30 March 2008

Jack auditioning to work with Santa this year

Is it a dog or a reindeer, no its Jack auditioning to work for Santa this year ???

What do you think, has he got the job ?

For the love of Rachel

Recently I have become good friends with David, Susan Rachel and Amy, this friendship came as a result of coming across there webpage on MySpace, Rachel and I have one thing in common and that is cerebral palsy. I chat with David and his family whenever we are able to connect on the computer. Rachel is a true inspiration to all who meet her and although I haven’t met her in person, I feel like I have know her all through her amazing life, you might ask how if I have not come face to face, well I have accomplished this through David’s awe inspiring account of his love for his daughter Rachel, and I have to say the title is so true to say the least, his love and devotion to Rachel just bounces out of the page.
I started reading and I couldn’t put it down, it brought a lot of memories back to me about my own life, how I was born premature, not as small as Rachel, spending time in a incubator and being able to fit in the hand of my Mum or Dad, I know that they were in awe of such a special life that had been created for a reason, and that is to show the way forward, and I believe that David and Susan felt the same way when holding Rachel. I also like Rachel wore dolls clothes as they were they only thing that fit me. At the time families believe that the constant machines will always be part of there life but as you read In the book it isn’t the case for Rachel and it wasn’t for me, we both came forward in the world and worked hard to develop our special lives so that we can fulfil our reasons for being here, and why shouldn’t we.

Then David Susan and Rachel decided that special lives were something that had meaning and the love should be expanded. They went to China and brought there love to Amy and brought her home to a special family where she could be happy and fulfil her life and be special also.

If there is anyone out there who is looking for inspiration and direction in there life then this book is one for you because I believe you will of found it here and if it moves you as much as me then it should move you enough to keep on keeping on.

29 March 2008

Walking back to health or should that by climbing

Well this week I have slowly been coming back together and have been walking about as much as I could manage, to try and boost myself. I have just been taking it slowly because as the saying goes you have to learn to crawl before you can walk, but in my case it's learn to walk before I can run!!!.

Each day I have manged to walk for a little bit longer and yesterday I think I had walked more than I had in a while, because I had walked during the day at work but then went for my Physio after work. It was only when I was in physio when I realised that I have slipped backwards slightly so have a mountain to climb to get back to the top.

I started off with the gym ball in the bars which was fine at first but then my physio had to support me as my balance was off, which just shows how things can change because last time I did it on my own. Hey ho I will get back there don't worry (Rome wasn't built in a day) then we went down into the main part of the hospital so that I could practice on the stairs. My physio said get back in your chair and we will go and try them, but no you know me I said no I will walk it will be easier!!. Oh boy had I forgot where the stairs were it was a fair walk, well fair by the fact that I had already been doing some work in the bars so was a bit tired. Maybe I should of taken her offer of my chair after all, but then the chair would of won and I wanted to cross the finish line so to speak on two feet.

I turned into the ward and there was a side room where the stairs were, they were the same steps as I had worked on before, but some how it felt different I had initially completely gone back to my old habits, but my physio didn't say anything first off, then I turned to go to down and I just couldn't do it down the steep side, so lifted myself back up and went down the side I had just come up.

By the time I had tried it the second time I got up reasonably easier and even my physio said you are becoming more agile, it was like you could physically see the messages going down the pathways. I then had a rest for 5 minutes and then we tried something that I have never done, which is coming down on my backside, I climbed up to the one before the landing step, and using the rails, slowly lowered myself down so that I was sat on the top step, there I was siting quite easy legs out in front and supporting myself and then I followed the instructions and slowly brought myself down the steps. When I got to the bottom I thought how am I going to stand from this position, but my physio had already read my mind and got a chair and place it at the side of the stairs, and I got myself up by one step and took hold of the rail and the the chair arm, and with a minimal of support I pulled myself up to standing.

