Tooth Extraction

After waiting nearly a month, I finally saw my GP on Monday about my hip.  She thinks I have trochanteric pain syndrome (formerly known as trochanteric bursitis), which is a relief in a way as I was concerned I’d started with arthritis.  I’ve been told to rest more (which I knew anyway, but have been ignoring as usual!) and to ice the hip for 10 mins every 4 hours, followed by a good dollop of Ibuleve gel as I can’t take anti-inflammatories or pain killers.  She’s also going to re-refer me to the Rheumatology physio at the hospital, who I saw last year and who is sympathetic and has some knowledge of EDS, for a second opinion.  It might be that the physio requests an x-ray just to check what’s actually going on, so I’ll just have to wait and see. The only thing that bothers me is that the physio is really busy, and I might have to wait months for my appt by which time the damned hip will either be tons better or tons worse.  The bloody thing is really irksome this week and I can’t get comfortable no matter what I do.

Yesterday was D-day for my tooth extraction though I wasn’t overly concerned about it as I’m fairly chilled about these things on the whole.  My Dad came with me as I wasn’t allowed to drive the 30 miles home and we were both astonished that I was taken in at 10.30am and was back out of recovery at 11.10am – they don’t hang about!!

I had 6 injections: didn’t feel any of the front 4, but the 2 I had in the roof of my mouth really weren’t pleasant and made me bleed like a stuck pig.  My mouth was numb in seconds and the procedure started straight away.  The tooth came out relatively easily (well, with the doctor leaning on my head with his whole body weight and tugging like he was getting a tight cork out of a reluctant bottle) and thank heavens the sinus cavity remained intact and the tooth next door wasn’t dislodged (both complications I’d been warned about).  Probably due to my thin skin I did need 3 stitches though, which to be honest I wasn’t expecting, and he put a dissolvable sponge plug in as I bled a fair bit.  The procedure didn’t hurt in any way and the worst part of the whole thing is that the local anaesthetic made my throat feel swollen and I gagged every time I swallowed, which made me feel pretty nauseous.

Everything changed in the next 2 hours as the anaesthetic wore off.  I was in serious pain and my face swelled up like a hamster.  I also felt like I’d been hit by a truck: completely exhausted, ached all over, awful brain fog and like every cell in my body had been sucked of energy.  In other words, very MEish.

I took the dog out on my scooter, then went to bed and slept on and off from 4pm until 6am this morning.  I think I’m going to be spending the next week basically in bed recovering.

I have to now use a warm salt mouthwash every 2 hours for the next 5-7 days to prevent infection and help the wound heal.  The stitches will dissolve on their own after 7-10 days.  I look ridiculous, as I have a stick-on ice gel pad on my face to help the swelling and lessen the pain, but it’s all I could think of and does seem to help.

I could only eat/drink through a straw yesterday, but this morning I’ve managed some Cornflakes with warm milk and have got some mushroom soup I pre-made for lunch.  I still feel really sick though so food isn’t high on my agenda.

I’ve definitely had a mast cell flare.  I’ve done nothing but sneeze this morning and my skin is itching all over (I’ve scratched one finger so much the skin has come off, so it’s now covered in germolene and a plaster!).  My back is also killing me :-/  To be expected though I guess.

I’m still in quite a lot of pain today but nothing like the severe pain of yesterday.  I am still very MEish though and can barely keep my eyes open or put one foot past the other – I’m hoping by resting well I’ll avoid a relapse.  I also hope the recovery is problem-free and no infection develops.  If I go quiet in the coming week I’m just recovering and not up to being online.

Invisible Illness Week

In the past few days, some of my fabulous fellow bloggers have been taking part in Invisible Illness Week and completing a questionnaire about their diseases.  I’ve loved reading about other people’s experiences of living with chronic and invisible illness but didn’t have the time or energy to post my own questionnaire, which I know you’ll all understand.  The week officially finished yesterday, so I’m late to the party, but I’m hoping there’s still some wine and a piece of dried up quiche left ;-)

30 THINGS ABOUT MY ILLNESS

1. The illness I live with is:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hypermobile type)

Mast Cell Activation Disorder

Histamine Intolerance

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:

M.E. in 1994

EDS in 2010

HIT and MCAD in 2013

3. But I had symptoms since:

Birth for EDS and MCAD.

