Life with a powerchair…

As I mentioned in Ron’s Rants – the future I’ve bought a powerchair –

Should be here in a few days.

It’s primarily for indoor use, not so much in my flat, but in the building, where there is – very often – more walking to do than I need. The laundry room is as far away as it’s possible to be, for example, not to mention toting garbage out to the bin room, across the car-park. I have a system of climbers’ tape loops and carabiners that allows me to attach a shopping bag to a wheelchair (manual or powered), to hang in front of me and which will work equally well with refuse bags. Ditto my laundry bag.

The cycle panniers Continue reading


Touching base, plumbing the depths…

There I was, minding my own business an hour or so ago, and Neil Young’s Four Strong Winds came on the radio. It just broke me up.

OK, I know why, and it’s bugger all to do with the song – that was just the trigger – but I can’t go round bursting into tears at the slightest thing, FFS!

I’ve been here before, in the weeks after my divorce, and I’m heading for Continue reading

They’re dangerous at Arrowe Park Hospital…

By the way, I remembered, last night, about the doctor that appeared to have an urge to kill me last weekend. I’d forgotten about the bugger, I’d become so focused on getting out of there with my sanity intact – didn’t quite make it, though.

I don’t know if you know, but asthmatics should NEVER take beta-blockers. They conflict with asthma meds, especially beta-2 agonists like Ventolin (as well as dramatically worsening asthma itself), and the reaction can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.

So, Sunday morning, this Continue reading

Hell is Arrowe Park Hospital…

Some of what follows looks like melodrama – I can assure you that it is not.

The perceptive among you will have seen that I’ve been in hospital recently. Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral or, to give it its full, ticked-all-the-boxes name, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Shame we don’t have a Wirral University, but there you go…

It all started in the early hours of Thursday, 20th, when I woke up feeling as if I’d been shot in the left-hand, back ribs. Fuzzily, I put it down to a sudden cramp from sleeping awkwardly, but by morning I was in agonising pain in my left lung, which appeared to have almost no capacity at all. I was breathing very fast and very shallow – faster, in fact, than my heart was beating, just to get enough air to remain conscious, and that was touch and go.

I got up, fired up my PC and faxed the GP surgery, detailing what was wrong and pointing out that I was faxing because I couldn’t speak. So what did they do? The clueless bastards phoned me back to say I should call an ambulance! Er, hello! Can’t speak – why didn’t you fucking do it?

Anyway, I managed to phone – one word = one breath – and Continue reading

Ron’s Rants – the future?

Well, dear Constant Reader, normal service isn’t being resumed as soon as I’d like, I’m simply too ill and, not to mince words, trying very hard not to die. And no, I don’t do hyperbole, sadly.

As some of you know, I have pneumonia – so much for that bloody vaccine! – and pleural empyema. Basically, my left lung is – or was, it’s improving now – a huge abscess (for those familiar with the condition, don’t get picky, that’s a good enough description for those who aren’t).  In addition Continue reading

Who cares about patients?

As  sort of follow-up to my earlier post, Pulse magazine, this morning, says:-

“Making GPs work longer and pay more for their pensions is one step too far from the health secretary.”

That is, making them work until 65, instead of 60. Hmm . . .

(I’ll ignore the fact that it should be “…by the health secretary.”)

It does rather make me wonder – and I know that Pulse is a magazine aimed at GPs, not patients – why none of Lansley’s measures aimed at fucking with the lives of patients has attracted the slightest ire.

Or could it be – and I ask this in all seriousness Continue reading

How much is your life worth to your GP?

That’s not a rhetorical question, because your life, and health, will soon have a cash value to your GP – and it does not favour your long-term survival if your are chronically sick.

It appears that our GPs. already well paid (average GP pay £105,300, according to the Guardian), are to be paid bonuses to keep patients out of hospital.

The Nuffield Trust says of the idea that patients may perceive this as money that should be Continue reading

Organic does not mean chemical free…

There’s a debate – I use the word extremely loosely, because it’s really, to a great extent, a  display of ignorance and prejudice – in the comments to an article in the Independent about organic milk allegedly being healthier than ordinary milk.

That claim, however, only works, as one commenter spotted, if you cherry-pick the results, and one guy, pushing the organic line, quite bizarrely claimed Continue reading