A busy week ahead

So I’ve just got back from a long weekend in the Cotswolds with some friends. It was nice, of not slightly washed out on Saturday which wiuth a two year old makes things a bit more challenging. I wasn’t able to use the hot tub (who knew they were not a great place for open wounds?) and I had a collosal bag leak at 4am this morning resulting in bed changing – I think it was a combination of beer, gin and too much Tzatiki…

Anyway, I am a dressing change first thing, then on Thursday night it is the first #IBDHour – I’ve done up some Hints, Tips & Advice for that is your coming along to take part! I’ve got  a few last things to prep, but I’m hoping it goes well – some of the big names in the IBD world have jumped on the RTing band wagon!

Last week I joined in with the latest #GetYourBellyOut picture sharing, and was really touched when people donated, and even got a few people doing there own belly selfies!

And finally, the voting stage has opened in the wego Health Activist Awards – you might remember me talking about my nomination a little while back. I am nominated in the ‘Best Kept Secret’ category, and would love it if you could endorse me (which means vote) – the top three endorsed nominees get through the the final, and it is going to be tough, but who knows – you have to start somewhere!

I hope you all have a great week, and maybe chat to some of you on Thursday at #IBDHour!

What’s this #IBDHour all about then?

So if you’ve been over on my Twitter recently then you might have spotted that I am launching #IBDHour – the first UK based Twitter Hour for Inflammatory Bowel Disease!

I am a massive fan of Twitter, and think it will be a great way to build the UK IBD community – as well as open it up to contributions from all over the world (where the time difference isn’t too much anyway.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of Twitter hours, then they go something like this. At a pre-arranged time, someone (the host) will start the hour off with some questions for discussion, and all the people participating use the hashtag – in this case #IBDHour – and answer the questions and then respond to other people.

The first event is going to be on 15th September at 8pm UK time, and the theme is going to be ‘Support’.

I’m really excited about it, and hope it will allow people from all over to have a virtual conversation.

If your interested in taking part, then follow @IBDHour on Twitter!

An American doctor experiences the NHS. Again.

Another interesting take on the NHS by an American doctor.

Dr. Jen Gunter

WIth my cousin WIth my cousin

Two years ago I wrote about my experience in a London emergency department with my son, Victor. That post has since been viewed > 450,000 times. There are over 800 comments with no trolls (a feat unto itself) and almost all of them express love for the NHS.

I was in England again this week. And yes, I was back in an emergency department, but this time with my cousin (who is English).

This is what happened.

My cousin loves high heels. As a former model she makes walking in the highest of heels look easy. However, cobblestone streets have challenges not found on catwalks and so she twisted her ankle very badly. Despite ice and elevation there was significant swelling and bruising and she couldn’t put any weight on her foot. I suggested we call her doctor and explain the situation. I was worried about a…

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DofE Diamond Challenge Update

A little while ago I told you about the DofE Diamond Challenge that I have signed up for. Events have disrupted my time table some what, so I now present the challenge options – which should I do?

The challenge needs to be completed by the en dof December, and will be used as an awareness raising/ fundraising event fo rthe Duke of Edinburgh Aeward scheme’s 60th anniversary.

  1. Eating Challenge – suggested by uni friend Laura of Wholeheartedly Healthy

Laura got in touch via Snapchat and suggested something – but the Snap has gone – sorry Laura! I think it was cutting out something bad – fizzy drinks would be very tricky for me! I can’t imagine she would suggest a Man vs Food style challenge, so we’ll go for being fizzy free for 60 days!

2. Expedition Challenge

This one was suggested by my wife. She reckons I should walk the White Horse Trail in Wiltshire. It’s a jolly 90 mile trek which I’d probably have to tackle in sections, but might take a few days off work and do it one. I’d need to dust off my walking boots from previous adventures, and might need some new kit if I decide to camp out.

3. Running Challenge

I’m not talking marathons here. Given that my current running level is 0, I think I should aim for 60km – which would be 12 ParkRuns (I have registered but never taken part!). Now I had intended to start running as part of a bid to return to fitness, but hopefully you don’t think that this would apply!

So, should I:

Clothing Optional

Man In The Red

All I wanted to do was sell some clothes, but what began as a simple attempt to turn a large box of old unwanted items into a small amount of money turned into a racist street outburst.

Like most people in the UK my clothing consumption often approaches the ridiculous, and we, as a family, are often in danger of disappearing under mountainous regions of washed but unfolded and unput-away-able clothes, as cupboards are already jammed shut against a possible avalanche of checked shirts and seasonal sweaters.

It’s a disease, I know. An addiction that I think stems from my childhood of ill-fitting and faded hand-me-downs resulting in numerous bouts of derision from my childhood peers. This has left me with a “clothes maketh the man” attitude that is often exacerbated by my ability to justify purchases on the basis that about 80% of my wardrobe has been bought in…

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Take a walk on the wild side

I have managed to convince my wife and parents to take part with me in the Walk It! for Crohn’s & Colitis UK at Rutland Water on 1st May.

I have now pretty much recovered from my surgery in January, and have started back to work on a phased return. Walking is pretty much the only exercise I can manage at the moment, so it seemed like a good thing to do to take part in a national awareness raising event (the walk is one of a series around the country) and to raise some funds for CCUK too.

If you’d like to sponsor Team Harris, you can donate via our Just Giving Page – https://www.justgiving.com/TeamHarrisRutland

Aside from a small bit of wound healing I am good to go, and recovery has been going very well – I’ll do some more blogs about that soon!

Just Another Man in the Red – Part 1

A new blog came across – looks promising, check it out.

Man In The Red

Like most men, my physical self perception froze in my early twenties. Despite the evidence I see when looking in the mirror – lines now permanently etched into my forehead and around the eyes, skin gone pallid and weary looking and my curiously fat nipples – in my mind I still view myself as an unblemished young’un. Even to the point where dressing in adult attire such as a suit often feels incongruous.It’s this delusion of youth I found myself reflecting on as I knelt on the bathroom floor of the care home I was working in, applying copious handfuls of medicated skin cream to J’s naked body.

J was one of three men with disabilities living in the assisted living bungalow, each of them requiring one-to-one support with all elements of life’s necessities; cooking, cleaning, bathing, dressing, medicating, etc. Despite having to kneel before him like this I still…

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