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Slow September

September started off well and I toyed with the idea of a visit to Dudley Zoo with the lady I mentioned in my last blog who has become a good friend and great company but after reading details about the zoo I reconsidered based on the fact that firstly there didn’t appear to be many animals and more importantly it was hilly which I knew would be a strain on me. The upshot resulted in a visit to the West Midland Safari Park instead. My friend insisted on preparing a picnic and off we went like two excited kids - well I was! I think she was more excited about feeding the giraffes. We paid the entrance fee and purchased ‘special food’ to feed the animals and we set off. The drive round was lovely and I have to admit it amused me that as we crossed each cattle grid I couldn’t help but notice my friends chest jiggling – she in turn noticed me laughing! Oops – caught red handed! She made a special request to feed the giraffes and as we headed for them we came round a corner and spotted these bloody huge Rhinos first. In the distance we could see the giraffes and my friend started to get really excited and as we carried on driving it seemed like we would soon reach them but for some unknown reason they were completely out of our reach. I have no idea how it happened but we just didn’t get to see the one thing my friend had really wanted to, so she was not happy. Despite it being a bitter disappointment she didn’t take long to get over it and we went to sit on the grass in the picnic area watching hordes of people doing the same. Now because I was on the ground, getting up was always going to be a problem and I ended up scuffing my shoes on my first attempt then I managed to get part way up, dropped again, and refused the help my friend offered, because I like to feel independent and I’m a proud guy so I thanked her and tried again, but failed miserably. It was frustrating and embarrassing and I had to accept my friend’s outstretched arms as she stood in front of me to pull me up! What a great day, I drove her home, had a coffee and smiled the whole way back to my bungalow because we had laughed and had so much fun which was just what I needed.

I had also booked a trip to the Forest of Dean with another friend, to stay in a pod, which is very compact with a bathroom and shower, a TV and beds – in fact all you really needed as there was a club house, restaurant, gymnasium and pool to use so it was a shame I forgot to pack my speedos so no swimming for me! This was supposed to be a relaxing break and we’d planned to visit so many places however the local steam railway was closed; the local jail was closed; the nearby craft centre was partially closed. So we didn’t have much luck and realised it was because all the kids were back at school so it was the end of the season. The only thing for it was a trip to the pub (which was open!) During the two day visit we had hoped to do some forest walking so I’d taken my scooter which we struggled to get out but after a lot of fiddling around the scooter was powered up. Then it wouldn’t move!! I‘m not sure what I do wrong but it wasn’t the first time this had happened so the scooter was loaded back into the car and you guessed it, we ended up back in the pub! More food and drink, doing little else except laughing, eating and drinking. No wonder I have a weight issue!!

The shower was small and slippery and I had to get into my undies as there was a female sitting outside who I had originally courted some 42 years ago but in spite of this I didn’t want my naked form to disturb her! I’m sure it was bad enough having to listen to me swearing as I tried to get dressed in such a confined space. Again we had a fantastic and funny time even though nowhere was open.

After a busy few days I find getting up in the morning harder. My body just doesn’t want to start and I have to force myself out of bed to start exercising. I am definitely having more slow days and know the two trips contributed to that.

I’m thinking of increasing my CBD oil dosage to see if there is a noticeable difference. The alternative would be to reluctantly consider looking at bespoke MS drugs. My body is no worse but I am generally slower and my speech is a little slurred when I’m tired. The heating is back on after being off for such a long time through the summer and I know I need to keep warm as getting cold has a detrimental effect on me. I also know that certain foods can affect me the following day; I’m not sure why and sometimes I just think “to hell with it”. Occasionally a slow day is worth it - the joy of a pizza or a bag of liquorice is so enjoyable and I realise there are people out there who are despairing of this but when you struggle on a daily basis sometimes a treat is needed. As I always say, if God meant me to eat greens he would’ve given me a fluffy tail and big ears!

Going back to my safari park trip, once you go the first time you are given a free return visit so long as you return within a certain amount of time – so I went back the same week! I took the young lady who made smoothies with me last month, as she was excited at the thought of taking her two year son so off we went for a completely different experience this time. The young lad loved sitting on my lap, steering the car while his mom was videoing and taking pictures – both of them loving it. We had food to feed the animals and as we approached the deer we gingerly wound the windows down and as the deer came up to the car there were screams from the girls so I wound the windows down even further and the panic and squealing increased which was the funniest thing – I was crying with laughter! We saw lions and tigers but missed the elusive giraffes again and the little fella, who was the main reason for my return visit, took more pleasure from driving my car. I left them to it when they visited Dinosaur World as I struggle to walk far even with the electric pads on so contented myself with my favourite pastime of people watching. We had a great day and what a laugh.

Exercise is something I know I must do and I’m trying to do more squats as I’ve noticed my right knee and hip area have become sluggish - it has become apparent that there is a problem whilst walking when I try to lift my leg but it gets very tiring and I decided squats could be the answer. It would be easier if I had decent balance but I am persevering and attempting to get lower. Although it exhausts me I’m doing a few in the morning and again at night as I’m very conscious that I need to work on my mobility and flexibility.

I have mentioned that this blog is on Twitter and a lot of the Tweets talk about the struggles other sufferers go through and I am noting these issues and how I deal with them and how I note any potential deterioration or indeed improvement which I hope is a help to other sufferers and also help people in general understand the struggles.

Other plans I had made had to be cancelled as I had a sore throat, runny nose and complete lack of energy which was really annoying but a decision I had to make as I am actually listening to my body for a change so I had a few days where I actually stayed indoors. I feel sure there are people out there who think I have the life of riley because I’m always smiling, full of stories and putting on a brave face but they never really hear about the down times because I choose to keep those private. Well until I decided to write this! Slowly but surely I know that my strength is coming back and soon I will be back out and about

I had a lovely skype call with my mate in America - a retired teacher from New York. He genuinely cares about my wellbeing and emails me notes about his concerns which I really appreciate. These calls bring back memories of the life I had whilst living over there which always make me smile and feel better.

At the end of September I had a week of feeling slow, weak and spending my time indoors and when I visited the park I could feel myself struggling to lift my right leg but I had to get out. It’s been a very quiet month for me as I’ve not felt so good but I did pick my ex-wife up from the airport so she could proof read and correct this September edition.

October promises to be more eventful as I will be celebrating my 40th Birthday, sorry 50th oh OK my 60th! That’s all folks!

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