Falling into disrepute

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Here our Editor, Phil Parry, describes some unfortunate effects of the crippling disease Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) which afflict him.

 

Being a journalist does not protect you

To others falling over in a pub is funny.

But to the victim it might have nothing to do with drink.

It is like I have had a skinful after only one alcoholic drink – I am falling all over the place!

 

On one occasion when I was out with friends in a pub, I had to weigh up the distance to the toilet in my mind, and whether I would make it.

It’s all right when a disabled person is in, but getting there might be a problem

Unfortunately I didn’t, and I fell over before I could make it there (this was before I had a stick).

I was helped to my feet by a very nice man who plainly thought I was drunk, despite the fact I had only had a couple of glasses of wine!

On that occasion I had to be poured into a taxi to get home, even though the house was only 200 yards away.

The taxi driver must have thought he had another drunk!

I was helped into the house by a friend (I will always be eternally grateful to you, you know who you are) and my poor wife must have thought she had married an alcoholic!

I don’t drink out now – for obvious reasons.

It wasn’t a problem in my early years in journalism, when you would always finish the shift with a drink, or even at the BBC.

I remember another more serious incident recently, when I was taking my dog out for a walk.

A stick is a must now for Phil

The dog pulled on his lead at just the wrong moment, and I fell over.

This time the consequences were severe.

I knocked out my front teeth – and the dentist had to come in specially to open his surgery and fix me up, because it was a Saturday.

A mate of mine then said I should only go out with a gum shield!

As my HSP has progressed, I no longer take the dog out at all now – so that has solved that one.

I still, though, have to be very careful where I walk, and never go anywhere without my stick.

Shutting the car door becomes an issue for disabled people

There are constant dangers everywhere for disabled people – and tripping on uneven pavements is just one of them.

I pay tribute to those who are trying to make things better.

Balance too becomes a factor with HSP.

One occasion I remember happened when I was trying to shut the door of my car (oddly enough driving is OK, but getting in or out of the car is a bit of a struggle).

The door is quite heavy, and as I was closing it I lost my balance and fell over.

These are a real problem…

I was having trouble getting up and a neighbour rushed out to help me, even though it was very early in the morning.

Again this incident must have appeared funny to anyone watching it.

My point is a simple one.

Do not be too quick to judge, because events may not be as they seem.

Tomorrow – the huge reaction to our shocking revelation that a pensioner who writes a right-wing blog behind a new Welsh independence party, supported the 1960s paramilitary organisation Free Wales Army. 

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. […] The equal treatment of disabled people is viewed by commentators as a progressive mark of advanced countries, and it is seen as important to address debilitating illnesses, but it seems Mr Jones does not concur.  One of the lines by him which caused particular offence was:  “Am I alone in thinking there’s an element of a Victorian freak show in the Paralympics?”.  A post on the Republic website concluded:    “(Royston Jones was) awarded …that week’s Full of Shit award. It was well merited (as this was a) primitive attitude to disabled people.” […]

  2. […] The equal treatment of disabled people is viewed by commentators as a progressive mark of civilised countries, and it is seen as important to address debilitating illnesses, but it seems Mr Jones does not agree. One of the lines by him on Jac o’ the North which caused particular offence was:  “Am I alone in thinking there’s an element of a Victorian freak show in the Paralympics?”. […]

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