Then the fun started, after I had had a brief rest to connect myself again, I turned to face the stairs again and turned to come down, but this time used one of my crutches instead of the rail. This was odd to me because my head was telling me to step then bring stick down, but my physio said bring stick first then step down, at first I just stood at the top and looked and she said no trust me it's stick first then leg, so I trusted her and started to come down, but then we got to the one last one and I ran out of rail and I thought I don't know what to do, because I could see my other stick on the floor, but she said, bring the stick down and step, I said no I can't work it out I need the other stick then I can step down, she said no you won't be able to, then she looked at me as I was smiling, which tells her I can do it, she then relented and gave me the stick and stayed in front of me so that I didn't fall, and sure enough I used the stick and stepped down, and she just laughed, because she knew that was my way and it worked for me, OK it might not by the correct physiotherapy way, but she knows that I trust her 100% and she does me so the relationship works.

We then walked back up to the physiotherapy department and were talking say that it was going to be feasible that I could use the stairs if I had too in time, we just got to work hard on it because I was not ready for it now.

27 March 2008

Making strides in the world of Physiotherapy

Well I have been using my reciprocal walking system for about 1 1/2 years and it still helps me no end even when I am walking on my crutches, I seem to be able to replicate the same movements which proves to me that the messages are still going down the correct nueropathways.

It also seems that I have opened a couple of doors I the Physio world too, I was contacted by my Physio who I have seen over the years at North Tees (it has been quite a while since we have seen each other,) but we are still in contact, anyway she was asking me about my reciprocal walker, and what I thought about it ie did I find it easy to use etc.

In the conversation I said that I thought it was the best thing on the market and that I had already recommended to my friend in Poland, who went ahead and purchased one and works well for him.

I emailed the link to my video and said that I think it would be a great idea to try it, I mean you have nothing too loose in trying it but believe me I think it will be worth it.

Anyway my Physio emailed back to say the frame looks great and improves my posture without the effort and that they were going to order one for assessment purposes.

I thought wow what a result!!!! I have made a difference hopefully to many others I so hope they have good results as I continue to do

25 March 2008

Happy 90th Birthday Archie!!!!!!

Well what I great weekend we have had, especially yesterday when the whole family got together for Grandads birthday, we had a great little party for him. I am sure he loved it with everyone together, we had lots of cake and drink even Mum managed in her chair, Mum and I thought he might get a bit upset as he hasn't seen her since her op, but he was fine.

I did want I had planned to do also which I was pleased about, I had been working on my walking so that I could walk on the day and I did it, I know Grandad likes to see me walking. He thinks the frame I use is great the fact that it moves from side to side amazes him. Presents were sent from Aunty Hilda and Uncle Stan (Grandads brother) in Canada, but as we call them Laurel and Hardy. Mind you we all call him Archie, why you may ask well its because my cousin when she was little christened him Archie Bald because of his bald head, and it's stuck ever since.

All I can say is Happy Birthday Archie!!!!!!!!!!!!

21 March 2008

I think Mum is coming to terms with things

Well I think we have started to turn a corner in terms of Mum coming to terms with things, mind you if I ask her directly she always says no not really. The reason I think she is but without realising it, happened on Wednesday when she went for her Physio. When she got there, a new lady had joined the group and mum greeted her and they chatted, then the penny dropped, Mum said "I know you don't I" the lady replied "yes we were in the same room on the ward" ah that's it!! after that they chatted like old friends and had a laugh. When Mum was telling me I knew straight away who it was, she was a great laugh and they helped each other through.

Mum went on to chat with her and share her own experiences of what its been like for her and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The minute she told me that I thought Yes!!! Mum is starting to talk about it in terms of telling others what its like, which to me shows subconsciously that shes coming around too it without realising

20 March 2008

Easter is here

Well what a really good day I have had again today, so I must be getting better. Anyway last night I booked another night out this time at Billingham Forum to go and see the Meat Loaf tribute in April. I went to see him a while ago and he was great and when I saw it advertised I sprang into action to book my wheelchair space.

