Friday, 9 September 2016

memory problems and religion

The other day I was having a conversation with an elderly clergyman.

We were discussing various things, and then I said that I no longer attend churches because the services are all so very different.

He questioned what I meant by this, not pushing his views, but he was interested in my reasons for giving up my religion.

I say giving up my religion! 
But I am still a Christian, even though I never attend a church service these days, and as far as that is concerned, I like many thousands of others are still very religious even if we no longer go inside a church. 

It's a long story I said, but it started around 12 years ago when I realised that my memory was going.

Until this time I has always been very religious, and as a boy in the church choir, I would attend three services perhaps each Sunday. 

As an engineer I would go to church, but I would carry a pager for emergencies, and would leave the service if it went off.

How ever 12 years ago I started to forget how to do my job, something which shocked me, and I got very distressed because I did not understand what was happening.

All of my electrical training was disappearing, and it felt as if a virus had wiped my memory completely.
I was then very ill with Pnuemonia and my memory took a hammering again.

One day I went to church and realised that I no longer remembered the Lords Prayer.

I was totally devastated at this, and try as I might, I just could not remember the words.

When you forget the things like this, that you learnt as a child it can be very upsetting, and even worse when coupled with forgetting his to do your job

After trying for a few months, going over and over the words, I started to get to grips with it, and I felt really proud of myself.

However the next time my wife and I went to church I realised that the words of the Lords Prayer were totally different?

But I said I will push myself to go in the hope of getting the words right. 

But then I heard that the church used a different version of this Lords prayer at every service, and to make things even worse, there were occasions when they would sing it.

I had learnt to sing and follow music as a child, but now I find it difficult to read the words while following the music.

As a boy chorister I remember singing Handles Messiah in Durham Catherdral. This was done by our own church choir, the Cathdreal choristers and another choir. 
I vaguely remember this, but nowvI am unable to sing properly, and unable to read music.

In a vane attempt to sort things out, because memory lose, is something that thousands struggle with, I spoke to the local priest, but he just shrugged his shoulders and said that he could do nothing about it.

I then said, what about all of the elderly congregation with memory problems, people who attend every week, and pay your salary.

But I got no answer. So obviously the elderly and those with memory problems are nothing to do with the church.
To add insult to injury,  I was once accused is staying with the past and not keeping up with modern times.

But we were taught the original  forms of service and prayers as children, yet here it was being thrown out with the bath water so to speak.

At this time I had serious problems sleeping because of graphic nightmares, and would only go into a deep sleep at around 5-6 in the morning.

So I grasped the nettle by the thorns, and wrote to the local Bishop, explaining about my struggles with memory and nightmares.

When I got his reply I realised that the church simply did not care about anyone who has memory problems etc.

He simply told me to get up and attend the 8am service every Sunday, because it was all done to the original prayer book style, which I who remember.

I was so disgusted that I turned my back on my religion, or going to church.

This proved to me that even the so called caring Church of England, cared little or nothing for those of us with memory problems.

After I had finished the elderly priest looked at me and said that he agreed with everything I had said, and had himself tried to get things sorted out, because the church is relying on the elderly etc, to keep the churches going.

He also agreed that the Church of England etc, had brought problems on themselves by forgetting the very people that they should be looking after

So is it any wonder that those with memory problems or dementia, refuse to attend church these days, because it's become alien to them.

Is it any wonder that churches are empty these days?

Had it not have been for my daughter telling me about voice activated computer software, I would not be using a computer to keep myself active these days. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mental Health still struggling

The other day, we heard that millions of pounds was being poured into the London Police services, to protect us from security risks.

Later that very day in London, a lady was murdered and other people were badly injured, by someone who appears to be struggling with mental health issues. 

This sadly is not the first murder involving someone with mental health issues in the last few months,  but no one takes any notice.

Had it have been someone acting as a terrorist, the government would have thrown a lot of money and resources at it.

Before the European vote took place, the Government pledged to invest millions of pounds more into the mental health services, but one has to ask where it's all gone and where are the improvements 

For some odd reason this money seems to have disappeared into the NHS and never got to the right place.

To me this is the governments fault, because when it puts money into a service, the money is never ring fenced to prevent it bring used for something else 

We saw this with the National Dementia Strategy, when money was put aside for dementia, but the then Government refused to ring fence the money, and  it was then used to pay for other services, yet no one was held accountable.

Mental health has been a very poor relation for many years. In fact ever since the mental Heath hospitals were closed down in the 1960s, yet nothing has improved 

Yet when we look at mental Heath, it involves many Illnesses. There is depression in a lot of other illnesses, but all the doctors are interested in doing is dishing out anti depressants, many of which do more harm than good. 

But mental health goes a lot deeper than politicians care to admit these days. 

One or two Politicians have openly admitted to having mental health issues,  only to be vilified by other politicians, and that shows the contempt they have for mental Heath these days. 

I think a lot if the problems are caused by the stigma which is attached to mental health issues, because for years no one would admit they, or anyone in their family had mental health problems. 
In many ways it was like cancer in the 1950-60s, and dementia now. 

But people are starting to admit to their illnesses more, and talk to others about them, instead of hiding them. I think it's helped by the high profile people like Actors, Politicians and Athletes,  who are openly talking about mental health.

Here again it's a subject which could be discussed in schools, so that youngsters get to know about it and understand what it is.

Yes there are still one or mental health hospitals in existence but these are few and far between. 

This means that it takes longer to access the system, and then they and family members have to travel many miles when it comes to visiting.

To me it stands to reason that if the mental health services were improved, people with these issues would be picked up faster, saving the government a lot of money.

The only way all health problems can be addressed is to start revamping the NHS, and taking back control of it rather than allowing private companies etc, to take over many if the best services.

Mental health has always been around like dementia, but these illnesses have never been given the priority or the resources that they require.

I also feel that people were better served when hospitals worked under the older system, where they were run by doctors and nurses etc, rather than business bosses, because like it or not a hospital cannot be run like a business. If a hospital got into problems those in charge took the blame, and never blamed others. 

In those days each hospital was part of a group and shared their services including mental health, so in many cases, the NHS was a much better place, as it was run by people with medical experience rather than some cost cutting chief executive, who has little interest in an efficient hospital. 

If the hospital fails they are always protected and blame everyone else.

In this day and age we hear that a patients records can be shared around the local hospitals, but in all honesty, that is total rubbish. Because it's not the first time I have gone to a hospital to find that they were unable to access my records. So after the millions of pounds poured into this service to speed it up, it's a total failure 

In all honestly I do feel that these days, the NHS is too top heavy with admin staff, and this now needs to be addressed so that the money goes where it's needed, and that is on patient services, not on meetings for people in big office blocks who keep reinventing the wheel, and certainly not on chief executives who look after them selves and no one else.

Let us hope that mental health starts to get the money it really needs in the future, so that those in real need are picked up and given the treatment they deserve. 

Whether we like it or not mental health is not self inflicted like some illnesses, and therefore it should be given more resources and support 

I do admit that a lot of these services have been lost by the savage government, over the last ten years, but hopefully this will soon be readdressed. 

Lovely day at the Tees falls

On Sunday my wife, Daughter and I went up to High and Low Falls in the Teesdale valley.

Normally my wife goes to church on a Sunday morning, but as our daughter Claire was staying with us at our static caravan in Barnard Castle, she decided to stay with us so we could spend the morning going out for a drive in the car,

Usually when the river is high the falls come over at the right hand side of the rock formation as well making it look quite spectacular and fearsome

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