Monday, 29 December 2014

Rehab - I'm back!

OK so I burned out with some OTT blogging and I stopped as a result (too much to say then nothing at all). I felt the need to post every other day or something similar when truth is, I feel now, that you don't have to do that, OR make each one an essay.

Suffice to say I have something to say today! For those who have read some of my tweets already it's regarding the death of Debbie Purdy. A 51 year old woman who just so happened to have MS (ooo like me!) and campaigned for clarity on euthanasia as she wanted her husband not to face prosecution after potentially helping her to Switzerland where it is legal.

Now I'm not going to write down the 1000 scenarios I've played out in my head as I want to keep this relatively short! The 'best' is to say I've had the philosophy that I want to be on this world no matter what because when you're gone you're gone. But what if life was to the point where everything hurt, when the only person there helped with every aspect of daily life and you felt like and were such a massive burden? The worse you get the more emotionally you scar them. Do you prolong?

Do you endure? For what? To make it to the next day? Normally you take the bad to experience and enjoy the good but what if there isn't any left? You can't do it anymore? Those are the questions I have yet to know the answer to, and hopefully will never have to ask myself.

P.S. I'll try a positive one next time.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Digital revolution, or destruction of society...part 1

I've always been an embracer of the digital age and it's many benefits and integration into society and lifestyle. From a business sense it's improved systems allowing search engines to bring us a plethora or information that previously, you'd of said 'I think...' or no idea' to if a question was asked. For personal use it has no end of uses and advantages.

I've not long read an article about a film that explores the effect of the connected world in which we live. One of the teenage boys interviewed says the best thing about the internet is porn (I'm sure many would). His knowledge of relationships, women, and sex are from it. Basically any form of intimacy was from professionally filmed and story written sex scenes. 

One part shows how a girl allowed herself to be sexually assaulted to get her Blackberry from some lads who took it from her, another girl who was told she could enter into a relationship if she gave him a blowjob. She's described as a "bright middle-class girl".

Now these may be 'extreme' scenarios, to be honest I can see that it's probably more common place than most would suspect. In a world that has seen sex and soft porn become 'the norm' we are desensitised to it, it's something that I've noticed for a long time. I wonder how can I raise my girls the way I want them to when society is showing them something when they buy magazines, walk down the street, see TV adverts showing women with their bodies out and behaviour that might impression a child or teen that, this is how they are seen and should behave?

I know of many people who's children don't think that way, but subliminally it affects them and anyone to be honest (I'm not immune from it either) and despite a parents best intentions, there are many factors that may lead to a child or teen or adult to fall foul of it. When browsers started including the ability to open a page that doesn't record your browsing history (incognito in Google Chrome) the first thing people thought was that it would be used for porn, I mean what else could it be used for? Well, lots of things really!

The film is InRealLife by Beeban Kidron, obviously not going to be released all across the country, but I may well make an effort to go and see it. 

I'll leave it at that for now before the post gets too long and you get REALLY bored, but as always any comments will be appreciated. I'm always up for a mass debate (see what I did there? You're not impressed are you...). Part 2 later this week! 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

You can choose your friends...

But you can't choose your family. The Parker family have a 'colourful' history, this translates to the fact that my eldest brother, mother and I no longer talk to my middle brother (the forgotten child as we call him!) and my father.

Our extended family doesn't stretch far, my aunty and uncle's family (+2 cousins) are really the only extended family the Parker's possess. There are of course others but again I/we no longer communicate with them. 

From a personal perspective I've now got the in laws as well (includes brother in laws plus their whole extended family!) and I've got my 2 daughters (my little and littlest princesses) and 2 nieces. 

This post drew inspiration from the fact that myself and Dan my elder cousin went to a game of football last night (Monday night, I started writing this and didn't finish), watching an under 21's match of Leicester City vs Liverpool. Just the 2 of us went and we spent the match chatting and watching, talking football and other subjects (can't remember, I didn't transcribe). Suffice to say I realised that the old saying 'You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family' doesn't work. Well certainly from my perspective.

I've chosen my family, those worth having in my life and in doing so I've chosen friends as well as those who aren't family members! Those close ties from youth form something that stand the tests, trials and tribulation of family life. Patience, understanding and forgiveness are something I don't think many people (except close friends/family) would withstand. I spent years a long way from home (in the UK that stands at a 2 hour drive!) and I lost all my friends save 2. My family were patient and understanding about what was happening in my life and have certainly forgiven me for, well, how I had been. To the point where coming back was like I'd done nothing wrong. To my mind I had but it's never been said to me.

I suppose I'm being slightly reflective on things but I always like to look at things positively! Always focus on the positives and to an extent forgive the negatives (some things are of course unforgivable!) otherwise you spend your life resenting others and that's not a good place to be.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Life's about balance

Everyone goes through phases in their life, each one so different. I'm currently in the phase where we've got an 18 month old daughter. We both work (being me and the wife) so time with her is a premium, she's usually dropped off by nanna between 5:30 and 6 (usually about 5:30) and goes upstairs for a bath at 7, in her cot for 7:30. So on weekdays anyway, trying to squeeze in as much as possible is difficult for both of us. 

It's times like these when it REALLY grates on me (and the wife) that people can live off handouts and spend all day at home, the people who will get through life never working and not raising their kids (but that's for another day!).

Anyway that being said, I want to run a marathon. A couple of years back I wanted to do the New York marathon, the idea was there but in this phase of my life, I didn't want to sacrifice the time to the necessary training for it. I've contemplated doing the Leicester marathon (or Leicestoh, Lesta etc.) but the problem is again, the training that's required just infringes on my life too much. I run to work a couple of times a week because it's in the morning, I have to leave a bit earlier but that's ok, time loss is minimal. There is a shower at work so I can get sorted there and I bike when I'm not running (lighter days). It all fits into my day efficiently. It gives me independence in that I have my own method of transport too!

