Back pain is no joke, but I’ve got one about MRI scanners!

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -

Like thousands of Peterborians I suffer from backpain. For me, it’s a relatively new phenomenon brought on by foolish behaviour in an adventure playground.

By foolish, I mean acting my shoe size not my age. After months of suffering (for me and everyone around me!) I finally went to the doctor who sent me off for an MRI scan.

I was due to go to Peterborough City Hospital but an equipment failure meant at the last minute I was diverted to the more, er, basic pleasures of Stamford hospital. So on Sunday I headed off for my appointment.I’d been told the process was painless but not being a fan of the unknown it was with some trepidation.

Arriving at the hospital I thought it was closed for the winter. But at least there was no problem parking and it was free.

Wishing to look a gift horse in the mouth, why is that? Anybody visiting PCH faces what is effectively a tax on being ill via a hefty parking charge, yet it is free in Stamford. We should all pay or all not pay.

As ever, the medical staff were excellent – professional and polite and while they didn’t quite put me at my ease that was my fault.

I’d answered the questionnaire which focused on having bits of metal in or on your body.

As I laid on the scanner I suddenly started to doubt myself. Did I have some metal in my body after all? I imagined myself or a bodily part being violent pulled up to the roof of the scanner when the on switch was flicked.

It turned out to be a painless if uncomfortable experience. The noise of the machine was like being at the world’s worst rave – an incessent booming but you can’t move and no mind altering drugs are available.

I jest, but back pain is no joke. I tried to take my mind off it and I idly wondered if there was such a thing as an MRI joke.

I could hardly wait to get off the scanner and get on Google. I found one.

What’s the difference between dogs and cats?

Dogs can’t operate MRI machines, but catscan.

I’m laughing through the pain.

Not an error-free zone

My piece last week on the Bourges Boulevard/Bridge Street crossing got a big response on social media.

Sadly, it just confirmed that the internet is not a very nice place. The general consensus was that anybody who was in an accident on the crossing was ‘stupid’.

It appears there are a lot of people out there who have never made a mistake in their lives.

On the same issue the Missing The Point Spectacularly Award goes to the Safer Peterborough Partnership.

When asked to comment the best it could come up were some glib safety instructions a primary school child could have parroted.

Obviously, if everybody followed the rules and never made a mistake there would never be an accident there.

Or anywhere. And there would be no crime, no tax avoidance and no sex pest politicians either.

If the SPP can’t come up with a better response on what is a matter of genuine public safety concern what is the point of it?

Cashing in on crime

This week’s revelation in the PT about the shocking rise in crime brought with it the usual drivel from the police hierarchy trying to downplay the problem.

Why do they bother?

Police chiefs are always banging on that they need more resources. So wouldn’t a rise in crime justify their argument, and focus the minds of the politicians holding the purse strings?

Friends in high places

Despite being at the heart of the Brexit negotiations it’s good to know former Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson still reads this column. He sent me a message last week. It wasn’t complimentary!

City’s 2nd best dancer

If it’s any consolation to Peterborough’s very own Aston Merrygold, who was controversially booted off Strictly Come Dancing, you’re still a better dancer than me.