R.E.S.P.E.C.T – Find Out Where It Went Please!

Another troubled young star dies before his time and before his body’s barely even cold the haters come crawling out of the rotted woodwork. Among the outpouring of grief, love and sympathy came the (sadly expected) usual vitriol of human nastiness through social media. Every time a picture or dedication pops up, you can guarantee at least one ‘troll’ will be there to sully the good intentions. Whether you knew of or even liked Cory Monteith is neither here nor there. He was apparently a talented, well loved young man who was open about his personal demons and troubled past. He recognised his flaws and was grateful for his gifts in life and tried to deal with his problems the best he could. I’m not a fan of Glee in which he starred but I do respect him at least for that. Image

On Facebook this morning someone had posted a picture in memory of Cory Monteith where people had posted various messages of ‘RIP’ and ‘We’ll miss you’ etc. I was going to scroll down when statements such as “Who is he and why should I care?” appeared, or worse “I’m glad the worthless junkie is dead”. Whatever happened to if you have nothing nice to say about someone, then don’t say anything at all? I was always taught not to speak ill of the dead ( unless they were a complete b*****d!) I mean, the guy had only just died!! He was only 31 (my age now) and whatever problems he may have had he did not deserve to die nor be vilified by complete a*******s who have not even heard of or known him. No one should have to put up with that and why should his fans or perhaps even his friends and family have to read such things? Has respect really gone out of fashion?

Oh and it’s not just the famous who suffer such unwanted attention either. Countless times I’ve seen or read in the news that some poor family or friend of someone has had to shut down a tribute page to a deceased love one or a charity page set up in the name of someone affected by cancer or something.Why? Because of the abuse from some anonymous, cowardly, vile little cretin who gets their kicks from seeking out and abusing people in their time of grief and/or when they are very vulnerable. A woman raising money to send her terminally ill daughter on holiday before she died was accused of pocketing the money and neglecting the daughter to get attention. Even when the girl died the abuse didn’t stop. You may not agree with people sharing their grief on-line or talking publicly but that’s their choice. People deal with death and illness in their own way, but ‘trolling’ is not the way to raise any objection.

ImageImage

ImageImage

Is respect an endangered concept these days? Has the age of the internet, of people anonymously hiding behind their phones,tablets and computers erased any sense of common decency? Surely the great thing about social networking is that we can reach out and connect with more people than ever before? The only question is, do you really want to? After all, not everyone is there to be your friend. Some people are only out to cause as much misery as they can for nothing other than their own sick entertainment. I find that very disturbing.

We should respect each other’s differences, live and let live as they say and if you can’t say anything nice then get the hell off Facebook and Twitter etc so no one has to take your poison! Image

Yeah yeah what about Freedom of Speech I hear you cry?! Well for once I just wish people would think about who they might be hurting or offending when they invoke that right. Can’t we just spread a little more love and happiness so we don’t have to keep wiping crap off of our virtual shoes on the internet doormat? Cos sometime it’s gonna start to smell bad.

And a final word from Aretha…

Lest We Forget the Fever of the Hay!

Image

Dear Hay Fever,

You are the bane of my existence (for the summer months at least) but still, a large pain in the arse, or more accurately head,eyes,nose and throat! You owe my sinuses years of rent. Sneakily you showed up late, your tardiness allowing me to think I’d maybe finally escaped your clutches. Oh as if! You have plagued me since the dawn of time – or at least from the early to mid-eighties. There’s just no escape is there? You’re here for eternity, every time there’s a hint of nice weather, there you are to ruin it for me. You’re like an annoying, jealous sibling or friend who just doesn’t want to share me. Well I’m flattered but your attention is suffocatingly OTT!

I’m lucky if I ever get a tan because you have me hiding in the house medicated to the point of drowsiness and my eyes stinging and blurred from the drops. Some days my eyes look like a villain from an old Scooby Doo cartoon, all bloodshot and bulgy. It’s not a good look! And I’m not Bashful to say you’re turning me into 4 of the 7 dwarves – I’m Sneezey,Dopey, Sleepy and Grumpy and I may be in need of a Doc! Is this making you Happy?

Ok, lame Disney joke over, it’s not like you’re even loyal. you’re stalking more and more people and between 1994 and 2009 you appeared in twice the number of adults’ lives. Oh yes, I’ve read the statistics! If you have all these others can’t you leave me alone even just for a while? It’s not like you need me and we hardly get along well, I’d have to say I wouldn’t miss you a jot! You’re selfish, it’s all me,me,me with you, you never think about anyone but yourself. You’re one of the worst individuals I have ever known!

