Welcome to Ron’s Rants…
This is me – Ron – A change from my previous grumpy pic.
The photo above, shows a pair of mallards in breeding plumage, taken at Royden Park, Wirral, in May 2008, pretty much the last time I was able to indulge in any serious photography.
NOTE: In the archives, you may see some apparently random characters in the posts, near the left-hand margin. These are formatting aids – the only way to get double or triple spacing is to insert a letter or symbol (currently I use three asterisks), one set for each line – and change the colour to white, so it doesn’t show,** as there’s no other easy way around the default single spacing.
**It does mean that if your blog has a background other than white, they’ll be visible. Can’t be helped, I’m afraid.
For some mysterious reason, they DO show in some archive summaries, and I’ve no idea why. They don’t show in the posts, though (if they do, please post a comment and tell me – it means I’ve missed them!).
I’m an ME survivor (so far anyway), 27 years and counting. I’m – at the time of writing – totally housebound. This restricts me to mostly sedentary pastimes – reading, blogging here, my website here (neglected these days, but still remarkably popular for some reason), and cooking when I can, which isn’t as often as I’d like.
I also survived a lightning strike in 2003, Er, no, I didn’t. I survived it in 1983, which I believe caused my ME, and left me with a large amount of physical and CNS damage. My feet were, quite literally, fried – the fatty pads in the soles were melted, with means that the only thing cushioning the bones of my feet is a thin layer of flesh and skin – and yes, walking as about as much fun as it sounds. It’s like walking on ball-bearings. Damage was also caused to most of my joints, resulting, as I get older, in widespread osteoarthritis.
I have recently (March 2010), bought a mobility scooter, so I should be able to get out more. (Didn’t work out!)
I also have Stage 4 COPD, the precursors of which – asthma and bronchiectasis – resulted from simultaneous whooping cough and measles at age 2, either one of which was capable of trashing my lungs. Together, I was seriously, and almost inevitably, screwed.
If I’m ever able to get out, my primary interests are birding and photography (digital), and beer, of course, as they fit my current abilities. There used to be others, like camping and fishing, but they’re now out of reach. At present, most things are on hold, as I can no longer drive, and I’m trying – without too much success – to adjust to life with large chunks missing.
I used to write a magazine column, about computer matters, for people with ME (CFS if you’re American), but now I put all my effort into my blog and website. I used to operate an email advice service for people with ME and computer problems, which ran for about five years and have only been stumped once. Thanks, Steph!
My experience with ME will, obviously, feature here from time to time (the more so now – August 2008 – as I’ve quit the blog on my website, see below, to concentrate all my efforts here; don’t worry, anything that would have been posted there will appear here, no-one will miss out on anything), as will items of interest to people with ME (I hate the acronym PWME – Person/People with ME – by the way – it’s ugly and looks as if it might be a Welsh epithet!), and items relating to my hobbies or which have simply sparked my interest. I won’t be using the term CFS (except in the form ME/CFS, for the convenience of non-British readers), as it’s criminally misused by the UK medical profession.
Update January 25 2010:- The above para was true when I wrote it, but it’s COPD which has come to dominate, earning me a Top Health Blogger invitation from Wellsphere, and getting me a rather nice pat on the back from the pros here.
So, I have severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), as well as ME, which, by definition, features emphysema, which slows me down rather a lot. As much of the blog is devoted to COPD, I’ll leave that for now.
I had a blog, on my own website, Ron’s Realm, here which is in its seventh year. It’s proven pretty popular but I felt it was time to reach out to a wider audience. I’d also appreciate feedback, which I haven’t been getting in the original format. Eventually, I decided to pension off my original blog and concentrate on this one. The numbers show that not every visitor to Ron’s Realm is clicking through to here, despite putting a link on pretty much every page, which is a pity, as they’re missing out on a lot. It’d boost my numbers too!
If you’re at all curious, and want to find out more about me, there’s a biographical page here that will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. For those who worry about such things, I’m 67. I hoped to get a lot older, but having been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and aortic valve calcification this year (2011), that’s pretty unlikely. The 2-year survival rate is 50% with my symptom-set, and adding in my COPD is going to put a dent in that.** I’m going to try to get someone to manage this blog once I’m gone, the biggest problem being is WordPress decide to dump this theme, which means someone will have to transfer everything to a new theme ot the blog will cease to exist, and a huge amount of information will go with it.
**Actually, after being considerably buggered about by cardiologists, I’ve managed to sort out my medication myself, and for the first time since being diagnosed, I’m stable (as at December 22, 2012), and feeling rather more positive about the future – as in actually having one!
And yes, I do know I can be opinionated – that’s a given!
My health and/or benefits-related posts are by far the most popular, by the way, but there’s lots more than that here so, if that’s what brought you here, and even if it’s not, stick around and have a rummage in the archives – you might be pleasantly surprised…
Do check out my website, too, as I can post stuff there that might be thought contentious, that I can’t get away with here, without bending the ToS. There will always be a post containing a link, when that happens.