28 February 2012
Great excitement yesterday. Having determined that the corrupt USB ports may be at the root of many of the problems from which I have suffered with this laptop over the last six months, I completed a Financial Assistance form, sent to me by the MND Association, except there was one section I could not fill in, as it asked whether I wanted a Loan or a Grant. Frankly I really don’t mind which way round it is. If they are prepared to help. a loan would imply that whatever I bought was owned by them and a grant would simply be a gift to assist me to buy whatever I needed. In speaking to the MND representative I made it clear that I would do whatever they preferred. Once I knew that, I would send in the form and I anticipated it would then have to go before a finance committee and so on and I would probably hear in two or three week time. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I received a telephone call scarcely one hour later, offering a substantial grant towards the new laptop – no strings attached. In expressing my gratitude. I said that, on my demise, I would almost certainly donate whatever I bought to the Association unless one of my grandson’s word benefit from it, but, in doing so, asked that they pass it on to a computer literate patient using voice activation, who would really benefit from the way that it was set up.
I immediately e-mailed Paul, to pass on the good news and received a reply from him that he would call round about 4.00 this afternoon. This he did, and we spent the next hour or so picking over the various specifications and in the end opted for a Dell., Inspiron 17R. Ht has a 17 3 inch HD screen; a 750 GB hard disk; 6 gigs of ram; a fast hard disc; a second-generation Intel Core 2:5 Ghz processor – not particularly fast, but it has a 3M cache with Turbo Boost (whatever that last bit means!). Apologies to those readers who are not computer geeks as none of this will mean very much to them. My reason for spelling it out is it may help one or two other patients who are also into voice activation, if this proves to be a really reliable setup. In any event, it’s a state-of-the-art machine and it should be delivered within 2 to 3 working days. I feel like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory as I love new toys, so I’m actually excited about the prospect of setting it up, hopefully towards the end of this week. On the practical side, starting from scratch like this, I hope that it will resolve most, if not all, of the problems I had put up with over the last 6 to 7 months, particularly with the voice activation.. At least, if it doesn’t, we will have eliminated a hardware problem.
The second great excitement today was my return to the Tuesday geriatric golf day. The weather forecast looked pretty good, with an estimated temperature of 15°C. So I ordered my faithful Ollie-he of Olives Friendly Wheelchair Service- to pick me up at 945 and take me to the club having been deposited there, I then set off to tour around the course speaking to which ever foursome, I came across, before returning to sit outside with two or three of the other smokers to enjoy a small cigar. When it came to lunch. John Gray and Carl Creasey generously took on the role of helpers and fed me intermittently whilst consuming their own lunch. The meal was over at about 1:30 so I had about three quarters of an hour before Ollie was due, so we sat outside once again and had coffee and another small cigar. I must say it was great to be back amongst so many old friends .I think the last time I went to the club was in early October, so it has been a long time, certainly in the life of an MND sufferer. To be honest, when I pay by last visit in the autumn, I wondered whether I would be sufficiently strong to resume these visits in the spring when the weather warms up again. I don’t want to tempt fate but clearly, for the time being, I am going to be able to cope. The members were all very kind and almost to a man found an opportunity to pop over and say how delighted they were that I was back and so on. I felt very happy to be back with all my old pals.
Interestingly, having wondered what effect the effort would have made on me. I was pleased when I went through the evening without any severe signs of fatigue as spending a few hours chatting with one’s friends was normally more than I could cope with. As it was. I I spent the rest of the day pretty much in the normal way, so it’s encouraging to note that I will certainly be able to continue at least, these short visits, without adverse effects, for the foreseeable future.
Today’s diversion is entitled Irish Sausages. It is a little bit rude, so if you feel you might be offended by, by all means skip it, otherwise click here and have a chuckle.