Archive for October, 2007

RSI Is hell

Today I woke up in a lot of pain, which has not abated yet despite getting towards the end of the working day. Not that I’m actually working at the moment, but I want to be if all goes well. I would like to do some freelancing work though I have not started yet. I am waiting to find out from the employer more specific details and a start date before I can possibly proceed.

The history is that I tried to start back in almost full time employment with a local company working at their premises, but for various health related reasons which was making some aspects of the work extremely painful, we muturally agreed that I should leave and move to a freelancing basis; working partly from home and occassionally on site. Working from home would suit me since I will be able to spread the workload over a longer period and use my extremely modified work station.

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to sort out what insurances and responsibilities I will have been a freelance tax status. Freelancing in the information technology sector is not as simple as just turning up to do the work as there is IR 35 to consider for every job you do. Bizarrely, I would be more exposed to IR35 as a limited company working with a single client than a freelancer in the same position. The Inland Revenue has assured me that the IR35 regulations won’t apply to me and thus I should be able to avoid such complications. IR35 was set up to combat people that worked for a single client via a limited company and then to avoid tax they paid themselves largely using dividends. If you have more than one client at a time then a limited company is the best way to go. There is though very little tax advantage or purpose that this for me.

I have been looking at a number of different insurance companies to and it’s surprising the range of services and prices available on the marketplace. Some of them are so highly priced that it would be almost completely possible to start up as my cash flow is limited. The best cover appears to be available from hiscox but prices vary wildly from broker to broker, depending on the amount to cover needed. Even public liability insurance with one broker is double the price with another who use the same underwriter! I don’t understand why this such a massive difference when it’s exactly the same policy — someone is profiteering here!

I looked at other underwriters to; AXA being one. They do look cheap but there is a substantial amount of bad press associated with this company and its put me off dealing with them. Brokers like the AA use AXA for different insurance types and reading customer reviews there does seem to be an underlying problem with them paying out ever! This story on the Internet of a woman who had AXA insurance which refused to pay out on a damaged gear box for two years and as a result of delays in the van in question was stuck in garage and had totalled £3000 worth of storage fees whilst the claim was being argued about. There was some iffy behaviour from the insurance company which isn’t the sort of people I want to deal with.

I do think some brokers see a new business as an opportunity to over sell to and really bump up the prices to where it would become a complete waste of time actually starting a business. I don’t have huge amounts of money to burn on this and I’m not going to start a business until I actually have work to do.

I saw a new doctor last Monday that my local GP practice and I can say without doubt that it was the most useful appointment I have had in a long time. The doctor had also suffered from repetitive strain for a long time and had come through all the treatment options available under the NHS and many that weren’t. She advised me to stay away from the things she tried as they only made her worse or no better. Instead, the doctors suggested I should try modern pilates as it was the only thing that has helped her to recover. I cannot afford to do this and the moment as I am waiting to sort out my employment situation as you cannot pay for expensive consultations without money in the private healthcare sector.

So, where I am at the moment is that I have a company name which is unique, I have identified an appropriate level of insurance and selected the right broker, and I am ready to start.


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Today I went for a quick walk down to Beeston Weir and along the Trent towards where Boots and turning down to where Clifton Bridge is by the Trent. Some parts of the walk is right next to the River using both official footpaths and fishermen trails. Just after reaching Boots, we turn off back towards the Trent up a tarmac road next to a amateur football club. Looking up this road, as the sun is setting I always gets a good picture:


Eventually this road lead back to underneath Clifton Bridge which crosses the Trent. From this point on, we walked up stream and passing the back of the football Club. Actually whilst looking back I spotted a strange cloud formation – Virtual cloud is something I haven’t seen to often.


I would what causes this? Is it exhaust from an aeroplane?

Anyway, we followed the trail back along the River until we reached Beeston Weir again before heading back to the Car. We arrived back home at a reasonable time and amazingly dry for once. I normally get wet every week in the winter if truth be told as my shoes leak slightly. I hope Santa brings me some walking shoes this year!

