Friday, 4 April 2014


Well in my last post I said I was feeling better. While that still holds true overall there have been a few blips since then.

The biggest 'blip' is way out of my control but seems to be having the most effect. The air quality is terrible. Being only thirty miles outside of London we are in the 'high' area and the effects are obvious. There is dust everywhere, all over the cars, windows, grass etc, etc. I have followed advice and stayed in but my breathing is still all over the place. Unfortunately houses are not air tight and every time someone comes to the door or Peter goes in or out then air gets in. I'm on constant oxygen and not very happy about it.

The second problem is self inflicted. I slipped one some water in the kitchen and wrenched my shoulder grabbing the counter top to stop my self going over. I now have pain in my shoulder, neck and back to contend with. My own fault, should have stayed out of the kitchen but I felt bad calling Peter in just to make me a cuppa. I will know better next time.

This afternoon I'm having to venture out as I have an opticians appointment I can't cancel. It took me ages to get the appointment, I've been waiting since January, so I'm not going to miss it, especially as I'm running out of contact lenses. Hopefully the promised 'moving away' will have started and the dust cloud will be bothering someone else.

After having a rant about the DLA claim system in my last post I was surprised to get a letter from them yesterday.

Well actually I wasn't that surprised. I just thought they'd rejected me rather quicker than usual. Either that or they wanted me to have an appointment or provide yet another piece of paper saying exactly the same things as all the other pieces of paper I'd already supplied. I nearly fainted when I read the contents. I was so convinced I wasn't reading things correctly I got Peter to read it to me twice. They were granting my claim! It appears that being on the transplant list and being attached to permanent IV lines is something they can't argue with. The whole process took less than a month and I am genuinely gob smacked. I have never had a claim turned around to quickly, not even a rejection. It did come with dire warnings to let them know when I'd had my transplant though, but that is just sense really. Although in the information booklet it says you can still claim at your old rate for up to a year post transplant while recovering. After that you need to claim again and they will either dismiss or adjust your claim depending on how you are doing. That is good news and surprisingly sensible. After all the whole point of transplant it to be able to have a full active life again and not be disabled.

In the news there are two stories that provoked an interest lately.

Firstly the change in grading the GCSE's, again! I have to say as a former teacher I'm really glad to be out of it at the moment. The idea is that by changing A* - G into 1 - 9 it is going to improve things. No it won't. The reason China, Korea, Japan, to name but three, are ahead of our children in all things educational is purely down to discipline. I'm not just talking about the fact that in these countries disrupting class is seen as a disgrace with punishment welcomed and repeated by the parents, though that is a large chunk of it. I'm talking about the discipline that comes from kids wanting to learn something. Unfortunately the overfull and exam driven curriculum has made education nothing more than a tick box exercise which is frankly boring to both teacher and pupils alike. And I know I'm being terribly un-PC here but it would help if kids were graded according to ability again too. Like it or not, not all kids are the same and some struggle while other fly. By putting every body in one pot all that's happened is those high flyers now have clipped wings.

The second story was the proposal to let alcoholics have liver transplants.

Now call me petty but if your condition is self inflicted then why should you take an organ away from someone who has done nothing wrong? I know that there will be all sorts of hurdles to jump including giving up the drink and promising to stay sober. The problem I have is that we have been here before and once an addict, always an addict.

George Best was probably the poster boy of why alcoholics shouldn't be given transplants. He did absolutely everything right. He stopped drinking for the required period before his transplant and remained sober for sometime afterwards but there were warning signs. Firstly his sobriety wasn't down to will power alone. George couldn't trust himself not to drink and relied on stomach implants that made him sick if anything alcoholic passed his lips. Wouldn't you think feeling ill from liver failure would be enough? George had his new liver and was a good boy until he started to feel really well and then he was back on the booze as though nothing had happened. What a waste of an organ and an insult to his donor.

Now of course George Best was a one off in many ways but his story does illustrate the flaws in this new plan. Yes, I suspect that many alcoholics will remain sober for the rest of their lives out of gratitude to the donor and medical team, or out of fear of being in that position again. However there will still be the Georges of this world who will do and say what they need and then fall straight off the wagon the moment they feel they can. Unfortunately there will be no way of knowing how things will turn out until way after the operation.

I am not on the liver transplant list so have no idea how those on it are taking this news. However if they said that smokers could have lung transplants and then compete with me for much needed organs I'd be right royally p***** off.

Michael Schumacher is still in a coma and there are different reports circulating. Some are saying there are 'positive signs of progress' while others are saying he is 'unlikely to make and further recovery'. All we know for certain is he is still in hospital and still on life support. Things are not looking any better. So sad but as they say where there is life there is still hope.