Thursday, August 25, 2005

Finally got them – Oticon spirit III P

Yesterday I was finally given the hearing aids that they had been telling me I would have for a long time. After all the fanfare they were giving them, I have to say, they don’t match my expectations of being able to hear properly.

Let me wind back a little though, and explain what happened yesterday, cause for some of you it might seem funny, others might be aghast at what happened, and some will probably blame me for what happened.

The aids as they are digital were setup according to my audiogram, the software dictating what is deemed right for my hearing loss. Well I should point out here, that not one manufacturers software has ever match my loss right, so either they haven’t a clue or my ears are just not what the audiograms ever show.

When they were switched on, my immediate reaction was, I can’t wear these, I can’t hear a damn thing with them, no swearing mind, just using the damn as an emphasis. I was not hearing a thing, it was all muffled, echoing, too much bass, and everything that was wrong could be. Well the audiologist didn’t like it at all, he was well pissed at me, he felt I was being a drama queen, going overboard, and he even said, well that is it, I can’t fit you with anything, you will have to make do, that is all we have on the NHS, so you will have to go private.

I can tell you, right then, I was like, so ready to blow up, swear and give what for. I bit my tongue and just said, well if that is all you can give me, then so be it, knowing full well, I would just find a way around him in time, and find another avenue. Been in the system too long to know I can find other ways if I am really pushed to do so, might take a while, but in the interim I would struggle on, heck I am used to it these days.

After about 5 minutes, he decided to change his mind, and sit with me, and try and remove the problems I was finding. Bear in mind I had already explained very clearly what I found to be problems in the sound. Bit by bit he started adjusting them, they are a pain to adjust so I get it, but he managed to get a better sound for me. Still not ideal, but better than the Oticon Spirit II P I had.

Am I satisfied, not a chance, I in my eyes deserve to hear properly, and if hearing aid manufacturers claim their products do such a thing, then I expect it, the least I expect. Why should I, just because I was born profoundly deaf not be able to interact with the world the way 99% of people do. These aids are better than some I have had, will I be able to use them enough, next week will be telling, when I get back to work, will it finally after 3 months allow me to hear people properly, will it allow me to go to lunch with others without flaking out after 30 minutes because I can’t keep up in a bar/pub. I am hoping so, nothing more frustrating than not being able to keep up, it makes me look stupid, and I feel stupid too.

Why do I have to keep changing aids, I have had hearing aids in the past where I could hear better than I can now. Why did I change, because the manufacturers decided in their wisdom that the aid I had was to be updated, and when they update, they screwed with it, making it impossible for me to use the new version. A case in point, some years back, I had a phonak, and it had a lot of grey area in the sound, smooth progression on noise. When they updated it, it was black and white, no middle area, and thus I couldn’t cope with them, and I struggled to hear. I know they want to push their new products, but they are worse than Microsoft, a new version every 6 months, which doesn’t always give benefits, in some cases takes it away.

Back to yesterday, after finally getting me set up correctly with the aids, the audiologist was okay with me. He has called me the biggest pain in his backside for a patient, but and his words “I know exactly what I want” and thus it means they can sort it out in theory. I am supposedly the cleverest, smartest, most annoying, pain in the backside patient, simply because I demand the best, expect the best and lastly I expect to hear properly, no excuses as far as I am concerned. There shouldn’t be a case in this day and age of me having to just make do, I did that when I was young, having to wear a box aid.

This leads me slightly to a post I put up the other day with the extremist animal rights activists. These extremists need to be sorted out, in this country there are a lot of people hanging on hoping that gene therapy will change their lives, I am one such person, if the science is to be believed, then gene therapy might be able to reverse my hearing loss, if so then I would want such experimentation to proceed on animals first so that they can be sure they don’t kill us humans. I am not the only one hoping for gene therapy to work, there are many others, suffering from major diseases – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.

People deserve to have a chance, and I am betting anything that the extremists are using medicines which at one point were tested on animals, well that makes them hypocrites, it really does. Why not advance science so much so animals aren’t needed, isn’t of holding back science by violence, desecration of graves, etc.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

More governmental computer screw up, and they want us to trust them with ID cards

DWP Computers crash

This is just another example of how the government is so unable to get computer systems working at all, and in this example, the people who suffered were those whose need was the greatest. By not having their money, it left a lot of people

IT problems torment Jobcentre Plus staff

This is the DWPs CMS2 (Customer Management System) and it apparently is to make efficiencies in the system of those who need to claim. There is one rather large problem that in true typical governmental style they have forgotten, there is a sizeable percentage of the population who are deaf, and thus aren’t able to use the phones, need to rely on minicoms, or even face to face. This system has removed the face to face element until later into the system, which stuffs up those who can’t hear on the phone, and it is well known that the DWP doesn’t have much in the way of minicom systems, in fact, it is a known fact that most offices don’t even have one, and in a lot of the call centres, they have no-one who knows how to use it. That is good; another way the government can make sure that those who need help are excluded. Maybe the DRC should be investigating this, cause it will cause a headache in the future, for sure.

