Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort - Chekhov & Comedy Shorts TV - The Curious Case of the Clark Brothers TV - David Perlmutter - Theresa Appah - Marcel Proust - Albert Schweitzer - Edvard Munch - Edward Stanley - Edgar Allan Poe - Stephanie Flowers TV - Thalidomide: The Fifty Year Fight TV - Sigmund Freud - Conspiracy Test TV - Panorama TV - Tonight TV - Dick Johnson is Dead TV -
Living is an illness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It’s a palliative, The remedy is death. Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort
Oh my God, my heart ... I’ve got spots in front of my eyes ... Oh my heart ... I’m going to die. I can’t move my leg ... Where’s my shoulder? I’m going to die. Get me a doctor. Chekov: Comedy Shorts: The Proposal, Sky Arts 2010
That life believe me I can say in all seriousness I would not wish on my worst enemy. It has made a wreck of me. I am ill. You understand? Physically ill. I suffer from shortness of breath. I have heartburn. My digestion doesn’t function. My vision is blurred. And I live in constant fear of something. You might not believe this, but I have turned into a psychopath. Anton Chekhov: Comedy Shorts: A Reluctant Tragic Hero starring Johnny Vegas & Mackenzie Crook, Vegas
This is Matthew and Michael Clark. They’re forty-two and thirty-nine years old. The Curious Case of the Clark Brothers, Channel 4 2012
Now the two men are like toddlers and unable to look after themselves … An extraordinary illness. ibid.
‘The real Benjamin Button’. ibid. newspaper headline
Michael and Matthew Clark’s lives are slowly unravelling. Bit by bit their bodies and their minds are unlearning everything they’ve ever known. ibid.
Michael and Matthew’s behaviour was becoming more and more abnormal but no-one really knew what to make of it or what was causing them to behave in this way. ibid.
They had become alienated from each other. ibid.
Leukodystrophy … there is no known cure. ibid.
Dementia is our most-feared illness, more than heart disease or cancer. David Perlmutter
Here in Africa, or in Ghana, we believe that every sickness is a curse or is caused by the devil. Theresa Appah, African Evangelical, interview Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch
Illness is the most heeded of doctors. To goodness and wisdom we only make promises. Pain we obey. Marcel Proust
Serious illness doesn’t bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host. Albert Schweitzer
Without fear and illness I could never have accomplished all I have. Edvard Munch
Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. Edward Stanley
Thank Heaven! The crisis
The danger is past, and the lingering illness is over at last
And the fever called Living is conquered at last. Edgar Allan Poe, For Annie
A hundred years ago a mysterious new epidemic took hold in Britain and America. There was no vaccine to prevent it and no cure. It was every bit as terrifying as the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s except the victims of this cruel plague were mainly children, and its symbol was a calliper. Stephanie Flanders, The Battle to Beat Polio, BBC 2014
The battle to beat Polio tested medical science, particularly here and in America, to the limit. ibid.
The formaldehyde he [Brodie] used hadn’t killed all the virus in his vaccine [Coleman & Brodie]. ibid.
Some patients spent fifty years in this horizontal prison [iron lung]. ibid.
Roosevelt ... founded the March of Dimes, a Polio charity that would lead the fight on every phase of the sickness. ibid.
A number of children in the west and south-west of America had started to get Polio from the vaccine itself. ibid.
Over fifty years ago the drug Thalidomide shocked the world. For ten years a battle for compensation was fought against one of Britain’s largest corporations. One man stood up against this injustice [David Mason]: but this man would see those he was fighting for turning against him. And many attempted to silence his story. But his actions set in motion a change of events that changed the lives of every Thalidomide child in this country. Thalidomide – The Fifty Year Fight, BBC 2014
Between 1959 and 1963 hundreds of babies across Britain were being born severely damaged by Thalidomide. ibid.
Over one hundred and eighty million tablets had been sold in over forty-six countries. This was a global tragedy. ibid.
Distillers refused to accept liability for the tragedy. ibid.
Murdoch had secretly funded this national guerrilla [poster] campaign. ibid.
I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness – a real thorough-going illness. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground
Neurotics complain of their illness, but they make the most of it, and when it comes to taking it away from them they will defend it like a lioness her young. Sigmund Freud
Hundreds of thousands of service personnel who served in the 1991 Gulf War claimed they returned from the battle-field with serious medical conditions. Conspiracy Test: Gulf War Illness; viz also 9/11 Connections: Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime
When Jim Hewitt of the Chronic Sickness Research Foundation asked questions he too was rebuffed. He was told that the Pentagon’s medical records had mysteriously disappeared. ibid.
Many vets report the toxic exposure alarm sounded so often that some military commanders decided to ignore them as a matter of routine. At the same time the military was using vast quantities of insecticides, and soldiers were being inoculated with an Anthrax vaccine that was not in common use. The alarms, the vaccines, and medicines, the smoke from burning oil wells, jet and rocket fuel, the leaking of Iraqi chemical weapons after Coalition air strikes are all cited in what’s called the Toxic Soup Theory. Some US vets believe the US military’s own munitions posed the worst hazard of all. ibid.
The troops know they were exposed to toxic substances in the Gulf. Did those toxins include Saddam Hussein’s nerve gas? The US government’s statements on the matter of Sarin nerve gas have reinforced the veterans’ suspicions. For years after the first Gulf War the Pentagon claimed that no Sarin was ever released. As it turned out that wasn’t exactly true. After US troops blew up an Iraqi arms dump at Khamisiyah, United Nations inspectors found Sarin on the site. ibid.
Five Gulf War veterans have given blood samples. The vials have now arrived at the lab. All five veterans are convinced Gulf War Syndrome is real. And that they suffer from it ... The Sky Test results are impressive. All five of the veterans have considerable levels of chromosome damage. The damage levels are so high on average they exceed even those of cancer patients. ibid.
Not only is the level of damage to the veterans’ chromosomes severe but also much of the damage is consistent with that caused by alpha radiation. ibid.
Sepsis: one of Britain’s biggest killers. Poor treatment is causing thousands of preventable deaths. Panorama: Why Mum Died: Britain’s Sepsis Crisis, BBC 2017
Sometimes called the Silent Killer, Sepsis is triggered by an infection. The body’s immune system overreacts and can lead to multiple organ failure and death. ibid.
The picture that emerges is of a post-code lottery. ibid.
Worrying ourselves sick: is searching for symptoms online turning us into a nation of cyber-chondriacs. Or is digital diagnoses just the start? But does it mean NHS GP practices are being left behind? Tonight: Dr Google: Do DIY Diagnoses Work? ITV 2018
Just the idea that I would ever lose this man is too much to bear. He’s my dad. He’s such an open accepting person. That’s who you want for a father. And that’s who I have. Who I’ve always had my entire life. But now it’s upon us – the beginning of his disappearance, and we’re not accepting it. He’s a psychiatrist, I’m a camera person. I suggested we make a movie about him dying – he said yes. Dick Johnson is Dead, Kirsten Johnson director, Netflix 2020