Hello and Welcome to my website dedicated to providing HELP for YOU if you are struggling with a Disability

Hello and Welcome to my website dedicated to providing HELP for YOU if you are struggling with a Disability

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time

Online Buying on Christmas Day : Yes I am going to do it!

This will be the last posting before Christmas Day and not the last for this year, so you will not be disappointed!


This year has been minimum effort on my part in the so called Xmas preps including present purchasing. As Maggie was under the weather at the start of this month, between us, we had mastered the grocery on-line shopping process and I honestly thought this was going to be the way forward!   But oh no !!  Things never materialise in the way you expect do they? There is no way in keeping my good woman down for long!!  I am so very lucky to have her as my life partner.


Maggie has made significant improvement and is back to her normal self albeit a couple of notches down which I believe is due to the general aging process. What I observe most is that Maggie is able to climb our stairs without getting as breathless and having to sit down to recover. This is welcome news and relief. Her clinic appointment remains mid Jan 2014.


I had fully expected our Xmas dinner to be one of ASDA’s best Turkey roasts with frozen veg and Xmas pudding with brandy sauce. For information to those who like to know this sort of stuff; TESCO on-line shopping is the one to opt for.Their delivery guys will take the trays of shopping carrier bags and put them, in order, on the kitchen table. ASDA’s site is fairly easy to operate, SAINSBURY’S website is a nightmare and ASDAs is easy, prices best but their delivery guys just dump the carrier bags at the front door. ASDA & SAINSBURYS guys are no longer able to enter across the house threshold (‘elf & safety). SAINSBURYS prices are the highest inspite of their price promise. We are going to try OCADO and see how we fare with them. Their website says that they price-match with the other 3. We all know what they say and promise and reality can be different.


I had earlier availed myself of ClassicFM’s wine offer with Laithewaite’s Xmas box of assorted wines with 2 Dartington Crystal long stem wine glasses for £54 delivered. All I need to get a bottle of Blue Sapphire gin which is available now in all supermarkets for £15 litre bottle. Only to be taken with Schweppes tonic water!


Most of present buying by both of us has been done line.  Once you know what is required, which is the hard part, we find it easy to GOOGLE search to locate the web shop of choice. Amazon is no longer the TOP site anymore and is not the cheapest like before. Their deliveries are still the best, however.  We have made a point not to use them if at all possible because of their staff employment practices and clever tax avoidance. Argos, Lewis, Maplin and Play.com are good sites.


The weather in York has been relatively good this last fortnight, excepting for strong winds and squally showers. We have been lucky compared to many. Including our close coastal resorts of Scarborough, Filey and Whitby where the strong on shore winds coupled with high tides have left many flooded and coastal erosion causing house-slips.


I wonder how much of our total coastline has been lost forever thus reducing our island size. Yet more people come to live here than those who leave. This does not make sense to me.


Out strolling with Chipper, I try to nose into people’s properties. I think this a British thing to do!! Look at this old Morris Minor parked in a driveway

Morris Minor 2
These cars were the main-stream vehicle along with the Ford Anglia when I was boy in short grey school pants in the 1950′s. I hope the guy that owns this Morris will restore and make use of it. I love to see both vintage and classic vehicles.




For the first ever I intend to make a purchase on Christmas day! I want a pair good quality size 8 x 40 binoculars. I will let you know how I get on.


If anyone else reading this has similar aspirations, please let me know and lets share respective purchase information.


Happy a Very Merry Christmas and/or Festive Celebration


Our Decorated Mantle







Mike & Chips


ps – does this make you proud to be English or Scottish or British!!


Christmas is coming : So What

Don’t get me wrong – Christmas is a time for Children and Grown-Ups who haven’t.


Dear Readers


I have had a few problematic days since my last blog. Its all to do with my well-being or in my case unwell-being. Getting used to the stronger Fentanyl patches for pain control is having effects like dull headaches, tiredness and a sense of feeling lost ; not being able to focus. Being spaced out with that glazed eye look. I hope all this will pass in time as I become more tolerant to the medicine. My back and hip pains have eased except for getting out of bed in the morning.!!! Be thankful for small mercies?


I am not a great Christmas lover nowadays. Age, I think, and cynicism. Too much hype in the media, too much stuff in the shops and too many bright blue twinkling lights in people’s homes. I really hate those.  Some people go OTT with their Xmas decorations.


Look at my neighbours house !
Can anyone tell me who would do this every year. He actually imports the moving pieces from the USA. The guy who lives in the house says he is a child at heart and has the money to spend. Best of luck to him.

Surely there must be more worthy ways to spend money at this time with all the world’s disasters.

If you look carefully, see the carrot dangling from Santa’s right hand?