Easter is here again and what a busy day I have had as have been hunting around for a special card as it's my granddad's 90th birthday, 90 I cant believe it and he's fitter that me!!!!

Easter brings back some great memories for me, the most vivid ones being the time I used to spent with my Aunty painting eggs. We used to put loads of newspaper on the big kitchen table and she would get all of her poster paints out and I used to have fun painting then will different designs. My Aunty was much better than I was and she used to paint Easter bunnies or characters from Beatrix Potter and then give them to the kids in the family. Each year she would paint a different theme and or what ever the kids favourite thing was at the time. I to this day still have my Middlesbrough FC one now that's going back a few years now, but it still looks as good as it did when it was done. I know this year she has painted Dora the explorer and a few new characters.

19 March 2008

The Great Bobby Thompson Live

Good Day today

Well its Wednesday, which means it's Market day in Stockton!!! and today it was really busy with people buying this and that, it was great to see it really busy, I think it was the good weather today has brought people out. During my dinner break I went for a browse and bought some lovely roses made from wood shavings, dyed in a range of lovely colours. I also went to the Arc to book some tickets to see

Bobby Thompson

Written and performed by Peter Peverly

Saturday 16th May


Five foot nowt and seven stone wet through – in his flat cap and bagging jumper – Bobby Thompson’s Woodbine smoking “Little Waster” alter ego became a folk hero across the North East. Yet this hid a man troubled by drink, gambling debts and the taxman.

Its 20 years since Bobby dies, so don’t miss the return of this touching, heartfelt and very funny celebration of the life and work of this comic legend. From his fame as a radio star in the 50’s to his doomed T.V. series in the 60’s, and then his climb back to the top in the 70’s when he became king of clubland.

This is a must for all those who loved little Bobby.

“Peter slips with ease from narrator to bobby by simply putting on a cloth cap” Metro NE

I can't wait as I loved Bobby Thompson and he was Dad's favourite, I remember I bought him the video of the Little Waster one Christmas, and he was bent double laughing virtually crying

17 March 2008

Out and about

Well today is my first day back at work after a nice holiday, I thought I would not be able to see my desk for paperwork, you know what it's like if you work in an office and you have been away, but no I was surprised that wasn't as much as I thought there would be.

Anyway after working away this morning lunch time came and off I went for my dinner and have a look around the shops. When I got down into the shopping mall of the Castle Centre I found it quite busy, people going this way and that, interesting looks on there faces, makes me think I wonder where they are going or where have they been. I got down towards my favourite cafe and thought BB's or a hot pork sandwich, and today the hot pork won hands down I am afraid. On coming back to the office I went in the big card shop to have a browse, at the moment the card shops are busy with all the Easter cards, Easter now there's some fun memories which I will tell you about in the next entry

Stockton helps it's disabled residents

To people with impaired movement, the mobility scooter represents freedom to enjoy life and take part in the activities many others take for granted.

Shopping, socialising or just getting some fresh air can be a lot easier with the right scooter.To help people get the most out of a mobility scooter, Stockton Shopmobility joined forces with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council for the Scoot Safe Campaign.On Wednesday 20, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 June 2007 the Shopmobility team was in Stockton High Street and invited anyone who had a scooter, or was thinking of getting one, to come along and learn how to drive them safely.There were demonstrations and a test track to try out the latest models.

Carers and family members were also welcome to attend and learn more about mobility scooters.For more information about the Scoot Safe Campaign, call Stockton Shopmobility Ltd on (01642) 605676.

I also got my five minutes of fame, coming across the crossing in my powerchair

Redcar's golden girl Dame Tanni Grey Thompson the UK's finest ever paralympian

Dame Carys Davina ("Tanni") Grey-Thompson DBE was born with spina bifida, and uses a wheelchair, and is considered to be one of the most successful disabled athletes in the UK.

