RIP Uncle Stephen

Tonight i got the sad news that my uncle has died. I am not sure what happened, but my aunt found him and said he seemed to have been dead a while.

I haven’t been up at my uncles as much as i have been this year because he hasn’t been well at all with his depression. Usually i know when to go up and when not. When he doesn’t respond to my texts, i know he’s not well and that he will contact me in his own time.

To add to this though, lately he has started taking spells where he will fall when he is standing up. I don’t know if he actually faints as it hasn’t happened thankfully when we’ve been around but he does fall. We called them his wibble wobbles. The doctors thought it was his blood pressure was going too low but it wasn’t that as he told us the tablets weren’t working and the falls were happening more regularly.

A few weeks ago he called me. This is rare as he never calls-we text each other instead. He said he couldn’t physically text as he was very shaky. He was shaking so badly that he couldn’t even pour himself a drink or get up to go to the toilet. I told him that he needed to get it checked out as soon as possible.

A few weeks later, he was able to text again but was very tired and unsteady on his feet since the shaking thing happened. He wasn’t too worried as he thought that it was a weird flu as he had the same thing a couple years ago. He had said that it probably wasn’t that serious and that he was going to see our granny who has recently moved over here from Scotland. My aunt would have picked him up as he can’t travel. I thought this was a great thing since he doesn’t like travelling at all, but the fact that he had said that he would go down to see granny was brilliant. That was the last text he sent me.

I presumed he was just down again and that he would text me when he was ready. I was not expecting the news that he was dead tonight at all. I was just talking about him today to my friend Paul.

To be honest, yes it’s sad, but i’m not too upset yet. I know that probably sounds heartless and the fact i’m even writing this blog tonight is probably heartless, but i am not one of these people who gets upset because that’s what people do. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but obviously if i do get upset, i’ll deal with it, but i would be quite private about my grief. It doesn’t mean i don’t care or anything.

Unfortunately, my uncle struggled a lot with his weight. He also is a heavy smoker along with his mental illness. I just hope that in a way it was something medical and not him taking his own life as that would just be awful if he felt he had to do that.

I’ll probably go up and collect some wee things i still have left up there, but there is no rush. I’d say a post mortum will probably be carried out to investigate the cause of his death.

So uncle Stephen, thank you for being such a great uncle. Thank you for being you. Thank you for everything you did for us, now and in the past like taking me to see Sara brightman in concert when i was about 9. Thank you for the wee texts, and for just being you. Thank you for the key to your home when we met face to face again a few years ago. Thank you for accepting me for me. Thank you for accepting Ushi even though you weren’t a dog person at all. Thank you for letting her lick you and look after you. Thank you for being you. Rest in piece. Sorry we couldn’t see you as often as we’d have liked, but we wouldn’t have intruded if you needed time alone. Sorry for nagging you about your falls. I just hope you didn’t suffer. Rip xxxx.

Activity Day For Blind And Partially Sighted People

I’m just posting quickly to let you know about something i discovered earlier in the week.

Disability Sports NI are holding an activity taster day on Saturday the 20th September at Creg avin ski centre and water sports centre. It runs from 10 until 4 i think. It is an opportunity to try out different sprots such as Skiing, golf, sailing, tandum cycling and i can’t remember if there are any more.

For more information, visit the link below.
Activity taster day for blind and partially sighted people
For an entry form. You have until the 5th September to get your entries in.

I promise i will have a more personal entry hopefully soon, but i just wanted to post this information.=”

Be Safe, Stay Safe

Today, I attended a training workshop run by Lenard Cheshair Disability. It was held in the Ballymoney community resource centre, and was called Be safe, Stay safe which is funded by the Big lottery fund.

There were about 25 of us altogether taking part in the workshop. We first of all learnt about staying safe in your home and how not to leave valuables on display for people to see. We learned about safety and security, and bogus callers. We also learned about the quick check scheme where you can check the identity of people at your door. We also learned about fire safety and how you can hopefully prevent a fire and what to do if there was a fire.

We learned about hate crime and how it is the persons perception of what a hate crime is and that the police won’t say that it is a hate crime.

Finally, we looked at safety on public transport, but we only touched on that because most of the people there use door to door or something similar. It was simple things like sitting at the front of a bus and don’t sit in a carrage where people are drinking for example on a train.

We also touched on a professional relationship. We discussed the sinario of what happens if someone is coming to help someone and over the years they become friendlier than they would have been. We discussed the person coming in to the persons home deciding that the person they were looking after wasn’t allowed to watch a certain tv program and should only watch it when the professional wasn’t there. We all agreed that this would be very wrong and the professional could not control what the other person watched or did in their own home.

We were given resource packs then as some people were starting to lose interest. In our packs, we got information on keeping safe on the internet, mainly facebook, a fridge magnet which looks like a sheet with magnets on each of the corners. It has the quick check number, the police non emergency number, and a blank space for someone to write in an emergency number of their own. We got an ultra violet pen so we can write on our possessions our name and postcode i think so that if anything was stolen police could see the information on it under an ultra violet light. We got information on hate crime, and something called “message in a bottle”. This is a bottle which has a medical form in it. You would write your name, contact details, conditions, medications, etc and slip it back in to the bottle. You would then slip the bottle back in to the fridge, as this is the first place medics would look apparently. I think there are two stickers in the bottle too which you would place one at the front door and one on the fridge, i think anyway. I think the message in a bottle is a brilliant thing if you were on any medications or had any health conditions.

I found the training very useful, and can’t wait to find out what the other training would involve. I wish it would have lasted longer, but it was good that the training was catered for peoples needs and made shorter. The guy running it had been to see visually impaired people before but none of them knew how to read braille. The guy had the information in his car for about 2 years but today he didn’t have it. He will send it out to me.

Most of the training i found was common sense, but it’s always good to get a reminder about these things.

I would like to thank Lenard Cheshair disability and the ballymoney community resource centre for hosting the workshop. I would recommend any disabled person take this training up if you can. It’s really worthwhile.