I am trying to get back into a routine of exercising. For disabled people this is not an easy task to do. For those of you who saw the paraplegic games in London last year, please do not believe that all disabled people can achieve what those guys did. They are very focused athletes who have limb/mental problems and wish to compete in any appropriate game. They have enormous egos to satisfy!!  I do not suffer from this syndrome but do have an enormous belly which needs sorting!


I am looking for exercise routines that are simple and effective. Preferably done together in a group. I have hit upon a couple of “tools” that can be used seated as well as standing (for those of us who can).


Take a look these two items (click on the pictures) :-

I have asked Father Christmas for these. So I am unable to vouch the suitability of them both.


I will share the results and exercise effectiveness when and if I get them.


If anyone has tried these items or similar, please let me know.


Also, if anyone has found anything else that you have had experience with, please let me know and I will share these another time.


I am so convinced that keeping fit as you are able to is vital to enjoying life as best and realistically you can. Weight gain is a real issue unless you are fortunate enough to have a high metabolism. I don’t.


Allied to this, is diet. I intend discussing diet and food intake at another time.


If you click on the picture below, you should be able to download and read this ebook whilst enjoying your Christmas turkey or nut roast, should you be a veggie.
Maintaining The Body_M



I would like to receive any comments you may have after reading  this book.






See you soon and have a Very Happy Christmas (or Festive Holiday) and hope that 2014 will bring Health and Happiness wherever you are.


Best Regards










Mike & Chipper

What a Strange Week it has Been.

A Strange Week


I have had a strange week. There was much Pain in my lower spine and sacro-illiac joints. This is all due to the Ankylosing Spondylitis  (here’s a link for explanation)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankylosing_spondylitis )


Maybe the colder, damper weather has something to do with this? Does anyone else suffer in this way?  Please let me know.


I find that bed rest with heated wheat-bags placed around the hips and dosed up with Diazepam which helps muscle spam and aids sleep. I have a good bed as you can see……….


I struggled to see my GP to discuss my pain medication. I take a range of these as well as an anti-inflammatory. Over time the body becomes tolerant to the levels of this medication. I take Fentanyl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl) patches 50′s and Targinact (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targinact)


So I am well dosed on opioids!!   I have become tolerant to the current dosage levels so Dr Jim has increased the amounts. Today (Wed) –  I do feel more human. Tomorrow is another day as the saying goes.


I must take Chipper out for some exercise and me for fresh air. The UK weather is very strange at present :-  no wind, barometric pressure is around 1050Mb or Hectopascal hPa and the sun peeps in and out from beneath some wonderful cloud patterns. (Take a look at the photo below taken today from my bedroom window looking south)

Weather chart


On my scoot into our village as I was nearing the charity shop, I saw this hilarious sight……………………….

I asked the gentleman if he minded if I took this picture first but the not so funny aspect was when I asked him how he was going to get home with the Christmas tree perched on his seat. He said that he ‘walk’ along side of his scooter whilst steering/controlling it with one hand!!
How’s that for a so called disabled person with a mobility scooter? Makes you wonder doesn’t it.


We are told that there are more people using these scooters as their ‘mode of transport’. Cheaper than cars to pop to the shops but is so wrong as this undermines the real purpose of this transport namely; to give people like me the ability to move around safely and independently. Are these able people too fat or lazy or both to walk?? Many disabled people are unable or choose not to drive a car and so mobility scooters are their only means of motorised transport.  It makes me sick when people abuse a system that was clearly not designed for them.


I would love to hear from you of more examples of activities undertaken by people who ‘take the piss’. Particularly things that are clearly not designed  for them. Oh well.


Next blog will be my tales from behind the wheel!!




Enjoy your week


DSCF2895 - Copy


Chipper & Mike

School Half-Term Holidays : Day on the Beach in my Electric Mobility Chair



A mad crazy time for us living in York. My children live away and love visiting together with all their kids. The house becomes a giant playhouse for the week with children all over the place. They come complete with minimal clothes (washing machine and dryer never rest!), X-box with 2 controllers, Kindle, Tablets, Nintendo 3DS, mobiles (even the 3 year old has one!) and not one single book in sight! But the 3 youngest do like a bedtime story or two.




Maggie never stops cooking, serving, clearing away and filling the dishwasher. Some of the grand children like to bake bread and cakes. One boy also likes to cook. The bedrooms (4) are turned into a collection of beds of all shapes and sizes. The children are told where they are to sleep which is usually met with complaints so now they sort themselves out.


My study, the smallest bedroom, has my newly acquired pc (Chillblast computer) with a good spec for operating MS Flight Simulator is commandeered by my son and the 6 year old boy who loves Eurotruck and Train simulators. My son tells me he is going for his pilot’s licence!


