June has been another busy month of work and undergoing minor surgery but with the added bonus of experiencing some normality, such as social interactions, hot weather and football.
This month I’ve spent most of the time preparing for Tokyo Paralympics content and update Covid-19 vaccine and restriction news. I’ve only published four articles this month:
- 10 accessible attractions across Europe
- BBC and UK arts councils celebrate the work of disabled artists with brand new commissions
- 10 influential disabled LGBTQ+ activists to follow this Pride Month
- ITV’s announcement of first disabled contestant on Love Island sparks mixed opinions
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About a month ago, I got an unexpected call from the orthopaedic clinic at Basingstoke Hospital asking if they can arrange my steroid injection in my left hip.
In a nutshell, I have a metal plate in my left hip that was inserted about 20 years ago. Over the past few years, I’ve been experiencing more pain and discomfort in my hip and was given an anesthetic block in June 2018. In February 2020, I went for a check up and said the pain was beginning to return so I was put on the waiting list for a steroid injection – then Covid-19 hit.
I was pleasantly surprised about receiving the phone call as I knew I was on the waiting list but was expecting the procedure to happen at the end of 2021 or early 2022 due to a backlog of routine surgeries because of the pandemic.
However, they said could I come at the end of June. I still wasn’t really in urgent need for the treatment, but I wasn’t going to turn it down.
The downside was what was meant to be a 20-minute procedure took up several days of my life. Firstly, I had a 30-minute pre-op appointment over the phone, in which the nurse kept asking me questions she should already know and didn’t even know when or where my surgery was taking place.
I was told the surgery would be taking place at Winchester Hospital and not Basingstoke. As I’d never been to Winchester, I hoped the person doing my pre-op would have had all the information as to where to go, who will be doing the surgery etc., but apparently not.
She then said I would need to come to Basingstoke a week before to have an MRSA test. So, I had to have an afternoon off work to go for a 5-minute test.
Then on the Saturday, three days before my surgery, I had to go to Basingstoke again for a Covid test, which was another afternoon disrupted. I then had to do three days of isolation before my surgery too.
I know they have to be cautious, but I’ve had both Covid vaccines and hardly leave the house at the moment anyway.
The day of the surgery was very long. I was told to be there for 9am. I actually arrived at 8:20am but was glad to arrive early as it took a while to find the right ward. Once I was settled on the ward, I did the usual pre-op consent forms and observation checks such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature. Then it was just a case of waiting to go up to theatre.
However, I ended up waiting over six hours and didn’t get to my surgery until 3:15pm. Not only was it extremely boring waiting, but I also hadn’t eaten in over 18 hours or drunk water in over nine hours – so I was getting rather hangry at this point.
As expected, the procedure only took 20-minutes and was completely fine. I then had to remain on the ward for another hour for further observation to make sure I had no reaction to the steroid injection.
I eventually left the hospital at 4:30pm. What I hoped was about three hours maximum, turned out to be an eight hour stay in hospital for a 20-minute procedure.
I understand the surgeons and nurses are busy, but they need to prioritise their patients better. If they treated me as soon as I arrived, I could’ve been out by lunchtime and maybe even have time to get some work done in the afternoon.
Anyway, I’m glad it’s over and done with and should hopefully not need it again for another couple of years.
After more than six months having rehearsals and recording performances on Zoom, I finally returned to my drama classes at the West End Centre. It was so nice to see people in real life and have the space to act out our scenes.
Sadly, following the government’s plan to extend restrictions for another four weeks, we have to continue our rehearsals in two separate classes of eight. Plus, our live performance scheduled for the beginning of July is now in jeopardy and so we may have to do it as a live stream online or postpone the performance until September.
After 20 months apart and with only virtual contact, I finally got to visit my friend Steph and her family up in Northampton, where she has been shielding since March 2020. We had a nice afternoon in the sun chatting, eating pizza, getting cuddles from their dogs and playing Scrabble (although I didn’t win).
My journeys back to some normality was boosted by the fact I got a new car. I use the Motability Scheme, in which I take out a five-year lease on a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV).
This time, I downsides so I could be nearer the driver seat so I can hear the driver and other passenger when talking and hear the radio. But it is also still large enough to store luggage and mobility equipment when I go away on trips.
It seems nice to drive – according to my carers – it’s more comfortable, less noisey and best of all, has DAB radio.
I don’t fully understand the types and makes of cars, but for anyone who is interested, my Motability account says I have a Ford Grand Tourneo Connect in a blue/grey colour.
Back in May I mentioned that I’ll be joining a Disability Horizons book club later this month. Our first session won’t be until two days after this blog post is published. I will let you know how it goes in next month’s summary.
The first book we’ve been asked to read is Burnt Sugar. I’ve finished reading it but to be honest it wasn’t my kind of thing. The chapters and the time frames in the story were hard to follow. I think all I undxerstood was it was about a mother and daughter in India and the mother has dementia and the story has flashbacks to the daughters childhood.
I’ve now started a new book called My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, which is the first book in a series titled The Neapolitan Novels.
I think it was originally published in Italian and transcribed to English. It is about the friendship of two women, Elena and Lila, which spans over several decades and how Lila decides to disappear without a trace and only Elena knows the truth.
“It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming… football’s coming home” – or is it? Yes, another summer of international football – the postponed Euros 2020 – has kicked off in spectacular style.
I won’t go on about predictions and analysis but I will just say I’m loving the regular coverage of football on a daily basis and I particularly love how every game broadcast by the BBC has the video coverage synced with radio commentary – great accessibility for blind and visually impaired fans.
As I’ve spent most of this month watching football, I’ve not watched many TV shows. I was pleased to see a new series of The Last Leg on Channel 4.
I also managed to binge-watch in one evening the BBC drama Time, which is about a schoolteacher who is sent to prison for causing death by drink driving. It was an intense show highlighting what life is like in a prison for both criminals and staff.
Audio Description petition
My campaign for audio description has continued throughout June 2021 and the petition has now gained an outstanding 440 more signatures, making the total 3368 signatures, which is incredible!
But I’m eager to reach thousands. The more signatures we get, the more likely changes could be made within the TV & films industries. Please, please, PLEASE continue to sign & share my petition!
Guest Bloggers Wanted
I’m still eager to collaborate with even more bloggers in 2021. So, if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories. Plus let me know if you’d like me to feature on your blog as a guest blogger.
I’m flexible with any type of blog posts; life story, disability awareness, music event, musician promotion – basically anything to do with life, disability or music!
Blog post roundup
In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:
- Music Interview: The Last Element
- My thoughts of audio description on Naked Attraction
- Music Interview: Keep This Up
5 favourite blog posts
Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:
- How to Help People With Chronic Pain or Illness at Despite Pain
- It’s All The Same Really at Wheelescapades
- Reflecting on My Journey as a Disabled Occupational Therapy Student at Not So Terrible Palsy
- A Period Of Adjustments at Inclusive Living Concepts
- Just Call Me Cruella at Luke Sam Sowden
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