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This blog is a cross between a scrapbook and a diary. I hope you find something here of interest. If you’d like to keep up with things as I see them then you can subscribe to my news feed by clicking the icon below:



Please note that any reviews/recommendations are based solely on my own experience and does not constitute a guarantee that you will have the same experience. Please do your own research before parting with any money - the risk is all yours!

The Briticiser

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Diadora Shin Guards - they’re not just for sports!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161015-014520

Diadora shin guards helped Georgi to stand upA pair of Diadora shin guards proved to be the perfect solution to help Georgi use his standing wheelchair without having the leg restraint cut into his skin.

After Georgi had his operation we needed to buy him something to let him stand upright. A standing table would have been the cheapest option but that would have been static and quite a problem to lift him up and get him strapped in - and probably quite boring for him too!

A sit-to-stand chair would have been and improvement but, again, quite a static option.

So we splashed the cash and bought him a motorised standing wheelchair which, while we still need to lift him into it, allows him to sit or stand and motor around the house destroying the furniture at the flick of a joystick.

However, due to his contractures, he can’t straighten his legs sufficiently well to allow him to stand up straight and although the machine we bought came with a foam restraint to keep his legs together and allow him to stand, because his knees are always bent this restraint actually pressed into his shins and caused terrible sores… and sometimes bleeding too.

The solution was one which Georgi himself thought of - a pair of football shin guards (or shin pads, as I’ve always known them) proved to be perfect for stopping the restraint from cutting into his legs.

The result is that Georgi can now stay standing for much longer and until he gets tired, instead of when his legs start hurting.

Thank you Diadora!

How to install a network printer WITHOUT administrator privileges

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry160107-173447

There are lots of suggestions out there in “IT Professional Land” about how to provide your common or garden computer user with just enough privileges to allow them to install a printer.

The problem is that often it’s the computer user themselves who need to know how to do this WITHOUT involving their IT people who, more often than not, end up asking the question on a web forum and get mixed up in all sorts of conversations (and sometime arguments) about which is the best way to do it - wouldn’t it be great if there was a trick to it all? Well, try this one… [Read More…]

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is by choice

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry150410-110421

“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is by choice” said Debra Early, commenting after some 50 years of film and television history went up in smoke when fire ripped across the 7,000-acre Big Sky Movie Ranch north of Simi Valley, California, in 2003.

Stuff of dreams goes up in smoke at movie ranch

Only ashen timbers, charred metal and thousands of memories remain of old sets scattered around the hillsides that have been home to countless productions, from “Gunsmoke” to “Fear Factor.” Also lost was the original set used as Walnut Grove in the “Little House on the Prairie”.

Disability hate crime in Britain - BRING BACK THE BIRCH

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry140510-110132

While my adopted home of Georgia may lag well behind in social services for disabled people at least it is a society which hasn’t degraded to the level of bullying blind people in the street.

If this sort of thing was witnessed happening on the streets of Tbilisi the perpetrators would certainly have a short, sharp shock coming to them.

BBC: Bullied blind woman Siobhan Meade films Stevenage abuse

A blind woman who was regularly sworn at by bullies and nearly mugged took to wearing a body camera so police could identify the culprits. [Read More…]

Encephalitis Global Brochure (Georgian)

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry131214-160456

Encephalitis Global Brochure (Russian)

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry131213-170902

«Энцефалитис Глобал» является альянсом лиц, которые на себе ощутили влияние этого заболевания. Эта группа выживших и их близких в сообщество, где мы можем поделиться информацией, полезными для больных и их родственников, которая может облегчить ненужные страдания и повысить осведомленность. Повышением осведомленности, мы также стремимся предотвратить преждевременную гибель больного.

Скачать профайл eglobalbrochureupdated-RU.pdf

Watching the snow

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry131213-165539

It’s the little pleasures in life that mean the most, like watching someone stand and watch the snow on his own for the first time in half a dozen years.

20131212-3 20131212-1


A tennis ball and a frying pan

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130227-024833

I recently started getting Georgi to roll a small ball under his feet as I figured it would help him to regain a little bit of control over his legs. He seems to enjoy it but the problem is that he currently has such poor control that the ball keeps rolling away.

I was thinking about buying a wok or something to make the ball roll back but I think I’ll try a large frying pan for the time being. Even a large plate would probably do the trick - a wok’s probably too convex for him to roll his foot around in, come to think of it.