1992 for M.E.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:

Learning to define myself as a human being, not as a human do-ing.

5. Most people assume:

That I will eventually get better.

6. The hardest part about mornings are:

My nervous system gymnastics as my body wakes for the day.  Pins & needles in my bottom are no fun, and my heart flip flopping all over the place sets up a fight/flight reaction.  I have to remind myself every day to just breathe through it, which usually helps with the nausea.

7. My favorite medical TV show is:

I don’t watch medical shows, as they’re full of caring doctors and nurses which doesn’t really match my own shitty experiences!  I’m addicted to Teen Mom, shhhhh don’t tell anyone ;-)

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:

My laptop.  I live 7 miles from the nearest shop and am often stuck in bed feeling ill, so I might starve to death without the internet and online grocery shopping.  I couldn’t live without my telephone either though!

9. The hardest part about nights are:

My nervous system unwinding for the day!  Again with the flippy floppy heartbeats, and a feeling in my brain like I’m falling off a tall building over and over again.  Also the stillness and not having any distractions – it makes me have to face my sick body, whereas during the day I’m busy enough that I can ignore my symptoms.

10. Each day I take ? pills & vitamins

I would love to take more drugs, but because of my MCAD I am almost totally drug allergic :-(  I currently take 4 teaspoons of liquid meds, plus 2 pills, daily – it’ not halfway near enough to control any of my symptoms.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I:

have tried them all and then some.  99% of them either didn’t work, or made me ten times worse.  I now don’t bother with any of them but think it’s something most people have to try as part of their journey.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose:

Invisible.  Even though at times I wish the general public knew what I went through every day so they could be more helpful and empathetic, I prefer that I can pretend to be ‘normal’ and fit in.  My private life is private, and I prefer not to have my health on display to the world and be asked personal and intimate questions about it by total strangers.

13. Regarding working and career:

I haven’t been in paid employment for 20 years.  However, no matter how sick I’ve ever been I’ve always done volunteer work from my bed.  I was so grateful for the generosity of spirit shown by volunteers of support groups etc. when I first became ill that to not share my vast experience of living with ill health with others seeking answers would be unthinkable to me.  I also volunteer for AIDS orphans in Africa (no matter how hard my life is, theirs is so much harder), as well as having an adopted Orangutan in Borneo which I support financially despite being on a low income.  My rescue animals, over the years, have always given me a reason to get out of bed every day.  Everyone needs to have a purpose.

14. People would be surprised to know:

How lonely I am.  I hide it well.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:

The lack of choice and options.  If ever I’ve had a problem in the past I’ve just fixed it.  Didn’t like my job – get a new one.  Wanted to make new friends – join a club.  But now my options are severely limited and it’s hard to accept I’m no longer in total control.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:

Get any better!  I was bedridden with M.E. for nearly 10 years and now I’m not :-)

17. The commercials about my illness:

We thankfully don’t have health commercials in the UK – I hate the very idea!

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:

I don’t know where to start!  Drinking.  Going to the cinema.  Dancing.  Staying up late.  Sleeping in late.  Gardening.  Going on holiday.  Reading for hours on end.  Having girlie chats and laughs.  Wearing makeup and high heels.  Having a social life basically.

19. It was really hard to have to give up:

Pain killers.  I miss them.  A LOT.

Plus I never thought I’d miss a tin of chopped tomatoes as much as I do.  Giving them up has been weirdly life altering!

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:

Photography.  If someone had told me when I was 20 I would become a wildlife photographer I would have said “shoot me now and put me out of my misery” ;-)  But I really enjoy it.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would:

Travel.  Eat and drink whatever I wanted.  And end the day by sleeping for 9 hours straight.

22. My illness has taught me:

I am not going to list my blessings – there is nothing good about being this sick.  My biggest lesson has been that I’m totally alone and have received virtually no help or support, which I’ve found soul destroying and has made me bitter, sad and angry.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:

Healthy people telling me how tired they are (after doing a 40 hour working week, then climbing a mountain for fun), then saying “well, you know what it’s like”.   Seriously…….WTF***?!!!

Also people who diagnose me with all sorts of diseases over the internet despite the fact they have no medical qualifications, have never met me or seen my medical notes.  They drive me nuts.