Tanni competes in events over a wide range of distances, first competing in the 100 m at the Junior National Games for Wales in 1984. Over her career to date, she has won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, held over 30 world records, and won the London Marathon six times between 1997 and 2002.

In 2000, she was awarded the Helen Rollason Award for her performance at the 2000 Summer Paralympics, and was appointed an OBE for services to sport. In 2001, she was given an honorary degree by Loughborough University, namely a Doctorate of Technology, having graduated from the university ten years earlier with an honours degree in Politics and Social Administration. Also in 2001, she was given an honorary degree by Leeds Metropolitan University. She has been named the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year three times — in 1992, 2000 and 2004.

14 March 2008

Coping with Cerebral Palsy

After watching the item with David Cameron and his family, it just shows how people cope in different ways when faced with disability. I am pleased to see that he was comfortable and felt it important to give people a insight into there life and ever more so in a possitive way.

As not everyone one likes to be frank about living with a disability similar to Gordon Brown not wanting to comme forward about there family. Years ago if you had a disabled child it was never mentioned as if people were scared to talk about it, and today it still goes happens which is sad and shows the level of awareness in socitey still has a lot of catching up to do, so that all disabled people can go out in the world with there head held high.

Cerebral Palsy hits the headlines coping with a disabled child

Yesterday I was moved by a feature on This Morning with Philip and Fern, they carried out a very moving feature of what it has been like for a mother who's daughter had cerebral palsy and the long hard journey and decisions that she made

When Julia Hollander's second daughter, Imogen, was born with cerebral palsy, she believed that it was her destiny to look after her.However, within a few months, the stresses of looking after a baby that was in constant pain, wouldn't feed and never slept proved to be more than she was capable of handling.When Imogen was five months old she was taken to see a neurology consultant. Scans revealed blackness on the brain where her cerebral cortex should have been, this meant that her cognitive powers had been destroyed during the traumatic birth; the prognosis was that she would never walk or talk.

The news hit Julia hard and two days before Imogen was due to come home from the hospital she stopped going to see her. Julia had done vast amounts of research on how to care for Imogen this research unearthed the truth that they could simply not afford to give her the care and attention that she deserved. This lead Julia to take the controversial decision to have Imogen fostered.Imogen was taken to live with Tania, a foster carer who has been looking after profoundly disabled children for ten years. Julia explained: "Tania had a dignity and strength that made me trust her completely. I did not feel humiliated in the way I had expected. I could understand that caring for a severely brain damaged child was something she chose to do.”Julia is very much a part of Imogen's life (she will be six in July) and she visits every couple of weeks. "I want Imogen to gain all that she can from her birth family. But I know that Tania's is her first home. The ties are still loosening. When I talk about Tania, I call her Immie's 'foster mum' rather than 'foster carer'. Sometimes I think of myself not as Immie's mother at all. I could simply be the means by which Tania's child came into the world.

"When the Bough Breaks – A Mothers Story by Julia Hollander

After watching this it got me thinking about how it must of been for my Mum Dad and family when I was diagnosed. Mum said I know what she means that there was no help early on, when you were born I don't think there was a lot known about cerebral palsy 33 years ago, compare to what is known now, so we just muddled on because we didn't know anything else.

The way I see foster parents is more of an extented family and Julia shouldn't feel judged in anyway, because at the end of the day she has done the best she could for her daugter and that is all we need to do in this life is our best. In Julia's story see says "Tania had a dignity and strength that made me trust her completely. I did not feel humiliated in the way I had expected. " but Julia had the strength and dignity to do what she did and as I believe there is a reason for everything in life and life is for living and that is what Julia is doing, giving Tania the best chance.

Cam: This is Ivan

DOTING dad David Cameron was seen for the first time by voters last night playing with his disabled son. The Tory leader was filmed feeding Ivan, five — who has a rare form of cerebral palsy. A TV crew was allowed in as the family had breakfast at home. Mr Cameron’s daughter Nancy, four, and son Arthur, two, sat on either side of him.

