Monthly Archives: September 2019


I really needed an electric hoist so that I could transfer from one chair to another ( to my standing chair or iBot ) Because I just don’t have room for all these bloody chairs in my flat, they have to be outside ( under cover ). I applied to get a hoist via the NHS system but 1/ they probably won’t give me one at all, and 2/ they absolutely will NOT give me one that’s going to be outside, and exposed to the elements at all.

Ebay to the rescue. People that need Hoists in the first place are obviously often not in good health. They die and the hoists are then not required. There are lots around, though I guess it’s a gamble as to how well it works when you get it. By design they have to be strong and last though, so usually I guess it’s a safe bet.

Today, Pete from Bristol came with his dad ( 89 ) and together they carried the ceiling track and hoist into my place. He had told me that it had been for his late wife. She’d had lung disease and then whilst in hospital, he said she’d been dropped ( tho it was denied ) and broken her neck. He’d applied for funding help but was refused any. Pete drives a recovery truck, and isn’t well off at all. His wife died, he said, followed shortly after by his mum.

We talked about the ‘injustice ‘ of the funding system for disabled people, and he then went on to talk about the money that the NHS wastes on other things. As he is the ‘ practical sort’ he mixes with practical people. A fella he knows supplies and services beds that go up and down in critical units of the NHS. This fella’s job is to go in once a year and replace the battery on the electronic bed and give it the once over. He asked Pete if he knew how much the batteries cost him. Pete replied that actually he did, and that they were £18 each. The fella then asked him to guess what he charges the NHS for a new battery once a year…..


God, is it any wonder the NHS is strapped for cash?


Thanks for the interest in my tooth, readers ( all 6 of you ). Comments have varied from ‘ what a beautiful tooth ‘ from my mum, to ‘ Christ your breath must have stunk ‘ …

For the record then, that black stuff wasn’t decay, it was broken and old filling. My breath was untainted, and lovely, akin to the fart of a unicorn.

But my jaw does ache !


Dramatic scenes in Brentford then when someone left the plug out of the canal, and most of the water disappeared, leaving the boats on the mud..

Actually what happened was the ( probably ancient ) chain snapped on the sluice gate at the lock and the water drained out into the Thames.

They’ve replaced the chain and the canal is slowly refilling…

I don’t suppose most people walking along the towpath even noticed, such human perception these days..


I actually quite like going to the dentist. I didn’t like it as a kid, but now I don’t mind at all.

Today I had to go to Ealing dental hospital to have a tooth pulled out. I had to go there because my regular dentist said it was too tricky for him, as the tooth was too broken. It had been filled lots of times and was too buggered to fill any more. Also he said that as I can’t get into his dental chair he might hurt his back bending over me in my wheelchair. There’s a certain irony there..,,

Anyway, the little female dentist at the hospital got the thing out, and I doubt she was that strong. She actually had me in a headlock while she pulled and twisted away with the pliers. She gave me 3 very big injections but it did still hurt to be honest. Pain is actually controllable I discovered long ago though. It is of course all in the mind. If you just change your attitude and reaction to it, you can alter it. When I could run, if I started to suffer then I would make myself smile as I ran. Just the act of smiling takes the discomfort away. Try it, it works. Of course you do look demented, running along grinning, but that’s ok.

There’s lots of blood in my mouth and I have to eat painkillers apparently. Maybe I will, we’ll see. It’ll bleed for a week and I am clamped to a cotton pad by clenching my teeth together.

She said my bone was very strong, which was a positive, and that I’d been a very good patient! Well no, I didn’t cry, or want to bother with the rinsey cup thing. That just makes you get dribble all over your chops, I find.

No alcohol for 48 hours, and avoid crisps for 10 days. Makes sense.

Here’s the mofo.

Things you’d never have done until you end up in a wheelchair – no 373.