24. But I love it when people:

Tell me that my blog, or an article I’ve written, has helped them :-)

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:

If today were the last day of your life, would you feel differently?  It changes my perception in a huge way.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them:

Not to waste precious years, and thousands of pounds/dollars, chasing a cure.  There isn’t one.  I do tell people this but they ignore me, because trying to get better is part and parcel of the journey we all have to take before we can finally accept we’re chronically ill.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:

How much everyone I know, even people who know me well, ignore my illnesses.  Which in some ways is great, and in other ways is not.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:

I have so little practical support I had to think long and hard about this question.  One of the nicest things anyone has ever offered to do for me was to pay for a hotel so that I could go and see my consultant down in London and not have to travel there and back on the same day.  This person was a total stranger who reads my blog and, although I didn’t take the offer up, I was just incredibly touched that she would offer financial help when none of my friends or family had done so.

I was also very moved that new friends offered to text me while on the train to London last year, just to keep me company.  I was touched they’d realized how alone I felt and how difficult the journey would be for me and their texts made me feel cared for.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:

It’s important to know we’re not alone.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:

Amazed you’ve read this far!  Grateful that you care enough to’ve read this far ;-)

Weekly roundup

This week seems to’ve been a bit mental.  But then for someone who doesn’t really have much of a life, the bit I do have always seems to be a bit mental ;-)  Better than being bored I guess!

My little dog injured himself last weekend, so Monday he was at the vets.  Turned out he’d sprained his front leg which thankfully is now fairly much healed.  The same day my car started overheating, so had to go to the garage to have a new thermostat fitted.  The day cost me £200 ($325) which considering I was already overdrawn at the bank brings me out in a cold sweat.

I turned 47 this week.  I had a busy day, from which I’m still recovering, but to be well enough to do something on my birthday after years of not being able to even get out of bed still makes me happy, happy, happy :-) .  I went out for lunch with my parents, then as promised I joined the local Camera Club whose first meeting of the year just so happened to be on my birthday.  I was the youngest there by 20 years, and 90% of the members were male which was immensely disappointing as I was hoping to make new friends, but the people I spoke to were friendly enough.  It was quite interesting and I’ll go again health permitting.  The nicest part was realizing my photographic skills are actually more advanced than I thought.  I always think my pictures are amateurish rubbish, but I’ve been placed in the Intermediate group not the Beginners which was an unexpected confidence boost :-)  It was an evening meeting from 7.30pm-9.30pm and is the first time I’ve been out at night for 3½ years!  I was high as a kite when I got home and didn’t get much sleep.  However, being out so late had one advantage in that I managed to get a lovely photo of the super moon which had turned blood orange in the setting sun:

Tomorrow I’m having a girls day with my Mum and our family friend Sophie (who also cleans my, and my Mum’s, houses).  Mum is 74, I’m 47 and Sophie is 25 but we all get on like a house on fire so I’m looking forward to Afternoon Tea overlooking the Lakes and Mountains :-)  Which reminds me, I must hoover the inside of my car because it’s not fit for human habitation!

Inbetween all that I’ve been trying to get out of the house as much as possible.  We’re having a late heat-wave and I’m making the most of it before winter arrives and I’m cooped up for months on end.  I seem to have a sense of urgency at the moment.  I’m not sure what it’s all about, but there is a deep need to enjoy life and do all the things which make me happy, so I’m listening to my gut and just going with the flow.  Of course, I don’t have the energy to do that and housework, so my cottage is a tip, my bed is filthy, paperwork is piling up and I’m wayyyy behind with my emails and stuff, but I don’t seem to care much ;-)  I did have to spend the entire morning in the kitchen on Thursday though as I’d run out of everything!

Next week isn’t going to be quite so pleasant, as I’m having my root canalled tooth out at the hospital on Tuesday.  I don’t know whether to be grateful I’ll finally be rid of the pain after being unable to chew on that side for over a year, or sad to be losing my first adult tooth which makes me feel horrendously old!!  Wish me luck.

Frankenfoods – Part 1

When I was a child there was a little shop in most villages, or at the very least a daily mobile shop van.  Along with a milk van (although we got our milk straight from the farm opposite our house) and a butcher’s van.  Oh, and a pop van that came round on a Friday night – it was the only pop we ever drank.