You’re embarrassing to be seen in public with, always showing me up. Let’s face it, when you make me sneeze (often loudly) on a beautiful day I get looks like I have a disease or something. I tell them it’s you and they look at me as if to say “Well don’t you think you should control him better” like I’m a parent with a naughty child or a dog owner with an out of control pet.

So that’s it! I no longer (nor will I ever) want you around. It’s tiresome and I’m not impressed with the bloody nose you gave me last night. Not cool dude! I know we’ve been a partnership for a long time but enough is enough. We’ve reached the end of the road. Time to leave Allergy Avenue, Adios Amigo.

             Yours sneezingly, a fed up fever follower.

“Helenisms” – The Saga Continues!

Image

My sister Helen (Hello From Me To You) was home for the weekend. Her take on the English language can be quite unique. Sometimes I wonder if her teeth are fixed in properly and as for what’s going on in her little mind…well, anyone’s guess is as good as mine.

A while back I bought a little sort of travel game called Tell Me Quiz. You have a bunch of cards and a wheel with the alphabet on. Choosing either the easy or more difficult level one person spins the wheel and whatever letter it lands on another person reads out the phrase or question using that letter such as “Tell me the name of a famous building beginning with…T”. For some insane reason I decided to play this with Helen.Image Oh dear Lordy, I haven’t laughed so much in ages. The things that come out of her before she’s kicked her brain in action are mind-boggling bizarre, yet somehow she won more games. Maybe that was the key?!  I was thinking to much or in the giggles so I couldn’t think at all. The sneak had disarmed me, not that she gloated much when she won!!

The following are a selection of her crazy often gibberish answers, please enjoy and hold onto your marbles;

  • “Tell me something you wear in cold weather beginning with K..” Helen:”KITTENS!”
  • “Something that flies beginning with R” Helen:”Raccoon!” Obvious answer of course.
  • A Fruit beginning with J. Helen: “Jaffa Cakes?!” At this point our mum rolls her eyes and sighs.
  • “Tell me something you have to wash beginning with G” Helen:”Goat!” Don’t ask!
  • “..a part of the body beginning with F” Helen:”Frog!” At this point it’s getting very animal themed.
  • “Something found in the kitchen beginning with L” Helen:”Lemur!” – see what I mean!
  • “A composer beginning with U” Helen:”URANUS!”

After that she was wetting herself laughing, the giggles had taken over. Her next daft answer involved naming an American president as Elmo. I’ve also left out the several rude answers she shouted out.

More games followed with more madness. Although when she came up with the card “a word that describes you beginning with M” Mum and I answered for her – Mental!

  • “A 20th Century invention beginning with D” Helen answered “Dickens!”
  • “Famous building beginning with T” Helen (panicked);” Tee..far..fo..f*#!” She needed some Fixodent I think at this point
  • “A sports personality beginning with L” Helen;”Louis Armstrong”. Yes, what a wonderful world she lives in!
  • “Title of a magazine or paper beginning with T.” Helen;”TITLER!!”
  • “A word that describes you beginning with P” Helen:”Pineapple”.
  • Another flying animal this time with O, Helen’s answer was Orangutan.

If you have survived that, thank you for reading. She seems so sensible in her blog, think I may have ruined the illusion now. Ooops.

Image

Helen Happy with her Meal

Every year my local town has a summer gala event. We went almost every year as kids. My sister moved away for college and then university and then decided to stay on in Leeds so she hadn’t been to the gala for years. I started going again several years back inviting some friends to bring their kids because it really is a family day out and we’ve gone almost every year since. There’s a parade, fun fair, live music, stalls, ice cream vans, face painting etc, and this year the sun put in it’s best appearance yet. It was a scorcher!

Anyway, back to my sister. Some of you reading this may follow her blog Hello From Me To You. Yup, that Helen is my big sister. Earlier last week she managed to get the full weekend off from work and was going to ask me to meet up with her. However, on realising the gala was on made a quick decision to make a flying stop home and attend with me, Mum and the gang. Arriving on Friday night I met her at the local Macdonalds where she had gotten off the bus. Despicable Me 2 being in the cinemas, Maccy D has been promoting it by selling toys of the minions in their Happy Meals, hence the above picture of my very excited sister with her latest addition and the smallest coke I’ve ever seen her drink. This was followed by a Flake McFlurry with so much chocolate in she nearly couldn’t get the spoon out. Helen then bounced all the way home!

Image

One of the many (slightly hot) marching bands.

