I attended the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen’s Square London, twice last week and for two very different reasons and want to comment on how amazing all the staff I have come into contact with are. They are always cheerful, incredibly good at putting me at ease and are simply fantastic.
I’m Too Fit!
The first visit was to the Physiotherapy Department on Monday, the second was for an MRI scan on Wednesday. This is my last visit to Kelly my physio and was just to confirm that everything is moving along nicely with the exercises she has given me and that I am on track for maintaining this progress. She is happy that there is no more that she can do for me as everything I am doing during my training for Mt Blanc, is more than sufficient. I am too fit!! This is not to say that I won’t need some attention in the future, but everything that I am doing and indeed am able to do, is more than sufficient to keep my old carcass in the condition it needs to be, both for climbing a mountain and for the day to days rigours of having MS.
The second visit was a quick hour in the MRI scanner, an excuse for me to fall asleep for an hour!! My neurologist or brain surgeon, as I like to call her, ordered this particular scan to check on the progress, if any, of my MS. It seems that MS can be a tricky little fella to keep a track of and it’s symptoms and development are so different from patient to patient that a regular picture of what it’s doing inside the body is needed. I had this scan in the mobile piece of equipment parked outside the main building of the hospital, but in truth it was no different from the ones I’ve had inside.
My Noisy Time Accelerator
If you’ve never had an MRI I can imagine that it has the potential of being quite scary, in fact I once heard a woman refusing to have one after she arrived in the department, complaining how claustrophobic she was. Despite hating being squashed into very tight spaces, I don’t mind it at all. They put some headphones on you which it has to be said is the worse part for me. They are very tight anyway, but then my head is packed on either side to keep it still and this pushes the headphones tightly onto my ears, which is very uncomfortable, verging on painful. Once this packing is in place they convey you into the machine like a body in the morgue!! The machine is very clunky and noisy, hence the need for headphones, and sounds like a school for those wishing to enter the field of professional hammer workers. I find it strangely relaxing and always fall asleep, which makes the whole experience like getting in a noisy time accelerator.
Wired Up Again
As I type this I am wired up to a TENS machine again due to a flare up in the back issues I reported a few weeks ago. This has put me on a bit of a downer if I’m honest both because it’s very painful and secondly it means I can’t train for as long as the pain is there. I don’t think a few days out of the gym are going to hurt at this late stage of the game but none the less it’s a distraction I could do without. Apart from that I am prepared and raring to go. This time next week we will be sat in Chamonix looking up at Mt Blanc wondering how the hell we are going to climb such a monster.
We have now reached £35,724, which is brilliant. I have also set up a Go Fund Me page in order to raise the extra funds we require to actually climb the mountain. We have to pay for our guide, have helicopter insurance and general medical insurance, which are all legal necessities on Mt Blanc. We must also pay for the huts that we must stay in during the climb, so in all we are looking for €2500, just to conduct the climb. The Go Fund Me page can be found at the imaginatively named Mt Blanc For MS.