I wondered if this was some sort of recognised exercise so I went looking and found this excellent set of [Read More…]

Make your own gait trainer - Part 3

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130223-132150

<< Part 2 || Part 4 (coming soon!) >>

In part 2 of this project I decided to change the design to use Unistrut instead of welded box section. Well, because I can I’ve decided to revert to using box section mainly because I have someone who is willing to build it for me, albeit with a much simpler design. The other reason is that, although the Unistrut design is quite sound I’d need to import the hand winch - maybe the pulley wheels too BUT I think it could be built without those now, and just have the wire rope running around metal posts with some PTFE tape wrapped around them.

Once I’ve got Georgi’s gait trainer built I’d like to go back and redesign the Unistrut version, but here are the drawings for the latest incarnation. [Read More…]

Make your own gait trainer - Part 2

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130217-221004

<< Part 1 || Part 3 >>

In my first post on this project I showed the initial design I did for the base of a LiteGait-like gait trainer. I also mentioned that I was looking closely at how I could use Unistrut instead of using box section. Having trawled through the Unistrut catalogue I now think I’ll go this route, for the following reasons. [Read More…]

Make your own gait trainer and save money

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130217-032118

Click the following link if you prefer to jump straight to part 2 to catch up with my latest ideas about how to build this thing:


When I began taking a serious look at what type of gait trainer to get Georgi I was quite dismayed. The cost of these devices is quite prohibitive unless you can get some sort of assistance. The range of equipment available is quite wide too, so wide that it’s easy to get confused about which machine will do the best job.

This article is part 1 of a work in progress and will (hopefully) document my thinking and describe a gait trainer which can be made much more cheaply that you can buy a commercial model for. For anyone on a budget - and unless you are very lucky you probably are - then this article should provide you with sufficient information to help you to build one too. In my case I’m enlisting the help of someone with a good metalwork shop, but if you have a local wrought iron metalworker or blacksmith then this might be something they’d be able to tackle for you. They might even do it for a knock down price if you can get a piece written about it in your local newspaper - it’d be great publicity for them. [Read More…]

A Letter From Your Brain

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130215-121458

©1996 Stephanie St. Claire

May be reprinted for personal, not for profit use.


I’m glad to see that you are awake! This is your brain talking. I had to find some way to communicate with you. I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece. That’s why I need you. I need you to take care of me.

As time passes and you and I feel better and better, people, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine, “it’s time to get on with life.” That sounds good to me and probably even better to you. But before you go rushing back out into that big wide world, I need you to listen to me, really listen. Don’t shut me out. Don’t tune me out. When I’m getting into trouble I’ll need your help more than I ever have before. [Read More…]

CareCure Community Forums

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130211-011833

Click to visit the CareCure Community Forums (opens new tab/window)CareCure has over 70 forums where you can discuss everything from Life to Legislation & Advocacy, from Sports and Travel to  Pain, from Computers to Politics.

The forums contain comprehensive and up-to-date news on the art and science of managing therapies, routines, medication, supplies, equipment and everything else you might need to help look after yourself or a loved one.


Flexiciser - Physical Movement Therapy Device

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130209-025613

image The Flexiciser is a device which allows wheelchair users to experience a physical workout while sitting in their chair. It sounds like a great product and from the faces of the people trying it at the LA trade show in the video on their web page it seems like it has some merit.

I’d need to read up some more on this device because I’d be concerned about the thing wearing out and not being able to buy spare parts very easily outside of the US. Still, it’s good to see something which brings a smile to people’s faces. [Read More…]

Hand physical therapy with the Hand Mentor

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130209-021501

Here’s an interesting device which trains a patient to use their hand again after a stroke. It’s expensive - about 10,000 USD - but seems to have gained a lot of fans in the short time it’s been in use. [Read More…]

Biodex FreeStep SAS - Supported Ambulation System

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130208-022754

In my search to try and find something to help Georgi to learn to walk again I ran into the Biodex FreeStep SAS - Supported Ambulation System, which is surprisingly similar to an idea we were throwing around for fun in our warehouse today - which involved using Unistrut channel and channel nuts: [Read More…]

Learning to walk

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry130105-115933

A few links to various walking/gait trainers which I’ve found around the web. All of these seem so hellishly expensive so I’m trying to design something myself and get it built here. If anyone has any experience using any of these models, or who would like to recommend something else please let me know by using my contact form.[Read More…]

Electrical impulses in the brain

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry120523-064645

I saw an article on the BBC site today which reminded me of the above titled thread which I commented on at inspire.com, but which is now closed to replies so I thought I’d just post an entry about it.