This government is well known for having serious problems with IT projects and it wants us to give it another chance with the ID cards to waste even more money for an IT which hasn’t been proven and is filled with problems.

It makes me think of the time in the US where the scientists managed to get Ronald Reagan to pay for all manner of projects that were never likely to see the light of day, because they were a technology that was so in its infancy and not even provable, but they managed to convince him that it would work. Well, one has to remember he wasn’t the brightest spark in the box, but even so – Stars wars, having satellites to destroy missiles, mmmm, that was going to work….

But back to the point, this government is bamboozled by a bunch of overpaid consultants whom never seem to deliver and see the government as a cash cow for their businesses, and each and every time the government gets screwed. Maybe it is time the government had it is own software development department, in-house, easier to control, and will probably be better than the overpaid consultants.

Animal rights protestors win - closed Darley Oaks farm in Staffordshire

I saw this yesterday night on the news and I am amazed at the protestors, the actions they have taken to shut down the Darley Oaks farm in Staffordshire.

Guinea pig farm's family targeted
The siege of Darley Oaks Farm

I am not against protests, but the level of violence they have used to achieve this is mind boggling, seriously mind boggling.

The family who own the farm have had a lot of violent attacks on them

To top it off, the extremists protestors desecrated a dead woman’s grave, hello, anyone in there, come on, desecrating a grave, that is nasty stuff, what on earth gives. Removing a dead woman’s remains and apparently they are still not found 11 months on and it is believed they will never be recovered.

Me, I am not against animal testing I will be honest. Until we can produce a better method that allows drugs for medicine to be tested and give valid results when testing these new medicines then we have no choice. All that can be done is to try and minimize the level of pain and harm caused, but until technology creates something better, we are left with nothing else.

I am for protests, if people want to protest, but the extremists who are doing this, need to be stopped, to cause violence on others isn’t an acceptable way of protesting against this.

It kind of reminds me of the joke that Bill Hicks used to say about pro-lifers murdering doctors in the US. Yep, pro-lifers murdering people, mmmm, that gets your point across really well doesn’t it. You are pro-life, but you think that murdering doctors, etc to stop abortions is the right way.

You can easily transpose that onto this situation, you are against animal testing so you think that committing acts of violence on doctors, workers, and families makes you better and any different to them. You charge them with causing harm to animals, but you are doing no different. And to desecrate a grave, that isn’t call for, and the sooner the police work out who did it, and throw them in the clink the better.

People have a right not to have people commit acts of violence on them, and until the protestors come up with a better solution, I will personally see the extremists as nothing more than pond scum, because such behaviour can’t and should never be accepted as a viable form of protest.

Animal tests get renewed backing

I am sure I could end up with a lot of complaints against my view, so be it, but everyone is entitled to a view, and people shouldn't be having acts of violence carried out on them, because of their view and their work, we do live in a free society I thought.

Monday, August 22, 2005

iPod Generation worse off

Ipod generation 'are worse off'

I saw this on the BBC site and after reading the article, my first response well no shit sherlock, you reckon.

They have defined it as iPod generation (supposedly under 35s) as because it means - Insecure, Pressured, Overtaxed and Debt-ridden

I am not sure I agree with insecure, but the other three I can take onboard. To me I have been renamed yet again. I was always Generation X, and will be until I can think of a more poignant tag.

It is true, we are worse off than our parents, especially when you are leaving university with 20K min debt in most cases which immediately puts you behind when trying to get on the property ladder for one, trying to enjoy life for another.

What the overloads of the government don't seem to realise that, if the "iPod" generation are so up to their ears in debt, then they can never afford to purchase the houses the overloads of this government own, and thus when they hope to sell, they are screwed because of no first time buyers to prop them and their little pyramid scheme up.

Plus on top of this, more are staying at home for longer, meaning they are being even more of a burden to their parents, because they can't afford to move out, thus the parents, don't have the chance to enjoy their life as they would expect to do so.

If anyone of our parents generation reads this, this simply means when you get old and need help, we can't afford to, because you cleaned us out. Remember what goes around comes around, you steal from us now, you will get it back in spades in the future, because we won't be able to support you as you would desire, because we are paying for things you never had to when you were in our shoes.

I don't like the situation at all, things like free education should be that, why did you deem it fine for you to get the free education, but now you are happy to pull the ladder up now you have made it. Talk about protectionist policies.

Smoking ban - please

Today the following research was published

Majority approve smoking ban

The majority of the public believe smoking should be banned in all workplaces, according to a new study.

Research by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) and Cancer Research UK revealed 73 per cent of individuals in England and Wales support a blanket smoking ban.

