Today, it is Monday - Christmas Day. Last Monday, I joined lots of friends at the MS Therapy Centre Christmas lunch here in Swansea. I sat on the table with many of my old friends that I used to hyperbaric dive with. Two of the people on that table were CAPers. Well, to be exact, one of them is now an ex-CAPer. Her screen name here on this site is Moggie. She walks normally with no stick (cane). She proudly lifted her leg from under the table and showed me that she was wearing big red heels. Regardless of MS, I really don't know how women walk in those things anyway. She was certainly doing great. Leigh (the other CAPer there) made the comment "She just doesn't look like there's anything wrong with her at all!"
Yes, it was great to be with old friends from the oxygen chamber once again.
The Monday before that, I had a hospital appointment. I wasn't really quite sure why I was there. I wasn't expecting a lesson in any sort of theoretical physics. I certainly was not expecting a lesson in time and space. It was my MS annual review. That's what they told me it was, anyway. I pointed out that it had been well over 2 years since they'd last seen me. She looked surprised and then just dismissed it and said "Oh well, we're behind".
There were three of us in the room including me. The other two were being paid to be there. One was a nurse. A so-called specialist nurse. An MS nurse. She hardly said anything. There was hardly any opportunity for her to say much. The other woman in the room was a physiotherapist. She seemed to run the whole show. I did actually wonder at one point whether the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, actually answers to her. I have met her before. Her opening words were "Well, we have nothing for you."
She asked about any symptoms that were problematic of mine. I explained about my cold feed and cold lower legs. Even despite an electric blanket being turned up to max, it can take hours before my legs actually warm up. I was sat in my power wheelchair. It was a good job that I was actually sitting down. All of these years I have been suffering increasingly from this cold in my legs and feet and it didn't occur to me what this bint was about to come out with. She said "Try wearing a thick pair of socks"! Well, I would never have thought of that. I later told Froggy (who has virtually the same problem) what she said. Froggy burst out laughing.
I also discussed my inverted sleep pattern problem. I have asked whether it would be them or my GP that would prescribe for this. This bint then went off into some story about why she thought a doctor would not prescribe sleep medication (I already have melatonin). I pointed out to her that she was a physiotherapist, not a doctor and it was not up to her what was prescribed. I asked about more hydrotherapy (which would be within her remit) but she was not forthcoming with that. I queried what they actually did have. The quiet nurse said that next year they might be starting a trial of high-dose simvastatins. She said that was "Very exciting!". As it was the run up to Christmas, I thought I could do with meeting up with a bird that was easily excited. If she was that excited at the mention simvastatins, she would be the one for a cheap Friday night!
The chopsy physiotherapist pointed out to me that I didn't necessarily have to come back in a year or any specific time - almost as if she was doing me some sort of favour.
I would like to say that I came out of that room cured. I certainly had learnt a good lesson in theoretical physics; specifically about time and space. Yes, they were a complete waste of time and space. The thing is, they actually got paid for being there and I didn't. I would never be able to get back the time that I wasted there.
Incidentally, my GP had no problem about prescribing zopiclone.
So, next Monday is New Year's Day and it is a new year. Let's hope that brings good luck, good health and good fortune to us all.