Enough with the patronisng, ageist, books…

Yes, I know there’s a typo in the title, but to change it once the post is published will cause problems with Google.

Aaaaargh! I’ve just stumbled across a book which seems designed just to piss me off – “Teach Yourself Digital Photography for the Over 50s”. It also boasts that it’s “Written in a manner that is especially suited to and of interest to older readers…”.

Patronising bastards! We – the over fifties, very over in my case – do not need our own special books, thank you ever so much.

Assuming that there is nothing wrong with their brain – something, sadly, that can’t always be guaranteed – there is absolutely Continue reading


A new camera – addendum…

As I mentioned, my Bronica ETRS is heavy, and today I noticed Ffordes had a couple of Speed Grips in stock. One was pretty clapped out, but the other was in good condition, so for £25 I ordered it. Or, at least, I might have. Ffordes have a weird system that allows multiple people to order the same item, then it goes to Continue reading

A new camera…

I have always, until relatively recently, been a keen photographer. I have a small collection of digital cameras – Canon and Fuji compacts, a Fuji bridge, and a pair of Olympus DSLRs – and in my 35mm days I even took a small SLR outfit on backpacking trips. I still have an extensive 35mm SLR outfit, based on the excellent Minolta X-700 but, to be honest, it’s too heavy to tote.

The trouble is, the sicker I’ve become, the Continue reading

Why is the hospital system biased against seriously ill patients?

By which I mean what steps are taken to prevent a seriously ill outpatient who is too sick to attend an appointment, falling through the holes in the system?

Today, I have a cardiology appointment, one I have been waiting 8 months for – but there’s a problem – I’m too ill to go. I have a respiratory infection, a killer headache, nausea, my kidneys hurt (long-term diuretic problem, presumably), and all the problems I’d blamed my heart meds for are back with a vengeance, plus a whole load of ME/CFS-related shit, like a 15-pint hangover, without having had the fun part first!

And my arthritis has flared up because I had the temerity to cook yesterday – when I feel able I cook for the freezer. My hips are killing me so walking is out, ditto my hands, so can’t use my chair. I am seriously screwed.

Oh, and I’ve Continue reading

The campaign of hatred and lies about the sick and disabled started here…

If you wonder who originated the current campaign of lies, disinformation and hatred aimed at the chronically sick and disabled community, look no further than David Freud** (aka Lord Freud now he’s a defected from Labour and become a Tory), an extremely wealthy former City banker (banker – well, that’s almost right…), who claimed in an interview with the Telegraph, in February 2008, that IB medical assessments Continue reading

Annual flu vaccine information…

Interesting to see that the NHS is still circulating the same lies about the annual flu vaccines that it did last year, to whit, that the H1N1 virus caused the swine flu outbreak – no, it bloody didn’t.

The swine flu virus was a composite, and novel, virus, hence the need to develop a vaccine for it pretty much on the fly, and we all know how well that worked out (ignoring the lunatic fringe, it was clear the swine flu vaccine carried a higher risk of adverse reactions than the normal one; substantially higher in some areas). The H1N1 human type A virus was merely a Continue reading

Chronicles of the Heart, Part 23 – Candesartan is dangerous…

Now discontinued for the second and last time – goddamned Candesartan is doing a hell of a lot of damage, even though, for my heart problems, it’s very effective. If you take it, the full horror-show of serious/dangerous side-effects is here. And here are the worst:-

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling of the skin; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; decrease in sexual ability; decreased, difficult, or painful urination; eye pain; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; light-headedness; mental or mood changes (e.g., depression); muscle pain, weakness, tenderness, or cramps; numbness of an arm or leg; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; restlessness; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or drowsiness; severe or persistent dry mouth or nausea; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; sluggishness; swelling of the arms or legs; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual thirst, tiredness, or weakness; vision changes (e.g., decreased vision clearness); vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Those in bold are those that did (and do still), affect me, and despite having Continue reading

Photography – going back to basics…

I’ve been, until recently, a very keen – and damn good – photographer, though it’s some time since I actually took a photograph.

I learned during the late 50s early 60s, a time when any photographer worthy of the name could assess exposure, estimate distance, and calculate flash exposures, too, without any hardware at all (and – obviously – without software; just the wetware provided by nature).

I did, though, happily embrace digital photography, and cameras that Continue reading

Liberal Democrats, the Welfare bill, and Reality…

Everybody was hopping up and down with glee last night over the Lib Dem conference resolution that Lib Dems in government should oppose the 12-month time limit on ESA. This is being hailed as a success for the disabled community.

They also voted in favour of people appealing against Work Capability Assessments being be eligible for legal aid, from which the government wants to exclude them.

They voted for the work capability assessments to be made “less stressful”.

And, finally, they voted for a review of Atos’ performance in carrying out medical assessments.

None of which I would argue with, but I would question their ability to actually achieve any of it.

Then, this morning, the Guardian’s online front page trumpets “Nick Clegg signals combative approach to coalition describing Continue reading

Full Dark, No Sleep…

(With apologies to Stephen King)


Pray – pray very hard – to whatever gods there might be that you never lose the ability to sleep. It’s a horrendous experience and can undermine your emotional and mental stability, and after the better part of 2 months with no useful sleep (2-3 hours, if I’m lucky), I was coming seriously unravelled.

A major part of my problem is that I can’t lie down – if I do, I can’t breathe, my herat doesn’t work properly, and the pain in my chest is unbearable, so since the end of January I’ve Continue reading