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2 Nov 2008

Post 82: Seeing Jason Manford

I'll try and stick to sunday mornings as blogging time, of course that is no guarantee it will actually happen but I might as well try to do this in an organised fashion. People who know me well will probably be at the end already of the exhale phase of a sigh.
Two noteworthy things took place this week. One good and one bloody awful. It's monday for the majority of readers so i'll be merciful and start with the good stuff. On friday evening I went to see stand-up comedian Jason ManfordWho? You may ask but he was quite brilliant. When it started he was one of the captains on channel 4s '8 out of 10 Cats' a friday night panel quiz hosted by smug bastard Jimmy Carr (a man I find quite funny for some reason). I had no idea who Jason Manford was back then I just thought he looked like a fat, funny, Mancunian Michael Owen[] something that he actually incorporates in his stand-up routine. So I decided I wanted to go based on his TV appearances, particularly on the strength of his appearance at 'Live at the Apollo' so I found out he was on tour, booked five tickets (with what spare cash I have I like to treat myself and friends who have been particularly great/loyal to a show that I think we'd all enjoy – it's worth every Penny!). This time on driver/hero detail was my mate Nick[] a man who since my stroke has often been to see me, usually with his lovely wife Sally and fantastic little bruiser of a son Oscar.[].
Also present for this comedy outing was Simon[], a man who has always looked out for me and Gary and Jo[], a lovely couple who I always used to run into at a night called 'Knowhere' a night I very occasionally used to DJ for in better days. Jo is incredibly beautiful and lovely, Gary is a great bloke. They deserve each other. I'm only faintly jealous of what they've got. The hyperbole of understatement there. The evening couldn't have gone better. Manford was hilarious . Highlights for me included his too and fro with the audience, particularly with a 'nobhead from Leeds', and the gag about what you'd do with the money if you won the lottery. Manford suggested he'd buy every ticket for a simply red gig and then not show up adding 'that's money well spent'. Genius. He also said that his ambition was for Michael Owen to become known as 'the thin Jason Manford'. Brilliant!
The thing that was so pleasing to me was how a bunch of people who'd never heard of him were raving about how good he was afterwards. That makes it all worthwhile, I can't wait to see Bill 'the greatest living Englishman' Bailey[] on the 22nd November.
If you're still reading the less good news was that I had a 'case Conference' with the community therapy team, my parents and myself on Thursday to essentially find out why their involvement with my rehabilitation has amounted to nothing and all but stopped. To be 100% clear my #1 Goal is to walk again and I would like to be less depressed by having someone to talk to regularly in my home. In the long run I would like to regain a bit of my former life. Not too much to ask or so I thought. The first issue is that because I used to own my flat I'm not entitled to any state support because government policy dictates that you have to exhaust all avenues of financial income (ie they expect you to consume all savings, monetise and consume all assets and essentially be destitute before you're eligible for any state help) So in my case savings were obviously 0 and could you imagine me, a man who can barely stay awake or alert trying to flog my London flat in the last year or have asked my poor septagenarian parents to try and sell it when dealing with rebuilding their own burnt down house was the priority as well as heroically trying to pickup the pieces of my shattered life. To summarise, I was too undeserving to have much of the community therapy teams 'valuable' input. With this slightly hostile context the meeting was never going to achieve much so what actually transpired made me feel even worse. Imagine if you will a parent/teacher meeting but with all your teachers who clearly dislike you ( probably because since my stroke I've been a deeply unhappy 31 year old man that resents being talked down too like he's at school by a bunch of 'teachers' (therapists) who he respects as much as Robert Mugabe). With this in mind they proceeded to tell my parents that they'd given me plenty of therapy and that the reason it had been ineffective and that my parents had thought the intervention was zero was:
1.I hadn't told my parents
2.I hadn't engaged sufficiently and hadn't done their 'homework' or exercises. You try doing homework when you can't write or are so tired you can barely keep your eyes open or if there is no tangible payback. Speech therapy makes no difference to my speech, psychology makes no difference to my mood/ tiredness,physio seems to only make me tired and Ots (occupational therapists) teach you how to make a cup of tea and if you're tired, go and lie down. Rocket Science!I'm too exhausted to get this wound up!

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