Excuse me for bleeding

Sun 9 – Sat 15 Feb 2020

Health and Efficiency

The curse of warfarin

Bleeding finger

So the most distinctive thing about last week was a big mishap in the middle of it when I cut myself and it would not stop bleeding. Had a shave on Tues night and that is when I cut myself near the lip. A tiny little nick but it started bleeding and took about half an hour to stop. Ultimately I plugged it with vaseline.

warfarin tablets

Warfarin is medication for people who have had blood clots – that’s me. It’s a real old person’s medicine and my regular INR test checks the dosage to take. Warfarin stops you having strokes, etc but also means when you cut yourself then you bleed profusely because the blood does not congeal.

Up Wed morning and into work where, as I was eating my breakfast, the tiny cut started bleeding again. 🙁 I spent the next 3 hours trying to stop the bleeding – constantly holding paper against it and trying to plug it with vaseline; sat though the risk group and team meetings with it bleeding. Finally around lunchtime I got it to stop. Though it started again as soon as I tried to eat. I got it to stop again but it meant I couldn’t eat until I got home that evening. Also by the afternoon the lip had got a bit swollen.

I skipped my warfarin dose on Wed night to make sure the bleeding would not happen again. Calmed down on Thurs but left my lip numb and scabby – very attractive. All quite embarrassing and reinforced what an old man I am becoming (getting up during the night to have a wee also reinforces this 🙁 ). But also some sort of positive in that I was proud I hadn’t panicked, rather I carried on life as normal. Things like this can make you feel good and bad at the same time.

Monday surprise day-off

Gym was not great last week largely because my rearranged work days (see below) stopped me going as often as I wanted. However, I also ended up missing a day when I could have gone simply because I was absolutely knacked. My plan was 3 mornings consecutively: Sun, Mon, Tues. But Mon morning I awoke around 6.15 as usual and was absolutely exhausted. Went to piss and back to bed. No alarm and I woke up naturally at 8.30. Spent the morning pottering before going to work.

Gym – new routine

I think that morning off and extra sleep did me good. But it meant only 3 gym sessions last week rather than 4 as I had hoped: mornings of Sun, Tues, and Fri. And I made a change in my exercise routine. Tues onwards I started focusing only on a limited number of body parts at each session. Tues it was legs, lower back, chest and triceps. Fri it was core, upper back, shoulders and biceps. Aim is to get better muscle growth.

World's Strongest Man

No yoga again

Knock-on effect of doing gym on Fri morning was that I missed yoga again. Second week in a row missed. 🙁 Other members of group probably think I’ve given up on it. That’s not true and I intend to attend next Fri.


lady going for jog-run in cold weather

Out to beat Storm Dennis on Sat morning. Really good time: 1 hour and 2 mins. Best jog-run for a while, well that’s how it felt. Very pleasing that no km stretch was more than around 6 mins and 30 seconds. Video can be found here.


man weighing himself

Making progress on reducing weight after my lovely winter break in Gran Canaria (I wish I was there now). Down to 13 stone 5 & a half pounds which is OK. I would still like to lose more but that would mean real effort to eat less and more healthy – not sure I’ve got the willpower.

Work Life Balance

Altered work days affected my ability to undertake the exercise I enjoy and that is so good for my mental health. I did try to look after myself with a haircut and dental check-up. But I wonder if I put work too central in my life? But flexibility makes work easier and I gained Friday off completely. 🙂 I’m also feeling that I am ready now for the challenge of returning to full-time working.

Can a strong work ethic be a bad thing?

depression or just work?

The fact that I carried on working (including attending meetings) despite bleeding for 3 hours indicates the strength of my work ethic. My thinking was this bleeding is not massive nor dangerous and I might as well be useful at work as opposed to just sitting at home. Indeed, I don’t think I’ve had a sick day for about 5 years – I realise this may not be a totally good thing.

Being flexible around work days

My days had to be altered last week. This was to accommodate attending some meetings to brief people about a new strategy that I have been working on. Thus I was in the office Mon and Tues afternoon plus all day Wed which is normal but then all day Thurs again rather than just a half day. This did mean I had Fri off all-day (hooray!) which sort of compensated for my exercise routine being disrupted (boo!).

Think I’m ready to go back to working full-time

I love working part-time but there really is an element to it that people don’t think you are serious about your career. The reason I started working part-time was linked to nearly 2 decades ago when first diagnosed HIV+ and started on a cocktail of inter-acting meds with side-effects. Now my health is pretty stable and I live with problems such as bleeding that’s difficult to stop.

I am feeling it is perhaps time to think about a full-time role particularly as my working won’t last forever. Could be my last time to make a mark (I am having thoughts about not living up to my potential – I regularly torture myself with this). I am pretty sure with flexible working I could do exercise and combine it with being full-time.

I need to be out and about more

One of the things I have definitely realised is that I need to get out of the office and do more remote working. It is so easy to find reassurance by being at your desk. But I can see success at work and fulfilment in your job also comes from building networks and creating links that may bear fruit in the future. That was what I did when I helped to get the Tech for Good movement going. And I feel I need to be externally facing again in order to obtain ongoing work fulfilment.

Books and Reading

‘Unicorn: The memoir of a muslim drag queen’ by Amrou Al-Kadhi

First of 2 books read last week. This is autobiography and not a genre that I normally engage with. But it is an interesting story and a widely acclaimed book. The very intriguing story of a young queer muslim man who ends up at Eton and Cambridge but finds his salvation in drag and performing. Lots of obvious angst re religion and family. A fine book but I suppose my main criticism is that he’s a young man so the story still has a long way to run.

‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ by Robert Cialdini

This is the classic text I finished on my kindle while pottering around town. Basically it looks at the main ways to get people to do what you want them to do:

  • Reciprocation – give in order to receive
  • Consistency and commitment – get people signed up and following through
  • Social proof – peer pressure
  • Liking – action based on friendship
  • Authority – acting on expertise and deference
  • Scarcity – fear of losing out

Originally published 1984, some of it feels a bit dated. There’s a whole new dimension to this work based on the internet and particularly social media. But it still makes enormous sense and is food for thought in how to get people to say ‘yes’ and make progress in life.

Family and Friends

Ill mum and brother

Mum continues to deal with chronic pain. But the new worry is my brother. He may have had a heart attack at Xmas, he certainly had a severe chest infection. And that chest infection has returned with a vengeance. He’s really ill and so that’s a new worry to deal with.


So cool to meet up with my old boss Gilly on Tues. I haven’t seen her properly in about 2 years. We met at the King’s Fund and had a good chat about life. It was so heartening to hear about how she has survived and thrived since leaving work becoming a freelance consultant. Her partner isn’t too well and I really hope she is better soon.

The Week Ahead

  • Back to normal days at work and on my exercise routine: 4 gym sessions (5 if I don’t take a day off like last week); yoga on Fri, jog-run on Sat.
  • THT massage on Fri – really looking forward to it 🙂
  • Will finish my current sci-fi reading book about robots and get a new one read, not sure what it will be yet
  • Continue to keep an eye on mum and brother
  • Meeting up with old friends Dom and Richard on Wed night
  • Want to do some art and culture; aim to see at least one film during the week and perhaps a classical concert on Sat night
  • Carry on with keeping up to date on emails and using the language apps

And Finally…

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.”

Joseph Goebbels

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