Under government proposals, which are due to come into force in 2008, non-food serving pubs and clubs will be exempt from a smoking ban.

ASH director Deborah Arnott labelled plans not to outlaw smoking in all establishments as "damaging" and "pointless". "The public wants action to end second-hand smoke at work. It now kills more than 600 people at work every year three times the number of deaths from industrial accidents. And it causes many thousands of asthma attacks and episodes of illness," she said.

"Smoke-free legislation must be comprehensive if it is to be successful," Ms Arnott added.

The health improvement and protection bill is expected to be put before parliament in November

Well, I think the words duh, come to mind here. It is only the government whom seem to not have their ear to the ground and are so disconnected from their own electorate, which is sadly nothing new, but here is even more proof that their dithering is a waste of time. It is so funny that they can't see that a ban will work. It works in San Francisco, New York, Ireland, Norway, and more and more places are putting in bans which aren't affecting business, in a lot of cases, it is increasing business because those who don't want to smell like an ashtray at the end of a night are actually going out, they aren't being affected by the pain to their eyes with the smoke. I have had the fortune to visit two of the places listed, and it made my night a lot lot better not having that stench on my clothes, I ended up staying longer in the bar/pub, because I didn't have to get away from the smoke.

This idea of allowing people to ruin others health, is not on anymore, and people are sick of it. It would help if London Underground would enforce their ban on smoking, instead of just making an announcement on the tube saying it isn't allowed to smoke, how about throwing the people out of the station, especially as these people seem to forget what happen at Kings Cross in the 80s

So please mayor Ken, act without the government, and ban smoking in public places, like bars/pubs/clubs, restaurants.

To the CBI, Digby Jones and other supporters of long hour culture

This study was done very recently in America of all places, the land where working long hours is seen as a good thing.

Long working hours 'health risk'

Why, when we have repeated studies like this, that people like Digby Jones and others who have the wonderful idea that we should have a long hours culture, not read research which clearly shows the dangers of working long hours, and they even support the initiative for a max of 48 hour week. I am not surprised.

When will companies realise that working people to beyond normal capability isn't good for the staff's health, the good of their business, and the burden on the welfare state, because these people end up very ill, costing a lot of money to the state, through time off, through therapy, and a lack of productivity.

I am very fortunate it seems that I have a 35 hour week, and if I ever decide to move on, I will simply not work for a company that expects a 40-50 hour week, because it doesn't mean more work gets done. Productivity is highest when you have fewer hours, as workers are fresher, on the ball more, and less mistakes are then made as well. The Europeans have got this right, they know the benefits of having their staff not work too many hours.

So hopefully the likes of Digby Jones and others like him, will realise that if an American study says it is bad, and from the land that will do all it can to make people work too many hours, and be detrimental to someone's health, that there is some understanding there is a person in the work process, not a machine.

Sad death of Synth pioneer - Dr.Moog

Today it was announced that Moog has died.

A lot of the music I listen to had it roots in those pioneers of synths, so many bands of the 80s wouldn't have existed and so many of them would have had to use different instruments. A lot of the bands of the 60s were big users of his machines to name a couple the beatles, the beach boys, the doors, etc.

Synthesiser pioneer Dr Moog dies

I am sure many many others can list all the bands of the 80s that used synths so heavily that, that was all they were to some extent. But long live the synth, and I am a big fan of the electro music that came from synths.

A Review of Goldfrapp - Supernature

I got this today, pre-ordered it and it arrived today which I am very happy about. I was wondering if it would meet the standard of the previous one, and overall I have to say I do so far prefer Black Cherry.

Supernature is a good album, don't misunderstand, especially if you like electro-pop music. Well that is what I would class it as, and I believe others do. The album rolls along very quickly and before you know it, it is finished, very unexpectedly.

The only thing I didn't like about the album, was the fact that I had to install software to play it on my machine, I find that really bad. Why should I have to install software to play it on my PC, it should just play straight out.

Otherwise, I would say if you liked Black Cherry, then get hold of supernature and give it a good listening to. I believe you will enjoy it

Friday, August 19, 2005

Change to Holiday plans

Sadly my holiday plans took a less than happy turn. I am not off to Malta, much to my sadness, as F, my friend I was supposed to be staying with has been taken quite ill and has had to go into hospital for an operation.

F isn't well at all, and this operation is urgent and of course, despite my sadness at not being able to catch up now, the main thing is that F is well. We looked at other dates, but the alternatives clash with my work commitments, never thought I would say that 6 months ago, lol.

It is a grand shame, as it has been a while since I had the chance to catch up with F, and doing so in the sunny climate of Malta was something I was looking forward to. I am sure now that I am back working there will be more opportunities to catch up with F. With F's birthday approaching as well, it was really going to be a good chance to have a laugh.

