NHS please be a bit better next time.

I need to blow off steam and I am sorry blog with my housemates away I am going to take it out on you.

So today, I visited the hospital with my Nan who is very dear to me. We were seeing a neurology specialist about a rare brain tumour  called a Cavernous Angioma which we had been vaguely told she has.

As we sat down to see the neurology specialist and very quickly we were told that Queen Elizabeth Hospital had lost her MRI and CT scan which originally alerted medical staff to the tumour. So this means my frail Nan may have to come from her care home in Dartford to Holborn in London to have another scan.

My Nan as we suspected previously and had pretty much confirmed to us today has some form of dementia. Now this is where things get really frustrating. Since losing the ability to look after herself and spending a spell in hospital last year, I have been constantly trying to get her diagnosed with dementia by the local memory clinic in Dartford at Darent Valley. But they refuse to see her citing her Cavernous Angioma and saying is causing her hallunciations and confusion.

The neurology surgeon today was able to tell us that unless the tumour is huge, it would be incredibly rare for it alone to cause the confusion. And that in all likeliness dementia is the key factor contributing her illness.

When I was pressing the Doctor to ensure she can now finally see the dementia specialist and get the therapy and medication she needs. He said he can’t necessarily make that happen as different trusts have different approaches to this. I asked him to include this suggestion in his letter which seemed like the only thing I could do.

I just feel so frustrated all we want is clear communication and diagnosis about her conditions. But 8 months later we still haven’t got there.

I feel sorry for my Nan she is a kind wonderful person and although she doesn’t say the same things she used to I still love her very much and she deserves respect and the best care the NHS can provide.

I still believe the NHS is an amazing institution full of hard working talented people. But I feel like because my Nan is in a care home and doesn’t fall into a pre defined box the health service isn’t doing enough for her.

Sorry blog and the NHS I do still love you and respect the work you do. But can you please just try and be a little less rubbish next time we meet.

Cycle for London

Cycle For London (Toxic Fumes London)

If you are a Londoner it is more than likely at some point you have experienced the morning sardine run to work on the Tube, personally I am still scared by my 9 months of northern line hell whilst living in Chalk Farm.

This year I have started cycling to work and it is great, not only do I get to take some excerise keeping the doctor happy but  I am able to get around faster and carbon free, so lots of green karma points for me.

Most people I speak to like the idea of cycling but they feel intimidated by London’s frankly crazy traffic and lack of designated cycling lanes. Despite high profile media stunts around cycling TFL continue to allow our roads to be dominated by polluting vehicles, putting toxic fumes before cycling lanes.

Well we have a plan to tell TFL that our roads can’t take no more, next Thursday 22nd at 8 am, join me Climate Rush and other London cycling campaigns for an early-morning bike ride followed by a TFL roadblock.

Meet at 8am on the North side of Blackfriars Bridge before we make our way to TfL HQ..

Find out more by visiting the Climate Rush website

1989 and the BackSeat HeartBeats

I was going to rant on about Rupert Murdoch and his control of the UK media and how his influence is a stain on modern society, but then I realised it had already been covered in this great article by Henry Porter and Will Hutton in the Guardian.

Therefore I thounght I would blog on something else close to my heart which is music and especially that of a grunge/experimental genre. Before anyone mentions it, I don’t just like plaid shirts and cardigans looking like something dragged out the cupboard of Kurt Cobain, the truth is I love the music with a passion.

So I was delighted when recently had the pleasure of being introduced to a new band called BackSeat HeartBeats, the bassist Gemma played a gig for me in a previous rip roaring grunge band, so I was expecting great things and this band really delivers them. The BackSeat HeartBeats throw me into a world of Kevin Shields, in a guitar battle with Thurston Moore with both competing to come out on top in each song, it almost feel like a Jedi sword fight between guitar heroes. The undercurrents of Hints of Jesus Mary Chain flow through the songs, giving them a great melody before you are hit with broadside of distortion and string bending highly reminiscent of Sonic Youth circa Sister. The vocals rarely rise above the pounding guitars although this is no band thing; they carry a hint of mystery and danger which fits perfectly with their sound. In my opinion this is a band for anyone who wants a ride on the experimental grunge express the problem is you may not want to get off.

Personally I am aboard the BackSeat Heatbeat express with my ticket in hand, a flannel shirt, a slightly dodgy haircut and another recession on the horizon, feels like 1989, except for the fact I am not 5 years old.

The BackSeat HeartBeats have a fabulous new website and are playing dates in London during the next few weeks, make sure you go and check them out.


The way we were video