My Mum bought everything in our village shop, going every day or every other day for bread and perishables, and we grew much of our own fruit and veg (potatoes, onions, carrots, sprouts, berries in the winter; peas, beans, cauliflower, radishes, tomatoes, rhubarb, apples, pears, gooseberries in the summer).  OK, so there wasn’t a huge amount of choice but we ate fresh, seasonal produce as nature intended.

That was less than 40 years ago, yet in that short space of time the way we produce, purchase, prepare and eat food has become almost unrecognisable.  80% of village shops are now closed and everyone buys their groceries weekly at the supermarket with the majority of food items lasting several days.   Only about 30% of the food I eat is even grown in the UK, let alone in the area where I live.  And while I do still grow some of my own produce and would grow more if my health allowed and I had a proper garden, I realize I’m in a dwindling minority.

The biggest shock about going low histamine is that I’ve been forced to look at labels and really think about what I’m eating.  What we put in our bodies horrifies me.  I don’t even know what half the ingredients are, but they’re not food.  How can a chicken be 60% meat for goodness sake?!  And why are vitamins and minerals being added to our bread and cereals?

One of the biggest shocks was how much yeast and vinegar is added to food.  I could barely find one label that didn’t contain some version of vinegar or have added yeast.  And whilst I’m sure each particular food has been safety tested, has anyone joined the dots and realized that nearly ALL our food contains these ingredients and looked at the cumulative effects on our bodies?  How acidic must our stomachs be, and I’m not surprised we get yeast infections like Candida.   Our solution is to then take probiotics to repair the damage, instead of just not eating all the crap that’s destroying our gut flora in the first place!  My Nan managed to live to 86, with barely a days illness in her entire life, without drinking Yakult. What she did do was grow some of her own fruit and veg, right up to her seventies, and spend hours cooking and baking everything from scratch with a handful of simple ingredients (she made the best damson jam and apple pie in the known universe ;-) ).

I have a blackberry bush in my garden.  I pick the fruit when it’s ripe, it lasts about 4 days in the fridge before it starts to go mushy and after a week it’s inedible.  How, then, can berries be picked in Cyprus, transported on a ship to England, put onto lorries, delivered to supermarkets, stacked on shelves, bought by consumers, taken home, kept in the fridge for a few days……….and still be in perfect mint condition?  I make all my own sauces, and I know if I make some Tzatziki it will last about 5 days in the fridge before I need to throw it away.  How, then, can a store bought sauce have a sell by date two years into the future?  And if I make a cake, by day 3 it’s as dry as a piece of cardboard yet cakes sit on supermarket shelves for months and are still as moist as the day they’re made.  What on earth is being done to our food to make it last so long?

For 30 years our obesity epidemic has been blamed on saturated fat.  Only now we know that saturated fat, in moderation, is fine.  And now sugar is the enemy, when IMHO sugar in moderation will also turn out to be fine.  All the additives, pesticides, chemicals, irradiation, genetic modification and preservatives in our food, on the other hand, are not fine and I’m much more convinced are altering our digestive processes, metabolism and health in profound ways.

I always thought I had a healthy diet.  I ate organically wherever possible, didn’t drink alcohol, was pesco-vegetarian, rarely ate puddings or so-called junk food (although I loved chocolate!), never drank fizzy pop and juiced my own fruit and veg.  But when I went low histamine I was staggered at all the items I could no longer buy because they contained vinegar, yeast, preservatives, additives and other forbidden ingredients.  I absolutely dread to think what the average British or American diet, which is no-where near as healthy as the one I used to follow, consists of and it doesn’t shock me in any way that our children are on track to be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents.

The whole food industry topic is huge and is something I’m going to come back to in future blog posts.  It’s so important.  Luckily here in the UK we have people like the Chef Jamie Oliver flying the flag for ‘proper’ food and home cooking (and just look at the flack he’s received over the years for simply pointing out the crap that goes into our children’s meals, including school dinners, when he should have been given a bloody medal!), but we all need to be more aware of what we’re putting in our bodies.

 

 

 

New Recipe

I usually wait a while until I have several new recipes to post, but I’m so happy with this dish I couldn’t wait to share it.

