Blue Badge Buggeration . . .

Don’t you just love witlessly crap civil servants? DirectGov has an online application for Blue Badges, and it beggars belief.

Apparently, if I apply online I have to provide one of the following, in the form of a “certified photocopy” whatever the hell one of those is. Certified by whom? A notary? (Where Continue reading

Washing-up for Spoonies…

Of all the routine household tasks, washing-up is the one that can’t be shirked (but it is!), even though it’s arguably the most painful and exhausting. Or it was, until today, when I came up with a wizard wheeze (pun definitely intended!).

Every six hours, I have to hit the kitchen to take my next round of meds, plus Continue reading

Countering drug-induced constipation – linseeds update…

In my previous post I mentioned the problems of taking crushed linseeds, with water, to counter the constipation caused by opioid analgesics and enforced inactivity. As there was also a risk, given my respiratory problems, of at some point inhaling these, I needed to find a alternative delivery system. I have. (NB: Some people add them to food whole, but that does nothing for me.)

Today, as an experiment, I mixed 40g of Smash (any other instant mash mix will do just as well), with Continue reading

Countering drug-induced constipation…

I realise that for many people this is a distasteful subject. If that’s you, then spare a thought for those of us for whom this problem is purgatorial!


As regular readers may be aware, a side effect of my array of chronic illnesses is drug-induced constipation, the worst offenders being opioid analgesics, though others contribute to the problem, as does enforced inactivity.

The only solution to that problem, for many years, all else having failed,  has been beer, in sizeable quantities – a gallon or so is needed to break the log-jam, so to speak. Needless to say, that’s not doing me any good, especially as, now my heart is so comprehensively screwed, the sheer volume of fluid is a health hazard, causing Continue reading

Obese people should eat less, says Lord McColl. Wrong!

This from BBC Democracy Live:-

“Obese people should eat less, says Tory peer

 Obesity is the worst epidemic to affect the UK for 100 years and the only solution is for people to eat less, a former surgeon has said.

 Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich said politicians refused to admit that the cause of obesity was over-eating and claimed ministers were “misleading” people by suggesting it could be tackled through exercise.

 His comments came during a debate in the House of Lords on non-communicable diseases, on 6 October 2011.

 Lord McColl said: “It’s killing millions, it’s costing billions and the cure is free – eat less.”

 He went on: “What a strange world it is. Half the world is dying of starvation, the other half is gorging itself to death.”

Lord McColl, you do not have the Continue reading

Disability assessments and dignity – must they always be mutually exclusive?

A note for Atos.

Nobody is libelling you here but, equally, we, in the disabled community, have every right to criticise and question what we perceive to be a deeply defective system, and one which has a staggeringly malign influence on our lives. Atos – you are NOT exempt from criticism. Nobody is. Continue reading

The great disability pricing rip-off…

The disability equipment industry isn’t exactly famous for its customer-friendly prices – anything you can buy on the able-bodied market is likely to cost you 2 or 3 times as much from a disability specialist. Take the humble Rex potato peeler. This goes for around £2.00 – £2.50  pretty much anywhere. I’ve seen them for at much as £8 from a store specialising in disability products, and the pattern is repeated for almost any product you care to name. And the oft-repeated excuse of small-volume production costing more is a crock – once the R&D and tooling costs are recouped, prices never come down!

However, when it comes to pricing wheelchairs and their accessories, any restraint seems to be cast to the winds.

This, for example, is Continue reading

Time to take to a wheelchair…

…not least because it should enhance my quality of life quite considerably.

Finally made what should be a life-enhancing decision yesterday. For years, walking or standing has been excruciatingly painful and, while I did use a wheelchair when I went out for a couple of years in the mid nineties, I never really felt comfortable (and folding chairs do flex in use, and sap energy that should be going to the wheels).

Overall, though, I tended to feel that using a chair was “quitting” in some ill-defined way (probably a guy thing!), and resisted the temptation to take to one permanently. That plus the fact that I simply couldn’t afford a rigid-framed chair (how the hell can a length of bent tube, a few straight pieces, an assortment of brackets, two cushions and a pair of wheels cost upwards of £1,000 – very upwards, in fact the sky seems to be the limit).

This week, however, I found myself tracking down second-hand rigid chairs, because since I developed heart failure, my legs have become horribly swollen, and even more painful – getting up from a chair is pure agony and, frankly, I’ve had enough.

First problem – you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a used rigid chair – or the high prices, even second-hand, in some cases. Anyway, I finally pitched up at the EPC website where they have used rigid chairs from £200.

One of the £200 chairs, a Continue reading