warmth despite its Quicke Speedinesse, on the contrary it seems an ideal strategy not to follow the urgings of the Gravitational Principle and fall into the chilly flood, although no doubt in the event of such a downfalling arising it would be amusing enough to cascade at high velocities into the Village downstream and thereby occasion much dumbfoonerment among the Pagan Villagers dwelling therein as they stagger from the Fish & Chip Shop sated with unleavened vinegar and unsanctified salt. Yea, even the Mudde which supporteth and encourageth all our activities upon this land of Extreme Dubs rejoiceth in the muddiness thereof, for as the Holy Profiteroller sayeth, He that is without Mudde, Howe then shall he be Muddied?
As may perhaps be gathered from the mood and affective tenor of the foregoing, no new item of pathological science has manifested itself upon my person for over a Fort-Night. Indeed the Spectacularly Raised Blood Pressure, explicable to the Ancient Greeks and Dr. Galen alike as arising from an excess of Fire from the Liver combining with the natural Choler and Biliousness, found in any aging gentleman, to urge the heart to greater efforts than are strictly necessary, has been ameliorated and considerably mitigated through modern pharmacological means, to wit, Blockers of the Calcium Channels. To reach this ideal cusp of pharmacology versus kilopascalogical balance it was of course necessary to endure multiple investigations whereby the inner secrets of my cardiac cycle were recorded by nothing less than Electrical means, a cunning device being set in tireless motion to record the Pressures of my Bloodstream every twenty minutes for a full day irrespective of the circumstances, and on one occasion, by special arrangement a jet of peculiarly inaudible sound being directed by a young lady into the intimmers of one's thorax the better to espy how the powerful ventricles and marvellous Valves might respond to the inunction of oils to the praecordium by the same female person. Fortunately this Instrument was insufficiently perceptive to divine what base and extraordinary suggestions consequently emerged from the subconscious but erotogenous zones whose business such intuitions are, no matter the unusual circumstances, although had she directed her Sonic Spatula loinwards who knows what clinically interesting outcome might have eventuated?
All of this was both instructive and entertaining, no less so as it gradually became clear that the imminent prospect of being struck down by the angry gods and compassionate Eumenides for a lifetime of Hubris, Naughty Thoughts and Dissipation had for the moment somewhat receded.
It may be, however, that at some point I had unintentionally offended Theia and Hyperion, the blessed gods of sight and light, perhaps through my regrettable insufficient attention to the arts of Limning and Illumination, and of a sudden it became necessary for me to travel, in imitation of Orion the hunter, who journeyed in search of a means to restore his sight, towards the East, in which direction, although somewhat short of Delos, after many adventures through lunch-time traffic I finally arrived at a vast Temple known as The Department of Ophthalmology, where dwell beings in whose form and function I recognised Helios, Eos and Selene, possessed of extraordinary powers including High Definition Optical Coherence Tomography, Fluorescein Angiography and Fundus Autofluorescence Photography. All of these various and diverse arts were then practised upon my yielding person, for as may be imagined, there was neither occasion nor opportunity for either argument or struggle.
Following the administration of strong Pharmakia to the ocular parts all these dark arts and bright skills were now brought into play, with the result that my previous familiarity with inner worlds of transendence and visionary clairvoyance were completely eclipsed by artifice hitherto unknown. Bright flashes were immediately followed by after-images equally bright but in colours complementary and of surpassing brilliance. All this went on for what seemed to be an interminable time, and yet although the occasion was intense it could not have been described as unpleasant; on the contrary, it occurred to me that were the Religious Leaders of whom we hear so much these days to come to hear of such experiences, it might be that their ceremonies involving wine and crumpets might benefit to no small degree from some high-technological addenda.
Once I had been subjected to these remarkable ocular inquisitions, there ensued considerable talk of malfeasant entities known as Lipofuscin, Drusen and the particularly dreaded Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor or VEGF, and at times the conversation came close to the limits of even my considerable understanding of Principia Physiologica. After a considerable but not unduly uncomfortable period of meditation and fasting in the precincts of the Temple, I was led for the second time into the presence of a beautiful and accomplished priestess of the Cult of Hippocrates of Modern Times, who reviewed in detail the many visions generated by her divine technical assistants, and after due consideration counselled me that the Fates, allied to the sub-species of Fate known as Genetics, had decreed that I had a condition known as Age Related Macular Degeneration or AMD of the Wet variety.
Helios to my Orion, the priestess stated that an effective remedy, in the event that the gods were well-disposed, would involve the direct application to the Retinal Layer of the Eye-Ball, through a specially-prepared serpent's hollow iron tooth, of a magical substance known to the laity as "Lucentis", but whose hieratic name to the initiated is RANIMIZUMAB - pronounce it at your peril, O Readers! Remarkably, she had by her a store of this precious material, and although I was perturbed to see no evidence so far of a sacrifice having been made to placate the gods, I was induced to lie down in a supine position on the altar in a particularly special area of the Temple open only to high initiates.
Here, once suitable ceremonies in honour of Hygeia had been conducted in the standard way using traditional holy antibacterial agents and consecrated drapes, I was commanded to look upwards and to the left, presumably to ward off evil influences, and grasping the Lucentis-bearing vessel surmounted by its tiny stiletto, the Lady proceeded with the Intraocular Intoxication, an event somewhat scarier to describe than to experience.
The effect was at least as remarkable as the sequelae of the investigative phase of my visit to the Temple, for immediately a bright blue-green vision appeared, peopled by cells whose form resembled the Photoreceptors with multiple stacked disks familiar to me from my explorations in the sacred texts. But before I could ask the questions which came bubbling to the surface of my by then considerably scrambled consciousness, principally, "How TF can a retina image itself??", the Priestess had vanished into Thinne Air.
All the signs are that this procedure has succeeded so far, for lo, warm colours are returning and linear distortion is diminishing. Perhaps I made a good impression on the Priestess, for she (Who Must be Obeyed) has instructed me to return after thirty days, and seems to think it would be best if we should meet regularly in the Temple for some time to come. Certainly there is much to recommend my continued compliance with the will of the gods of vision and light, if only that I may continue to appreciate the elements of Earth, Fire and Air as well as Water, through senses other than those finely attuned to Wetness alone.
In the meantime I have sent through subtle channels a message to merchants from afar with the intent that they should acquire on my behalf a Musical Instrument of the variety known as Ukulele, in hopes that, once the said Instrument has been transmitted to my domicile via the Xanthamaxi or White Van System, through earnest and unceasing application of my considerable Skills of Intellect and Musicianship I will succeed in pleasing the god Apollo, who will perhaps spread joyous news and satisfactory reports of my abilities in the strophic hymn "When I'm Cleaning Windows".
© Donnie Ross 2012