Even before going low histamine I was fussy about my curries. I don’t like dry curries, I don’t like watery curry sauces, and I don’t like anything where one flavour (like ginger) dominate. I prefer thick, creamy, Balti-style sauces that aren’t so mild they’re tasteless, but aren’t so hot they blow the roof of your mouth off. It took me 2 years to find a curry recipe I liked and that involved a bought Balti sauce. I thought making curry on a low histamine diet, where curry powder, bought pastes and yoghurt are banned, was going to be impossible. I was, thankfully, wrong :-)

You do have to think ahead with this recipe though, and will need a jar of Red Pepper Sauce (see the Jams & Sauces Section for recipe) in order to make the Thai Curry Sauce, and the Thai Curry Sauce (see the Miscellaneous Section for recipe) in order to make the Curry.  If you wanted to, you could make up the Thai Curry Sauce in advance though there’s plenty of time to do it while the vegetables are cooking………so long as you already have your jar of Red Pepper Sauce handy (I make several jars at once, keep them in the freezer and just defrost as needed) and the ingredients for the Thai Sauce all chopped and prepared.

This curry really is delicious. And what’s more, it is both gluten-free and dairy-free!  I like to serve it with a side order of poppadums and mango chutney.  See the Main Courses Section of the Recipe page for details.

24hr heart & blood pressure tests

This post is going to take a while – you might need to come back with a cuppa and half hour to spare, don’t say I didn’t warn you ;-)

When I saw Professor Newton back in June she requested a 24 hour heart and blood pressure test as I have chronically low BP and weird trippy skippy heartbeats.  It won’t show anything and to be honest I have no idea why I’m going along with it but it’s nice that, after 20 years of no-one giving a crap about my health, at least someone thinks my symptoms are worth investigation.  I’ve waited nearly 3 months but Tuesday was D-Day and thankfully I didn’t have to travel 90 miles back to Newcastle as the Prof had arranged for me to have the tests done locally, yayy!

So, Tuesday morning I took my little dog out at 8.30am despite the fact my hip and SI pain had kept me awake half the night (dog walker still on holiday and I’m sooooo ready for her break to be o-v-e-r!).

Came home and ordered a new thumb brace off Amazon – for some reason all my joints are really playing me up atm which is a post for another day.  I could get a free one on the NHS if I want to wait 2 months but funnily enough, I don’t.

Went into town early as I needed to drop Bertie off with the folks (far too hot a day to leave a dog in the car while I have the monitoring equipment fitted).  My opening line when I get to my parents house is always “everything alright?” to which the answer is usually “ticketyboo”.  Not today.  Today the answer was “nooooo!”

My Dad has a hernia and apparently he’d tried to get something out of a high kitchen cupboard ready to prepare dinner, had aggravated it and was in agony.  So my Mum had climbed onto a small step to do it instead, had fallen off, and was also in agony.  I was stunned.  As if having half a lung and heart failure wasn’t bad enough, she also has severe osteoporosis and has already smashed her wrist to smithereens in a fall before.  I tried not to shout “what the bloody hell were you thinking?!” but my face must have spoke volumes.  So I got the food out of the cupboard for them, made sure Mum hadn’t done any serious damage and dosed her up on painkillers before taking my Dad up to the health centre which is what we’d been told to do if his pain got worse.  We were asked to come back later that afternoon for an appt with the Duty Doctor.

I drop Dad off at home and go back up to the hospital to have my monitoring equipment fitted.  I was already knackered and it wasn’t even lunchtime.

The nurse who looked after me was as frazzled as it’s possible for a human to be.  She had no idea I was supposed to be having my BP monitored as well as my heart rate, so had to go and locate the right equipment and download the necessary software.  In the meantime a Consultant had put his head round the door asking if she’d go and take some blood for his patient.  As my appt was now going to take considerably longer than anticipated she asked me if it was OK for her to do that first.  Obviously I said “yes” – what else was I going to say?  During the next 30 minutes we were interrupted a further 8 times with people sticking their heads round the door, the nurse running around like a demented chicken and me sat there with my boobs on display.  She couldn’t concentrate on a thing to be fair and spent the entire time red faced and apologetic.

