When I was being shaved this morning, by Craig, my key carer, he politely enquired what arrangements had I made to have the hair in my ears trimmed. The short answer is I have no such arrangement. Before I was struck down with MND I attended to such things myself with a special razor which was also designed to trim nose hair and eyebrows.
The regular reader will recall my battle with Essex County Council to run a free at home, finger and toe nail service for the elderly or those who were confined to home through some disability or other. Ultimately, in conjunction with my MP Sir Alan Hazlehurst – I managed to get the County Council on side and make this provision free, or for a notional fee, for all the elderly within their domain.
As a potential beneficiary of such an agreement I would have expected by now to have received notification as to how to take advantage of it. Not having done so I will contact Sir Alan again and perhaps he can get the assurance I am missing. At the same time. I may raise the issue of nose and ear hair.
Some time in the night of 16 October the 3 MILLIONETH HIT on this blog took place. The number of readers has grown very steadily from the beginning and now runs at 3500/4500 daily. By the responses I receive it is quite clear that this blog is being read by people all over the world. I have often wondered whether I was wasting my time, but it is quite clear, from the comments I receive from the readers, that it seems to appeal, or even inspire, people in different parts of the world. From the daily hit rate and based on the broad assumption that the majority of readers click in every two/four weeks, although it is accepted that a large number of them look at it every day, the actual number of people following the blog could be around 40,000 /50,000. Even if there is one lunatic logging in every single day at five-minute intervals that would only clock up as around 7000 hits a year, so it can’t be that and so I can only conclude that there is a genuine following. I am disappointed, however, at the number of comments I receive, particularly when I tackle a controversial subject, where there are two opposing views. However, my readers have their own views on the topic, but rarely share them with the other readers. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the loyal readership is content to read the opposing views, but does not necessarily want to get involved themselves.
I remind my readership, from time to time that, so far as it is possible. I do not express a view on matters that might be said to be politically incorrect and again, so far as possible, I’ll avoid matters touching race, colour, creed and ,religious belief, so with these restrictions the entries can sometimes appear to be anodyne. This is particularly so when it comes to my little bits of fun that I frequently add to the end of an entry, which are there purely for amusement and to get the reader to forget their own troubles for a minute or two and if I’m lucky get them to laugh or wonder.
If I had to summarise my impression of the effect that the blog has on its readers, I would be hard pressed to avoid saying that on the whole readers find the blog to be inspirational. I hope I am right for this was the objective when I started it for years or so ago, to inspire even the sickest person to fight back and, so far as possible, enjoy every day, carpe diem and all that. I do seriously believe that this objective has been achieved and in that respect I am well pleased with the outcome.
Of course, this blog has a finite life, tonight, tomorrow, in a months time, or even in a years time. when I drop off the perch I expect the interest in this blog to dramatically fall away . My good friend, Richard Morris, who designed the blog, and is what I believe we call my Webmaster, has very kindly said that he will keep the blog is running for a few years as his personal tribute to me. Statistically, I am now in the elite circle of people who survive more than five years from diagnosis. I am cheating slightly as I was in no hurry to have confirmed whatever was wrong with me after the initial signs became obvious.
It started with the weakness in my left arm, noticed in the gym but for which I did nothing knowing I would have my annual BUPA check in January.this medical checkup confirmed that there was something seriously wrong, which lead to extensive tests, which ultimately, in March 2008 was confirmed as MND. I count my five years from September 2007 when the weakness in my left arm clearly indicated that something serious was wrong.
You might be interested to learn that I wrote the final entry a year or two ago, just in case I did suffer an untimely demise and I never like leaving loose ends. I’m sure of what I wrote, or some long time ago, will still fit the Bill but I must confess I have not checked this final version but am quite certain that it makes all the right noises.
To finish this in retrospect I give you an example of the sort of joke I might include at the end of any of my entries. Click here and see for yourself. Totally inoffensive I think you must agree and, in fact, not particularly amusing. Bear with me the jokes can only get better!