Category Archives: Treatments

Wheelchair Madness

Currently being annoyed by how difficult it is to sort out a proper wheelchair. The one I have is heavy, off-the-rack, and not fit for purpose. Not fit for pushing, or sitting in, or going where I want to go, like on basic country trails. It’s great for maybe an older person or less adventurous one who doesn’t want to walk the dog around a country park or Snowdonia lake… but it’s no longer for me. I need a proper active one… before I break the one I’ve got now. It’s already tried to break me… Now it’s time for a proper one.

Someone came to fit me for one… Privately, because I’ve been in this horrific mess for the last 3 ½ years and I’m done waiting. God knows how long the NHS would take… if I’m not dead of old age by then. It’s going to take long enough privately, I’d hate to think how much longer it would take waiting for the NHS to do it. I’m still waiting for everything else, so I’m not hopeful. Hence the private request for a quote.

The experience itself was good – I got to test the chair and talk through the options with the sales advisor… However, what that person did not do was tell me what the options cost. They made it sound like most of it was part of the package, like choosing the frame colour. But… no. Very, very, definitely… No.

Be very careful if you do this yourself, they’ll get you into things you don’t realise cost you a huge amount, but are unnecessary. Like Black wheels for nearly £450… I mean, seriously?? Identical ones in Silver are part of the deal – but they didn’t tell me that, and I don’t think I would have noticed if I hadn’t been an anal Aspie data analyst who noticed one mistake (no, not the price! – an actual mistake in the order list) and realised there was probably something larger afoot.

Thus, I downloaded their “Prescription Form” from the internet, printed it out, then did a cost analysis from what she had added to the list and what I really wanted and really needed. I went full me – data analysis mayhem and data analyst extraordinaire… and I did not like what I found. And I was dumbfounded by how much I didn‘t need. Or even want.

The difference was nearly a grand… over £800 was added to the “prescription” and bill when it wasn’t needed at all. Like the black wheels previously mentioned. Stuff that for £450! – Silver wheels (included), with a cool Spoke Guards for “just” £113, is a much better deal and use of the money. If you’re going to pay an inordinate amount of money for something – it better be what you really want and need… not frivolous trinkets that are unnecessary. I didn’t need fancy wheels, or “compact” breaks, or a fancy Sideguard with a logo sticker (well, OK, that one might be needed, I need to find out more about this “Cold-Resistant” part of it, given where I live…), nor a lapbelt, or fancy footplate of carbonfibre. None of it was necessary – and if I was going to pay nearly £500 for fancy wheels, it was going to be the damned mountain bike ones, not for having them in sodding black!

When I was finished re-evaluating what I needed and hacking apart what she had written down, I got a chair originally billed to me at £3,227 down to £2,422 (including the pretty spoke guards) – or £2,309 without them. The base price (this was for a Quickie Neon²) was £1,645… meaning they had managed to double the price for the first bill sent, which – given you’re dealing with vulnerable and disabled people with probably little income – is terrible. When I added up only the things I really wanted it was only approximately £600 more – a lot, but not double the original price.

Of course, this would be better paid by the NHS – and given the amount of money I’m saving them by paying for my own treatment in home-based Ayurvedic medicine, and how much NI I’ve paid over the years – they should be damned well paying for it. But how long will it take, leaving me stuck the way I am, struggling and feeling like a worthless sack of shite in a wheeled cage?

The Sales Assistant even pointed out that I would be eligible for the chair under NHS Wales, but after so long, I’m reluctant to even ask… PIP utterly refuse to believe I need one (I’m wheelchair reliant outside and barely walk indoors, but only get Standard mobility even after they sent me a re-assessment form back in late January… and that was only after an Tribunal appeal!), why should they be any different? I don’t trust any of them anymore… they all want to save money, not actually help people.

Disenfranchised

I admit that right now… I feel genuinely utterly worthless. I can barely walk. I have to use walkers to get around the house, and a wheelchair to go outside. When I’m in the wheelchair I feel like a little old biddy, all curled up and caged in. I feel pointless. Stupid. Old. Unnecessary. The walkers make me feel like I’m 105 – despite covering them with nerdy stickers. I can hardly do anything myself and I need virtually 24/7 physical and psychological care (which comes from my parents). I need help for everything I used to do myself… and I just wanted to be at least able to get myself around by myself. It wasn’t too bad… but then everything went even more wrong. Again.