Well F, take care of yourself, keep your strength to recover, and we will just to have to organize another time, and I will be able to catch up then, and to my knowledge Malta won't run away, so I can see you in the near future, I am sure of it

I am still going to be taking the time off work, take a well needed break and take it easy, well I say that, but with my OU coming to a close in the next month or so, I need to focus on the exams and the last of the assignments, so I will probably be working, but not my usual case of work, plus I guess I have to try and get the house ready for when Z turns up on the 28th

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Tube damages your health

MP3 users hearing damage warning

This report has been on the BBC website and in the evening standard. Well I have to say it makes me laugh, because for one it is like ‘No Shit Sherlock’ and then they come up with daft things like, that people have their headphones too loud and that is the reason for damaging the hearing. If you look at the list below, and tell me that those living in London don't suffer an assault on their ears each day, not of their doing.

They even list decibel levels as such

20dB – Quiet room at night
70dB – a city street
90dB – Tube Train
90-105dB - Nightclub
100dB - iPod at full volume
110dB - pneumatic drill
125dB - rock concert
130dB - aeroplane taking off
140dB - threshold of pain

Then they say that ‘80 decibels as the level at which hearing is threatened - 20 less than a pneumatic drill.’ Well if you look at the list, the tube train is higher than the level when hearing is threatened, and given most people spend anywhere between 1hr to 3/4 hours a day on the tube, for those who commute, what that does say, when they are saying that iPods are damaging the hearing with use of an hour a day. What it says is that the tube is damaging peoples hearing and unless something is done, nothing will ever change.

This research makes me laugh because they focus on things like iPods, etc which people use to enjoy music and then saying people turn them up to try and drown out the unpleasant noise from traffic and on the Tube. Well when you look at the list are you bloody surprised. Maybe for those who live in London, this will point out just how bad the Tube is for your health, and that doesn’t include all the dust that is going into your lungs and chest when you are down there.

Suggesting people listen responsibly, is all well and good, but when like me you spend 2 hours a day travelling a tube that is supposedly threatening what little hearing I have left, and I don’t listen to a walkman, that says the tube needs to be sorted out.

Follow up on the NHS complaint to Northwick Park Hospital

Shock and horror, I actually got a response to my email I sent them on Tuesday, which surprised me no end. Not a full response, but to say that they are looking into it. It is below.

Dear xxxxxx

Thank you very much for your e-mail. I was very sorry to learn that you haven encountered such problems with your referral and I have passed your concerns on to xxxxxx, General Manager for our Cardiology department in order that they can investigate these issues. Please note that we aim to respond to complaints within 20 working days of receipt and as soon and as soon as our investigation has been completed our Chief Executive, xxxxxxxx, will respond to you.

You can of course write to xxxxxxx at the following address:

Level 5
Admin Block
Northwick Park Hospital

In addition, you are most welcome to contact the Complaints department on telephone number xxx xxxx xxxx or if you would prefer independent advice you may contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) on xxxx xxx xxxx.

I hope this is of some help. I am very sorry that your experience of Northwick Park Hospital was not a good one but I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us as patient feedback is most helpful to us in the improvement of our services.

Yours sincerely


Well I have to say it stunned me, I never expected to get this and I have to say I am happy that at least it is in the pipeline. I will of course be fair and give them the 20 working days from today, which means if I haven’t heard by the 19th September, then I am going to be back at their door giving them what for.

I have to admit, I can’t imagine what they can say that will appease my frustration and anger, but I have to I suppose give them the chance to respond.

This will continue to be ongoing, watch out for more reports.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Scary news for those who use North West London Hospitals NHS trust

This is information that was recently posted by the healthcare commission and was also published in the newspapers in the national media, so maybe already seen, but for those who live in North West London and use the hospitals in the area, of which Northwick Park Hospital is one of them, this will make very uncomfortable reading.

Healthcare commission report 2005 for North West London Hospitals NHS trust

Star Rating for the North West London Hospitals NHS trust 2005

There shows in these reports just how bad things are, and to make matters worse they are extremely dismissive of patient compliants. The defintion of compliants by the commission - Percentage of written complaints for which a local resolution was completed within 20 working days.This indicator shows how well the NHS is performing in meeting targets set for the local resolution stage of the NHS complaints procedure. And they score 1, which is Significantly below average, oh my. I can see my letter disappearing and never being found, just like the 24 hour tape data.

The management in charge of this trust, should be sacked en mass, and a new set of people found who will actually do what they are employed for, making sure patients are seen quickly, with little or no fuss, and make sure the patients get better where possible, instead of having them wait in excess of the time the government sets as the worse case scenario waiting time. Remember this is a trust that sends out letters to people asking if they still want the surgery which they have been waiting in excess of 9 months for, so they can try and reduce the waiting list.

If anyone from that trust by chance ever reads this, maybe they can say why the trust is sinking fast and up shit creek without a paddle.

