Now, there’s a first – I never thought I’d compose a blog post which combined both my personal and professional interests in one!
I have to introduce you to a neat concept called a “Nimble”, which was first introduced to me via another blog written by stumbling in flats. I was interested enough follow the link included in that post and I’m really glad I did – see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/version22design/nimble-the-1-finger-wonder-tool. The design looked interesting and particularly useful for me, because of my inability to consistently manage to open almost any package including presents and letters etc. due to occasional tremor in my hands, which can be most frustrating! Furthermore, the site piqued my professional interest in new designs/gadgets etc. and the potential benefits of Intellectual Property protection. So there you have it, the relevance of the title to this post. Look at the website, it’s fascinating!
To anyone that has seen my recent posts, this has also given me the ideal opportunity to demonstrate my innate desire to procrastinate and not write the “to be continued” element of our recent house hunting escapades. There is also another reason for this, because it’s looking very likely that we will soon be able to move house and we have been very busy organising lots of things, but I don’t want to ‘jump the gun’ and write said post until things are a little more sorted/finalised.
So, we arrived back in England on 03 January 2016 with stair climber safety located in the boot (because I was a little feverish and not feeling too good) to a freezing cold house – we subsequently found out that our boiler had packed up and there had been no heating on. No wonder the cat was meowing pitifully and loudly! I was feeling awful, but at least we had made it home and now I just had to negotiate the stairs safely and crawl into bed. Believe me this was no mean feat even with the stair climber, which I had previously refused to use on our stairs at home.
Let me explain: we live in a Victorian house with a very steep staircase having particularly shallow steps i.e. whereas in France said stair climber works wonderfully because it lifts you up to each step and then you are able to pull the device to the back of the step adjacent to the next step up. Sounds easy doesn’t it! However in our house, said stair climber lifts you up on to the next step moves barely a couple of centimetres before hitting the back of the next step and then you have to lift almost immediately again. This makes it extremely arduous for the operator (Kevin) and is terrifying for the person strapped into the seat (i.e. me!) However, when needs must it is a tiny bit safer than me being manhandled and encouraged to walk up the stairs. Anyway we made it and Kevin and I immediately flopped into bed, if only to warm up under the duvet. What was that I said about it “couldn’t get any worse than end 2015”?
Now I’d started taking antibiotics (that we happened to have with us) just before we left France and so I was hoping that after a few days I would be beginning to feel a little more human. That was before we discovered that there was no heating – not good when you’re trying to overcome a fever! Luckily, our usual boiler repair man was able to come out immediately-ish (i.e. the morning of Tuesday, 05 January 2016). He spent a good long time checking the electrics, vacuuming out the filters etc. before giving an effective whack in the appropriate place with a spanner. Hey presto – it worked, and even better Kevin had made a mental note of the precise location where a sharp whack could force the boiler into action.
To finish off, just a few jobs and fun things that we also managed to do towards the end of January: to end on a fun and more positive note.
- We went to see the new ‘Star Wars’ film at the cinema – not particularly mentally challenging, but quite good entertainment any way.
- A few more medical appointments for me (eyes and foot) and for Kevin (dentist).
- We went over to Wantage to visit my old secretary and her friend for cups of tea/coffee and exchange of presents.
- Kevin’s parents came over to visit us and we exchanged Christmas presents/had nice meal.
- The car got its annual service and MOT.
Oh yes, and somewhere in the middle of all this, I extended the patent applications and filed an equivalent UK design application for a previous client.
As I have been so bad at keeping a record of all the things that went on up to the end of 2015, I decided to write a very quick, consolidated post. Much to my surprise I found that upon reviewing my calendar and then looking at the ‘categories’ that I had set up previously to decide which were appropriate for this consolidated post, I had done quite a lot really i.e. virtually every category applied!
- I did an online Oral Hearing (patent application) for my old employer and the patent was upheld and Granted
- I did some online professional tutorials for trainees preparing to sit the European Qualifying Examinations for patents in December, January and February
- I have had numerous medical appointments both MS and non-MS related for previously mentioned foot, eyes, continence services, Occupational Therapist, wheelchair services and last but not least 6 monthly dentists check-up. In fact it would be accurate to say I pretty much had a full MOT from head to foot – some more successful than others. I won’t go into much more detail because a. it’s boring and b. it seems so long ago now that I can’t accurately recount all that happened
- BUT I will make an exception for the foot, because I have written a post on this before and although not resolved before Christmas, at the beginning of January 2016 I finally had a steroid injection in my left foot and hey presto it now seems to be resolved! I know it isn’t a permanent fix, but it is so much better than it has been for the last few months. So, fingers crossed
CHRISTMAS & LOCATION:
- Now usually my parents and I/Kevin alternate location for our Christmas holidays at each other’s houses. However, despite much effort on my/Kevin’s part, we still hadn’t managed to move house before Christmas (we’ve only been looking for the past 5 or so years)! Added to that, my parents no longer stay at our house because of a lack of bathroom facilities and I was still having problems with my foot. Therefore, we made the late decision to switch order and for Kevin and I travel over to France for Christmas (note. My parents are now the proud possessors of one’s stair climber.)
