Category Archives: Back issues

Funny how brains can be?

Yes, the blog title is rather apt, as its all about mine! Its hard to believe now that just over 13 weeks ago (as clearly the Tuesday incident was first seizure, in hindsight), laugh for me was relatively normal for me, other than a busted back. The irony of that, and the more calamitous ones on the Friday was that I’ve had less literal pain from my back since then, but my mobility has gone to pieces, so I’m assuming that some connection between my brain, and my spine has got disrupted in some way? All the same, despite knowing it was going to be a while before I got to see an expert, due to the speed of things with the NHS, it was still a bit of a blow when I found out it wasnt going to happen to mid June, but yes, we’re almost there.

As, in fact I found out yesterday afternoon, when I was sat quietly on the settee, when the phone rang, which Eric answered. He did something with the dial (yes, its one of those retro phones, compatible with digital system to dial out, and stuff), and then handed me the speaker. It was some automated call from the appointment centre at the hospital, presumably to confirm my appointment a week later. Thing is, despite it doing the equivalent of dialling a 1, to say I was hear, it didnt pick up. Anyway, when it repeated the question to me, I did the same thing, with the same lack of effect. So the call cut off, presumably the equivalent of a ‘no answer’ or something.

I checked the number we were called from, but all I got was an automated voice saying that someone would call me within 24 hours as a repeat. Anyway, just over 24 hours later, no one had, so I tried the number on the appointment letter I got from the hospital, nearly 3 months ago! But it seems to talk to them, I needed a number that wasnt printed on my letter! So anyway, I got frustrated, tried to explain to him, and my voice disintegrated totally. Eventually he gave me a number for the actual hospital, but I couldnt have called them, my voice was blown by then. Yes, another reason I cant go back to work, clearly, one stressful call and my voice would be blown for hours! Not much good in a call centre!

As for next week, I cant deny I’m looking forward to the EEG, MRI and anything else they might throw at me that way for all the wrong reasons! Oh yes, weird things done to my brain, especially involving electrodes and chambers, cant wait! Yes, dont be surprised if I report that I imagined being brainwashed when the electrode cap was on me, and activated, for sure. As for what I might imagine being done to me, in a MRI tube, lets not consider! Sadly, the former is unlikely to brainwash me, and the latter turn me into a mindlessly obedient robot, but nothing’s perfect. Yes, I would love those, lets face it.

I try to wonder what they might find when they do the tests. Are they just going to decide its epilepsy (though the pills certainly didnt stop the later bout of seizures), or will it prove to be something more serious? Who knows, though there isnt a lot I can do, whatever it is. But I have to be honest, setting the steps to find out will be an absolute blessing, and might stop me worrying just how bad it is. The other blessing being, that once I know, I can work out when, or if I can do a few things I really need to sort out. Photo shoot, holiday planning, offering myself for mad scientist research? (I wish!)

I was tempted to ask a Psychic friend if she could tell me what my fate is, but firstly, I cant afford to call her (she’s in US), and secondly, is there a bit of me that really doesnt want to know? Mainly the former, I’m sure.

So no, I wont be there at the first day of Royal Ascot, dressed up in some posh hat and dress (wouldnt that be fun?), I’ll be at a hospital, in Huddersfield, awaiting my fate. Funny what a brain can do to you, lol.

Talking of which, the video. This song is slightly younger than me, but not much, its from 1965! Its why the film, and the song dont match, its a combined mix, thats all. Love, no idea what that is, but I now know how ‘funny’ brains can be!

 

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Everything has changed

Firstly, for those of my readers who celebrate it, happy Easter. For those of you who dont celebrate it, enjoy the holiday period in whichever way you wish to do so.

Its actually quite funny that over my working years, a lot of the time, bank holiday weekends meant little different to me, as for all those years in the betting industry, they were just another working weekend. Of course, in the good old days in the last century (that really makes me sound old, doesnt it?), there actually was no horse racing on Good Friday, and betting shops were closed on this day. Now, thanks to the god of consumerism, we race pretty much every day of the year, (there were also 3 days at Christmas, now just Christmas Day)  and betting shops are open every day bar one, and I suspect the bookies begrudge their staff that, knowing them.

