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Showing posts from March, 2015

Spring has come again

It seems to have been a long winter, but I guess that's because of my on going chest problems and osteoarthritis in my hip, but spring is here again
It's so nice to see leaves forming on the trees and flowers popping up in the garden.
So now it's time to get out with my camera again, and see the changing colours, and things like spring lambs, as spring moves on and summer gets closer. 
Must admit I am looking forward to summer, in the hope that it is warm this year.
I cannot walk as far as I used to these days, but at least I can walk until I have to stop, usually 3-4 miles at a time, but at least I am trying to remain active.
It's been a while since I was out with my camera, so it's a case of remembering the settings again, and then getting on with it. 



The Tory party and 24/7 Health Service?

Today we had the news headlines that the National Health Service was going to be operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week "if" the Conservatives are re elected.
With all due respect, people have been taken ill all hours of the day for a long time, and have been treated, so just who is this Tory leader trying to convince.
It's not new, it's all things that they tried to cut back with savage cuts, now they are trying to say, it's all going to be new,  if they are re elected.
I may have a nuerological illness similar  to dementia, but even I know, that we had all of this just a few years ago, untill this government and the last, started getting involved in something that they know very little about.
Mr Cameron had decreed that people with dementia would get a diagnosis with in 6 weeks, and that doctors surgeries will be open longer, just to state two things that I can remember, but where is the extra money, and the extra doctors coming from.
The doctors complained rightly …

Media and dementia

Everyday we get more and more headlines of a new drug or a new cure for dementia, but just how many of these are correct.

The British media seem hell bent on making people living with this illness, look for hope when there is none there.
We also get continuous reports of this diet or that stops the illness, it's nothing new, but has gone on for the last few years, yet no one stands up to them and stops this happening.
One moment it's brilliant, then the next it's rubbish and could never work.
These people are total fools acting as is they has positive information, when it is all about a good headline just to sell their papers.
I get very annoyed when I look at newspapers and see these daily cruel headlines, and I am sure that I am not the only one. 
Last week I sent a direct e mail to Mr Cameron, in the hope that he will do something.
 He is supposed to be a Dementia a Friend, but I do wonder just how far he goes when it comes to this illness.
 Like many I do feel that he …

RIP plane passengers

Today I have thought a lot about all those killed when the German plane crashed, and found it so very hard to understand how someone with an illness can be allowed to fly a plane like this.
Many people are stopped from driving a car when they have some illnesses like dementia or nuerological illnesses, yet people can fly a plane carrying hundreds of passengers. 
Perhaps the laws need to be changed so that we are all on a level playing field, and all controlled by the same set of regulations.
I know that my licence is reviewed every year as do many others with this illness, and I will not get into the drivers seat if I am not feeling up to it. 
Perhaps I think didfferently to many I don't know, it's the thought of killing someone else that worries me. 
But sadly it seems that this man for what ever reason went out to kill all in his aeroplane, and this leaves me wondering about his state of mind, and why no one had spotted anything strange about him.
So very sad

Feeling rough

After last week when I felt rough, but I thought things would have cleared up by now 
However over Sunday things got worse, so my wife asked for a doctors appointment to get it sorted out.
The doctor gave me a thorough examination, and then after hearing me say that I did not want anymore antibiotics, he decided that enough was enough, and has refered me to see a chest specialist. I confess that the doctors have been saying this for two years, so it's taken long enough, but hopefully I will get an answer. 
This last session has dragged on since November, in which time I have been given 6 courses of antibiotics, but it got to the stage I felt so ill that I did not want to take any more
This has been going on for the last 3-4 years, and never seemed to go away unless we went somewhere sunny.  
This is getting distressing at times with all of the coughing and tight chest, and I confess that I have got to the stage I am losing interest in food and hobbies.
We were supposed to attend a meeti…

Reflections of days gone by part I

After listening to Roger Whittaker sing streets of London, and it brought back many memories, some of which were at the time distressing, and seemed never ending.

This made me realise that we always take things for granted, but it does not always work out the way you expect.

Sometime in the mid 1980s, my wife was in a very serious road accident, which left things on a knife edge for what seemed an eternity.

She ended up in hospital for around three years, in which time she had umpteen operations to rebuild her leg and foot, and the doctors having to fight on two occassions to keep her alive.

This was hard to take on board, not just for me but also the children who at the time were 5 and 8 year old.

But within that time these two children grew up fast, and shared many jobs which would normally have been done by others, but they did it without me asking or telling them to do it. Claire simply took over

At this time I was a University College Engineer, on call 24 hours a day for breakdo…

Long weekend

We have been away for a long weekend at Barnard Castle, because I was feeling totally drained and washed out.
What started out as a common cold left me feeling as if I had been in a fight with Mike Tyson, as every bit of my body was hurting.

I guess this is because I have been coughing up rubbish for the last three months, and my body could not take it. I gather that my immune system is in a mess after all of the antibiotics so I am getting any bugs coming my way.

But this morning we had a lovely walk and had an honest talk, because my wife was worried.

I had got to the state on Friday and Saturday of not being able to work out the simplest tasks, but this morning I felt totally different, still rough around the edges, but better.

So the change of air must be working, and seeing all of the Deer at Raby Castle was a wonderful sight.
After lunch we listened to a cd by Roger Whittaker,   and I had time to sit back and reflect as one piece of music took me back to my days in Oxford, just…

Dementia and comorbidities

Over the last year I have realised that it is time to start to things a bit easier, because I am having more problems with my health.

