Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Choo! Choo!!

It's been an interesting few weeks.  2 weeks ago my GP placed me on the exercise on prescription programme at my local leisure centre , its been hell on earth.  Firstly you have the "core" fans who sit around the weight machines talking about how they have "blitzed" their abs and eaten 6 eggs to assist the process.  Then there is the yoga girls who never come to the gym but steal every single locker before disappearing into the mysterious stretching rooms.  The third category are people struggling like mad to regain their fitness, me included. For the record dear reader, I have a complex and shitty list of physical and mental complaints in no particular order;

1) Diabetes Type 1 
2) Retinopathy - I have lost significant sight in my right eye.
3) Bi-Polar 1 - No I am not some hippy who has diagnosed themselves! I don't get sad occasionally and happy the rest of the time.  I see a shrink, I have therapy I take whopping great pills.  Its a flaming nightmare!
4) Peripheral neuropathy - Nerve damage to parts of my bloody. Some of this damage is bloody unpleasant.
5) Ischemic Heart Disease - Blockage to my arteries which led to a triple bypass  in 2011.  
6) Fatigue related to all the drugs I take to prevent me dropping dead.

So the exercise I have been given by special trainer lady is very very specific and medically guided.  For example I am not allowed to raise my heart rate over 113 bpm , if I do I literally risk blowing my new arteries apart and causing a nasty stain on the floor of Penzance Leisure centre.  The exercising has hurt all the way, it would do I have been sitting on my ass for 3 years , if I moved before my chest hurt my arm had a searing pain, you know - angina! But you know what, the combination of gentle exercise slowly over time has started to make me feel a tiny bit better - Hooray! a little bit is a big deal these days.

Now because I have problems as above I am entitled to a disability rail card, the eyes in particular means I will never be able to drive again.  With me so far?  On the way back from Redruth today I was asked for my rail card and ticket by a conductor as he glanced at rail card he asked me "Didn't I see you at the Gym last week" and rolled his eyes like I was a dirty scrounging bastard.  Clearly indicating that he thought I was pulling a fast one, clearly his definition of disabled is hobbling along on crutches, anything outside this makes me a fraud.  He clearly didn't know that I am not "on the sick" and I don't fit his "Daily Mail" image of a "sicky scrounger" I just have some stuff that makes bloody life hard sometimes.  I don't want anyone's sympathy at all, I don't want labels either and I dont want his bloody opinion one way or the other .  

I am fuming mad even now, I can't see why I should be questioned by someone like this! It's sickening.

I tell you what I want , I want a action to prove that First Great Western take this seriously - In certain professions if you did this you would get the boot.  I want them to tell me why, on face value, it seems they tolerate people taking the piss out of those with legitimate health problems.  Why they allow their staff to question the integrity of people they don't know is beyond me. The gentleman in question, you may feel like you have uncovered the plot of the year, but alas you have made yourself look like a ignorant baboon, a knuckle scraper and someone who is swallowing Cameron and the rests agenda to make sick people the scape goats for others poor political decisions.

In the mean time I have complained, let's see what happens.

I will be posting this on twitter until I get a satisfactory response and the theme of my Radio show next week will be "First Great Western Staff, are they prejudiced against those with hidden disabilities?" - Tune in to  http://redruthradio.co.uk/ next week between 11.30am -1.30pm! Don't lie down people.