The last couple have been a bit weird, as I’ve had Friday off, Monday off, but worked the Saturday in between. At least I think I did, as it would be logical, but the brain is no longer up to working out if it actually happened or not? But this year, I’m (in theory) still working, and the long bank holiday weekend means nothing to me (I was tempted to use Vienna, by Ultravox, but no) because the body, and most critically, the brain is no longer up to complex things like work at present. If I believe the medical advice given so far, thats a case of game over, anyway. But the funny thing is, this would actually have been a long weekend for me, as it wouldnt have been my Saturday to work, so would have been a week off. Whereas now…?

The other thing I’ve decided needed to change, is me. When I had to cut back to 4 days a week at work (let alone 3), I had to economise somewhere, especially given I was paying out for therapy treatments. So basically, goodbye to pampering for me. Which means that my nails are a mess (arthritis and tremor make that impossible to do myself), and even if I’m not a hairy woman (I’m wondering if the drugs I got after seizure caused some to drop out or not? Probably not, as still got hair in places), I’m definitely in need of waxing by now. Even more so, if as planned by a wonderful friend, I’m going to do the Clara Johnson look thing (if not in public eye), I need to look decent! So yes, on Tuesday afternoon, the old girl is getting a bit of a makeover. Sadly not a 20 year old, slim, pretty dancer look, but as best as can be achieved, within sane cost. So yes, no massage, no facial unless someone wishes to provide the funds? If you should, then, https://ko-fi.com/merrybrooks is probably the easiest way.

After that, what changes, who knows? I wont hold my breath for the fully interfacing robot suit (ideally now with AI function, to override my busted brain), but it would be nice!

The funny thing is, before I even get to see a Neurologist (unless I get a very large fund donation), there are 2 more bank holidays to get through as a non working worker! Somehow I suspect I may have had my last excitement at looking forward to a bank holiday meaning extra time off work, but who knows?

OK, video time. Some vintage Paul Young for you

In truth, I love this song, which is why I’m offering the additional bonus tonight of the 12″ version. Obviously there is no video to this, so your call on either, both, or none. But you’re missing out if you go with none!

My perfect bedroom?

My grateful thanks to Stacie, for having posted this picture on my Facebook page for when I returned from Physio this morning. I’ve been having even more issues than normal for the last 10 days or so, with issues with my hips, and muscles at the top of leg area, as well as the standard ones with my back. Yes, seems my body has decided to compensate for the damage in my lower spine/back, and now of course those affected areas are starting to get sore because of it. I did offer to get a body upgrade to a nice robot one (ideally in chrome), but she just laughed, primarily because its not really an option at this time, lol, lets face it! Unless you know better…? 😉

Then, as I say, I got home, and eventually got on to Facebook, and found that Stacie had posted this picture on my timeline

silver bedroom

Oh please, talk about my dream bedroom, all in metallic silver… Not sure I could wear anything but silver bodysuits if I lived in a room/house like that, but I wouldnt actually see that as a bad thing. Ideally, either a hooded body suit, or hoods as well, at least in the wardrobe! Maybe that passageway leads to the charging pod, lol? Or the AI controller unit, just maybe? Full robotisation option, as opposed to just the look? Please!

Yes, if anyone ever wants to design my dream apartment, the bedroom almost certainly looks just like that! Oh for the money to make that dream come true. Though I dont deny it, my first financial priority would probably be to get my spine fixed (a la Tiger Woods), and then arrange my dream robot apartment. But fine, neither would take long, believe me!

But yes, seeing that when I got home, just loved it! Only wish I could see the rest of the apartment, in truth. Actually, searching, I’ve discovered its not much more than a concept design at this time, but I’d love it for real.

So if anyone has lots of money they just want to treat a disabled old lady with, give me a shout!

Video time. Well fine, the song title is one word different, but the rhyme could still work? I thought I’d try the recent live version, and its good enough to roll with, so…

Given this, given that

Well, you know that on Thursday, I gave you the news that I’d got agreement to get benefits, to help the old lady cut down again on her working week, and how I said I hoped it would all be sorted in the near future. That near future was quicker than expected, its done! So yes, as of tomorrow, I’ve only got to survive a 3 day working week, instead of 4! If I say it was settled, sorted, and confirmed in about 6 hours, wow! I mean, I knew it wouldnt take long, but I wasnt expecting that, but big thanks to my bosses for arranging it.

