Archive for January, 2009

Recovery Lessons

I think one of the most difficult lessons to learn during recovery is to pace yourself. Sometimes you feel like you are getting REALLY better and almost feeling normal again, and so then you slip back into old routines and those bad habits that injured you in the first place – This happens to me quite abit!

So instead of sticking to my usual routine of using my weights every other day, I let it slip slightly and type more than I should because I feel like I am getting back to normal, the trouble is when you let the activities slip that are counter-balancing those repetitive ones then you just take a few steps backwards.

So yes I’ve taken a few steps backwards and have weak arms again because I failed to stick to my workout routine. I suppose the moral of the story is to not to get too over confident and push yourself too hard. Even if you feel better, stick to the same routines rather than returning to those old ways.

I will take 2-4 weeks to get back to the point of where I was last Thursday. I recognise the reasons why and will over come it. Its better to be positive rather than too down. Set backs can so easily make you down beat, but thats another battle you have to fight with yourself and win.


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186K, Tiscali Fall Out

I had an interesting comment on my previous EFH Update post from Fiona about her experiences with my previous ISP. I find it fascinating that despite the huge customer feedback some companies appear to never learn. Tiscali who supplies the network to 186K companies have had a fall out and hundreds of 186K customers have been cut off without warning:
(Ref:  Consumer Action Group)

The rumour is that 186K has gone into administration and since they failed to settle payments with Tiscali then they had little choice but to terminate connections. 186K have already set up another company but using a BT platform and are trying to move customers over to it.

I am quite old fashioned in the respect I wouldn’t dream of selling a product to a customer that I didn’t believe it was not good. Some UK Broadband providers know though they are selling rubbish and you really can’t blame BT either for the platform as its the ISP’s that are responsible for its management. So pick your next ISP with care. Pick an ISP that admits sometimes they have faults!

I hear allot of complaints about Tiscali which ISP’s like 186K use because the wholesale price is cheaper to them. Tiscali  use their own core network rather than the platform supplied by BT;  “IP Stream” which  allows them to individually control how much resources are available down to city level. In theory in terms of management of resources it should give customers improved stability since and the fact that most ISP’s suffer from slowness on Tiscali is purely down their network.

IP Stream in itself does generate more complaints to ISP’s because it requires more hands on management from the ISP rather than just leaving it. So, if you ISP says stuff like its BT’s fault, its their IP Stream network then it might be instead they just don’t know how to manage it properly.

I would change ISP’s if their didn’t know how to managed their own product. If I am paying a company for their product, I would had thought the very least you should be able to expect is for them to actually know about their own product?

As for 186K, I have moved on though for historical reasons its sometimes interesting to report the latest going on’s, especially something juicey like this. The Battle between Tiscali and 186K is beginning. I wonder who will be the victor, certainly not any of the customers. I’m so glad I got away from these companies when I did. Phew!

186K does have multiple companies and brand names associated with it, though I don’t have the motivation to research all this again. If you want to find out more I would contact companies house and do a search, plus also use credit agency data which you can pay for access to. All this information is available to the enterprising researcher or writer. Good Luck.

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Today the weather was good enough to go for a little walk out in Ilkeston in Derbyshire. It was cold out and was wrapped up in a scarf, hat and gloves as well as the usual walking gear. I sweat far less now I’m thinner and fitter than I would had done with this amount warm clothing on.


As per usual we parked next to the canal and up the footpath. The Canal itself was covered with this red algae and the local youths/idiots have been throwing bottles, cans and other items into the canal which stick out like a sore thumb. I wonder what would happen if grown-ups took the same attitude and emptied the contents of their bins into the teenagers bedroom. Would they go running to mummy? Or would they notice since people who drop litter probably live like pigs already.

I did take my instant camera with me, but I think it might be faulty since its started to report battery failures even a few hours after they were replaced. I took a few initial shots, in poor or washed lighting condition and then the red battery warning was flashing. Its very odd as as of tonight I have not changed the batteries and its connected to the pc, uploading the picture above.

The ground was really soft under foot and in places muddy as hell. We passed many walkers though despite it being a bitterly cold and wet day. There was the usual bunch of horse riders on an afternoon amble, dog walkers, cyclists and the odd group of proper walkers. You know the sort, the people that carry maps with them and a compass! I’m not a proper walker, I just like to walk sometimes just because its a nice thing to do of an afternoon and it gets me away from the dreaded computer.