I have done 6 training sessions. It is a good substitution to real flying for those who can’t afford the real thing. I do occassionally stand and stare at the sky on the look out for light aircraft and gliders (my favourite).




Although the weather is cold with a nithering wind, it remained dry. One fine day, we all ventured to the seaside at Filey for a day out. We are spoilt for seaside resorts near York but all facing the east generally with cold wind off the North Sea. Chipper was keen to get to the beach and had his bucket and spade to the ready! Bless him.


Although the sun was shining, the expected wind was present and I was pleased that I wore my wind proof jacket, hat and gloves. I unloaded my new electric chair and we all set off. Filey beach is about 500ft down from the town.




The trip down was tricky ; negotiating the well worn potholed pavement, descending over kerbs not yet been updated to the new dropped ones, sitting upright to stop my self from tipping, being mindful of people also walking up and down out and keeping an eye on Chipper. By the time we had reached the level I was knackered!! All the kids wanted was an ice-cream and to get onto the beach.


We all had a great time on the beach. Chipper loved the sea. DSCF0040The kids loved riding on the Donkeys. The adults watched and took photos. I just got colder and colder. After the sun has dropped behind the mainly dilapidated buildings along the marine drive, we made our way back to the car. I put my scooter in fast mode (6 mph) and fast tracked me and Chipper up the 1 in 4 incline to the car-park.


DSCF0089This is me operating the electric hoist with the chair in mid flight aiming for safe landing in the boot. I am so impressed with this kit.



What a day out we all had.
Til next Blog Post.   Be Well
Mike & Chips

Can’t Drive: Get Hand Controls Fitted!

Hello my Friends

This way, a disabled person can still drive. Assuming that is,  you have a driving licence and able to keep one as your disability progresses.   Read further on for this issue……………


Last Tuesday (29 Oct), I took to the road on my own for the first time in four years! Wow! What a feeling and a sense of accomplishment. I have had the new Motability supplied Ford Galaxy automatic drive fitted with a basic Alfred Beckker ‘push-pull’ control. This was fitted together with the Olympian 150Kg hoist in the boot for my power chair. There is a neat little steering ‘ball’ attachment  (knob)  fitted as well so I can steer with one hand.




I have a major problem driving with Hand Controls: my wife, Maggie, won’t come with me if I drive!  I have driven a couple of my grand kids round the block with no objections and Chipper loves my driving. Woof woof!


I think Maggie will eventually come round.   I need to do more trips on my own and return home with no dents or, worse still,  have an accident.


I am having driving familiarisation lessons to get me used to driving with this lever and knob!  I passed my driving test when I turned 17 when wing mirrors were the rage.  I passed first time with room to spare.  Although the Triumph Herald
herald1had blinking indicators, I had use hand signals as well during the test.


A special mention to the first reader who tells me what the procedure was!


I still can not believe that the Driving Test today still does not cover night time or Motorway driving.  It is clear madness to me. Tut tut – this country!


The most important thing about using a ‘Push- Pull’ control is to remember that you have have to PUSH to brake and PULL to accelerate.  Get this wrong to your peril!!  My Instructor in such matters is a big chap from Pontefract who comes complete with a built -in air bag ; he his actually putting his life into my hands trusting I remember the lever actions!  He does this for £35 per hour.


The first session was somewhat hairy as I negotiated passing a stationary First double decker bus with oncoming traffic on a corner!  He sweated as I farted!  I have two more sessions with him. He wants me to try the cruise control as he says it will be a pleasurable experience!  Who is he kidding?


Something important has come to light during the process of getting behind the wheel again.  My condition (Ankylosing Spondylitis)  is a notifiable illness to be declared to the DVLA, Swansea.  In the UK these guys control the issue of Driving Licences.  Aha.  Although I am a registered Disabled driver and the Vehicle Licence is issued to me as such, I am still responsible for declaring all medical conditions to the DVLA.   I should have done this over 30 years ago!!


I am now on the case.


Til next time


Pull to go and Push to stop. Got it!



This Was ‘Sort Of’ a Holiday

Hello again.

I hope you read last week’s post – ‘How can this be a HOLIDAY?’ and eagerly awaiting to see what went on.

There were no rattles! I hate superfluous noises coming from inside the car when moving. As Maggie drives (wait until I use the hand controls!), I sit and listen out for these things. Chipper sat on a rear seat, wearing his car harness, all the way like a good ‘un ; we stopped once at Peterborough service station for a break.

We parked next to a couple clearly in the middle of a tiff. Aren’t these amazing experiences when it is someone else’s heated discussion? Exactly what it was all about, we could not make out except the woman was getting the verbals from the man. They both had vehicles and left to go their separate ways.

We just smiled and drunk own coffee and eat the ‘sarnies’.