No, sorry, unless someone is offering me a lot of blog ideas to work on, I’ll be sticking to 3 blogs a week. Thats tough enough to find enough material for, let alone a 4th one each week!

It means one thing, for sure, though. I need to get my travel card charged up with some tickets, because weekly passes are never going to work now, lets face it. 4 days a week didnt cover costs, but with all the therapy stuff, I was tending to have a 5th day each week, so it was fine. But now, even the extra day will only be 4! I wasnt expecting it so soon, so no, its going to just be a day pass tomorrow, then get the rest sorted out.

As someone said to me earlier, its great that its been sorted out so quickly, but at the same time, I replied that it would be even nicer if I didnt have to do it because of the state of my spine! Ah well, the joys of old age, I guess?

OK, the video is far older than me, it will be 90 next year! Its from the early days of sound, when musicals were everything, and Clara Johnson struck gold, going from modest bit part actress, to a regularly working chorus line dancer. Yes, I think I spotted her in this, but the quality of the film, due to age, I suspect, isnt great, and its a very brief glimpse. Alice White was one of those enigmas of the early 30’s. She couldnt really sing, she wasnt a great dancer, but she looked cute, was handy for tons of promo stuff, so though she never went on to be a star, I suspect she earned a decent living, all the same. And yes, fine, I love her costume!

To make me feel like a natural woman?

Start of February is always a funny period for me nowadays, for several reasons. Monday, was the date that would have been my mothers 91st birthday. Before you go all gooey, dont, because she hated the fact I came out as Transgender, and pretty much disowned me for it. Thankfully she’s no longer with us (and hasnt been for a while now), so issue is over, but of course when the 4th February rolls around, its a pretty sore date for me, but one that sticks in my memories, anyway.

Today actually brought me some good news, I’ve got the benefit funding to be able to cut back to working 3 days a week, which will be a major blessing for me, as my back isnt up to even a 4 day week any more. Now I just have to sort out with work on whether I give up Friday, or Saturday as a working day in the near future. Fairly easy on it, both have advantages, both have disadvantages, but I’ll probably just do what suits everyone mutually. But the thought of not having to do 2 days in a row any more will be heaven. Sounds terrible really, but I’m nearly 61, with a damaged spine, and I’ve worked hard for the best part of 45 years, so…

Of course the other significant date in the first half of February, is a week today. Yes, that much over hyped event named Valentines Day. This year I will probably hit 20 years without even a card, unless someone wants to prove me wrong. Strictly, one friend sent me an amusing t-shirt for the day, which I’ve never worn in public (it says Mind Controlled Sex Slave, for heavens sake), not because I dont find it amusing, because it would be fun to be one, but just for the sake of public taste. In truth, its somewhere in my room, but no idea where now! And yes, she was married, with a kid, but anyway…

So yes, challenge thrown down. You dont have to wine and dine me, or send me chocolates, or flowers or anything else that costs money. If you want to, then fine, and let me know via the email address mentioned shortly, but I’m not expecting that. In truth, I’m not even looking for a real card, unless so inclined. But yes, a plain, disabled trans lady, now in her 60’s, would just like something to cheer her up a week from now. E-card, or anything else as anonymous as you wish. Just to make me feel like a natural, cared for woman. (See video shortly). So anyone that wants to be my ‘fake’ Valentine beau, feel free to comment here, or email me at stephmajor8@hotmail.com on the day, and at least make me feel wanted, even if I’m not.

Equally (ha ha), if there is someone who wants me to get a special treat, or be their asexual courtesan, same address will work! I know, I wont even expect the e-card, lol.

OK, so I used this video only about 6 months ago, but the line about natural woman was just too hard to resist!

 

All together now? Not my back!

Well, I wonder how all together things will be after the Brexit votes tonight? Fingers crossed for some positive, sane news, and I will leave it at that.