373. Use your Pee as a hot water bottle…

Tired of your feet turning into blocks of ice because you can’t move or feel them? Wear a snug around your legs in your chair, connect a night bag pee bag to your catheter, put it on your feet inside the snug so no one can see it, and Hey Presto your feet have a peehotwater bottle that’s exactly the right temperature as the rest of your body!


Beware – your girlfriend will want to have it on her lap as it’s so toasty! ( Yes, true … )


I talked to a mate of mine yesterday on the phone. I hadn’t seen him since I was Best Man at my other buddy’s wedding ( me pre injury ). We raced together in the Andes and the Himalayas once upon a time. I called him Harold Shipman because he was involved in nursing homes, where there is ‘ quite a large turnover of customers ‘.

The wedding we met at last was 7 years ago and he was well, his wife was pregnant with their first child and general optimism prevailed for sure.

He was upbeat on the phone, as he always was, but I was surprised by just how much had happened to him in 7 years. For sure he could most definitely say the same for me.

They had a daughter, and his wife fell pregnant again. Their second little girl wasn’t so straightforward. She has lots that isn’t normal, from bladder and Bowels to kidney defects. She was on dialysis every day from birth almost. His wife donated a kidney, which was a success, though it will only last til his little girl is 13, as the match wasn’t exact enough. My buddy’s mum died suddenly 2 years ago, and then his sister’s horse threw her off, and she died from her injuries. He got into conflict with his business partner and is in an unpleasant situation where he will be leaving the business he started. An incredibly fit and athletic man, he has recently had to have both hips replaced ( in his 40’s ) and said I’d now really laugh at the way he walks. I probably wouldn’t, as it’s a damn sight better than not walking at all, but it made me laugh anyway.

If there is someone that can relate to his life challenges, it’s myself. After he had told me what had happened to him, I almost found myself saying ‘ you wanna think yourself lucky mate!’ But I stopped myself..

We were both laughing a lot on the phone, and that at least was the same as it always was.

As they say a lot in Wales ( where I’m from ) and up North ( where he’s from ) – as long as you keep your sense of humour and can laugh, you’ll be alright.

Too right.

The truth.

It’s odd I think. What is it about the world that facts are underplayed, particularly when it comes to disabilities? I’d googled Edwyn Collins and found out about his 2 strokes and his speech problems. The information is written in a way that underplays completely how much he was affected, and how he always will be. You read the stuff and think ‘ oh ok, but he obviously made a full recovery then…’ I’ve seen this regularly, and experienced it first hand when people have said ( by text ) ‘ how is your recovery going? I’ve heard it’s miraculous and you are pretty much back to normal?’ This rose tinted view makes it easier to talk about I suppose, but it doesn’t do me any favours.

Edwyn Collins the singer cant walk very well, has completely lost the use of his right arm, and speaks very little, in short bursts of a few words. His band look after him and the audience loves him very much. It of doesn’t make a lot of sense, but when he sings he sounds perfectly normal! His singing voice is the same as before!

Top man, top night.

Here he is.

Now there’s a.. thing.

Going to see Edwyn Collins tonight. He had a MASSIVE hit with a song called Girl Like You, that just about everyone will recognise.

Interesting fella – he suffered 2 strokes when he was in his late 30’s and then had aphasia, which is where your intelligence is unaffected but you can’t always find the words, maybe can’t even read them in fact, and you have to develop coping mechanisms ( like calling things ‘ thing’ a lot ) while you work on your recovery, which isn’t at all a given.

If he starts singing ‘ I’ve never met a thing like you before..’ I’ll know he’s having an attack.

Brain stuff is so interesting isn’t it? I know from my own frontal lobe concussion that it changes you, in my case certainly a fair bit in the short term at least. My helper today was saying that his brother was involved in a car crash and his head hit something very hard. He got a temporal lobe injury. He was a sign writer by trade, but after the injury he literally had forgotten how to even hold a paintbrush… he had to COMPLETELY relearn his former skill, which he actually did.