Friday, 29 May 2009

Silly ol' Bear :)

Our home is modified - just enough to enable me to be independentish.

Bear, today :- "That bath board- is it ok then?"

It was fitted about March 2008. She trying to tell me something?


A bath board is a like a plastic thingy that fits across the top of a bath for me to sit on while I shower. The shower was moved by The Community Care services to the middle of the wall rather than at the end of a bath. Not perfect, but the alternative was spending years waiting for an adapted bungalow.

"What?" she said when I'd stopped laughing, coughing and spluttering "I dunno. We've been married over 20 years, it's not like I've not seen what you've got!"

True. true. Dammit. I just hate Wimmins Logic.........It's the one thing us fella's have no defence against (sulk!)

Monday, 25 May 2009


I seem to have rattled someone's cage. I've just removed a post giving one of my ex-directory telephone numbers. I seem to have caught it quickly.

I know some people have raised merry heck when I've done it before screaming 'Censorship!' and 'Freedom of Speech' , but this time it's just plain tough. This is way out of order.

Comment moderation now enabled.

My apologies for
the inconvenience to the decent peeps out there.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Blimey, been awhile hasn't it?

It's been an interesting and often amusing couple of weeks. Had to ask facebook to close down an account that had been set up in my name. Which they did swiftly.

An update on the Jobcentre Plus phone call post - they're now saying they have no record of contacting me (shrug).

Had a chap ask me out for coffee. Kind of him. Another guy has asked me to support him at a disability benefits hearing, and perhaps go for a drink/coffee afterwards?

Sounds fair enough? Hmmm. Until you realise that for me going out is a carefully planned military style operation. I don't -can't- go out unaccompanied. I travel with a carer. We need to know exactly where the buses are, and how long we would have to wait for them. Standing for long periods is out of the question.

We need to know where the toilets are near the bus stops, because I'm doubly incontinent. I need to know whether those toilets have at least basic changing and disposal facilities, and I often need a carer - of either sex - to accompany me to the toilet. Then there's the cost of the bus fares for the carer. Don't get me going about trying to catch a bus in a wheelchair - it just isn't going to happen. Sure, buses have reserved spaces, but would you ask a couple of harassed mums with prams and kids to block the isle and you, so you can park up?

I won't. Then there's actually using Wheels. I have to be pushed. Uphill, mostly. As my lass will tell you, it's no fun at all. There's the essential 'dropped curbs' which you have to go miles off-route to find, assuming no-one has parked on it or blocking it. Normal kerbs are possible, but more often than not the front wheels drop, the ass goes up, and I tip out. Take it from one who knows, landing on your nose on a busy road, while some kind driver blocks traffic while a carer helps you back in is not amusing.

Can I propel myself? Sure I can. I've an arm that works, and another that belongs to someone else, and it takes a bit of negotiation to get them co-operate. For a while. Then they fall out. I'll leave it to your imagination what happens when a one armed man propels himself in a wheelchair. It's ok to smile - it makes me laugh :)

Catching taxi's for coffee is just plain silly cost wise.

Did you know that some taxi companies charge extra for wheelchair users because their cars need to specially adapted? Did you also know that there wheelchair width restrictions on trains?

A café? Assuming the toilets, changing and disposal facilities are ok, I need to know about the cups. Yup, cups. With a normal cup, or glass I dibble all down my shirt. The lip on a normal cup is too thick, but I'm fine with thin bone china, which in most cafés isn't practical. Like hell am I going to use an adult feeder cup in public. And eating in public, perhaps having someone cut up my food for me? Thanks, but no :)

For the same reason, I don't nip out for a newspaper, go for a pint, I'm not allowed to drive, and I astonish myself if and when I can dial a phone number correctly. Oddly enough, I can text, slowly.

If I was to be asked what the most difficult things are? The concentration it takes to look normal. I know I don't HAVE to - I prefer to. It's a man thing. Depending on others, ummm, yeh. And people, because my intellect, on the whole, is peachy, assuming I am normal, whatever that is. I'm a multiple stroke survivor, not a common cold survivor, and it's effects are permenant.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I spoke to a couple of people today.

Both were convinced that the experiences, qualifications, and occupations that they've 'gained' below 30 defined who they are and what they are. Gosh, were they adamant.

The hell it does.

What amazed me, was that one was older than me!

Life is for growing, expanding, changing. The day I stop believing and experiencing that, is the day I'm just off the M1, in a quiet secluded woodland, with a FRUIT tree planted over me, with a cute little brass plaque on the trunk. Yup. It annoyed me.

Tsk. Eat me! :)

Thursday, 7 May 2009


If you had to watch every step you take. That walking across your lounge meant being careful to avoid the coffee table. If you needed to check the floor to make sure someone hadn't carelessly thrown clothing, toys. Not for tidiness sake, but to make sure you didn't suffer suffer serious injury.

Being supervised in your kitchen, so you didn't drop anything, burn yourself, chop anything important off.

Imagine, that you had to think first before walking through a doorway, to make sure you didn't hit the door frame. Walking down the hall, you need to be sure no-one is coming through adjoining doors and you don't hit the walls. Without extra grip rails, stairs would be impossible, and that stairs without them are off limits. Not because it can be difficult, but because it can be lethal. Visit someone? Upstairs bathroom? Forget it.

If you couldn't get in or out of a bath unaided - and that to shower, you needed a special adjustable board across the bath. That your shower needed to be adapted so you can use it at all. That people hovered around the bathroom door while you're in there wanting privacy.

Can you imagine someone insisting sitting with you while you eat? Calling for you if they think you've been in the toilet too long? Tapping on the door?

Imagine, if you will, not being allowed out unaccompanied. Not being able to nip out for a paper. A pint? A burger, a pizza? A walk that used to take 15 mins now taking 45?

What I've just written is terribly un-British. Definitely considered unmanly, and frowned upon.

I have little Cerebellum, and some right sided paralaysis, and work hard to look normal. Thats just me - I have no probs being open - though some of the messier details I prefer to share privatly :)

I help out a little on the Stroke Association website (Talk Stroke) - and I'm amazed though it's there for people to help each other, and often Carers tell the most heart-rending stories about their experiences, very few stroke survivors seem willing to talk about the difficulties they face.

I'm sure someone would point out that because of their difficulties some can't acess, don't have the will to, or can't afford net access. I think I have a campaign coming on.......

I really think they should, because there are work-around most things. Don't get me wrong, some do, but privatly. I'm fiercly independant (see what new words you can learn if you knock on my toilet door!) Cerebellar (link)

Stroke Association (Talkstroke) - Anyone can ask questions there - you don't have to know anything about strokes, or have to be a carer. The Stroke Association is Britains only registered Stroke charity. They aren't just an aid for stroke survivors and their carers, they are the number one resource for information about stroke and stroke prevention. If you dig around, you'll find me there as 'Dray'.