Under Pressure!

“What is this device?”, you ask? Well, any car enthusiast would know that it’s an old-fashioned tyre pressure meter! Old, but importantly reliable.

Read on into this week’s mysterious world of onein400!

The weather in the UK has really changed, and the effect on me has been amazing. I know I have been mentioning this a lot recently, but it has allowed me to spend time in the garden, gain more confidence walking with a stick etc. There is definitely something about high atmospheric pressure combined with sunlight that gives the human nervous system a boost. A combination of feeling good mentally but with a real beneficial effect on keeping my leg muscles moving.

Right, what I have I been up to? On Sunday, Jean cleaned our downstair’s windows outside. To do this, I have to hold a ladder! I really do look like a lazy son of a bitch when passers-by see me. It’s not helped when I say, as they look at me, “ye up love, you have missed a bit, top left!

On to Monday. I ventured out alone, to a newly found Hydrotherapy pool. The facility I have been visiting up until now, although absolutely brilliant, is part of a hospital and the parking is an absolute nightmare. This means Jean has to drive me, drop me off and park remotely. At the new location I can park right next to the door. So I can drive myself and be more independent.

Pressure has been a bit of a subject this week. First, after cleaning the windows on Sunday I wanted to check the tyre pressures on my car as they hadn’t been checked for a while. Once again, I now really need Jean’s assistance, as bending and crouching down to check them can be a bit messy. Denting the wing of my vehicle with my head is undesirable! So Jean now does the hard work, whilst I prop myself against the pressure machine and shout instructions! Look what MND has done to me!! Again I looked like a lazy old sod! Anyway, one of the front tyres appeared low, and Jean struggled with the pressure pump to get it just right. We finally achieved it, but I was suspicious there was either a slow puncture or something wrong with the valve. Bugger!! But it looked fine, so we decided to check it in the morning.

So the very next day Jean checked it with a hand-held tester (the device on the front page photo) and they all appeared ok. Phew, the last thing I needed was a preventable flat whilst driving by myself during the week. All these things are set to try us these days.

But pressure returned to haunt me on Monday as during my new hydrotherapy clinic appointment, the nurse took my blood pressure as part of the initiation, and put bluntly, the reading looked like my arm could inflate a hot air balloon! “Darn, bugger, flip, bottoms”, yet another appointment needed! I did sort of laugh it off, suggesting that we just get in the pool. She gave me a bit of a scowl, but agreed as long I get it checked out ASAP. I booked a doctor’s appointment for the very first thing the next day. To be honest, I wasn’t that worried as MND puts a perspective on even these things. But I must say, I was a little diet focused the night before. What can I change, if anything? I do as much exercise as possible. Perhaps I could cut back on coffee? I don’t smoke or drink! Yes I support Arsenal, so that might be the real reason for raised pressure!

Anyway, I visited the Surgery on Tuesday and 3 NORMAL measurements later was told there was absolutely nothing wrong with my blood pressure! Personally, I have a suspicion that the modern automated devices that you can buy, and clinics often use, can be a bit unreliable.

So stuff the diet, and where’s my massive cup of coffee!?

And this chocolate bunny did have a sister until that evening! I know it’s not Easter, but there were two!

Yum, yum….

With all the extra work that Jean now does for me, there is one job that no way I am handing over. BBQing is man’s business! I will risk burns, and knocking over the coals to retain this most masculine of all tasks.

Hold on, it’s sunny now, and 17 degrees, surely that means…..??

Ooops, it’s now 6pm, and it’s cooled down. Ok dinner inside! But soon!! I will post the first photo of a UK 2017 BBQ imminently.

With the great weather I have been out on my trike for the last 10 days in a row! I am a bit of a local celebrity on the trike with all sorts of people waving, saying hello, stopping and discussing wheel ratios etc. Jean tells me that I acknowledge people I have never seen before as if I really know them! I try to explain to Jean, that as a celebrity, I do actually know everyone! Obvious, der!!

I just don’t know how much my breathing is currently affected. I still seem to able to pedal pretty well. I am keeping a close eye on my performance. Remember readers, even the fittest of us will lose lung efficiency without regular exercise (at whatever level we work at).

I also managed to clean my trike the other day. It was all so shiny, the tyres spanking clean, and mechanically tuned up (spring cleaned). I went straight out to visit my friend Jim in the Village, who also sadly has MND. To get to Jim’s, I have to ride down a country path. By the end of the track, a huge great steaming smelly lump of dog’s mess was pressed into the left front tyre (I have to grip the front tyres to move backwards!). WTF! Puddles where art thou?

As a result I have decided to do the village a favour and fit a special plough to the front of my trike.

Out on my trike the other day, I also bumped into Sir Bradley Bragg, who I haven’t’ seen for a while. I asked him for a photo (not a selfie, so crass) wearing an MNDA cycling jersey (available here from the MNDA website).  I only had my old Kodak 35mm film camera with me, so I had to get the photos developed. So just like I wrote in my post Mind Games, I had to go to the pharmacy to pick them up. After getting the usual stares from the chemist staff, I noticed my photo of Sir Bradley. What a guy! Mind you, he looks a bit like the Wolverine! Remember those old advice labels?

I was accused this week of having ‘memory’ issues.  I was told off by Jean for not recognising someone whilst out in the village. However, as I explained to Jean he looked so different in a formal suit, as I then suddenly clicked who he was.

Jean is occasionally worried by this, as dementia can occur with MND! But on a technical note, the one genetic test I did have (c9orf72) gave a lot of reassurance that I was unlikely to develop such issues as this gene mutation appears to most closely related to such associated effects. I was negative.

Anyway, at no time this week did I get lost, forget to feed the dogs, or have any sort of “moment”. So Jean, please relax. But readers please comment if you think I am going a bit odd!

So hopefully, memory allowing, and dogs mess permitting, I will remember to write next week’s post.

Until next Friday (or Saturday) readers!

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