Unfortunately I had to venture out today, for a good reason, but its been freezing cold, and my back has been complaining loudly ever since I did so. I must admit, I felt like stepping into the TV last night, and hitting (as best I can) the local weatherman who was getting horribly over excited at the thought of the forthcoming snow. Yes, he’s young, and in perfect health, so good for him, have fun, but a bit of consideration for his viewers, of more mature years, and more damaged bodies might be nice, just saying. Not saying his name, as it would mean nothing to people who dont watch BBC regional news in Yorkshire, but if they do, the hit is ordered. No, seriously its not, but the sentiment was there. Oh, we havent had snow, and ice here yet, but he was gleefully forecasting it again tonight. I hope not, for his sake. And mine, I really cant afford a hitman, lol!

The reason I had to go out today, was because thanks to the deteriorating state of my back, I need to cut back my working week even further. Yes, the poor old girl cant even survive a 4 day week at this time of year at least, any more. I suspect it cant survive it regardless, but in current temperatures, no chance! So therefore, off to try and get some benefits to help me do this. The irony was, my own department that I work for, and I failed the verification system online. Probably because of all the name changes, and the fact that I dont apply for hundreds of credit cards, but I’m on the electoral roll, I’m on the Civil Service workers list, but anyway…

Universal Credit seems to attract an amount of media flak, but most of the postings at work tell me its actually a delight to be involved in. My feelings after today, somewhere in between. (Let me add I definitely did not get the feeling of special treatment, lol) I cant say that the lady I saw was overly welcoming, but she wasnt overly hostile either. Then again, I’m not out of work, so…? In truth, it seemed more an exercise of ticking her boxes, and that was it. I was trying to make it clear that my reason for claiming was that I needed to cut back my hours because of health issues, so the wages I’m currently on, wouldnt be the wages then, but not sure she really heard that. We will see?

Maybe she’s just had too many ‘grumpy’ customers, because my attempts to be polite, and helpful really got me nowhere, beyond getting my identity verified. So yes, I can see people with less of a link might think the service a bit too formal, and fierce. At the same time, the number of people they must get in work, wanting to do a health based hours reduction, not many, I suspect. So, I would say its not as bad as some portray it, but its not as good as others do. I suspect how much I get offered, if anything, if they think thats still going to be my salary, might tilt me one way or the other, we will see?

OK, video time. Hopefully my back will be roughly ‘all together’ in the morning, though I suspect if the weather forecast is right, that might be wishful thinking, but fingers crossed. The song, I find hard to believe is nearly 30 years old, but it is. And it proves Paul McCartney wasnt the only one to feature Christmas Day, 1914, in a song!

Girls, boys, and so much more

I’m not claiming that I thought I knew all of the LGBT+ terms that people use nowadays, but I thought I knew most of them, but showed up my lack of knowledge yesterday.

Had a request by email, and on the work intranet yesterday for people to act as representatives for a Princes Trust panel early next year. Thing is, as they put it, they were after the lesser represented groups to come forward. And yes, seemingly according to this, Intersex, and Non Binary are far too normal, lol. As for Transgender, and Pansexual, and the like, no thanks.

No, the people they were looking for, were from the following groups, and in truth, I had to look these up to know what they were.

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Bigender

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Demigirl

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Demiguy

So yes, even someone with as much involvement as I have, can learn something new!

In truth, I dont really mind what term any person chooses to select for themselves, its all a personal choice. At the same time, there is a point where you can see why the ghastly ‘rabid right wing Christian nutcases’ might be entitled to shout enough, in their eyes at least?

Oh fine, if someone wants to offer me the chance to be officially designated as a Fembot, I wont say no! 😛 Ooh, zap me baby, lol! Yeah, I wish!

………….

Lastly, my patience finally ran out with First Buses again. 3rd letter of complaint in about 6 months, not that I’ve even had the courtesy of a reply to the previous two, so this time I’ve mentioned passing it on to the controlling board if I dont get a reply.

I wasnt looking forward to a physio appointment at 4.45 tonight, travel wise, and I was proved right. I got back to the bus stop at 5.17, raining, and cold, less than perfect conditions for me. Still, by using all options, I should have had a bus coming along every 5 minutes. I waited 29! After all that, the bus driver had to go ‘somewhere’ when we finally reached town, and that was another 10 minutes delay. Yes, I might have just ‘slightly’ laid on how disabled I am, but by the time I got home, the back felt pretty dreadful, so… and Monday’s journey home was an hour longer than it should have been, and was only that because I got a taxi home from town!

Still wont hold my breath for even the respect of a reply, despite all that, mind, they really are a dreadful company.

