Engineering, kilts & haggis!

I really don’t know where January went.  Between parents’ evenings, option evenings, governor duties and arranging a careers evening, the different schools have taken over my waking hours.  The careers evening is an engineering event for 16 – 18 year olds, arranged with the alumni committee from my old school.  I’ve exploited all the contacts I could, including the livery company in the City of London for whom our engineering student is an apprentice – we are hosting it in their amazing venue at London Bridge.  Thank you WC of Scientific Instrument Makers.

The family have all been roped in – father, brother, husband and son – whether they want to or not!!  But the biggest joke is that so many people assume that I am an engineer……….I just have to say that no, I’m not, but I do have my very own amazing bit of engineering going on in my spine…..titanium, screws, electrodes, battery!

Thanks to the people who have been in touch checking where I’ve been.  I’m ok – not great – but ok.  I had a check up at St T’s and the nurse was happy enough with me.  She was pleased with my usage and time switched off; apparently I increase usage over the weekend and then to hit a peak on a Monday….funny that, what with a house full of teenagers, washing, cooking, dog, MESS!!  I actually needed to change the batteries in the controller last week – for anyone with a new stim, the batteries lasted me about 3 months and these can be run to empty.  Not to be confused with my implant which mc83521247ebb8e5f7485babf99e9d143ust NOT be run flat…..unless I fancy a quick date with my friendly Guys’ anaesthetist!  The thing I found tricky was quantifying exactly how much the stim has reduced the pain as it varies so much.  I know what I should be saying and what the hospital want me to say, and I can say that I definitely have some control back…….even if that is by lying flat on the ground.
Those of you with a tingly scs will know that this increases the parasthesia enormously as the spinal cord lies on top of the electrodes
– those of you who don’t, try to imagine sticking your fingers in a socket and the resulting hairstyle!!

This recent bout of cold weather isn’t great for those of us with chronic pain.  One friend said he has actually been really grateful for global warming keeping this winter so mild!   Imagine that feeling when ice cream hurts your teeth……then put it into your back, down a limb and out of a hand/foot multiplied by 100 and you will start to get the picture.  Duncan and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon, having been told by middle child that it was quite mild outside.  I don’t know what he was talking about, because it was freezing and there was an almighty battle going on down my leg between the wind, the pain and the stimulation.  With chronic pain, it is as if your body’s wiring has malfunctioned and parts start misfiring and become hypersensitive – for me it includes my gut.  My biology drummed the word peristalsis into us at school, and on Sunday in the park all I could think of was Mr Parfit’s peristalsis as I heaved all the way home!!

There is something new that I managed to do with my stim helping since my last post……..attend a Burn’s night celebration at our daughter’s school.  We were given the tickets at short notice by a friend and had no idea what to expect.  Duncan chickened out and turned down the offer of a kilt, instead opting for a tartan dicky bow……..was he worried about getting the knees out, or what a man really hides under his kilt????

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I was at the wrong Burn’s night if this is a man in a kilt!

The haggis was great, as was the piper and the Scottish DT teacher, resplendent in full kilt, who spoke Robbie Burn’s infamous words as he broke the haggis open. download (3) Something I hadn’t mentioned to Duncan was the Scottish dancing after the meal – his worst nightmare.  Funnily enough the stim really doesn’t give super country dancing powers – and Duncan said that for once he was delighted I have a bad back!  He only narrowly escaped being pulled up to join a reel……..

 

 

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