Living with this illness is one thing, but over the last five years I have been struggling with osteoarthritis in my hip, and a badly torn and worn knee.
I have recently had an injection in my hip to ease the pain, and I am waiting to see what they are going to do about my knee, if anything. I have been doing a lot of hip and knee exercises which have helped, as well as exercises to get some control over my balance which seems to be getting worse, so it's a case of wait and see.
This comes on top of my continued problems with my chest problems which do not seem to want to clear.

The doctor says there is a shadow showing over one lung when I had an X-ray, so they are considering have deeper scans to see what is lurking there. This week I had a second X-ray to see if it's still showing before they go any further.



The doctor is worried that my con…

Classical music and Dementia

We have read over the last few days how classical music is good for people living with any form of dementia.
Yet it must be remembered that we are all different, and some people may not like this type of music
I tend to listen to classical music on most days, and if I cannot sleep at night, I listen to it while I am in bed from my iPod and ear phones.
However we have to be careful about what music we listen to as some classical music can cause problems if it's fast and racy. 
Some music can be very dark and will cause extra problems especially late at night.
Mozart tends to be the favourite of most people, as it is calming and relaxing.
I do think it's good when it's just background music and therefore not too loud, but that depends on the noise in the background. 
Recently I had to go into theatre for a hip injection, and found that they were playing 1950-60s pop music, which  was quite nice. 


Revamp for hospital menus in County Durham and Darlington

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Revamp for hospital menus in County Durham and Darlington
FOOD: Darlington Memorial Hospital was previously recognised by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food for its good menu
NEW hospital meal menus, developed by patients and staff are to be launched in County Durham and Darlington. The new lunch and evening meal menus for hospital sites in the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust area have been created in time for Nutrition and Hydration Week, an international campaign to improve health, care and catering across the world. Starting tomorrow (Monday) the new menus will be served to all patients and staff with the aim of providing healthy, balanced and varied meal options. Alison McCree, associate director of facilities for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Good nutritious food and regular drinks are an important part of patient care, recovery and experience, and these new menus have been developed to meet patient needs. "We've list…

Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia

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Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia say researchers after discovering Mozart excerpts enhanced gene activity in patientsResearch saw patients listen to Mozart's violin concert No 3 for 20 minutesThe 'musically-experienced' people had enhanced gene activity, it found Music also affected risk gene synuclein-alpha, connected to Parkinson's
Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia, new research has found.



Scientists discovered that patients who listened to experts of Mozart had enhanced gene activity in the  brain in areas including memory and learning. Meanwhile, the music also affected the activity of a risk gene connected to Parkinson's disease.

The Finnish researchers found the changed activity was only present in 'musically-experienced' patients, who listened to music regularly, suggesting the importance of familiarity with music. For the study, participants were asked to listen to Mozart's violin concert No 3, G-major, …

Terry Pratchett brought dementia out of the shadows

Terry Pratchett brought dementia out of the shadows – we owe it to him to find a cure SIR Terry Pratchett approached his own diagnosis of dementia by saying: “If we are to kill the demon then first we have to say its name. Once we have recognised the demon, without secrecy or shame, we can find its weaknesses.”Using his wit and imagination Terry Pratchett helped fight the stigma around dementia His initial reaction, in common with many of the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, was anger and rage.  Sir Terry, who passed away last week aged 66, was never going to take his diagnosis in 2007 quietly. He regarded finding he had a form of Alzheimer’s as an insult and decided to do his best to marshal any kind of forces he could against “this wretched disease... that slips you away a little bit at a time and lets you watch it happen”.  He had a rare form of dementia called posterior cortical atrophy, or PCA. It particularly affected his vision and coordination.  Unperturbe…

Sir Terry Pratchett: Tributes paid to Discworld author

Sir Terry was a true Inspiration to us all
 living with this illness


Sir Terry Pratchett: Tributes paid to 
Discworld author
Authors and Alzheimer's campaigners have been among those paying tribute to author Sir Terry Pratchett, who has died at the age of 66. Novelist Philip Pullman said he would be remembered for the "love of humanity in what he did", while actor Sir Tony Robinson called him a "contradiction" - a shy man in "urban cowboy clothes". He suffered from Alzheimer's, and a charity said he opened the "floodgates" to help people talk about the disease. Sir Terry's last tweet said: "The end." His daughter Rhianna tweeted: "Miss you already." Start Quote His Alzheimer's was the cruellest possible blow to a mind so inventive, so rich and so funny” Val McDermidCrime writer Sir Terry died on Thursday, eight years after being diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's called posterior cortical atrophy. He…

Looking after people with Dementia in Hospitals

When People with dementia or any other neurological illness go in to hospital they expect to be looked after in a caring and dignified manner, in other words they are treated with the same dignity and respect that everyone else takes for granted on a daily basis
It should also be remembered that hospitals can be very frightening places where people with dementia are concerned, because many feel well out of their custom zone. many struggle to cope, in areas full of machinery like scanners and x-ray machines.

Some cannot cope with lots of people, who they do not recognise, in unfamiliar places.
Many hospitals refuse to allow our carers to stay with us, and that needs to change especially when someone asks you questions, and you do not remember what was said, or asked.

Being asked to sign consent forms, when you may not really understand what is written down in front of you

To do this we have to ensure that all staff are trained in how to handle us, and have at least a basic idea of what we…

Study prompts hopes that it is never too late to reduce dementia risk

From the Daily Telegraph
Study prompts hopes that it is never too late to reduce dementia risk
The first trial of its kind finds that adopting a healthy lifestyle to protect the brain can have a dramatic impact on mental decline 1