The original thread is here:

http://www.inspire.c … pulses-in-the-brain/

The BBC article attempts to explain “Why your body jerks before you fall asleep”

http://www.bbc.com/f … -from-sleep-shudders

Like me, the author Tom Stafford says he is

“fascinated by these twitches, known as hypnic jerks. Nobody knows for sure what causes them, but to me they represent the side effects of a hidden battle for control in the brain that happens each night on the cusp between wakefulness and dreams.”

It’s an interesting article and anyone who is even mildly concerned about this condition should read it… and enjoy the experience more!

Please visit the inspire.com journal entry for this article if you’d like to comment on it. Commenting on the blog you are currently reading is disabled after a set number of days in an attempt to defeat the spambots.

Georgi’s gone to Armenia!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry120428-114818

We were tipped off by a great friend of ours about a rehab centre in Yerevan (the capital of Armenia) so last weekend we rented a Dodge Caravan and headed down there - it’s only a 6-hour drive from Tbilisi.


The specialist here in Tbilisi had been to see him a few weeks ago and suggested that he needs an operation to straighten his legs, so we mentioned this place to him and he knew all about it, knew the specialist down there very well indeed, and urged us to take Georgi down there if possible as the therapy he could get there is like nothing he can get in Georgia.

Our friend in Armenia did a bit of groundwork for us - sorted an apartment out for us and made an appointment to see the specialist, though we didn’t know beforehand whether they could do anything for him.

I was very impressed by the professionalism and general “can-do” attitude we were met with in Armenia - so much different to Georgia where people are more interested in lining their own pockets by opening fancy clinics which look like hotels, but which fall well short of all the promises made on their websites when you scratch the surface.

In contrast the rehab centre we went to in Armenia was run as more of a public service (so it seemed) and the people who we saw there seemed to tick all the right boxes for me. They said they would give him physio & speech therapy for a month, and that I would definitely see some positive changes at the end of it. My wife’s certainly been impressed during the first few days of Georgi going there, and Georgi enjoys it too as there are lots of other children there and the place itself is set in it’s own little grounds with small cottages for parents and their children to stay in.

They’re going to use Botox on his legs (to relax the muscles from what I can tell). I was a bit surprised about this till I read up on it.

Fingers crossed it all works out. It was a bit of a gamble renting a place for a month and taking him down there, without knowing what they’d say, but so far so good.

It’s all go at the moment!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry120119-060218

My little soccer team Darlington F.C. (The Mighty Darlo) DID actually go bust yesterday and I was about to head down to the Hangar Bar and turn my Darlington scarf upside down, but the fans gathered round the body and resuscitated it…

Darlington go bust and then revived after fans raise £200,000

The club have NO staff (not even players) - they were all made redundant by the Administrator but the backroom staff are all volunteering to help stage the two next home games, the coach is working for free, and what players are still around are going to play on a match-by-match basis. The fans are collecting money to pay their wages while our “Rescue Group” tries to thrash out some sort of community-led business plan. The coach, Crag Liddle, deserves an OBE or something - he’s really the Youth Team coach who’s been looking after the first team for the past few weeks, he’s Darlington through-and-through and a monument to all that is good and decent about the game. I think he’s been the glue which has kept us all together - even the players who had to leave (they had to earn a living) were gutted at abandoning ship and many ex-players have sent messages of support or even donated to the fund.

The first is at home to table-topping Fleetwood on Saturday and we’ve got fans coming from all over the country for a Fans United day where they wear their own club colours. The second home game is against nearby rivals York City - so we’re expecting a bumper crowd for that game too.


I’m also one of the admins for this page…


I’d really appreciate it if anyone reading this could “Like” that page and help spread the word. We’ve got about 10 days grace to save the club from extinction - Georgi’s quite upset about it - following Darlington is something which helps to fill his world up and if there’s no match for us to sit down and listen to on a Saturday then he’s going to make me get the colouring books out, or build the same Lego car I’ve built ten times before, or get all his toy cars out…. again…

P.S. if you would be so kind could you please print out the poster at the bottom of that first link (or just click here) and stick it somewhere prominent.

Up the Darlo!


Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.

Support our caregiving

Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.