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The Great Dreaded Lurgy

The Great Dreaded Lurgy

I’m not feeling to good today, the cynical would say I’ve got some kind of extended hangover and I can’t handle my vino but I know otherwise. Hangovers don’t involve feeling really warm and then shivering; hangovers don’t involve aching all over and coughing up green snot. To cut a long story short I’ve caught something off somebody on the tube in London, easily done, not very pleasant.

Apart from acquiring this lurgy on Friday one of my nightmare situations happened. I have a thing about this and I’ve stood at many a bus stop worrying (some would call it “ruminating” or OCD” that something’s happened and that either the clocks have gone back or forwards and I didn’t know thus making me either an hour late or an hour early and look like a prize plank, well on Friday morning I did look like a prize plank. After spending the night at my friend’s place in Wombledon she advised me to leave about an hour before my train was due at Euston. So I did so there I was at the bus stop at the end of her road at 1.05pm, plenty of time to get my train at Euston at 2.13pm. One of the disadvantages of being in a strange place, Wombledon isn’t really strange, I just mean unfamiliar to me, is that you don’t know how long it would take to walk to where you need to get to. So after about ten minutes of standing there, ticcing away as per usual, no offence to Londoners but they’re not very friendly or chatty, without sounding Londonist they tend to give me a wide berth being a fellow member of the human race and a ticcer. I’m beginning to worry now as still no bus, a nice lady approaches me “You know da buses are not runnin today, don’t you?” “Really, no!” This is one of my dreads, me standing there at the bus stop like a clueless plank whilst everybody around knows the bus drivers are striking and are secretly laughing at me. She asks me where I’m going and says she’s walking in the same direction, she tells me she has relatives in Coventry, just down the road from me in the Radford area, she also frequents Coventry’s hidden gem “The West Indian Centre” which is like a hidden building, you can’t see it and it’s entered from a set of doors just inside one of Coventry’s many “subways” that run beneath the ring-road. It’s a bizarre place that runs luncheon clubs and social gatherings for the over 60’s, homework and exam coaching to DJing contests and evenings of Reggae and Dancehall. It’s nice to meet a Londoner that I’ve just randomly met who’s helped me out and been so friendly, I wish more people would take a moment sometimes to talk to a stranger and help them if need be. She also gave me instructions on the quickest way to get to Euston.

I manage to get “a” train rather than the train I was supposed to get due to waiting around at bus stops and the un-planned 20min walk. This next bit actually ties in with my reason for being in London which was to attend a meeting with the Neurological Meeting. After running to the train toilet to be sick and cool myself down as I was feeling very hot I strike up a conversation with the guy opposite me. As he’s a midlander he’s a friendly chap and he’s a junior house officer (doctor) planning to go on to specialize in cardiology. Now here’s the relevant bit for you guys to remember, house officers are those young ones you find running around a hospital in the middle of the night putting cannulas into patients arms. They will be most likely the first person you see when it’s your turn in casualty, they’re the ones on hospital wards doing all the leg work. He recognizes immediately I have TS (the coprolalia gives it away really) I asked him out of curiosity how much time he’s had on TS, “about an hour, if that”. So there you go, before you start shouting at the young houseman you meet in casualty “Don’t you know about TS???!!!” chill out, they know very little, work with them, help them out. “But why only an hour in six years?” I hear you ask, well there’s so many other conditions out there, the world doesn’t revolve around us ticcers. Considering they have about £50k in debts behind them you're lucky they're there.

We also chatted about the NHS reforms, I’m still very much against such major changes, to me it seems like re-inventing the wheel, in my opinion we should get some new tyres rather than perhaps fitting tracks like a tank or some other un-wieldy ridiculous solution to a problem that just needs tweaking. He saw the fact there’s an aging population that in turn means there are more people with degenerative conditions to treat, true, but all these older folk also paid their National Insurance contributions in the belief that they would receive healthcare free, when they needed it. He also liked the idea that hospital trusts could treat up to 49% of patients privately, I hate this idea, and I explained that particularly with TS those who urgently need care would have to waiting longer as it’s more likely that they would either be not able to work, unemployed due to discrimination or in a low paid job. Those who could afford treatment would be better paid employment and be more likely to be less affected by their TS. Also those with TS who were currently not working would be also pressured by the DWP to improve their condition thus making them more employable, it bit difficult if you have to wait a long time to see a specialist.

The meeting itself went as well as could be expected, it’s still very much and “odd” time with regards to the reforms, sadly they’ve been passed as law, but due to the fact the Act itself is such a large document not many people have actually read it and it’s still unclear how some of the channels with in the new NHS structure will work. We have been pushing certain points to the government, but at the moment it’s still unclear actually who to push them too as soon the old structure will be disbanded. Here’s a straight forward diagram explaining - If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me, I will try and find out the answer (if I don’t know already).