March update

I haven’t written in a while, life has been mainly preoccupied with work and recovering from falling out of my wheelchair and damaging my head.
A few visits to Stoke Mandeville to talk to patients at “patients and relatives day”, most recently I saw a guy called Dan Eley who was flown back from Columbia. Dan has a great attitude despite being in a difficult situation with a nasty bedsore, ventilator and nasogastric tube. He can’t get up and has to lie flat but seems to have great support and a brilliant outlook.
I also met the family of Ben who is in rehab at Stoke and it’s great to see such good support networks.
There should be a little article about the Sweden trip in the Sunday Times tomorrow (14th of March).
Unfortunately I have lost or will be losing all my good regular PAs, so it is back to the drawing board to find new regular PAs.Vicci,Candice and Sarah have been incredible supportive PAs enabling me to live my life with enjoyment for the last six months. I am very grateful to them, and would not have been able to be anywhere near as productive or safe and healthy without them. It was a pleasure working with them.
Ellen and her mum Mandy are off to South America (Brazil) today for a couple of weeks to see Ellen’s sister Louise. I am obviously slightly jealous and I’m sure there will have an amazing time (I think there are going to be watching Buena vista social club tonight live on the beach.)
Hope everyone else is well, lots of love.T

4 thoughts on “March update”

  1. Hi Tom
    I just checked up on your doings and was glad to see some more news – but not so happy to know that you’d injured yourself falling out of the wheelchair. I’m really sorry about that and hope you’re feeling OK now, and that it didn’t mess up your work schedule too badly.
    I hope you’ve got some treats lined up while Ellen is away – I can imagine how much you’ll miss her and be thinking about what she’s doing. Among my almost entirely classical collection of CDs, I have the Buena Vista Social Club album and it is so joyful.
    With love

  2. Hey Tom,

    I had a dream about you last night… nothing weird, but it made me realise how much I miss you and Ellen. Good luck with finding some great new PAs. I wish I could come back for a little while. I did try at the beginning of the year, but Active wouldn’t sponsor my work permit as they thought that I didn’t have enough qualifications to qualify for one. I put off starting my nursing degree until next year so this year I’m working to save money for travel and the wedding and I’ll decide about being a student again later.

    Luv ya,
    Rach xx

  3. Tom

    Catching up with your news today. a great variety of posts ranging from the poetic ” that is the question ” to the ski slope activites and now news of people changes. In all I hear your self reflection and then absorption and moving on.

    I had a great month in Laos and re touched my Buddhist base. I tried to send you a card. Here Spring arrived on its official date March 21 and a week later the ice on the Lake has melted and the garden is snow free and crocusi blooming.

    I hope by now Ellen is back with you and refreshed . Love to her and Mandy and of course yourself.

  4. Dear Tom,
    Happy Easter – though the weather isn’t the lovely combination of cool brightness which casts such interesting shadows on the trees before the buds and leaves burst out. It is cold and wet. May I come and visit sometime soon?
    I was worried to read that you fell out and hurt your head. That must have been frightening to everyone concerned not the least yourself. I hope that it didn’t disturb the metal work in your neck and that you are getting better.
    I guess that being a PA requires changes of scenes to keep the job on the go but it is sad and difficult for you to change everyone at once. I hope the process of recruitment introduces you to a new set of feisty people. I guess that if only people did not have to be well and specially trained there would be a constant stream of young people from abroad interested in this experience of the UK through your eyes.
    I am just back from Chennai and Bangalore. In Chennai I was part of a project researching growing old in slums and made a presentation on the link between Wall Street’s oligopoly and the Chennai slums. It was extremely hot and humid and despite being in an IIT my mobile and laptop didn’t connect!
    In Bangalore I was with three sets of friends I made in 1973. One set have retired from a life abroad in an early Indian multinational and are devoting themselves to disabled people. I saw two campuses – one which had a good school for children and a training centre for adults and the second which was a lush and peaceful horticultural farm with very beautiful modern brick and tile buildings. Everyone I met had that positive attitude you describe. I met a wonderful person called Hema who had polio as an adolescent and has been in a wheel chair for over 50 years whose brainchild the farm is. She is currently campaigning against procrastination and corruption in the bureaucracy which mean that even if you have painfully raised the funds for something good for lots of disabled people, you cannot realise your dream.

    Our news is that Elinor and Alistair are going to move to a little terrace house on Osney Island after that horrible winter being iced up in their narrow boat on the Oxford canal without clean water for weeks at a time. And Kaveri yesterday got permission from the UK Home Office to marry Ayaz who of course is regarded as an alien since he comes from Pakistan. The registration will be in late April and the real wedding over there in late summer.
    Lots of love to all your family from us all, Barbara

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