He admitted the move would spark accusations he was exploiting his kids for political gain. But he insisted he was a family man with nothing to hide. He said: “You have to do what you are comfortable with. If you are trying to produce policies, people want to know about you — what makes you tick, your life.

“That’s natural. Politicians can sometimes look a bit apart from everyone else.”
Mr Cameron was seen offering his children a choice of Shreddies or Cheerios cereal on ITV News. Wife Samantha helped serve breakfast wearing jeans, red flat pumps and a trendy red top. Viewers got a glimpse of their smart kitchen and lounge in Notting Hill, West London.
Ivan’s condition became known days after he was born — and he needs 24-hour care.

Mr Cameron has told Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs: “We noticed he was having these very strange movements — sudden jerky movements. “Initially we were told he was fine. Then we went to hospital and were told he had a very rare condition, a combination of epilepsy and cerebral palsy.”

PM Gordon Brown has rarely been seen with his own children John, four, and Fraser, 20 months — who suffers from cystic fibrosis. He and wife Sarah have decided never to talk about his condition. But he once opened his heart to Sky News about the death of his premature baby daughter Jennifer Jane.

Mr Cameron let in the cameras as he prepared to unveil new flexible parental leave laws tomorrow. A Tory government would give all new parents a year of time off to share, he will say.
Mums and dads will be able to take six months together or split it between them. The first 14 weeks after birth would automatically go to the mum. Tories vowed the move would not cost employers or the state more than current rules — where parents must take leave one after the other. Mr Cameron said: “I want to make this country more family friendly.

“We’re not going to solve the problems of obesity, drugs, alcohol or educational underperformance unless we help families to do their great work.” Shadow Chancellor George Osborne last night praised his boss over the film. On the BBC’s Question Time he said: “There is massive public interest in the leader of the Opposition.”

Day out planned with great success

Yesterday, Mum and I decided that we would have a day out, considering I have been on holiday this week. I was up for it of course, and this would be the first time Mum had been out for a long time and the first time she had been out in her chair, so we decided that as this was the first outing we would go to Peter Barretts Garden Centre as it wasn't too far and there's plenty to look at. I rang my taxi firm and ordered 2 wheelchair taxis and then we were off, Mum was a bit nervous I think travelling in the chair but she arrived first then I pulled up behind.

When I got out I thought yes we have achieved the first step, now lets see how we manage. We took it slowly Mum pushing her chair and me behind in my power one. It wasn't tooo busy so Mum managed ok, then we got to the different displays and Mum was wheeling rather slow, and I thought ah she is tired, but no she was worried she would knock something.

After we had browsed all the clothes, we noticed that the resturant wasn't too busy so we dived in and the staff were a great help because it would of been a bit hard to carry the trays, but they were great and took the stress out of it. So there we were Mum having dinner and me having BBQ chicken it was very nice but we couldn't finish it.

After Mum had had a rest we then went outside to look at the plants and the fun bit was I could see Mum struggling a little bit so there was a clear path and I went up behind her in my chair and put my feet on the back of her chair and gently moved forward, thus pushing her forward. We then had another look around and then got the taxi's back home. We were both shattered and before I knew it Mum was asleep on the sofa and I was laid in my recliner and watched a thriller. A great day had by all

Physiotherapy went really well

Well Physio on Wednesday went really well, and I am starting too feel better. It was like a family outing on Wednesday, because Mum went for her physio on the morning and she seems to be improving week by week. As far as her pain is concerned I think but darent think out loud but I think the phantom pains are not as severe, what I mean is she doesn't appear to be in as much pain, unless shes hiding it well, but she knows she can't hide much from me. I am so pleased for her because she has suffered so long with it.

Mum came home at lunchtime and I left to go to my Physio, it was like ships that pass in the night, but in our case it was wheelchairs. While I was waiting in the waiting area, my aunty came in as she was also having physio, following an operation.

