Saturday, 27 February 2010
And then Sue Williams-Bradley talked about disabled friendly gardening - including table-top gardens, which enable wheelchair-users to get their feet underneath the soil... a neat idea, though I'm not sure how many of us would think about them. Personally I'll leave the gardening to Jane. Of course the most important bit was spending time with friends in the same boat. It was nice to get to know David better, who's an impressive carer of his wife Susan. Some of us will be going to the MNDA Spring Conference at Newport in April.
Stephen's pointed out in a comment on 'Media Bias' that the BBC did a good report on Dignitas last April which is still on line. I must acknowledge that so that I'm not biased myself.
I suppose the most exciting test most of them carried out on me was pricking me all the way down my legs and feet with a 'sharp' pin! One of them asked me to say, 'Baby hippopotamus'. I'm afraid I just laughed. 'You must be joking!' So she tried, 'British constitution' instead - which I enunciated carefully. But she was on to one of the important symptoms. It was interesting how many of the candidates had to be pushed by the examiners to mention my speech, which is of course one of the obvious symptoms. I suppose it was just too obvious. Anyway, the moral is, nothing is too obvious. Well it was good to feel I could do something positive with this wretched illness, not least by telling the students how PLS had affected me. I think all the candidates got the generic diagnosis right (though one favoured MS); not surprisingly, since PLS is so rare, none of them identified that, but most got the fact that both upper and lower neurones were affected. One of them, I thought, was outstanding - very quick to identify the relevant symptoms and clear on the diagnosis. The examiners agreed with me. If she's your GP, you should be all right. You can see why I couldn't say in advance what I was booked in for; it wouldn't have done for word to get out!
The examiners looked at what I was reading, Lucy Winkett's book. 'The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book,' read the waggish Irishman. 'Does he know when he's getting it back?' Ho, ho!
As for the rugby - well, a bit of a wipeout for mainland Britain, wasn't it? Oh dear.