Since When Was I Disabled?
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
8M ago
July is Disability Pride month. For the record, if you hadn’t already figured out, I’m disabled. And very very proud to be so. 83% of disabled people aren’t born so. For the majority of us then, it’s a convoluted journey to accept our disability. Some  never get there. It’s a further scramble to learn to be proud of our disability. Society and attitudes aren’t particularly helpful there. On July 2nd I attended https://www.parallellifestyle.com/windsor2023…(in Windsor Great Park). As an ambassador. As a participant and fundraiser. And hugger of lots of other disabled and non-disabled peopl ..read more
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Controversial: I’m not a Warrior! Or an inspiration. Or brave.
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
We, the Multiple Sclerosis, disabled and wider D&I community do love complex words and explanations. ‘Intersectionality’. ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’. ‘Disease Modifying Therapy’. ‘Toxic Positivity’. I’m gonna tackle the last one today. There’s a phrase used by lots of MSers (that’s people with Multiple Sclerosis). ‘MS Warrior’. I’m absolutely fine about people identifying with that, but I just don’t see myself there. I’ve done everything right in handling my MS. Straight onto a treatment as soon as it was offered. Exercise. Good sleep(ish!). Staying active professionally and sociall ..read more
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My New Year’s Evolutions
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
Time to utter the traditional refrain, “I’m not very good at New Year’s Resolutions.” Change hurts my MS’d up brain after all. But but but, if I want to continue living a fantabulous life, I need to make some changes to accommodate my progressive and progressing Multiple Sclerosis. 2022 was a toughie. Medical retirement from www.shift.ms  hit me like a long, slow slap round the chops. Three or four months of a total loss of sense of self. A hint of despair. A soupçon of misdirected regret. Oodles of deep, deep sighs. Silly really. I was staying stupidly busy with my family, my speaking en ..read more
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Why I can’t watch Strictly Come Dancing
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
Nope, not because of the sparkly glitz, not because of the hype, not because we’re in the umpteenth series. Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time I wasn’t disabled. 30 years ago and counting. Once upon a time I wasn’t married. 23 years and counting. Don’t tell Mrs W, but I had other girlfriends last century. Shhh… Even further back in time, I took time out before university to travel. Time in Czechoslovakia. Ski bumming (French Alps). Holiday and ski repping (French and Swiss Alps, Canary Islands).. A tipsy Inghams ski rep, yesterday   Needless to say, I had a bloody amazing, snogta ..read more
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RIP Doddie Weir – A life to aspire to…
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
Golly, Doddie’s passing has hit me hard. To be clear, he had a different, rarer illness to me. Motor Neurone Disease, or ALS. It’s the one we all threw ice buckets over ourselves for a few years ago. It’s never a competition between illnesses, but MND is one of the few that are definitely worse than MS. It’s usually (very) life-limiting and it’s incredibly cruel. I never met Doddie, but I feel like a kindred spirit has passed. Not least because of his ridiculous clothing sense. He knew the power of personal branding to enhance his story. Now, there are other methods than nonsensing with your c ..read more
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Slowly getting my head round early retirement…
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
I’ve read somewhere that 50% of people with Multiple Sclerosis will be diagnosed with clinical depression at some point. And I know that – statistically – we live seven years less than Joe Average, with one of the chief killers identified as suicide. A part of that misery cycle would be down to the anxiety and unpredictability of this sodding disease. The constant nagging fear of what is around the corner. Some of it might be down to our more exhausting symptoms getting us down: notably nerve pain and chronic fatigue I imagine. And some of it might be a symptom in itself. After all, our diseas ..read more
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Briefly Escaping a Progressive Illness
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
So I know I’m lucky. I have a wonderful family and close friends. I made it to 53 before medical retirement and after an amazing career. I keep getting wonderful representation and speaking opportunities out of the blue. So, despite Kate Winslet *still* not having picked up the telephone, all in all I’m having a stonking time. But having an overwhelmingly shitty disease pretty shittily is shitty nonetheless. I’m proud to be disabled, proud of how I handle it. I just need a break from it every so often. Adrenaline Junkie Outside family and friendship fun, my general approach to escaping Multip ..read more
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Accepting Change with a Progressive Disease
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
1y ago
Multiple Sclerosis in a downward, unpredictable spiral isn’t pretty. But then neither am I. And I guess I just have to live with both those facts. Hey ho. MS isn’t always progressive. But it often is. It doesn’t always progress fast. But it sometimes does. There’s very little you can do to predict your ongoing progress. No wonder that feeds into the anxiety that frequently comes hand in hand with actual symptoms. And right now I’m in the middle of a storm of change. Meh… Some posts inbound!   Daily carer visits My latest significant ickiness to ‘give in’ to? Daily carer visits. Weekdays t ..read more
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Dealing with grief in the saddest of times
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
2y ago
It’s all about Ukraine isn’t it? Well this one is too. Kinda. Grief. Time to recognise nearly all of us are going through versions of grief right now: So many of us were already coming to terms with two surreal years. Thanks Pandemic. . Lost loved ones. Lost freedoms. Lost businesses and careers. Lost opportunities. Lost contact. Lost health. Lost dreams. (Some of us in the vulnerable category are now grieving lost protections, but that’s a complaint for another day). And suddenly we are grieving – among many other emotions – for Ukraine. For democracy. For human beings. Those of us long in th ..read more
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Sodding Multiple Sclerosis and Sodding Covid. My mental health in quiet isolation.
One Man and His Catheters
by One Man and his Catheters
2y ago
Ironically, whilst trying to write for months about mental health, I have been struggling with a mental block in putting pen to paper. Or finger to keyboard. Actually it’s been so long it should be quill to parchment. So long that the word ‘blog’ probably wasn’t invented and I should call this ‘ye olde chronicle update’. Awkward. I have faintly covered up my failures with virtual speaking engagements and a shiny series of new podcasts, https://www.prca.org.uk/Disability-at-the-Table . Available on all your favourite gramophones now, with a thrilling new episode out soon. So I can blame my work ..read more
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