Just read a report by someone saying that he woke up this morning at 6h24 am, having slept 7 hours and 39 minutes, interrupted by two being-awake periods of 14 minutes in total, with a blood pressure of 120/80 and a heartbeat of 74.

He had burnt up 2,347 calories over the previous 24-hour period and taken in 1,949 calories, 44% of which were carbs, 37% fat, 19% protein.

He is one of those 4.5m people who during the first half of this year started to wear one of those bracelets that are not bracelets but fitness-trackers.


When I read his account, I thought about what they are doing with Pádraig in the hospital. His vital signs are measured non-stop. Numbers. There is no nurse in his room. They stick their head in from time to time to administer medicines or check on water and liquid food. They also turn him to make sure he doesn’t get any bed sores. The only other time they come in is when his heartbeat goes up over a set level, or his oxygen levels go down beyond a set level – and the alarms go off left, right, and centre.

Sometimes I think the future has arrived when I see people being transformed into numbers that are used to capture what and who they are, when it seems that measurable vital signs have replaced the immeasurable complexity of a human being.

images6699 were Pádraig’s signs today: 66 heart beat, 99 oxygen level. These are not just really solid figures, but also interesting ones: you can turn them upside down and they’re still the same.

It was great to have some visitors in over the weekend. Pádraig really and visibly enjoyed the chat in his room and when an old pal rang, Pádraig made such a big effort to talk. No measurements captured this, no amount of numbers could describe what this meant to all of us in the room and on the other side of the telephone line back in Ireland. Even if Pádraig’s efforts were not yet as successful as he (and us) would have liked, it was the effort that counted. The rest will just come one day.

Pádraig will be transferred to the UKE on Wednesday to have an operation on Thursday replacing his bone plate with an artificial one which doctors hope to be able to join much better with his skull. He’ll be there for a week, that is the plan at least, and then get back to the Schön-Klinik for a bit over another month then.

I keep listening to the Dreamboat. Please post the Dreamboat on FB and keep tweeting about it!