My Physio session was really quite good, after having some treatment on my ribs, I went and did quite a bit of gentle work in the bars and with the Gym ball. It was nice to be back to working and I am hoping to build up in the next couple of weeks so that I can get back to where I was last year and I want to go passed there if I can. I know that my Physio knows that when I but my mind on something there is no stopping me!!!, I feel that I am getting my mind back on track so I know the rest will follow.

08 March 2008

Mum doing ok

It's now two months since Mum had her surgery, and apart from the phantom pains she is doing well, and when she goes for her limb assessment in April, her experiences will change again. I think she is coping with the chair and I don't think she realises how well she has done.

Although the last couple of years have been so stressful for me particularly when she was ill, I can now see a small light at the end of the tunnel, it is so nice have the Mum relationship back, and I don't have to be constantly worried, like I have been because it has been taken away so she has a second bite of the cherry of life, and I have to a certain degree, although at this moment in time it doesn't quite feel like that. I know in time once I gain my strength back I will be back on cloud nine. I can remember feeling like this a couple of years ago and I managed to come back from it and I know I can again, for the simple reason I know I have people who will help and support me all the way

Feeling a little better

Well I had my Physiotherapy yesterday, and although I was feeling really sore, I have to say now I have slept on it today I feel a bit better. I suppose you could say when it comes to inquiries I don't do things by half, I think my Physio has sleepless nights when I ring to say I have a problem. Now that I have the problem with my ribs it is very hard to treat in my case just because I back is the way it is there is not a lot of exercises can be done because of the lack of movement. I did have a course of pulse shortwave therapy and although you don't feel anything while it's happening I can breath a little easier this morning.

I am going back on Wednesday to see how things are going and I think I am in for a couple of intensive sessions because I feel that I am starting to go back over and just feel generally not quite right, when I mentioned this to her, she replied it's not really surprising considering what you have been through of late, but don't worry I will work with you and you will be back to where you were and I know you will put the work in because you always do.

06 March 2008

Key performance goals

This might seem like an odd title but this what I am going to but in place over next few months I think so I can measure how well I am doing, because recently I seem to be sliding somewhat in terms of my mobility, I have had a couple of bad weeks in terms of my mobility due to the fact I damaged my ribs recently so as you can imagine I am finding that rather painful at the moment. I am going for Physiotherapy tomorrow so hopeful I should start and feel better than I do. One thing leads to another and without realising it because I am doing more generally I am spending more time in my wheelchair, which in turn doesn't help when I try and walk about now.

Monday was the first time I had really walked about (all be it slowly) and I was really tired (although I did do it ) just purely because it has been a while since I have walked any distance. I am therefore hoping to build up slowly back to where I was last year and be back on a high, because I don't like feeling tired. I have set myself a goal to work on stairs when I have recovered from my damaged ribs, this is so that I can walk down the flight of stairs at work, it the lift break so that I don't have to use the Evac chair in a non emergency that is

This is going to be a key goal for me and I know I will achieve it!!!!!!!

01 March 2008

Earthquake hits Britian

Britain was shaken by a huge earth tremor at 12.56am this morning which was felt by people from Yorkshire to the South Coast. Thousands of people reported their homes being shaken violently and furniture moving and hundreds more took to the streets for safety and to check for damage. The epicentre of the tremor, which measured 5.3 on the Richter scale according to the British Geological Survey, was centred on the village of Holton cum Beckering, about 15 miles northeast of Lincoln. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicentre was 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the Earth’s surface. The tremor is the biggest in Britain since 1984 when north Wales was hit by a quake which registered at 5.4 on the Richter scale.

I felt the whole house shake it was such a weird feeling although it didn't seem to last for too long, Mum shouted me the next morning and said did you feel the house move in the night, I bet that was an earthquake or something. I made my way down stairs and put the TV on andsure enough it was, the first I had experienced. I asked my colleagues if they had felt it also but most of them had not.