The footing next to the canal was passable, but the trouble started when we decided to take a new path to the left in hope it would cut off the muddy path up ahead. The new path was extremely muddy indeed and only looped back to the path we were actually trying to avoid. It was really slippery not too dis-similar to being on ice. I did need a hand over a particularly section as it was very wet and the trees over hanging the pathway really did not help with a guy carrying a little backpack.

I always carry a mobile phone and camera with me, some weather gear after once upon a time I was caught in the mother of all storms and torrential rain.  I still only go light because its not like I’m on safari and I’ve got lions to worry about. Still, at very least take a mobile phone for emergencies. Like slipping over in the mud and breaking some bones for example! lol

My trousers and boots are in terrible condition and once they dry sometime next week I will be brushing them for hours. There’s no point washing my walking trousers every week as they just get muddy again. Though, looking at them now, the mud may be the sunk in mud rather than the surface stuff, which means I’ll spend a couple of hours scrubbing them and then deciding to put them into the laundry any how.  I’m not even going to begin to describe the condition of my boots. Just appalling..

The walk started from ilkeston to Cossall in Nottinghamshire and then back again, just a very scenic muddy as hell way.  The ground conditions made it a tough walk, challenging balance wise and you had to think about foot placement or slide over on your backside.  Nice!

I got home safe and suitable exhausted, which is good. Walking really helps my arms as a swing them and I get significant pain relief afterwards. Obviously it doesn’t work if you walk with your hands in your pockets. Something I used to do but not any more.

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I had a comment on a post the other day asking me how long I’ve had RSI. That made me think as since I’ve never had it formally confirmed because I my GP is more interested in trying out visualisation exercises rather than referring me to the most usful place;  Rheumatology would be a start! I got to give him credit he did refer me to carpel tunnel surgeon despite it not being carpel tunnel and then that surgeon referred me to a physiotherapist who couldn’t refer me to Rheumatology but she recommended it in her report, which the GP duly ignored.

The reason I decided I no longer want to take any further advise from doctors is that I wasn’t getting any where and then my GP prescribed a concoction of drugs that caused an internal bleed and it led to a cancer scare. I had a blood test around that time and it set off a few alarms in terms of a high white cell count. It doesn’t have to mean cancer I since learnt, its often an indicator of bleeding, infection or inflammation. So, why did the crappy GP scare me half to death by sending me to a cancer clinic? Is it because he’s a moron? Yes it is!

Anyway, I am digressing again.  There were times I had the symptoms of mild repetitive strain when I didn’t know what it was. If I include those times, Its roughly 10-12 years from when it started and to date, though it may be more.

In the early days I didn’t ever talk about the pain and was in denial for much of the time. People saw people with ‘RSI’ as if they were making it up or they were lazy. My own employer at the time wasn’t very supportive at all and the constant pain was very much affecting me mentally.

Around the same time a special member of  family died of  CJD which is a nasty and very distressing disease. I went to a her funeral and a couple of weeks later her husband died (often happens for couples).  I had to take holiday from work because my employer didn’t believe that I was going to a second funeral. I thought later, perhaps they would had liked to see the bodies as proof?  They were a despicable employer and with a completely inhuman attitude towards HR. I will never forgive them for their heartless behaviour in a time of distress for us all.

I think development of RSI at the time was partly due to stress, lack of sleep and over work obviously.  I left this employer about a year afterwards and I was glad to rid of them. Upon leaving, stress went down but by then the physical damage was already done.

Since my GP at the time thought it was nothing but sore arms related to computer work then I ignored it and carried on. All the time greater damage was being done. Eventually after years of abuse, it got so bad that I could only type for 10 minutes without feeling pain. Not long after that I think I started to take an interest in the subject myself.

Firstly, I must admit I took a very evidence based approach which frankly was a bit of a waste of time as really the things that tend to work are things that may not be totally proven to science and yet they still give some benefits. I think you need an open mind when trying to find a solution, rather than automatically closing yourself to new possibilities. And for that I want to apologise to Sarah for thinking initially you were a bit crazy with those ideas that were quite alien to me. You opened my mind to different non-clinical possibilities and so I thank you for that.

I do not diss new idea’s now, I take the best of them and incorporate them into my recovery. Sometimes they don’t work, which is fine and sometimes they do! Its important to just keep trying.. and never give up.

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