Letter of complaint to Northwick Park Hospital

Well I have written it, my letter of compliant to Northwick Park Hospital. I am sure that nada will get done, and if by some amazing miracle I actually get a response, I will be posting it here so that if anyone is interested they can see what feeble excuse they come up with.

This is what I have sent to them tonight, and lets see what gets said.

I am writing to complain about the extremely poor service given to me at Northwick Park Hospital (NPH). I am absolutely disgusted with the service.

I have been seeing a cardiologist and in January 2005 I was told by them that I would be immediately referred to the Chelsea and Westminster because my problem is urgent, and that they needed to find out why I was suffering blackouts with no explanation.

Well that was January 2005, I found out yesterday that despite it being urgent, the letter was dictated in January 2005 and marked as urgent, it was typed in July 2005. It was deemed okay not to even type the letter for 6 months let alone send it to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital. They of course booked me in ASAP, whereas NPH couldn't even be bothered to type a referral letter to ensure that my health is taken care of.

I am absolutely disgusted, and many other choices of words that would be impolite to type. How is something that is clearly stated as urgent, left for 6 months. I shudder to think what non-urgent means at NPH.

This goes along with the complete and utter farce that meant I had to wait 2+ years from breaking my wrist to actually having an operation to have it fixed and right now I am having to go through all the physiotherapy whereas it should have been done in the beginning if someone had decided to actually make sure that patient health was important.

I would really like to know why I had to wait so long for a referral, one would think you would be aiming to get me pushed elsewhere to save you money. And why is it that your staff also managed to lose a 24 hour tape test for cardiology, forcing me to have to do another one.

This smacks of sheer incompetency, short sightedness, and downright disregard for a patients health. Nothing about this is right and I am really hoping you are able to come with a logical response, because other than actually sacking incompetent management I don't see how else this can be resolved, other than maybe hire more admin staff to ensure that letters are typed up. That would be a novel idea.

I would also like the name and address of the chief of staff, to make a formal complaint, as I feel this matter is obviously not something that NPH seem to be interested in dealing with.

As you can see I held back from really taking a shot at them.

I will also post in another entry just how bad the healthcare commission rated NPH and the trust it is part of, scary reading for those who are in North West London like myself. Remember that the commission is a governmental body too.

Blog Depression

No, I am not depressed, but I saw an entry on another blog and it caught my attention, well a title like blog depression is bound to isn't it?

Blog Depression

I have to say there have been days, where I wonder if I get time to blog and if I really feel up to blogging. This blog is meant to be fun, as well my take on the world, and if it gets peoples attention all the better, and if others feel like taking what I say and using it themselves or feel a connection to it, that is even better, as it means I am not the only one who sees the world in the way I do.

When I started this blog, it was with the intention to show one Londoners view of London and the everyday life of said Londoner, as well as showing the trials, tribulations, joys, pleasures a deaf person in London gets, the highs and the lows. I feel that I get that out sometimes, other times not, I guess my mind is so full of stuff, it would be easier to download it, if my fingers were fast enough, but obviously ones aren't, plus I have no desire to attached to my computer 24/7, maybe a few years back, but I can and intend to enjoy more of my life than that.

There is more in my life than I can ever manage to blog about, and I hope the snippets I give of my mind make others laugh, or cry even if the subject matters needs it.

I will let the blog ebb and flow as it grows, it has been about 6 months now, and I feel this blog is like a good book you like that you go back to again and again to connect with. Just like friends you don't see for a while and when you do, it is like you only saw them yesterday.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Another NHS complaint

For those who don’t want to read a rant on the bullshit of the NHS, skip this blog entry and please go and read something else. This entry will highlight the lunacy that exists in the system and the complete lack of improvement in over 8 years of a supposedly left leaning government who supposedly believe in the NHS.

Today has proved itself to be a day where I have seen the worse of the NHS and the best, and I thought I had seen the worse having to wait for two years for an operation for a busted wrist. This day will prove just how bad things are getting and we are due for a lot lot worse and I rue the day this incumbent bunch of morons in the government were allowed to run the country.

I had three hospital appointments today, one for my ears to keep a check on them to ensure I don’t ever suffer a chloesteatoma again like I did 6 years ago, something I never want to go through again. Another was for a cardiology appointment to find out why I suffering blackouts and dizzy spells for no none reason, and the last one was for new hearing aids.

Well the first one went okayish, I usually see them every 3 months and managed to push that out to 6 months because sorting out time through work isn’t easy to do especially when the specialist is only available on a Monday morning in the week. Though they left me running to a very close deadline, I was given the all clear, and given a backup in case of emergencies, incase of an ear infection, so I was very happy with their can do attitude.

