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19 November 2010

Posted by DMC on 19 November 2010 in Diary |

I had an interesting comment today from a lady in the USA whose husband suffers from MND. She was pointing out how very lucky we are in this country to have people who are prepared to visit us in our own home. For example, the reader will have noticed that over the past week or so I have received a visit from my GP for a general check-up and domiciliary visits from both a dentist and an optician. In addition, we have had our occupational therapist here and what I choose to call the incontinence lady. At this very moment I’m awaiting a visit from the district nurse who will take some blood for four tests ordered by the GP.

On Monday I am having a visit from the supplier of my articulated armrest -loaned to me by the MND Association – and sometime next week I can expect a visit from a consultant for further training in voice activation -again  from an associate of the MND Association.. All, I’m quick to add, all visits and equipment at no expense to me. When I do have to go to hospital then a community car or ambulance is provided, again this is free.  Bear in mind all of these visits are recent and, of course, there have been a number of other visits in the past. I simply could not manage to attend various clinics to attend to all of these matters, some of which, in any event, some of which concern equipment in the home. How on earth they manage in the USA with no home visits I cannot imagine. In any event I hope I’ve made it very clear how grateful I am for the care and attention that I get.

As I finished writing this last paragraph Claire, one of our district nurses, arrived here with a student nurse Mary – who comes from Zimbabwe.- to take blood. I told the girls I would mention them on my blog and Claire laughed and said that I had called her Carol last time, so apologies for that.

Speaking to Mary about Zimbabwe reminded me of the 2 ½. months polo tour I made from Muqdisho, Somalia to Cape Town in 1964, with a five week old Smiler. The poor lad had a rough start. First of all the Arab authorities in Aden insisted that he had a number of vaccinations — malaria; yellow fever; cholera; smallpox; rabies and something else. They were all combined in one huge syringe about the size of his arm. As a result he had a raging temperature in the boat from Aden to Somalia and we were kept up all night monitoring his progress. However he clearly survived. Then, a week or two later, ‘my lovely’ slipped on a steep path, in the Drakensburgs, Swaziland, Smiler shot out of her arms and landed on top of his relatively soft skull.. Alice was convinced that she had damaged him for life but fortunately it did not turn out to be the case.

A few weeks later I inadvertently crossed a main road in Bredasdorp  – approx,200 kms/ south west of Cape Town – due to the road sign-writer being on holiday and not having written the word HALT on the road. We went under the trailer of a 40 ton roadster and the Alfa Romeo I was driving was dragged 20 yards down the hill. The car looks as though it had  been mangled by giant,  every piece of glass in the car was  shattered. Smiler, who had been blissfully asleep in his bassinet on the back seat,  had flown out of the passenger door, which had burst open on impact, and ‘ my lovely’  found him, on the road, 20 yards from the wreckage (I had gone through the windscreen and was unconscious at the time). Again, he was virtually unscathed. The only damage that he appeared to have suffered was a tiny dent over his left eye where he had hit the road, otherwise, no bruises, scratches or breaks. What a lucky lad. Clearly neither accident did him any long-term damage, brain-wise, or otherwise. He ended up at Cambridge University and managed to get a reasonable history degree as well as a half Blue in athletics.. Having said that I wouldn’t recommend this as a ideal way to treat a tiny baby!

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