The issue is that I fear that I might not be able to compete in such an event if my MS gets worse before I decide I'm going to do it. I don't want to be at a point in my life where I could spare the time but don't have the energy and I'd be kicking myself if that happens. But as it stands I just can't divert that much time away from family and they always come first. Guess I'll just have to play the waiting game. The waiting game sucks...

Monday, 26 August 2013

Old School

Last night after 'shopping' on Gumtree I went and picked up a PS2. Now you might hear this and think I'm just going for a budget minded option for entertainment option, or perhaps something for the kids. WRONG! I went out and bought it for 3, at most, games that I can't play any other way! I've always been a fan of the Final Fantasy series of games and the PS2 has some that are unique to it so I've gone out of my way to acquire them. 

This doesn't sound very MS does it!? Well not really, but these games centralise on the idea that there is evil and in the face of adversity they are always overcome, even though the price sometimes may be high. I've always believed in this, I've yet to come across the part where the price may be high, and hopefully will not! But since my diagnosis and first relapse I've come out swinging (before this I'd just gone along thinking it probably won't do much)! I've made sacrifices with my diet being completely different to a) what it was and b) to what most people live by nowadays. I inject myself daily, much to the annoyance of the stinging/aching for 20 mins or more afterwards. Like all MSers I battle a mental battle frequently, but there's no living in living in fear of something I cannot change or rid myself of, I can only try to barricade the door while it batters at it!

What inspirational game/film/book would perhaps use to symbolise your battle, MS or otherwise, for you?

See I've shortened my post this time...


Friday, 23 August 2013

Music soothes the soul...

So I'm a massive music fan. There is a song for every occasion or probably more like 100's. I like to say I'm open to most genres but I certainly gravitate to rock (Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Feeder), and dance (euphoric, electronica, chillout, not rave/happy hardcore etc!). But anything and everything in between is worth a listen to, some of the indie bands around at the moment are quite good!

Music has got me through some dark times in my life, I'm not going to say anything dramatic like I'd of cut my wrists without it! But it was amazing support, especially as at the times I felt isolated, and that is one of my problems. I'm one of those people who wants to be independent and strong enough to push ahead on my own (not good and I know it isn't, but I do), but I'd struggle to find someone who genuinely can. .

My relation to it has not changed as such with my diagnosis but like in my previous posts, I'm a lot more susceptible to feeling emotions associated with it. That is for me all positive as emotions need to be embraced and understood, especially as they're uncontrollable. Linkin Park is a lot about 'negative' emotions such as loss, despair, anger and rejection. Foo Fighters cross those but also have a lighter note on their songs and perhaps a whole album will be generally lighter, although one of their songs is my 'funeral song'. But it's not just sit back and magnify it, it feels like it empowers you to fight and overcome those types of emotions.

Music can sway a mood or magnify, or you might not be in the mood at all. Funnily enough I've found a song that I'll NEVER be in the mood for and I came across this on a Saturday, listening to Ministry of Sound Radio, doing overtime with a girl in the office. This dance track starts slowing down and lets just say it could be confused with watching a porn film. Now I'm not normally a man who gets uncomfortable with things like that but I could feel my face glowing, and the 2 of us were really awkward (especially as it was just the 2 of us!). Suffice to say I got the browser up and turned the radio off! We laugh at it, and it has come on the station one or two more times and I turn it off straight away!

So I've listed some genres/bands, what are yours?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Would you, have you?

How many of you have tasted breast milk? This applies to men and women, simple enough question I will not judge! No? Ok so what if someone expressed it for you so you didn't take it direct from source? Still no (I'd try direct from source! ;-O)? Ok so what if it was pasteurised and bottled? I'm guessing it's still a no, and any question I ask about breast milk will end up with the same answer of no. 

So the question is, why would you accept a cows breast milk? Now THAT is a good question, with little logical explanation other than it's availability and mass production, and the fact that it has been done since the start of civilisation. Milk and it's derived products are the mainstay of most western diets and particularly when food was scarce or there was little nutritional value elsewhere milk would certainly have been a good source. 

Hello 2013 and a half-century of massive steps into research and medicines. So we've now got the ability to closely analyse exactly what things do. One of which being milk, and how the incidence of osteoporosis is substantial in dairy consuming countries, and virtually non-existent in countries who do not, and that's just one point to be made. 

Now imagine industries worth 100's of £billions being told their product is potentially negative to consumers, what do you think they would do? What would you do with information that could kill off your livelihood and substantial pay packet? Ruining the economy and hundreds of thousands of people's lives if not millions of lives? Until quite recently I saw the whole dairy as ignorant and deliberately negligent of these emerging facts.But they're protecting their own and millions of others live, so in some ways it's a necessary evil. 

 I hate that my youngest daughter consumes it like she does and the fact that she will have an increased susceptibility to MS because of me, it will destroy me if she or my elder daughter has it. BUT I have to accept that it's a part of society, people will defend their consumption of it fiercely of it because they're been raised on the idea that it is good. Perhaps my daughters will change their mind when they're of age (I hope). 

I've given dairy up, and would advise anyone to do the same, MS or not. But I don't think I'll bring any revelations to the media and change the minds of millions!

Websites of interest:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/09/12/13120.aspx
http://www.notmilk.com/
http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/ - (a website selling something so take reading with a good pinch of salt)