Chris :: First Blog

Hi everyone, so here it goes my first ever ‘blog’ – hope you enjoy it ! Actually if I am being honest this blog is about the fourth draft after sitting next to the laptop and thinking what the hell am I going to write about ? So after starting writing then stopping and deleting about three times I thought I might as well start from where I am now and then start to bore you after that with old police ‘war stories’ and not alienate my audience from the start !

So where am I ? Well retired at the age of 43 just waiting to exchange and complete on our house move, where we are relocating to rural Northamptonshire, after six months of showing people around our house, giving them the guided tour and feeling like one of those has-been celebrities who now show messers around other peoples houses, who then in the end don’t buy anything because …..”It was too big a compromise” !! I’ve had the lot over the last few months, people who don’t speak English, people who don’t actually say anything, others who are very nice and interested and others who are quite happy to tell you that they don’t like your house and will definitely not be putting in an offer – just after walking beyond the hallway !!

However time and time again the conversation went like this Q. “Why are you selling” A. “I have just retired from the police and we are moving to Northants”  Q. “I’ve heard your pensions are brilliant, your so lucky” and on every one of those occasions thinking “If only I could be arsed to tell you and then watch you splutter and apologise” but I was always too nice !

This week was slightly different though during a trip to my local Accident and Emergency department. The reason for my trip was that I could hardly bend my left leg and felt like I had ripped my calf muscle after I had a day out in London with a few old mates from The Met. A liquid lunch in Borough Market and then a sit down meal alongside the Thames and then over-doing the walk/shuffle back to London Bridge station.Then boarding the homeward bound train and to my horror finding it was standing room only, all the way back to Dartford !! Now I can hear you all shouting “Non disabled sitting in seats they are required to relinquish for the disabled…………….etc” But quite liking my only slightly faded boyish good looks I made the rational decision not to ask the 6’2″ stocky builder with tattoos on his neck to move !

Instead I decided to stick to my usual travel game and see how many people come my stop will end up watching my arms and fingers shake and watching them think to themselves “Is he drunk or is he not quite right”. Better this time than is usual as I had at least two couples nudging each other and miming “look” and casually nodding in the direction of my hands !! These four added to the other four people that couldn’t help themselves by staring at my hands made me more than a little amused. When on the Traffic Cars I  always hated ‘rubber-neckers’ but these people took it another level !!

Now at this point in writing my blog I have realised that I have digressed away from my original story more than Ronnie Corbett used to when he was telling one of his favourite stories !! So getting back to the A&E Dept………………

My left calf had seized up so much and with the other leg suffering the effects of what we Parkies call “stiffness and rigidity” that I walked into the A&E looking like a Douglas Bader impersonator !!! After only a short time waiting to see a Doctor I had my name called out by a short demure man who looked quite friendly ……….from this point things didn’t quite go to script !

After explaining why I was there asking for help and telling him that I felt a large lump at the top of my calf and hoped it wasn’t a clot the seeming nice Doctor then told me that I quite clearly needed to lose a lot of weight and that he didn’t think that my Parkinson’s Disease was that bad !!!

I immediately had two trains of thought – much like I did when on the odd occasion I had a ‘Front Counter Duty’ in the police and had a loud and obnoxious person who I had to deal with and then needing arresting for disorderly contact……………first thought – will he be coming across the front counter and in the same motion dragged through to custody or ………..second thought – walked into custody via a side door ??? The first was always the most fun !!

I can’t believe it, I digressed again……..anyway

The second option prevailed and It took all my willpower not to throw him out of the widow and say “your right, it’s not is it”!! However, taking the moral high ground I replied “Well I’m here because of leg oedemas up both legs, I have had to give up driving because of Parkinson’s, I take nearly twenty tablets a day and if I don’t I skake like a shitting dog” (at his point my wife butting in with gritted teeth and uttering the word “CHRIS !”….I continued on , “I can hardly lift my legs up to put socks on and can’t lift my arms up to go swimming”. Still staring hard at him – noting to do with PD, just me being livid and still trying not to put him out of the window, I carried on ……”oh and to top it off Doctor I have had to retire from a job and vocation that I loved that included the driving funnily enough ten years short of what I had planned, so I guess you’re right my Parkinson’s isn’t that bad”

After a prolonged silence and me still staring hard he said “oh”. Funnily after my ‘explanation’ he arranged for me to have a scan, blood test and check up, well above the expected forefinger and thumb pressed into the back of my leg.

The upshot was no DVT but a still very sore left calf but being a bloke I haven’t moaned about the pain once and have been a really brave soldier !!

Before writing my first blog I had visions of writing something profound and memorable but realising that I am not articulate enough I thought the next best option was just to witter on so I think I have achieved my objective !!!

In all my years as a serving police officer my outlook in dealing with the general public was ‘promise little but deliver a lot’ and although I can only promise little in the way of profound wisdom I can deliver a lot of ‘wittering-on’ and plenty of references to my old job and in not the to distant future some funny and not so funny ‘war stories’ to bore you all with !!!

Parkinson Disease is a funny old thing to have and would be fascinating if you didn’t have it – the daily challenges that all people affected by PD face, from just getting out of bed under your own steam through to trying to cook an evening meal, shattered by the bodies fight throughout the day against the effects of the illness and ending with trying not to fall asleep in the dinner that you have eventually been able to make after lots of huffing and puffing !!

My point is that having read one particular book by a person who has PD I can tell you all that from my own perspective I can say that it is not a ‘gift from God’ nor is it ‘a privilege’ and I don’t feel that ‘PD has been sent to test me ‘ ……………….I just think its a real bugger because I can’t do this or that but there is always someone worse off than you. Oh and how lucky am I to be on a police pension and retired at 43 – whoopee-do, I thank my lucky stars each day !!!

See you all next time

Chris

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