Since my conditioned changed to Paraesthesia [Fibro/Hemiplegic] instead of normal unabating agony, I can’t sit in it nor push my chair. I had to buy a backrest for £45 for it, to use along with a sacrum cushion I already had, so I could just sit in it without having to endure 4 hours of spasms just from sitting in it a few minutes. My hands become numbed and extensive Paraesthesia starts in because it’s difficult to push the chair now. I can’t do what I used to do. It’s just soul-destroying.

I need this new chair so I can have some dignity and independence outside. When I sat in that prototype I felt like I was just me. Just me. No illness, no cage, do disability. Just some cool wheels for legs and the ability to push myself without much difficulty at all. I pushed myself outside all the way down the road here – something very difficult and I’d never done it before. I could have even gone further than I did and come back without much problems. The wheels just went. It pegged it with so little effort from me. It was unbelievable. I couldn’t stop smiling at how much fun it suddenly was to go for a “walk” again! I did it all by myself and I was elated.

So… you can see how important this is to me. Getting it right is important – and the only way I would have those optional extras would be if I wasn’t paying for it. Even then… some of them are entirely unnecessary… I absolutely prefer the Spoke Guards over pretty black wheels…!

The fact of the matter is that if we have to buy this ourselves, my parents will be putting themselves hugely out of pocket, and that kills me with guilt. On the other hand we all have to consider my psychological and physical well-being… it’s not good for anyone to be housebound and inactive when there is theoretically no need for it. I’m getting bigger because I can’t go out and burn energy – and the few exercises I can do at home aren’t really going to make me happy, whilst I’m busy missing practising proper, full yoga and Pilates. I want to walk my own dog, so visit places, maybe go on a small holiday to the Lake District or Glastonbury (where all the cool Wiccan stuff is). I want the confidence to go out with friends – and my parents – without feel like a burden. I want to feel like this thing doesn’t own me. Doesn’t keep me in a cage or in pain/Paraesthesia.

I want my freedom. That just shouldn’t be optional.

But just try telling Jeremy [H]unt that… and his other Tory numbnuts colleagues…

Disfranchised… It isn’t a fun place to be at all. I had so much… and now I have nothing. Not even my freedom.

But maybe… One day… Well, you never know.

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Saved By Tea….

Yes. Literally.

But not that nasty plain black tea. Pukka tea. The ingredients in it are so potent and effective, it eased what was a nightmare of a massive spasm attack that just would not go away, no matter what I did.

I went into a mass of unrelenting horrible spasms for hours and in desperation I had one of their teas – Lemon, Ginger & Manuka Honey: Ginger root with licorice root, eldferflower, fennel seed, tumeric, verbena, and of course lemon and honey, because ginger was a key anti-spasmodic in my massage oils. I was so exhausted and in so much pain from them it was a Hail-Mary – and then Mary really came through…

Within half a cup the horrific spasms I’d been having for hours diminished. I was able to relax(ish), breathe, be [my] normal again. It was amazing… and it stayed away. I topped it up later with Serene Jasmine Green tea and was able to play more of my game than I had in a long time.

I’m still astounded and relieved that there’s so much good stuff put into that Pukka that it knocked the spasms sideways and they didn’t come back – nothing has done that before. It certainly wasn’t doing it with anything else, and I was trying everything, but they relentless, agonising, contorting, and I could barely breathe because they were constricting my ribcage and diaphragm too. Then I managed to get just half of the tea down me and there was just a complete 180 on the symptoms they finally relented – truly amazing.

img_0886Today (as in the next day) I’ve used Ginseng Matcha Green tea and then the Ginger one a bit later to see how that deals with my symptoms. The Ginseng Matcha is to substitute for my second coffee of the day and it’s given me a clearer head, helped with focus, and seemed to have allowed me to eat something, which isn’t normal for this time of day. They’re not quite to my taste, since I really dislike ginger… but if it can do that, I’ll drink anything.

