Forgive me Father for I have sinned; (many, many times I am sure), it has been a week since my last confession, (that being a Blog entry).

Afternoon me babbers, `ow be on then? I meant to write a couple of days ago but got sidetracked so I’ve waited until now. You may remember that I was going to be travelling to Tedworth House on Friday of last week to meet with Chris from Draft Wheelchairs to measure me for a hand cycle. Since I gave up running and took up being paralysed as a hobby it has had a profound effect on my shape. My large muscular pecks (no lies being told there?) have been grabbed by gravity and pulled south, my washboard six pack stomach (all true, honestly) has relaxed and combined they have caused a natural phenomenon whereby I have come to resemble the Michelin Man on my mid section. In plain terms, I is fat. Now despite using my manual chair and trying a variety of food eating regimes ranging from 1 meal a day to three meals and mixing one big meal and a couple of very light meals and a variety of other different ways, I don’t get any smaller. Having surrendered my HGV license to DVLA I become increasingly worried that I may have to employ someone with the said license just to push me around as I am sure I must need the said license to propel myself around if I get much bigger!

Anyway, I got measured up and then had to have JP and one of the other staff from Tedworth to lift me back in to my chair. I was told by Chris that he had another customer who was unable to lift themselves back in to their chair from the hand cycle but after a few weeks he had become strong enough to do it on his own so I hope that this will apply to me also. I have very kindly been granted some money by the spinal charities ASPIRE and the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust (SSIT) in order for me to purchase the hand cycle which will allow me to get out and get fitter and stronger, I did not know that it was posible to apply for help for such equipment until a rep of ASPIRE approached me after seeing me on a hand cycle at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit which my fantastic Physio Jo had got for me to try. It was only after the ASPIRE rep told me to apply for a grant that I found out about it and fortunately for me, I was granted the money. Now I just have to wait for the hand cycle to be built and delivered to Draft Wheelchairs so that I can then travel up for it to be fitted to me and then bring it home, then the cycling can begin and hopefully my belly will decrease in size.

While I was at Tedworth I took the opportunity to see a guy, Lee, who I have come to regard as a very good friend as well as the staff there. It was nice to catch up with Lisa who was one of the support workers `assigned` to assist me on my stay there and to see the other staff who I had various chats with during my stay. I was a bit gutted that I missed seeing someone else who I had also come to regard as a good friend but she had meetings and was therefore away from the house. I decided to stay and participate in the quiz that is held every Friday before lunch, and teamed up with Lee to see how we would get on. The first quiz involved us trying to figure out which brand related to the partial picture that was shown. This we did well at scoring 100% but the second did not go quite so well. It had pictures, some of which were quite hard to see if I’m honest, of scenes from TV shows past and present. On this we only managed 13 out of 30 but some of the shows were before I was born let alone my partner in crime so it was a bit of a no hoper for us from the off.

My spasms have been really bad of late. My legs `bounce` badly too lately, it is not just the fact that it is annoying and looks bloody stupid, it causes me problems when I am propelling myself in my chair. It makes it difficult as the muscles in my ass cheeks tense which means I have to stop as if I don’t it causes spasms in my legs but also sends the spasm up through my body which then tries to make my body launch itself to make my whole body straight and this is how I came out of the back of my chair. When I am trying to get in and out of my car the spasms can prevent me from getting in but more importantly and problematic is the getting out as this can actually cause me to tip the chair backwards, if this happens I can obviously not get back in to my chair or the car which clearly puts my safety at risk and the security of my vehicle. When I get in to bed it gets worse, as soon as I lie down flat my legs kick out and actually lock in a position some 8 inches or more off of the bed, my whole body locks rigid and my stomach muscles tense so tight that I struggle to catch breath which is bloody scary at times and along with all of this my feet shake left and right so fast that they are a blur. The spasms are just one of the things that I have to deal with but I am hoping that the hand cycling will calm them down. Chris from Draft told me that because you are stretched out in the hand cycle it can really help with spasms so I am really hoping it will work for me.

Tuesday saw the end of an era, the disbandment of `B` Company 6 Rifles. You will recall my last entry on my Blog where I told of the changes through some years for `B` Company so I will not go over it again, suffice is to say that the British Army has a new unit. It is based in Taunton and has the name 675 (The Rifles) Squadron Army Air Corps. I did not take part in the parade that we had practice’d last week as I felt it would look untidy and instead I watched from the front of the parade under cover which had been set up for people to watch. `B` Company looked great as they marched, heads high and chests out marching tall as they undertook their last duty as the best Company that 6 Rifles had. With speeches and prayers said, they then changed their drill to `heavy` drill and as 675 Squadron, they marched at half the pace they had marched on at but with their heads high and chests out marching equally as tall, ready to undertake new challenges in their new role and unit. A sad but equally proud day not just for me but for all who ever served in `B` Company, whether it be from the days of 6 LI, The Rifle Volunteers or as The Rifles. A friend who I served with when we were The Rifle Volunteers showed how much `B` Company had stayed with him even in the years since he left which were over 7 he said; “B Company will always be in my heart, we were the best” 

After the parade there was a buffet of three different curries which was held in the WO and Sjt’s mess. The food was amazing as always and as an added plus for me, I got to see people who I rarely get to see any more as I am obviously unable and unfit to deploy on exercise. One person who I spoke to briefly which I was a little gutted about as I wanted to speak more as it has been well over three years since we had a catch up, was `Kat`. Hopefully I`ll catch up with her later as I’d love to know what she has been up to.

Anyway, enough rambling from me for one night. Hope all is good with you lot. Until next time.

Goodnight all.

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“Swift and Bold”


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