We eventually got to our destination – The Premier Inn, north Ashford, Kent. I launched the power chair from the boot via the electric hoist on my own. Bravo! Hooked up Chipper to the chair and scooted off to find a watering hole. Not a single patch of grass anywhere and we are in the middle of Kent! So he found a tree and cocked his leg in sweet relief.

Maggie unpacked the car, booked in and put the kettle on. The front doors were open as I drove into reception and acknowledged the greeting. I could not get into my room!! The corridor was too narrow for my chair to turn! So I had to open the bedroom door and enter the room at an angle whilst scrapping the walls! Good start eh? It gets better! No shower only bath with high sides, double bed not singles, bed too low with the mattress like jelly.

Suitable polite inquiries were made at reception to no avail. All disabled rooms are the same. Oh well – welcome to my world of disability. Could not sleep, woke with chronic neck and back ache every day. Grrr. And decidedly grumpy. Take your pills Mike and shut up. At least Chipper liked the bed!

The Premier Inn have a ‘Sleep Guarantee’. Full refund if you can’t sleep!’ I await to hear from their “Complaints Manager” to my grunt list.

If we get a full refund, I will give £25 to the first person who leaves a reply with the name of their chosen charity. I like to give.

At the least the sun shone as we spent the next three days visiting old (in both senses) friends to take light refreshments with tea either/or a softie. A wealthy couple have downsized and purchased a park home and placed it on their land between woods and their daughter’s house. Planning permission was not required and they pay NO council tax. How cool is that??
Ingleton Cabin

The weekend was spent with our son and tribe – 4 boys and 2 girls. No- they are not Roman Catholic! They fork out the equivalent of a mortgage repayment in monthly rent as they both have poor credit ratings. Past misdemeanors catch up on you in the end. It cost us a small mortgage to have a takeaway delivered but we had fun. They have a happy home which is all that counts.

That was our five nights away. Exciting wasn’t it??

Til next time

Don’t rise to it………….



PS – we have a credit to our bank account from Premier Inn . Bravo!

How Can This Be A Holiday?

How can this be a holiday?

Most regular folks would need a single luggage case to take on a week’s holiday if living in the UK.

I do live in the UK and I am not a regular guy. I am classified as ‘disabled’  but I read myself as guy with issues!

The issue list grows as I go through various medical episodes; the last being a stroke. Thankfully I have made a reasonable recovery. My grand kids lovingly call me ‘grumpy Mike’ or behind my back,  ’ole fartface ’. I do shuffle along the ground with my quad feet walking sticks and use a wheelchair or power scooter when out of doors.

Chipper, my newly acquired 2 year old assistance black Labrador, trots obediently alongside both my appliances sporting his Canine Partners purple jacket. Woof woof!

DSCF2895 - Copy

Leaving home for more than a day is a logistical nightmare. Suffering with a number of medical issues does mean that I need at least 2 luggage cases plus a carrier bag or 2 or 3.

I must pack the following:-


  • Clothes with extra boxers
  • A weeks supply of medication with extra laxatives and painkillers
  • A weeks supply of ISC’s (intermittent self catheters)
  • Anal irrigation kit (use your imagination) and pads
  • Medical waste disposal bags, wipes, hand gel
  • Dog food measured out for twice daily feed, lead, special jacket, dog playing toys, whistle, dog seat belt, collapsible water bowl, regular food bowl and yes…………. adequate supply of poo bags!
  • My expensive Tempur back and neck pillows
  • Entertainment devices
It’s a bloody nightmare I can tell you and my wife can support all of this.
Can anyone beat this list??

I would love to hear from you if you can.


And this is not all……………….


In the boot of the car is a new 150kg electric hoist designed and fitted to lift in and out my new powered chair – Pride Quantum Q6 Edge weighing in at 130kg unloaded.


All the luggage – my wife’s meagre pile and mine have to be placed strategically around the chair and on 2 of the rear seats. Chipper takes up the remaining 3rd seat. If you were wondering what sort of vehicle is needed for all this lot –  it is a Ford Galaxy Titanium, courtesy of Motability Operations UK.

I will leave the question as to whether we enjoyed our 5 nights away from home until the next blog post.


Til then…………….


Stay cool – Mike

Why are You reading this?

If you have landed on this website, you are curious about your health issues and wonder if you may learn something new. I do hope so!

My desire with this website is to provide resources, information, case studies and signposting for anyone who considers themselves suffering from a disability of one form or another. The purpose is to make you feel able to live as comfortably as you can with others around you in your world.

One of the essential aspects of the website is to help you to come to terms with a disabilty and to learn the art of Acceptance.

© 2014: Are You Able or Not? | Easy Theme by: D5 Creation | Powered by: WordPress