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blogOn this page you will find blogs written by patients, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

This page is a dedicated area for you to learn about and share experiences. Your blog can be anonymous, or if you wish to you can provide your name and/or photograph.

If you would like to do a blog about something you have experienced in terms of health conditions or healthcare, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we would be happy to discuss.

Endometriosis. Period!

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By Vicki.

In my professional life I work for the Stroke Association. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my partner, family and friends, and their children. I’m also slightly obsessed with my cat Betty (pictured below!). I enjoy photography and have recently set up my own Instagram page with photos I have taken and this is something I want to get into and plan to after my operation.

EndoPicI am writing this for a number of reasons, but mainly to raise awareness especially in light of Endometriosis Awareness week. And to help those close to me to understand why I am like I am, to get a clearer understanding of the whole situation myself and I guess, writing things down is quite therapeutic and something I really need right now!

So, since I was ten years old and still at primary school, I have struggled with bad periods – starting my period at primary school in itself wasn’t the best thing in the world, but when that came with excruciating pain, it was a bit of a harsh realisation that this was potentially what I could expect for a good few years, little did I know just what I had in front of me!

I am 35 now, and have pretty much spent the past 25 years struggling nearly every single month. When I was 21, I found out I had Endometriosis.


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(Septicaemia, blood poisoning)

John is a local resident from Birmingham, who works with our organisation as a patient partner/representative.

JohnOv3I had one momentary lapse in concentration!

There I was on a Thursday in late June happily boiling spuds for my daughter’s dinner, when the phone rang. I picked it up and in my customary way proceeded to have an animated conversation oblivious to everything around me.

A warm feeling started to climb up my back at which point I politely excused myself from the phone call saying “I will ring you back, I think I am on fire”. Now, this is the point for all the hindsight brigade to come out of the woodwork with a list of “what you should have done” or “if it had been me I would have”, all very well-meaning, but, you know, when an individual is enjoying a somewhat stressful moment, and are up to their neck in Alligators, its often hard to remember, that the objective was to drain the swamp.

So, rather than running like a human torch, through my kitchen, into my dining room, down the hall and into a cold shower, whilst burning my house to the ground, I chose instead to step outside and remove my burning shirt. Somewhat shaken, I returned back to the kitchen finished preparing my daughters dinner (which she thoroughly enjoyed), rang my friend back and suggested that they pop round and take me to Hospital.

Christmas on my terms

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Ted Ralph

Ted Ralph works for the local NHS.

Most people feel pressure coming up to Christmas. It’s a fun time but for many of us it means lots of preparation and work.

It seems like we’re conditioned into wanting that perfect Christmas with copious amounts of food and drink, good company and gift’s a plenty. Nigella Lawson’s glittery vision of Christmas is just one example that’s almost impossible to recreate without a crew of 5 helpers including a hair stylist and interior designer.  

Living with dementia - a son's tale

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iain fulfordOne of the curses of working within healthcare is that people automatically think you know everything remotely medical. I’m not a nurse, I’m not a doctor. There was a time when I was about 14 that I thought about being a doctor, but there was an obstacle – I really didn’t understand biology. What’s the relevance of this you may ask? Well during my somewhat eclectic career, I spent some time working with a well-known private care home provider. In that role, I was very fortunate to meet both people who were living with dementia, and the amazing folks that care for them. I’d written many articles about it, talked to the care homes residents who, on their good days, were the most intriguing characters with some amazing life experiences, and interviewed families about the impact.

My point is this… I knew about dementia. I knew the signs, I knew the symptoms, and I knew the devastating impact it has.

It was the little things I began to notice at first; asking the same question again, the odd repeated conversation, forgetting where she’d put things. Then over the course of a year or so, it became more and more noticeable. She’d appear vacant, or would stop listening. In groups, she seemed to slowly withdraw. Family members brought it up in conversation. My sister and I talked about it possibly being dementia, but I’d find excuses to justify her behaviour. We knew she’d had a TIA a couple of years before, so I’d put it down to that. “Maybe she needs a hearing test?” The results were fine. And then it would settle down for a while and we’d all carry on as if nothing was wrong. That happened a few times, and over the course of a couple of years we just put it down to Mum “being Mum”. We’d occasionally talk about it, behind closed doors, and then change the subject; the prospect too unbearable to give strong consideration to.

Dave talks about how he's coped with losing his dad on Christmas Eve

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Dave Rogers Midland Mencap"His presence remains our spirit of Christmas, we know he is there with us, we find that comforting. We are happy, and people might find this odd, but our family Christmases have now become even more special."

By Dave Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Midland Mencap

I guess the worst of days always start off OK. As a family our worst of days was Christmas Eve 1996, the day my father very unexpectedly passed away.  My dad was Christmas, he loved the season and was the glue by which our whole family celebration was planned and enjoyed. In the days leading up to Christmas Eve he would spend his time delivering cards and presents to even the most distant of relatives and friends as well as come up with, sometimes the most ridiculous, ways of enhancing the Christmas spirit. Our Christmases were amazing, fun filled, family affairs and no sooner had one Christmas passed we’d all start thinking about the next one.

Then came that fateful day. We, my wife and four small children, were going to spend Christmas Eve morning at home before travelling to my parents for the festivities. Then wham! You just know that 5am phone calls never bring good news and I just knew something terrible had happened. Still full of sleep I struggled to comprehend the call, it was a neighbour, clearly distressed themselves, trying to tell me that my dad had been rushed to hospital, he was seriously ill, and I should waste no time in getting to his bedside. It took what seemed like an age to unravel in my mind what I’d been told. How could this be true? My dad was a bull of a man, fit, strong, and rarely ill. That was my abiding thought, he’s never ill. So, I set off to the hospital convinced that whatever had happened he would just shake it off and be home before you know it.

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