Eventually, monitoring equipment in place, she did a test blood pressure measurement which came out at 100/54.  “Gosh, that’s excellent!” she exclaimed.  I just looked at her dumfounded.  A normal BP is 120/80.  If my BP had been 140/106 would she have thought that was excellent too?  Of course not.  But no-cares about low blood pressure, even though it causes all sorts of disabling symptoms.

Back to my parents’ house where I wolfed my lunch down like I’d never seen food before in my life.  Going 5½ hours without eating isn’t my forte.

90 minutes later I was back up at the health centre with my Dad.  I always go in with him to see the Doctor, because my Dad’s deaf, can’t follow what’s being said, and plays the Big Man whose pain “is just a bit of a niggle”.  So I have to go along to explain that my Dad never admits to being in pain and “a little niggle” is his way of saying he’s in agony and can’t actually stand up straight.  The Doctor was from the Caribbean and even I struggled to understand him, so we spent the whole appt with my Dad looking at me with raised eyebrows and me repeating everything the Doctor said in a very loud Cumbrian accent.  My Dad’s now been placed on both codeine and the waiting list for Surgery.  In the meantime he can barely hobble and is struggling to look after himself, my Mum and my 100 year old Nan – and I’m struggling to look after all 3 of them, plus myself and the dog.

Back to the folks’ I go again to drop Dad off and collect Bertie, who had to be walked on the way home (to be fair I could have taken him on my scooter, but I want the equipment to monitor me when I’m active but exhausted and feeling rubbish as well as stationary).  Driving with the BP cuff going off every 20 mins was challenging.  You’re supposed to relax your arm and if you don’t the cuff just keeps blowing up until it gets a decent reading – after the 4th attempt your arm gets really quite sore, so in the end I had to steer with my left arm and just rest my right arm on my lap which got tricky when I had to turn corners ;-) .

Finally made it home at 5pm and collapsed into bed, only to have to get up again an hour later to make dinner, which I’d been told in no uncertain terms by the Nurse was not to involve the microwave.  Of course I promptly forgot that little nugget and nuked a cup of warm milk, then freaked out in case I became radioactive or something ;-) .

I snatched the odd ten minutes of sleep during the night.  I’m a useless sleeper at the best of times, and there’s no way I was going to snore my way through my arm being squeezed in a noisy vice every hour on the hour.

I could see my BP reading on the monitor and at 11pm, when I was lying down watching TV, it read 88/38 which is stupidly low.  Thankfully I had several skippy heartbeat sessions throughout the day which I hope to goodness show up on the readings.

Back up to the hospital on Wednesday to have the equipment removed.  Thank God, because the itching was driving me insane.  I tend to forget I have Dermographism and that anything which presses on my skin causes hives, so I ended up with white itchy welts around the top of my arm where the BP cuff had been and a painfully itchy imprint off the sticky heart pads.

The nurse wasn’t able to give me any of the heart results but she could tell me my BP had  averaged 111/54 during the 24 hours, which is about what I expected.  My systolic (the first reading) is considered within acceptable limits, but my diastolic (the second reading) is always way low – not that anybody cares.  If the diastolic pressure isn’t important I’m clueless as to why they measure it!  So now it’s just a waiting game for the results to get to the Prof at Newcastle and for her to contact me.

 

 

 

Disabled People Can Do Anything

bertieandme:

Brilliantly written post about how people with hidden disabilities and debilitating chronic illnesses are increasingly viewed here in the UK, and a reminder that we’re all AMAZING human beings. Don’t know about you, but it’s nice to have my struggle just to get dressed every day and slap a smile on my face, despite the pain, exhaustion and sickness, recognized.

Originally posted on Dead Men Don't Snore:

This July and August have been a summer of sport in the UK, with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow followed by the European Athletics’ Championships in Swansea. The Glasgow games in particular received a lot of media coverage and a lot has been made of the fact that (unlike other sporting events which host ‘parallel’ events for disabled athletes) the Commonwealth Games integrates disabled and non-disabled events into a single tournament.

Coverage of these games has rekindled talk of the ‘Paralympic legacy’, a phrase in common usage during London 2012. The London Paralympics were predicted to herald a new era for disabled people in this country, validating them as equal and valuable members of society and fostering greater respect for their achievements.

While the Paralympics may indeed have raised the profile of disabled sports, experiences of many disabled people since then – welfare cuts, increased hate crime and the proliferation…

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