Right, video time. Back to the initial subject for this. Some live Blur, though to say Damon Albarn looks less than enthused would be putting it mildly!

Well, if you ask nicely?

For once, the title of the blog has absolutely zero to do with the video, so dont try to stress your brain cells, lol.

Today was flotation tank day, and in truth, my back really needed it this time around. Sunday, the 4 of us went off up to Skipton, and had one of those canal boat, Christmas Dinner meals. The meal was very good, the service speed a little, err, entertaining, but the seats we were sitting on had all the back support of a brick wall. And yes, when your back is as damaged as mine… The only other entertaining moment was the Sat-Nav system, which insisted on calling Keighley (pronounced Keith-Lee), as ‘Key-Lee’, which of course had me in a total fit of giggles. I think its safe to say that it would probably call Slaithwaite, as spelt, and not Sla-wit, as its pronounced too.

Anyway, with a back that was already ‘grumpy’, I went to work yesterday in the cold, and the rain, and the inevitable happened, it flared up badly. So, halfway through the day, came home, a journey which should take about 75-80 minutes at that time of day. It took 140, and only that short as I gave up on First Buses, and got a taxi home from town!

Thankfully, today, I had the ‘miracle treatment’ booked, the flotation tank. Lets just say back pain wise, if last night was a 10, and this morning about a 7, its now about a 2.5! Yes, that, lack of pressure on the spine is just amazing.

This time around, Donna showed me how to seal the pod properly (assumed I would spot handle first time, and didnt, and someone else showed me through last time), which was simple when shown, but anyway…So, lights out, and yes, that pod really is sound proofed, among other things, never heard a thing once the music stopped, before it started up again.

So, I cleared my mind completely of thought, and imagined being transformed into a ‘beautiful swan’ when I got out again, but no, that never happened. Nor was I turned into an alien, which might have been fun, but anyway… What I did this time, when nice and tranquil, and safe in the womb of the pod, was leave space for Clara to come through in time, but only if she wanted to, under the circumstances. Yes, she took up the offer!

I know it was her, as the second comment she made was about someone fetching her a cigarette, and I’ve never smoked! Well, there was also the fact that she was talking with a very cool, mid west accent, but distinctly noticeable, which is maybe why she never got too many lines in movies, just stuck to dancing. She hung around, saying things about the crazy things that Mr Mayer (of MGM), and Buzby Berkeley got her to do, in the cause of dancing. Lots of toe splashing, and giggling too, but then (I guess after about 15 minutes or so, its hard to tell time in a place like that), the music started back up, and as I told her beforehand, that meant it was time to go. Yes, she did.

I ‘came back’, stunned at what had happened, but thrilled. Lets face it, I wouldnt ask for a cigarette, nor would I naturally have a mid western accent like she did! Of course, I cant get her to answer questions from me under those circumstances, but it was fun sensing things through her ‘eyes’.

Sadly, its going to be mid January before I can follow up on this, as the place is either full, or more likely closed for all the holiday period, or a combination of both. So first appointment I can get, that really works for me is 15th January. I could have got in the week before, but I have the other physio that week, so spreading them out is wiser.

But yes, on that day, is Miss Johnson going to come out to play (and splash toes) again, who knows? But the answer, probably?

OK, video time. 1930 is the oldest date I can find conclusive evidence of Clara dancing in the movies. She may well have danced in 1929, but I havent seen clear evidence as yet. As I’ve said before, 1937 is the last date I have evidence for. This technicolor movie from 1930 features the Goldwyn Girls, of which she was one, but faces arent clear enough to be conclusive that Clara is, or isnt in this. I think I see her there, but cant be sure. But yes, regardless, its something a little different to the normal Berkeley routine

The perfect protective clothing

Apologies for another health related piece, of sorts, but its the diplomatic outcome. I really, really wanted to comment on the Brexit vote on Tuesday, and the complications surrounding it, but after an afternoon of working how to keep it politically neutral, I failed miserably, so you’re not getting it! I’ll work on trying to get there for Tuesday, but other than that…

The amusing thing is, the news of this potential clothing breakthrough came through one of the ‘weird’ writers forums that I inhabit. Lets just say he was thinking of a more kinky way to use this material, whereas I came up with a more beneficial potential for disabled people like myself.

https://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4334/new_material_that_thickens_as_its_pulled

Yes, just think, especially with winter coming up, how beneficial a body suit made of material like this would be for people like me. Apart from the fact that I think I’d be snugly warm inside something like that, consider the potential. If I slipped on ice, for example, its fair to assume I would pull on the suit, it would thicken, so when I landed on my back, knees, or wrist (which lets face it, are all pretty vulnerable) I would have additional protection when I hit the ground! I might not get zero damage, but it would be very much reduced. Good, yes?