Onto the second appointment, having to get half way across London, which anyone who knows, that isn’t easy to do at anytime of the day, but especially at lunchtime, when people seem to just congregate in places, that you don’t expect. Thankfully I made it to the Chelsea and Westminster (C+W). Well I have to say I was very impressed by them, they showed me a side of the NHS I generally never see and they were very helpful. I did have to wait over an hour from the time of my appointment, but given that this appointment had been a very quickly arranged appointment because of my problems with blackouts, etc. I wasn’t too unhappy about it.

My anger and frustration boiled over when I saw the specialist though, it transpires that my local hospital – Northwick Park Hospital (NPH), saw it fit after the cardiologist saw me there in January to refer me to C+W as an urgent case, so far so good, but it took NPH 6 months to write the referral letter to C+W. 6 months, the specialist themselves was astounded that a case that is so urgent could be left. He blames the admin of NPH, which doesn’t surprise me, the trust that NPH is part of is millions and millions in debt, what the hell, just how, what are they doing to accrue that much debt and they also dropped in the governmental ratings. Well duh, if the services aren’t being provided, then of course it will happen.

Waiting 2 years for surgery, waiting 9 months to see a specialist for cardiology, the list goes on, I know many people who are suffering at the hands of incompetancy. Whoever is in charge, seriously needs to be fired and thrown out now, and get this situation fixed, they are even close to reaching targets and are running the place into the ground.

The specialist did his best to apologise for NPH, despite the fact it wasn’t his problem, and I have spent the last 6 months being left in limbo by a hospital that shows it doesn’t even know how to do the basics, like send referrals. You would think they would do this fast, as it means someone else is paying for it, and not them, oh no. This is the same hospital that made me do a 24 hour tape test twice, because they lost the original results. Like I say needs to be shot. And yes I will be making a complaint as advised by this specialist, and if I do ever get a letter of response I will be posting it and I am less than impressed by NPH, so it is going to take a lot to fix this.

Thankfully I am now more likely to get the situation resolved now being part of C+W for the tests I need, something I have relief over, and instead of waiting up to 9 months like before for tests, it should take no more than 2 months, and to me that is f**king fast, so hats off to C+W to doing a good job, only wish I had such a decent hospital near to me.

After leaving that hospital I then had to go and get my new hearing aids, well, thank you Royal Free, I have to say I am not impressed by your actions. I go along expecting new aids, and it seems the mistakes made two weeks ago, where you deemed the aids I was going to have weren’t the right ones, so you suggested these others, well these others were even less powerful than I have, so what on earth were you thinking. Come on, get with the plot. It was only rescued by the fact the principal audiologist whom I know after repeated visits was shocked to see me, and corrected the complete and utter bulls up. The hearing aids I am supposed to have aren’t even in yet, so a completely utter wasted journey, yet again, two in two weeks, getting good aren’t we eh?

Oh, I ain’t finished yet, a bombshell was dropped, well I say bombshell other might not say so, but as the Royal Free is suffering money problems as well as NPH is, they are making cutbacks, and lo and behold where are some of the cutbacks coming – audiology. Great, just what I need, to be told that if I get these aids and there are problems I might not be able to get ones that I can hear with. Well just f**king great. It is bad enough that for the past 3+ months I have suffering aids where I can’t hear with, which is useless, and not exactly helping with work. It doesn’t make me look clever and it certainly doesn’t endear my new company to me at all. What I also didn’t like is the fact that if the aids breakdown I am screwed basically. They won’t give me spares, and so if they breakdown and with my bad luck with aids, as they always breakdown, I am forever going to be going back and to, and what makes it worse I won’t have a cover aid whilst it is sent off for repair. For a deaf person, the hearing aids allow me to have some chance of communication with the ‘normal’ world, and without hearing I am more susceptible to being injured, suffer problems, as you would expect with someone who can’t hear. Their response to my request, no chance pal, you have to lump it. Well thank you, you caring people!!!!!

I only hope that when I have to go back next week, that they actually have the aids in, and I won’t be forced into a third wasted journey.

I am looking forward to blasting the NPH, and I look forward to seeing what bullshit they manage to pull out of their fat f**king behind as an excuse.

And I apologise to those reading this whom didn’t like the strong language, but when you have repeatedly suffered this, you begin to get less able to withhold it, through the sheer frustration, and yes I found out my blood pressure is excessively high for the first time in my life, and you wonder why.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


You can tell I watch and pay too much attention to the adverts. I have noticed two adverts have had fairly major changes to the voiceovers.

The first is Churchill, and I know they did it because Vic Reeves got in trouble driving, so they dropped him for it, which I suppose is fair enough given that when you are advertising car insurance, you do kind of want the person doing the voiceover to not be been arrested for driving. But the person they replaced him with, boy they sound crap, I haven’t been able to figure out who it is, but they really don’t sound right at all. Like I said, I think I pay too much attention to adverts.

