In the beginning, MS was growling
Well, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Fast forward a few thousand years to 1958. I have no clue about when the heavens and the earth were formed but I do know with a large amount of certainty that on April 14th 1958 I became a new born baby! At the time of birth I hadn't got a clue what was happening. I'm sure I was crying (probably after a beating from the doctor), looking for food and was begging for some Ray Bans because some idiot has turned on the 1000 watt lighting!
Fast forward again through the formative years to the end of school and what did I do? I got a job in a hospital as a trainee pathology laboratory technician. For those of you not in the know, a path lab tech works with blood, poo, wee and human flesh etc. The job was renamed a medical laboratory scientist. That year was 1975. We didn't get a pay rise so they tried to cheer us up with a swanky new name instead. WRONG!!! Nowadays they are called clinical scientists and the syringe wielding vampires are called phlebotomists. Phlebotomists didn’t exist in the 1970’s because haematology path lab techs did it. I was one and LOVED THE POWER oh yes! Looking back (20/20 vision) I was getting stupid numb spots on my legs which of course can be dodgy if you are using hypodermic needles but they weren't worth bothering about eh?
Being me I was ready for a change. So I left the NHS and joined the RAF as a trainee aircraft simulator technician. More training, but at least it didn't include working with poo, pee and blood or anything else that could be secreted oozed or surgically removed from the body...at first.
The frying pan into the fire
Yup, I was in for a big surprise! Instead of being up to my elbows in nasty stuff in the NHS I was up to my neck in mud, berms, snow and nettles. ALL I wanted was to wear a white coat looking very efficient with rank tabs on my uniform and wear a hat. Ah well, the thought and intention were there anyway. Electronics and computers became a passion with me then and continues to this day.
All change again.
I decided that being a Nimrod simulator technician for five years at RAF Kinloss in Scotland was long enough, with no chance of a posting for another 5 years. I then had the brightest idea so far in my 26 years of life. I applied to be RAF aircrew. Well it is the Royal AIR Force. To be accepted as TRAINEE aircrew was 3 days of intense leadership exercises, medicals and interviews. Eventually I was accepted as trainee NCO aircrew and soon started training at RAF Finningley (now closed)
The initial training for NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) Sergeant aircrew made the initial training when I joined the RAF look like a fun day out at Butlins! I never thought that my mind, body and self determination could withstand the 7 weeks of physical training and mental torture with RAF law (again), aircrew basics, Senior NCO (Sergeant) responsibilities etc. I could go on but you’d truly think I was just going on! Basically we got a maximum of 4 hours sleep each night except when we went on a week’s survival training around the north of England in NOVEMBER sleeping in parachute bivi (a tent made by me). It was never ending pressure and stress built into the course plus the training staff and NCO trainers shouting at us daily telling us as an intake and individually that we were useless ‘erks who will NEVER pass the course. GET OUT OF MY SIGHT HARPER! Was a standard mantra shouted at me by Mr. Angry. We loved it!
The idea of the seven weeks was to break the weaker candidates who would fill in a release form and be sent home. If a candidate is a serving RAF airperson they returned them back to their RAF base having to explain to their mates and bosses why they'd failed. Oh how embarrassing! Throughout the training the numb patches were still there and I also had a few dizzy spells; I was thrown down a hill side during an exercise with a 65 pound Bergen on my back. Ooh what fun. We ended with a parachute course jumping out of a balloon at 800 feet and then a 2000 foot jump from a Hercules aircraft.
My neck was starting to hurt for no particular reason and the numb patches came and went. I got through that and after more intense but specialised Chinook crewman course I qualified as a Chinook helicopter crewman. I flew for over 1000 hours from 1984 to 1989. Hopefully by now you are the idea that I was a fit, positive, go get 'em adrenaline junky.
In short I left the RAF, settled down in Hampshire and ran a successful computer company for eleven years which employed 7 people. The numb patches increased, I thought I was going mad because my memory was failing over ridiculous repetitive actions. Many times I would lock up the offices at night and set the alarm. By the time I had locked the final outside door I would forget if I had set the alarm or the inner door, switched off the computers etc. This meant I had to open up (triggering the alarm that I HAD just set) and check all the other items on the list of things to be done. I got around this by singing a mantra including all of the steps needed adding each thing to do as I completed it.
THEN THINGS CHANGED
By now you've either stopped reading this post or questioning what it's got to do with MS or muscles.
The reason I have started this new blog with all of this background information to put it in context because otherwise there is no basis you can gauge where my offerings are coming from or heading to without some short of idea of who I am.
I'll stop there for a breather. What I can promise is a blog that is funny, serious, embarrassing and contentious. I don't hold back! On the other hand I don’t swear, curse or use offensive language.
Stick with it, hopefully we can walk through this together. It will be worth it.
You can also contact me with comments, encouragements and criticisms at ms-
I will post all of the repeatable ones at the start of my next offering.
Every now and again I’ll divert from the norm because something has incensed me, make me laugh or because I’ve just decided to have a change. To make sure you can keep up I’ll not delete any previous posts!