Oh fine, the snag is, that currently, and probably not in the near future either, such clothing doesnt actually exist. And lets face it, if it did, I suspect it would be well beyond my budget anyway. But wouldnt it be wonderful if a clothing company did run with something like this, as it would be such a boon for disabled, and elderly people like me.

So, can we get this done, pretty please? I doubt it, but its a great concept at least.

For those curious, the other guys idea? Yeah, bondage suit, not subtle, lol. My version would have an easy way to get into, and out of the outfit, I’m not sure he’d want things to be so easy!

For those with concern, the wrist is a little easier, and at least now I can ball my hand into a fist, which I certainly couldnt do on Friday, so clearly its better at least. In NFL health terms, I’d call myself a ‘probable’ for work tomorrow, though I will have to be careful. Its still a bit sore, but I think I can cope? Strictly, I could elect to go back Wednesday, if I’m not happy with it, on the basis of being able to self certificate for a week. Yes, I know, maybe I should, but I could do with getting out, lol! 😛 I need to be back by Friday, anyway, as its the works Christmas meal, and I’ve got a dress to wear, lol!

OK, video time. I probably ought to apologise for this, but incredibly, this was the Christmas number 1 record 25 years ago. And fine, its a protective suit, and if I hit the ground wearing this, I’d probably barely notice the fall! So…

Its a mystery, but a nice one!

I must admit, when someone suggested using a flotation tank to me, for my damaged back, I couldnt see the logic of how it could bring me long term benefit. Let me just say, 5 days later, I’m convinced.

Even when I walked out on Tuesday, in no pain, I put it down to short term effect, and all that, and nothing more. I then proceeded to have an awful journey home, in cold, wet weather, and still no issues. More of the same on both Wednesday (including a lengthy period of standing still, waiting for a bus, normally a killer), and on Friday, and fine, the worst I’ve had, a bit of minor (and I do mean minor) pain!

I’m not saying I could run a marathon (or even a mile), but its fair to say I currently have more mobility than I’ve had in 15 months! No, I’m still not trying the stairs at work though, or on a bus, lol!

Yes, I’m still taking all my painkillers, and stuff, but I was previously hurting with them, so thats not a major issue. Funnily enough, I’m due at Physiotherapy on Tuesday, and I’m fascinated to see what she thinks of my ‘new’ back! I know I said I was going to do acupuncture anyway, but seriously, I’m thinking of revising that comment, as the flotation tank is cheaper, seeming to work, so why change something that is clearly working? Plus, I get the whole sensory deprivation thing doing this, even more so as I’m getting shown how to put the lid of the pod down next time! Maybe I can come out reborn as twenty something Clara Johnson, lol?

Well, I can answer my own question in truth, I’ve booked 2 more sessions already! I was a bit concerned how to work things, as my next Physio session would be on Christmas Day, so not going to happen. And yes, the following Tuesday is New Years Day, so… it could have been a long wait. But now, not an issue! 😀

Normally I would have booked the first session for next Tuesday (4th December) but I’m in Manchester that day, LGBT committee meeting. In truth, before this, I was a bit concerned about that week, as it would have been 5 days of travel that week, but now…not! So I’ve booked for the 6th, my 1 day of rest, to use as a recovery session. The other booked is on 18th, to hopefully get me through the whole long festive period! Now all I need is someone to create a brainwashing tape, to play into the pod while I’m in there, lol… 😉 OK, thats hoping for a bit too much?

But yes, beyond the lack of pressure on my back while floating, I havent a clue why it works. So yes, you could say its a mystery! Which leads us to the video. Its not often you find someone from the punk era singing live in a studio (music too), but Toyah does here! And yes, its good enough, and different enough to be the pick for tonight!