The second advert is pepperami, now obviously this was going to change, with the sad death of John Peel who did one part of the voiceover. The other one was Adrian Edmondson being the pepperami. Though I never actually bought the product, I do recall this advert a lot, in the various guises it came in, always with Ade basically re-enacting his Vyvyan role with the screaming and shouting. I am not sure who they replaced them both with, but it is no longer a pepperami advert to me, it is seems totally ruined. You expect to hear Ade and John, okay John can’t do it now, as such, but isn’t there such a thing as using the voice and paying his estate for the use of it. It is attached to them both, so you would think they would keep it as such.

I am sure there are many other adverts that have changed their voiceovers in the years, these are just the two I noticed, maybe I should get away from the TV when the adverts on more often…….

Channel 4 showing Lost

Still haven’t yet been able to blog as regularly as I would like. I thought that with summer coming I would maybe have more time, not a chance in hell. I seem to have less time, and it is like get up in the morning, go to work, come home, cook, and then do some more work for my OU degree, and then literally bed. One damn boring lifestyle at the moment, but with my hand, I can only do so much, bloody frustrating, and I am off at the end of next week and sunny Malta here I come.

A couple of things that I wanted to mention from the last week, I am sure there are more, but memory is crap right now. I am sure I will forget my name and where I work if this continues.

Firstly, for those who haven’t seen it, you are missing a great programme. It started last night, it is called Lost, and channel 4 are showing it. - Lost

If you missed it, you best start catching up soon, this programme is one of the US’s great exports, very well done, good storyline, and good characters. I know I am going to miss one when I am away as I am sure that Malta isn’t showing this, and if it does, I am betting it will be in Italian as 50% of their TV is in Italian, and I don’t get a word of it.

I am glad Channel 4 have picked this up, I think they have made a good choice and apparently 6 million of us in the UK seem to agree, so that says well done Channel 4.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Off on holiday soon

I am off on holiday soon, to go and visit an old friend of mine in Malta. I am overdue a break, the last one I had was NY last September and that wasn’t a trip that went well. I know when I am out in Malta, I will probably suffer from the heat quite badly, being a real Englishman, who is quite pale, one isn’t very well built for the Med. Everytime I went before I ended up quite lobster red, and looking very bright red, you could literally feel the heat coming off me. Summer wardrobe needs a serious update, but there isn’t time and maybe looking like a tourist, people might take pity on me ;o))

I do like Malta, I really do, the people tend to be very friendly, and when I had been there previously I always enjoyed it. It helps they speak English as well, given I am terribly with foreign languages. But it is a much needed break and it will be nice to catch up with an old friend.

New Housemate

I am soon to get a new housemate, my beloved Z has agreed to move in, which is good news for me, less travelling to see her, just turn over in bed and there she will be….

Right now she is home visiting family and friends in Slovakia, and at the end of the month, she moves in, and for the first time in over four years I will be sharing my place with someone, which is quite daunting, as I am so used to my own space, it will feel very alien, while at the same time is progress in the relationship. At the moment, it is texts between us, and no emails, Slovakia I don’t think is quite as connected to the Internet as we are in the UK are. Though they are apparently ahead of us, in the uptake of the EURO as they will be joining in 2008, about 100 years before we will in the UK!!! I know Z is enjoying herself, she is off to Poland next week, been picking and preserving blueberries, and having a good time, very pleased for her, I know when she gets back, it will be hard work for her, she wants to be a stewardess and with 5 languages under her belt, I can see she stands a good chance. So I might be going out with a trolley dolly ;o)))

I will have had a month to get used to someone elses stuff in my place, and it is odd, but it actually feels more cramped than ever before and that is with a 3 bed house. Now I am not large, just so so used now to all the space. I did live at home with my folks when I was younger and there was five of us in that house for a long time, how we did it, I have no idea, and I could never imagine ever again having all my possessions in one little room, of 10ft by 10ft.

Work - Two months in

I have now been at work for just two months, seems a lot longer, but I am slowly getting there, what surprised me this week, was that I got a call from a head-hunter for another role, with a company that is absolutely massive, very well known and a leader in its field.

The timing is all so wrong, but I am to be kept on the books for a later date should I change my mind. I need more time with my current place, they are a good bunch of people no doubting it, and it is taking time, but I am getting more settled, so I want to see how it goes. I have to say, it was tempting, especially with the prospect of another 6K on top of what I already get. I seem to be getting more enquiries now, than I was before and I am doing nada for it either, so either there is something going around and the market is struggling and they are looking at those who were looking previously, or maybe my boss has been putting me out to tender prior to the 3 month notice period, I hope not……..