We watched the parade which was very good this year and Helen became an instant hit with the kids for catching sweets that the paraders were throwing for them. I was just amazed she actually caught something. Helen doesn’t catch, or throw in a straight line.Each year going with my friends, one of them has dragged me on the worst and scariest rides he could find! However this year I was suffering with a stomach bug or something so he kindly let me off – mainly because I sacrificed my sister and also his eight year old son was now tall enough to go on many of the rides. I was saved, hallelujah! Although I have been informed I will more than pay for it next year. Hopefully they’ll only bring the spinning teacups and the merry-go-rounds, but I won’t hold my breath! So my sister ended up very sunburnt, quite dizzy but extremely happy by the end of the day. We saw some people we hadn’t seen in some time and all in all it was a very enjoyable day.

Helen’s now back home after a busy weekend, but she’s been fed well and had a good time. I hope your weekend was just as good. Thanks for reading.

Fun In The Sun

Has Anyone Seen My Blood?

Image

After waiting over 3 and a half weeks for an appointment to see my GP I finally got to see her this week. The reason I made it was that last year I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s Phenomenon or disease by a rather offhand locum who had the attitude of “that’s what it is, but there’s nothing you can do so you have to put up with it” or at least that was how it felt. Not good enough. So this time I decided to make sure I got in to see my own doctor even if I had to wait. I at least wanted to feel like I was being listened to and taken seriously. Due to the good weather, the past few weeks have been the first time in years where my hands have been pretty consistently warm without the help of gloves apart from the odd occasion. My Mum and sister are a bit shorter than me so I sometimes joke to my Mum that I have her size blood in my size body and it doesn’t stretch far enough to reach my hands and feet. I’m just too tall for my blood!

Image

Named after Dr Maurice Raynaud

Image

“Reprinted by permission of the Raynaud’s Association, Inc. http://www.raynauds.org. Copyright © 2013 Raynaud’s Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved.”

Raynaud’s is classified into 2 groups – Primary and Secondary Raynaud’s. (So far I’m Primary unless blood tests show up something). Primary is where the cause is unknown, there is no underlying disease. The small blood vessels in the fingers, toes etc just appear to be more sensitive to colder temperatures. Usually all fingers on both hands are affected in primary Raynaud’s. Secondary Raynaud’s is due to an underlying cause such as rheumatoid arthritis, MS and other ‘connective tissue diseases’. Apparently it’s a common disorder affecting 1 in 20 people, up to 9 in 10 being primary Raynaud’s. Primary usually first develops in teenagers and young adults, but it can occur at any age. Secondary Raynaud’s develops at any age when the underlying condition occurs.

There are medications for Raynaud’s but my GP is holding off starting me on any yet especially because other patients have complained about the side effects. I know all about that from the side effects I got when I was first put on medication for my epilepsy. Sometimes  the side effects can be worse than the symptoms of the illness. My GP gave me some information to read and a full MOT while I was there including a review of my medications. She then told me to make an appointment at reception for blood tests. This time I only had to wait 2 and a half days! In between time I looked up the medication in case I am eventually put on any at a later date. It wasn’t pleasant reading. At least 1 of the drugs doesn’t go with my main epilepsy medication, as for the rest the side effects were pretty scary reading. Think I’ll just stick to wearing gloves for now, even in the house.ImageTImageImage

I don’t mind needles as long as I don’t watch them going in. I can watch the blood run out fine, but for some reason I just can’t watch the needle go in. I have trouble getting blood to go in to my own hands (and sometimes feet) so giving it up to a nurse wasn’t going to be easy. The left arm refused to show any veins but eventually after a few attempts the right arm surrendered. Traitor! Although my GP is very thorough, I was still surprised to find out how much I was actually going to be tested for, unless it was a special discount week I didn’t know about, a BOGOF deal on all NHS blood tests?! When eventually my blood did come out, it really flowed which was just as well because the nurse needed a few vials full. After what felt like nearly half an arm full of blood, I left the surgery with cotton wool taped over my still bleeding arm. It may take a while to find it but once it goes it really flows! Now I just have to wait for the results and see what happens from there. Hopefully my GP is right and it’s the primary, not secondary. What with epilepsy, hayfever and Raynaud’s I don’t need to add another condition to my list this week.

Thanks for reading.

A New Aid For Epileptics?

A recent newspaper article has revealed that a belt that detects when a seizure is occurring and ‘calls for help’ could be a breakthrough for people with epilepsy.

It works by sensing two vital signs that a seizure may be happening. Apparently the belt can track the changes in the way that “natural electricity is being conducted through nerves in the skin and detect an increase in a patient’s breathing rate”.

A team of scientists at Rice University in Texas developed a prototype of the belt, which is yet to enter human trials. According to the article, the belt is “aimed at parents who want to be warned when their child is having a fit – especially during the night when they are less likely to hear them.”

The question is, will it succeed in human trials? And if successful,how long before it becomes ready to the public and for what price? Ok, maybe that’s three questions, but still…