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Hand Specialist QMC

I saw a so called hand specialist at QMC today. The first appointment with this department I had back in December last year, the follow up was today with a doctor with an extremely strong African accent who completely failed to examine me since my problem isn’t Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. The physio had written to the consultant recommending further tests on my spine, which were completely ignored.From what my physio has told me, she said was sending me for further tests. Its not something she can do directly, but she has to rely on the consultant having sound judgement and at least half a brain cell. What was worse is that this consultant was writing my ticket as I was coming in the door, but is very odd considering what the physio had put on the letter to him. I really hate doctors that dismiss you without examining you or are writing you a prescription before you have even told them your symptoms or offering to write you a sick note. I’m not the sort of person that wants to sit at home doing nothing being ill. Historically speaking I’ve had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the doctors or hospitals. I just don’t believe in going to them unless its serious.

It seems to me that because my problem has been found not to be Carpel Tunnel, they wanted to push me back to the GP to go through the same process yet again with another set of consultants.

The upshot of this is I don’t have to go back to this clinic, though my physio has written to my GP firstly expressing concern over that her queries weren’t followed up on and she has put forward a number other treatment options, including pain management. She also said to me that I may benefit from seeing a different kind of orthopaedic consult who will be able to diagnose any spinal problem which could be indirectly causing the RSI like symptoms. I must say when stressed its absolute agony without any form of pain relief as I found out only a couple of weeks ago when I tried to start back in employment with little success.

I have to wait now for 10 days for all the reports to get to my GP and then I’ve got to make an appointment to talk to him about them. Another words, prompt him to actually do something. He won’t otherwise, its not like it used to be where the family doctor took charge of your health. Now all GP’s are bothered about is lining their wallets with public money. Its all profits, not patients.

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CT CreamFor the past week and half I have been trialling an anti-inflammatory hand cream import from the United States. Its called “CT Cream” and its am herbal formulation for discomfort associated with Carpel tunnel syndrome, repetitive muscle strain and tennis tennis elbow. Its distributed by ‘WL Laboratories’, Huntington Beach, California.

In the US this cream retails for about $6-$10 per pot and postage is normally around the $35 mark since most companies use UPS for international work. UPS are very good, but are very expensive if you are only buying a small number of low value items. I was lucky as I found a UK trader on e-bay that had appeared to import a job lot of this himself. He was making a healthy mark-up as each pot now cost £12.95, plus £2 postage; which still works out cheaper than buying direct from the United States.

CT Cream - Lardish

The cream itself is white, with a slight minty odour to it. Its not unpleasant, but odourless would had been better, especially if you are applying it in a work situation. The texture of the cream is thicker than most standard hand creams in the UK and I found it takes quite a bit of rubbing for the skin to absorb it totally.

Its ingredient are: Di Water, Arnica extract, PEG-6, Choline Bitartrate, Cetyl alcohol, Stearic acid, isopropyl myristrate, Glycerl stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Pyridoxine hydrichloride, Oleic acid, Sortbitol 70%, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethancol, Camphor, Methylparaben, Proplparaben and Peppermint oil. – I’m not familiar with most of those ingredients and I would welcome any comments from any budding chemists.

Personally, I am not entirely convinced that the cream does anything at all. It doesn’t even do a very good job as a hand cream as it leaves your skin with this leathery look and its strange to touch as the cream isn’t absorbed properly. Perhaps the only benefit from using this cream was that it gave me something to use to massage my hands with; but a similar effect could had been achieved with a block of lard at a fraction of the cost.

CT Cream does appear under the unbrella of being a natural remedy, which often means you have to take it for along time before you see any benefits. What I find bizarre about this is that printed on the jar it does say ‘if condition worsens or if symptoms persist for more than 7 days or clear up and re-appear after a few days, then discontinue using this product and consult a physician.’ When i see disclaimers like that, it makes me suspicious as they are saying on the one hand its a natural remedy and on the other hand if it hasn’t worked in 7 days then its not the creams fault. Thus, it probably doesn’t work at all and this would explain why it doesn’t have a license in the UK.

Would I buy it again: NO!
Alternative Products: Lard

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