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Martin Kelner, Journalist, Author and Radio Presenter.
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Keep It Light
By Martin "Knobbly Tits" Kelner on Oct 9, 2013 - 2:51:54 PM

Those of you seeking the latest grisly medical bulletin will be fascinated to learn that the very sensitive part of a man's body known to readers of medical journals as the uretheral orifice, but to the rest of us as the "Jap's eye" - you know where I am talking about - has lately had the kind of caning even the most dedicated and enthusiastic masochist would blanch at.

At the weekend, I seemed to be making decent progress from my illness. I had stepped up the distance I walked each day, and was climbing two flights of steps without getting breathless, following treatment for multiple pulmonary embolisms; daily injections in my stomach - not as painful as they sound - and increased doses of the drug Warfarin.

On Monday I skipped blithely off to St James's Hospital for removal of a stent, a connecting coil between my kidney and bladder, attached to replace the piece of pipe that was cut away to enable removal of my sarcoma. 

It's not a fun procedure.  It's actually quite agonising - or uncomfortable as the doctors like to put it.  They take a hook, or tweezers or something and pull the thing out through the part of the body I mentioned before with that probably politically incorrect epithet referring to our Oriental cousins.  But I'm not going to apologise. They started it. ("No, they didn't"  "Yes they did, they bombed Pearl Harbour." - with apologies to Basil Fawlty)

It hurt like hell, but it was quick, and I was comforted by the fact that I was under the care of John Cartledge, not just the top man in the urology department, but a big fan of my contributions to the Radio Five Live programme Fighting Talk, and thus with something of a personal stake in my recovery.

The stent was duly removed, but when I got home I found that the organ in question wouldn't work....

(Light entertainment fans, two jokes occur: Man in sheet music shop sees a big poster on wall advertising "Handel's Organ Works," and adds: "So does mine but I don't make a fuss about it."

And, royal visitor to hospital asks patient why he's there.  He replies "Trouble with my cock, I can't piss properly."  Matron is horrified and says if any more VIPs visit, he should pretend to have a more decorous complaint.  For the purposes of this joke, Lord Mayor visits later in the week, and patient dutifully says, "I have a problem with my elbow,"  "What's the problem?" Mayor asks.  "It hurts when I piss through it," is the reply.)

I tried several times, drunk copious amounts of water, but still nothing more than a trickle.  I telephoned the urology department and they recommended I return to St James's Hospital's surgical assessment unit, which was like Kolkata central bus station - obviously not in the sense of diesel fumes and stalls selling samosas, but in the general confusion and press of people in the waiting room. 

Quite a few hours later, a bluff genial Scottish nurse, built on rather more substantial lines than Barbara Mullen in Dr Finlay's Casebook (one for the teenagers there), said she'd "help me out by putting a wee catheter in," the kind of medical understatement I'm getting quite accustomed to.

Students of the human body will have twigged that this insertion was made through the part of the body so recently traumatised by the removal of the stent.  It meant staying overnight in hospital, and I'm still in agony two days later.  I'm now pissing and shitting into a bag, and feel my recovery's been put back at least two weeks.  The joy of it all. 

At which point, you will be ready for some light relief.  I know I am.

Some years ago I interviewed the great '70s comedian and TV star Freddie "Parrot Face" Davies (another one for the teenagers), and asked him what it was like entertaining the oldies on cruise ships, and he said it was exactly like the holiday camps he did in the early days, except then he had knobbly knees contests, "Now it's knobbly tits contests."  He also told me that since his great performance in the film Funny Bones, he was now represented by agents in New York and Los Angeles as well as England.  "I'm out of work all over the world," he said*

I know you'd be disappointed if my blog didn't include some shameless pluggery, so can I just say that should my catheter be removed in time, and should I be in a condition to do so, I plan to make my return to polite society in an event called Writing Talk (what could that be based on, I wonder?) at Lords Cricket Ground on Saturday October 19th, on a panel including the great Miles Jupp,author of Fibber In The Heat, Teeside's funniest man Harry Pearson, and the voice of sport on Britain's only left(ish) leaning tabloid The Daily Mirror, Brian Reade. 

It's 10 quid to get in but you get the chance to meet those fine writers, and see me in my post-illness gaunt, bearded style, looking like a cross between Captain Birdseye and Dave Lee Travis, paedophile-chic we call it.  There are more details here:

It's part of the London Sportswriters Festival, going on for four days and including some big names - even bigger than Harry and me - so it's worth Googling it.

Other upcoming events include a return to Fighting Talk as defending champion on November 2nd, my regular Tuesday column in the Racing Post, and a possible return to BBC Radio Leeds on a partial basis some time in that month as well, everything, of course, dependent on a return to something like half-fitness.

Finally, for those of you missing the film-based fun on my Radio Leeds show, here are examples of a couple of Twitter threads I have been fighting the pain barrier to contribute to (how I missed out on a Pride Of Britain award, I'll never know)...

First: Change A Word, Ruin a Movie..

Things To Do In Denver When You're There
Carry On Proctologist
Bunfight At The O.K. Corral
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and her Accountant

And: Add a Word, Ruin a Movie

Jules et Jim Davidson
You've Got Junk Mail
Snow White Supremacist and the Seven Dwarves
A Night at the Holocaust Museum
Schindler's Shopping List
One Direction Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Pillow Fight Club
The Seven Year Vaginal Itch

*You can read the full Freddie Davies piece here



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