I still can’t get my head around the fact a cup of tea can do that… but then again, why should it not? Way back in the day, it used to be normal – before “Western medicine”, all “old” medicine was just that – flowers, foods, whatever, boiled into easily-drunk teas, oils, “potions”, etc. Ayurvedic medicine is overlooked too much in favour of “Western Science”, which is a terrible tragedy. It should at least be a option, and still probably cheaper than what the NHS pays for all these terrible chemical pills the pharmacies make and overcharge for. It may not be for everyone, but then neither is all the Western chemical pharmacy drugs…

I can’t imagine there aren’t other people around that are like me – allergic, hyper-sensitive, or [effectively] contraindicates almost all drugs for one reason or another. I’m intolerant or allergic to almost all drugs it seems – I can hardly take anything without becoming terribly ill, far more so than I am without it. As bad as things are, they’d be so much worse if I took everything the docs wanted to give me. Instead, it would have been a lot nicer if they could have sent me to see someone who was an Ayurvedic practitioner, or at least a prescription voucher for Pukka/Holland & Barrett/Whole Foods… Then I’d probably would have felt a lot better a lot sooner.

For me, this has been an eye-opener in what I should be doing and consuming to help myself. That I should concentrate more on the massage oil and aromatherapy recipes, on getting the right things inside me, whether through eating, through tea, through supplements (etc), through to presuming I can only help myself by relying solely on Courvoisier VSOP because there’s nothing else (and if I’m going to consume something that tastes like evil, it should have more benefits than simply turning my brain off and threatening eventual jaundice…).

 

 

 


Oh, Stella…

Storm Stella… Thank you for being yet another terrible import from America. For the last week or so you have been driving every nerve and cell in my entire being utterly bananas, and I’m in constant paraesthesia pain – I may as well be attached to Ol’ Sparky for the amount of electric shocks, buzzing tingles and burning, like sunburn, that I am currently having to ensure.

So thanks, ridiculously horrible storm that came from across the sea to cause so much misery.

It was supposed to be a good week this week, and especially today (it’s the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda [game]). But all this has made it impossible to manage to be anything close to even “Meh”. Definitely not “OK”.

It’s beyond trying, being dictated to by not only this condition but also the bloody weather. It’s even messing with my von Willebrand’s – and I have no idea how that happens. I’m already restricted by the damn condition, I really don’t need any more trouble because the atmospheric pressure has gone ga-ga…

IMG_1533I’ve been knocked off my feet and trying very hard to be Que Sera about it all… but this comes on the tail of a stressful couple of weeks, including being ill with flu for about two weeks as well. Then just as I was starting to get better, Stella came… and now I’ve got yet another flare-up from Hell again.

I’m keeping it from getting too much worse with the essential oil blend and Magnesium Oil. But there’s only so much even they can do in this situation. The paraesthesia has gone mad and there seems to be no stopping all those damn horrible symptoms that comes with it.

I was hoping that things would be back to normal by now. I wanted to play Mass Effect: Andromeda on Day One and enjoy it. I wanted to make it to an appointment to help teach someone about basic tech skills tomorrow. But no. It’s not happening. Instead I get self-consciousness, zombie-ness (and I’m not even Walking Dead… more Sitting Down Whilst I Rest Dead…), terrible sensations of being burnt and electrocuted, my hands don’t work properly (typing this is a nightmare for my fingers, but longhand is even worse), and I’m not sure how on earth I’m going to be able to focus on my new game and the lovely Collector’s Edition Guide to go with it. And I’ve been looking forward to this for years.

I am exhausted… so much so it’s more akin to being drugged with drowsy pills, which is really not easy to handle. It often makes my grumpy and without patience. I’m trying, but I don’t know how long it will take before I can’t take it anymore and snap… although I obviously hope I do not. I did not get any sleep last night because this morning there was going to be no one here to help me take my medication, and because of the weather I knew I wasn’t going to manage it alone if I had slept, so I stayed up the entire night to ensure I took it properly and on time. Afterwards, I passed out in my Aspie tent for about 2 hours, then I was up again. I was hoping to play my game. Despite it being there, in front of me, after my father brought up the packages that had come in the post (when he finally returned and I was cat-napping), I had to be disappointed in realising I wasn’t anywhere near up to doing much of everything, as the exhaustion and paraesthesia pain and intense sensations caused by the air pressure once again created an existence I could barely even exist in. Let alone play my new game.