Phonak Smart Link

Hopefully soon I will be getting a Phonak Smart Link and Telcom System, through Access to Work and it will supposedly allow me to hear better, especially on the phone, with loop systems, hear TVs better, through speakers, mobiles, etc. I have my fingers crossed it will be fitted soon, though with going away I imagine later, but anything that allows me to hear better has to be a better thing. I have read about it and it sounds like it will do me good, I can only hope, these days I am missing so much, and it is like my ears are determined to make me suffer more than I have in the past. It is supposed to be the best on the market, so I can only hope it matches the hype.
Too many times I have been given the promise of technology giving me all I couldn't have and I am sceptical because of it, but if this can help in even the smallest amount, then I stand a chance of being able to keep up with all the others.

Wrist issues

Please remember this is a family viewing site, and so no funny jokes about the Gold Blend shake....

My wrist is slowly getting back to normal, still having to do a lot of exercises, plenty of physiotherapy work, which is damn boring and frustrating to do. Still no weight work and it is nearly 3 months since the operation and to not have movement that I want from it, is annoying. Which makes the wait for the operation for over 2 years all the more pissy as this should and could have been sorted out a lot earlier, especially seeing it was my livelihood at sake, nothing major, just a little thing like being able to work and work to full capacity, something you would imagine that would be preferred by this government who reckons anyone who isn’t working 60 hours a week, as workshy.

More NHS joy

This will make a lot of people laugh I am sure of it. I had an appointment with the NHS for new hearing aids this week, when I turned up, the person seeing me wasn’t sure why I was there, it took a conversation with me to explain I was due to be fitted with new aids, and then the conversation took a great turn, I think not. They then decided not to fit me with the ones that they were supposed to, but fit me with ones that were newer and supposedly better suited to my loss, but the catch was, they couldn’t do it that day, because they didn’t have the stock that day, but will in a couple of weeks, so I have to go back another day. Right, how hard would have this been to call me, find out exactly was meant to be done, save me a trip across town, trying to get through a police blockade at Kings Cross because of a fire on a bus, to tell me that come back another day. Someone else could have had the appointment or time could have been saved for myself and the audiologist. Go figure, and why does the NHS have last appointments at 4pm and start at 9.30 at most places, do they not think most people work, and getting time off work isn’t the easiest thing to do, and especially for those of us, who need regular appointments for aids, ears, etc, and having a busted wrist doesn’t help.

Government backdown and spin

Today, I saw that Tony McNulty, a minister for the Home Office, admitted that they oversold the ID cards, no apology for the serious amount of spin, but admitted to the Fabian society that the government overspun it. Well newsflash, don’t think this is over, they are just changing tack. This government is determined to remove as much civil liberty as possible, point in case being drafting a law to try and remove Brain Haw from infront of the commons, what a joke, and then the judges found it didn’t apply, because of the wording of the law. You got to love this government, it really enjoys drafting laws, as it has drawn up more legislation than any other has, and for what, I don’t see any improvement.

Another spin by our beloved government, might as well have my say before they remove free speech for good. The NHS is supposedly getting better, and there are only apparently pockets that aren’t performing, let me tell you 2 years for an operation to fix a bust wrist, isn’t a working system. 2 years to get hearing aids, and then they don’t even work properly, 6+ months to tell another hospital that there is an urgent referral, mmm, my god that must have been bloody urgent. The person suffers from blackouts, and the cardiologist at their local says that they will refer to another hospital straight away, that was in Jan, the letter wasn’t sent until July, whereby the other hospital then books straight away, If that is urgent I hate to see non-urgent, what 5 years. Tony Blair, your government is so up its own ass, and has only continued to destroy the fabric of this country, and you make Mrs.T look like a pussycat.

Latest with the Tube

It is good to see the Tube completely up and running again, with a complete service running, until the next delay or suspect package…. I jest, well no I don’t but, those who travel the Tube will know what I mean. There are still a lot of police on the tube, and being honest it doesn’t make me feel safer, it actually makes me wonder who is covering what they were covering, I bet all the crims are rubbing their hands in glee at all the focus on terrorists, well so called terrorists.

One thing I have to say, which might not suit some, is this lot are a lot less scary than the IRA were, the IRA really went for it, repeatedly, not like this lot, not that I wish them to do so, but their attempts haven’t made me less likely to travel although apparently it is stopping about 450,000 a day using the tube, not that I notice in rush hour to be honest. I will feel happier when the police aren’t there anymore, it will mean normality has returned, and the terrorists have lost, right now, they have changed the majorities daily life, and thus they have won. The sooner we get back to the real norm the better.

The tube is whether we like it or not, the lifeline of London, it allows the workers to go to work, it allows London to party as well. Such much rides on a good service, and that it is why it is important that it runs well, which never made sense why the government sold Londoners short with the PPP system for the Tube.

It has been a while

This has been for a lot of reasons, mainly due to a lack of time, one which I haven’t managed to resolve lately, and there has been so many things I wanted to blog about and put my two pence into.

A number of posts will follow, which might not be in order, but they are from the same day, not all I want to cover, but hopefully you all will see the new content, hopefully I can get back into doing this more regularly.