- Christmas went OK, but nothing particularly memorable in a pleasant sense. Come Boxing Day, Kevin had problems with his teeth and had to see a French dentist and by the end of the holiday, I had a urinary tract infection which meant I couldn’t wait to get home.
So, that was the end of 2015 (a bit of a damp squib really) and we were all ready to get started with 2016. After all, it couldn’t go much more downhill could it?
OK, now this is going to be a very short post because I seem to have done lots of boring medical things in a short space of time – AND then I went to the Cheltenham Literature Festival (next post) and then on holiday in Brittany to celebrate my mother’s 75th birthday (post after next post), which are much more interesting tales!
- 24 September – GP appointment (at 7.10 p.m.) about the blasted foot
- 25 September – x-ray appointment at the local hospital to x-ray the blasted foot
- 28 September – continence nurse appointment at a local clinic I’ve never visited before
- 29 September – ophthalmology appointment at the local hospital about my wandering left eye
- 02 October – last physiotherapy appointment with Stacey, who is moving on to pastures new (closer to her home).
- Next physiotherapy appointment (21 October) with new lady called Emma
… and now you have to wait (just like me) for the couple of fun bits mentioned above … and maybe after that, I’ll continue to try and sort out all the stupid medical issues.
OK, I know – when you’re doing lots of stuff you should be constantly blogging about it, right? WRONG! I’ve never been very good at keeping a diary and here’s why. When things are happening (good or bad), I get so engrossed in them I don’t have time (can’t be bothered) to write about them. So now you’re going to get a flurry of blog posts about what’s been going on over the last few weeks, in chronological order and each separate, so that I can add some photos etc.
(Note: I’m not sufficiently adept with this system to cover them all in one post – please bear with me! – OK, I think I’ve figured it out, but I’m still going to do separate posts to help with later identification – I love to ‘organise’ things in lots of separate boxes / folders etc.)
And the generic photo for this post? (I’ll explain later, when I want to post something, but have nothing to write about!)
For the last couple of months I’ve been noticing problems with my eyesight. Not that it’s getting worse as such, except when I’m trying to look at things with both eyes. It’s not that my prescription has changed, it’s just that when I’m tired or the light is beginning to fade, I notice that it’s harder to read things such as number plates and/or road signs from a distance. If I close one eye, my vision from the other (with glasses) is fine, but with both eyes open my vision is definitely worse – my eyes just don’t seem to want to work together. Back at the beginning of July, I made an appointment with my usual optician to see if he could notice anything or whether I was just imagining it! After a very thorough examination of both my eyes, individually and together, he made the surprising announcement that my left eye was just not working with my right eye. Cover the right eye and hey presto, the left will pull itself together and gets into focus! After I got home I looked in the mirror and sure enough, whilst my right eye was looking straight ahead, my left eye had just drifted off into the corner. The optician was able to correct this using what he described as prisms, but he concluded that he needed to write to my GP and ask him to refer me to the ophthalmology department at the hospital for a check-up. Within a few days, my GP sent me a letter authorising me to book a suitable appointment at any one of a number of listed hospitals – so far so good! Then the fun began: Now I’m usually quite confident using IT systems and in this case my GP’s letter said that I could book my eye appointment via the Internet, which I did over the weekend. The IT booking system was not perfect (they never are), but I did eventually manage to book myself an afternoon appointment at the beginning of September – the earliest available. At the beginning of this week I received two letters, the first cancelling my preferred appointment and the second providing a new appointment at the end of September, in the morning. After speaking to the contact provided in the second appointment letter, it was apparent that the investigations needed to be carried out at my local hospital (so much for the initial choice) and the only appointments they had where 9.30am or 10.00am at the end of September or wait until mid-October. Of course, I took the first appointment available because now I know there is something worth investigating and I’m not going mad, this piratical look that I have had to adopt on occasion is becoming infuriating!
Fortunately (?), my mind has been a little distracted lately by yet another/different problem. For the last few weeks I have been getting a stabbing pain in the top of my left foot and this can occur both when I’m standing up and when I’m lying down. I’ve been trying to use multiple layers of tubigrip, but this hasn’t really been helping and so I finally rang my MS nurse and tried to explain the problem as best I could (now feeling that I really had gone mad). Much to my surprise the nurse managed to speak to my neurologist, who confirmed that this may be a symptom of MS and simply required a steroid injection into my foot. His secretary will send me an appointment at his clinic next week!!
Hooray, so now I should be able to go away on holiday at the end of August with foot sorted, but wonky eyes! Hopefully, one thing sorted at least and I will enjoy my holiday.