b3ta.com user Dr Arsenic
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» Overcoming adversity

Just when you think it's all better ....
For me, overcoming adversity has had unexpected consequences. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for about 15 years and for the last half of this period have had to use drugs to maintain a normal life. For the last year I have been on a minimum dose but was frightened to give up, finally doing so when I went on holiday and forgot to pack them.

Adversity over or so I thought. Just before I went away, I developed permanent pins and needles in my left foot, followed a few weeks later by spasms in my left calf and foot. I was diagnosed with a trapped nerve, which didn’t surprise me as I’d been doing some heavy work and I’m not used to that. I was booked for a scan on my return from holiday, so off I went to Greece and had a good time. However, my leg got worse and in the last few days I started noticing that my left hand was getting weak and I was finding using it to eat difficult.

I got back and went for the scan. I had to sign a consent form and found I could barely write - I’m left-handed. Obviously I realised this was not a trapped nerve, so I went to my GP, who got more tests done. My guess was brain tumour, motor neurone disease or MS. First one was right. I’m one of the 4500 people in the UK who get a primary brain tumour for no discernible reason every year. About 25% of these get a grade 4 glioblastoma, the most common. It’s malignant and 100% fatal and this is what I have. Adversity was back with a vengeance.

At this point you enter the cancer treatment system. I’m fortunate to live in the Manchester area so for me this was Hope hospital and Christies. I was given the choice of no treatment, in which case I had 3-4 months, near total removal of the tumour which would give me the longest time but would leave me totally paralysed on my left-hand side or removal of as much of the tumour that they could get at safely, which would give me less time but some degree of recovery from the paralysis. I chose the last of these and am I glad I did. When I came round, I was totally paralysed on the left, but after 3 weeks I started to get movement back in my arm and leg, one joint at a time. Now, 3 months later after physiotherapy, I’m reasonably functional and can stand up for several minutes unsupported. I am expected to be able to walk again within a month. Adversity much reduced. I’ve also had radiotherapy for 6 weeks and have tolerated this with very minimal side effects. Again, very lucky.

Now all I can do is hope for as long as possible and try to do as much as I can in the time I have left. I’m 58 and the average time of survival from removal of the tumour is about 15 months. My chances of reaching 60 in February 2014 are well less than 50% in theory, but the statistics are misleading. Medical statistics are medians, not means and the statistics published cover all patients. Factors like my age and my good neurological condition give me a better chance than some of longer survival, and there are a small but significant number of patients surviving for 2 to 5 years.

Length for me is the thing I want most
(Tue 18th Dec 2012, 23:01, More)

» I Hurt My Rude Bits, Again

As a result of a brain tumour, I have become partially disabled and cannot walk. This means that to use the toilet I have to get onto a commode and be wheeled over it.To do this, you transfer between your bed or wheel chair using what is known as a ‘Banana Board’ which is a boomerang shaped piece of ply board One end is pushed under your bum cheek and the other end is rested on the thing to which you are transferring. To make the transfer you shift your weight forward over your knees until you are partially standing move your body in the direction you want to go then sit back on the board again Most of the time this works OK, but occasionally you get problems. Problem 1 happens when the person inserting the board under you misjudges the position of your bollocks and tries to slice them off. Problem 2 happens when you sit down after moving along the board and slip back onto the front edge of the board crushing your nuts. Problem 3 happens when you are getting off the commode, As you are trying to move along it, the board slips squeezing your nads between the edge of the board and the edge of the hole in the commode. This one is the worst because of the time it takes to free yourself. Did this today with the help of Mrs Arsenic. My take on this is that although I’ve had them disconnected, I do want them to remain attached!
(Sat 9th Mar 2013, 10:24, More)

» The Emergency Services

my brother was a trainee in sussex police in the early 80's and told me this story in those days the A23 north OF BRIGHTON was mostly single carriageway with no flyovers just crossroads one evening a traffic cop was headed north toward gatwick when a message comes over the radio of an incident at hickstead, a notoriously dangerous stretch of the roadThis driver fancies himself as the best driver on the force, so puts his foot down to answer the call coming to a crossroad he sees 2 cars turning right, one in front of the other with a gap between them He puts his foot down to get between the cars only to run into the towrope between them totalling both cars and the police car He then charges both drivers with dangerous towing
(Fri 17th May 2013, 13:52, More)

» Body Horror

in my late teens ikept getting blackheads on my prick which I would have tosqueetthem to come out
(Thu 18th Jul 2013, 15:37, More)

» The Emergency Services

Uncle jack
My uncle jack was a coastguard at Eastbourne During and before the war he had been a naval officer and by chance my father was a rating on the same ship Jack would have stayed in the navy after the war,, but the navy was downsized and even career officers had to leave So jack joined the coast guard and was assigned toEastbourne one day he was taking an inventory of the stations stock when a maroon blew up in his hands This was about 1960 or 1970,Both hands were severely injured,they managed to save his left hand but hehad to have his right hand and part of his right arm amputated Within a few weeks he had a prostetic arm fitted which he could control using the remains of the muscle at the top of his arm this arm had a number of attachments most of the time he used a hand, butIremember goingto visit him once to find he had swapped it for a scerewdriver to repair hisbike He was an absolutely amazing man and even although he's been dead foryears,I still think of him fondly
(Fri 17th May 2013, 14:34, More)
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