I do not think Anthea Turner would approve

Gavin Hageman

Gavin Hageman

First published in News

MY left side is semi-paralysed and suffers lots of cramping spasms causing sleepless nights, leaving me shattered the next day. I’ve been on a course of sleeping tablets to help get my patterns back to normal and I woke up a bit groggy after taking one last night.

I try to get down the stairs with great care as my semi-paralysed arm and leg make it difficult not to fall on the way down but I need to get down to answer the door to the postman who has a package for me.

I’m always much more mobile after breakfast, a strong coffee and the four different tablets that I take each day. Every four months I have 20 Botox injections in the misbehaving muscles on my left side. This will ease the spasms and make walking a little easier, when I have them in two weeks.

Why do they need to put so much tape on the parcel? I use my good hand and my teeth and get little bits of plastic stuck between my teeth. Richie, my guide dog, really wants to help me but the T-shirts inside would be destroyed if I let him open the parcel for me.

Breakfast is simple bread with butter and marmite which I spread on using my special chopping board that has metal spikes to hold the bread still. I have to grip the Marmite between my knees in order to open it.

After a wrestling match I manage to get the bedding off the bed using my teeth to get the pillowcases off and get it all downstairs using one hand and my teeth without falling over.

Putting it into the washing machine then starting it is the easy part. Hurrah, it’s Wednesday. And I have a support worker coming for two hours to help me with anything that needs doing.

She arrives at 9am. To the bank with my guide dog and a few little cleaning jobs in the house and, sadly, the two hours has expired.

I’m a bit gutted because she has gone and we never had time to put my washing out on the line so I have to attempt to put my sheets and pillowcases on the line with one hand and my teeth.

However, I don’t think Anthea Turner, on one of her housewife programmes, would have approved of my pegging technique.

I sit down to check my emails. My PC has some quite good gizmos to help visually impaired users, so that’s a blessing.

In fact I’m writing this using the dictation facility on my Apple Mac which is very good. But as the day goes on and I get more tired the microphone doesn’t recognise my words properly and it doesn’t translate my dictation accurately and just types all kinds of gibberish instead, leaving me with hours of editing to do.

My PC reads an email to me that reveals that I need to print off some bank statements for somebody showing my financial status.

I manage to print them off but I cannot collate them into any order because my visual impairment and cognitive impairment from my brain injury won’t allow that and I get in an awful mess and get very stressed by it all.

My injured brain has almost expired and I know I need to sleep for a few hours but I know I won’t really be able to sleep properly tonight.

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Comments (1)

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12:53pm Wed 27 Aug 14

xenarthra says...

That sounds pretty tough. Thanks for sharing.
That sounds pretty tough. Thanks for sharing. xenarthra
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