It’s one thing when you’re in control of your health, your recovery or stability of your condition… but when something comes along and can dictate so absolutely what happens to you and inflict so much upon you, it’s hard to process that. It’s impossible to manage to control it. You can’t “get over it” or undo it, and the likelihood is that – after the awful and super-debilitating flare-up is finally done with half-killing you – you are then left to deal with the aftermath and recovery from it.

The constant storms of 2015/16 were so constant, it’s taken me nearly 10 months to start a true recovery (of sorts, relatively speaking) from it… then just when I think it’s safe to go back into the water … always something like this happens. Illness, weather, air pressure… something always seems to turn up. The bottom line it that you feel like you’re simply never in control of your life, condition, or health, and so end up feeling so hopeless and despondent.

It’s also the last thing you need when you’ve got an ASD brain… The random inconsistency, the lack of control, never able to plan anything, and everything constantly in flux even minute to minute, let alone any longer… It’s all a nightmare that never ends, and the only thing possible is learn how to live like that. Somehow find some consistency in non-consistency and non-complacence in how your condition or “triggers” behaves.

The only thing I can think of to cope with all this now (and it’s taken long enough), is to find a bunch of “safe” things that are always consistent despite the inconsistency in everything. More like “If-Then” kind of scenarios, and enough of them to cover as many eventual possibilities as possible – then there’s a constant stream of consistencies to find comfort and familiarity in – frankly, comfort and familiarity I simply used to get just by being in London (at home, my home). Because nothing makes much sense here at all, I need quite a few different “safe” things to have available, regardless of the situation.

Right now, all I want is for these symptoms to go away, my fickle concentration to return, to be at least almost entirely conscious, and to be able to play my game. I have a simple life with simple requirements these days… Something like that shouldn’t be too difficult to ask for – surely?

 


Alternative Thinking…

“Alternative” medicine is all I have left to use now – anything synthetically grown in a pharmaceutical lab generally does not agree with me (with severe side effects)

The latest attempt at some relief from this neuropathological crazy is CBD, or Hemp oil (aka “legal” type of cannabioid). It tastes of pure evil, but it’s early days so far. I’d like to think there’s a different, but it’s too early to really tell.

The essential oils recipe I have now is pretty fantastc – and including basil, Wintergreen, white camphor, juniper, and frankincense are all very important, key ingredients to making it work… the Wintergreen and Frankincense especially so. All put in pure Coconut Oil (but sweet almond and jojoba oils are also really good too) to be massaged in at least twice a day.

Another really helpful thing has been Magnesium Oil [spray], which helps dissipate the spassms and relaxes the muscles around the neck, shoulders, and shoulderblades to help prevent them – or at least the worst of them. Little ones get through.

This is obviously a very expensive treatment plan. They’re all very expensive products, and when added together is a rediculous amount of money… it makes you realise how it must feel to try and scrape together your healthcare treatments in the US and how lucky we are to have access tot he NHS.

Unfortunately, the NHS doens’t do natural products, and so I must use a hell of a lot of my pittance from PIP to pay for all this. If the government thinks what pittance pocketmoney they give is actually enough to pay for any of what ill/disabled people require to pay out for things they need, they’re completely delusional in the most rediculous way. Presumably they also believe in unicorns and see leprechauns, too… And they’ve clearly never been shopping for necessities to help with such situations and circumstances.

I’m relieved that there is at least something out there that helps. If I just relied on pharmaceutical meds, I’d be screwed. I can barely function on the Pregabalin, so there’s definitely no chance of going downhill from there on medication that’s supposed to help, but instead makes me sicker. Thankfully, Mother Nature got there first, and this Wiccan is used to looking elsewhere for answers rather than “modern” medicine.

 

 


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