Thankfully as this week has progressed I have felt fitter and now back to full strength so the step total has progressed quite well with another 107.554 steps added to the total which currently stands at 762.154 .it was interesting to find out that my Million steps will total in the region of 503 miles.
When I was at home recovering from my two day stay in Addenbrookes it gave me the opportunity to watch the Mortimer & Whitehouse fishing series again.
Bob & Paul have managed to deliver a programme that I am sure has lifted the spirits of thousands of people across the country with their light hearted comments ,entertainment and care of the environment with the fishing thrown in but far more importantly discussing so many things relating to health. With both Bob & Paul having had serious heart conditions and Bob having open heart surgery they discuss how they felt when diagnosed and the treatment that followed but then move on during the series to talk about mental health and the importance of talking about mental health.
n series 3 episode 6 fishing on the river Wye Bob arranges for Paul and himself to talk to Dr Anand Patel from the centre for mens health.
Bob asks Dr Patel how would you suggest people tell somebody that they are struggling and the reply from the doctor was simple. Tell your doctor, family member or friend that I’ve not wanted to talk about this but I am feeling low?
Since starting this million step challenge I have had more and more people coming forward to talk to me about what they have been through with their mental health which in itself is very rewarding as this is what the challenge is about along with raising funds for SHOUT 85258 .
I personally have no professional training on dealing with mental health and can only talk to people about what I went through personally following a serious accident and the treatment I went through but more importantly showing that you can recover and have a coping mechanism to deal with your own health. And to be honest going through depression and PTSD has made me a far better person and far more considerate and understanding along with managing my life and time in a better way. I admit that I was a workaholic but now try to have a structure to my life , Yes I still work hard but also try to have family time , and social time either fishing or working on my charity events.
It is strange how once people break the ice to talk about their problems it can open the floodgates this was the case on Thursday evening when the Hall Of Fame Inductions took place at Cambridge United. The organisers very kindly made the decision to donate the money raised in the heads & tails competition to my million step challenge but also asked me to speak for a few minutes about the challenge and why I was doing it. What I did not expect was at the end of the evening for two people come forward to say they had been suffering with mental health one of which mentioned they had tried to talk about their problem to people and said they were told to just get over-it . What was nice was the person said after listening to what I said and having a chat it was the first time they had not felt alone for a very long time.
This is exactly why things have to change and people should not be afraid to talk about how they are feeling? Trust me it could save a life.
Although the funds did not increase as much this week as I would have liked I am pleased to say that yet another company donated to show their support for mental health. So special thanks to AJW Distribution Ltd. The total now sits £4320
I have been asked by several people if I intend to undertake a walk were people can join me. And to be honest I had not really thought about it but I will now have a look for somewhere that would be suitable and that offers parking and an interesting environment and possibly set a date on a Sunday before Christmas.
Thanks again for your support and please spread the word.
Ian Darler B.E.M
Week 7 - Million Step challenge
This week continued to be a challenge in more ways than expected as I was recovering from my time spent in Addenbrookes Hospital and although I felt better in myself and pain free I did not have any energy and felt drained.
So again this week the steps covered are far lower than I would have planned but I am pleased to have put another 44.467 steps on the total which now stands at 655.154 steps covered.
I am hopeful that week 8 will see me getting back to the 100.000 steps a week.
I must again say thanks to the generosity of all the people and companies that have sponsored the event this week which has now taken the total raised to £4.220
David & Janet
Not forgetting the anonymous donations
Million Step Challenge Week 6 - Find out why it was a difficult week. You never know when things will take a turn for the worst
Thanks to the NHS displayed on the pitch at CUFC April 2020
You will see in my steps diary this week that the number of steps have dropped off as I had not been feeling very well for several days but what I did not expect was to be taken in to Addenbrookes Hospital by ambulance in the early hours of Monday morning which incidentally was the day of my mother’s funeral that I did not get to attend.
Anyway I have never taken interest in politics in any form but having had a very traumatic 48 hours in hospital I thought I would include it in my million step diary for this week in the hope that a politician may read it at some point.
Now having worked at Cambridge United FC with staff from the NHS, Doctors, Paramedics, porters etc on match days for over 30 years I have listened time after time to the stories of being short staffed, long hours worked etc and I was aware of what amazing work they do but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed during my time in Addenbrookes.
I went to bed Sunday evening not feeling that great and was unable to sleep and during the early hours of Monday morning I was in a great deal of stomach pain which increased to the point that I knew I was in trouble and just after 4am my wife Lisa had to call for an ambulance and having witnessed ambulance delays in the past at CUFC I was not surprised that it did not arrive that quickly as I know they are always flat out and in demand. Lisa made a second call as my health deteriorated further and I had collapsed and following the second call the ambulance arrived very quickly. The two young paramedics checked me over including checking for a heart attack as I had passed - out and been very sweaty and in a great deal of pain. They made the decision to transport me to Addenbrookes , I was feeling very unwell and started receiving pain killers and anti-sickness drugs immediately. The care they gave was incredible and on arrival at hospital there was a discussion as to where I would be taken were there any cubicles in A & E etc. anyway I was placed in a cubicle outside the doctors /nurse station . I was swabbed quickly for MRSA and tested for covid .
I had only been in A & E a short while when I had another attack come on and could feel myself passing out again I called for help and the staff rushed to my aid and again all the kit was stuck over me to check for a heart condition, the sweat was pouring off me I was in extreme pain and I can honestly say that it was as ill as I have every felt in my lifetime.
The doctors then took me through to the Resus unit where I spent several hours having been put on a drip being pumped full of morphine , anti-sickness drug etc but I was still being ill .
Discussions took place about my condition having recently had diverticulitis and having been on antibiotics the week before. The staff then arranged for me to have an emergency CT scan followed by a second scan. I was then returned to the Resus department and again the treatment I received was outstanding. The decision was made to give me another dose of antibiotics intravenously but within just 20 minutes I had an allergic reaction and was covered in a rash from head to toe, more quick treatment followed to prevent the reaction getting worse and within an hour this was under control and had calmed down although I was still being sick and bad.
I was still in intense pain in the abdomen areas and was given yet more morphine and then at long last the pain eased I cannot thank the staff enough for what they did for me.
It was after a few more hours that I was transferred back to A & E when I caught up with the staff who had first treated me. I spoke to one of the nurses at length and said at one point I thought my time was up. She replied yes you did look very poorly we were worried you were having a heart attack and you went some strange colours.
Now I am used to working 12-14 hour days myself at CUFC and it is tiring but If I get something wrong or forget to do something worst that would happen is something may get left unlocked or a machine not get put away ,these staff simply do not stop and often do not get the break they deserve and I heard one nurse say she had been trying to get time to go to the loo for an hour and god only knows how they keep going and they are responsible for people’s lives every minute of their working day.
It was whilst I was in A & E waiting to be transferred to the ward that I my attention was drawn back to the million step challenge I am undertaking as a young girl was brought in by paramedics and again the care she received was so caring. The young girls phone rang and she was talking and I over heard her say she had been self-harming again and that she wanted to talk to somebody but did not know who to talk to. This is why SHOUT 85258 is so important.
The staff were keen to get me moved to the ward to free up the bay but there was a shortage of porters on duty and also a shortage of trollies. I should also mention the catering staff team who again work tirelessly with the demands put on them and were so friendly and accommodating with patient’s needs.
I finally arrived on ward A3 at around 1.30am and again the staff on the ward were simply amazing.
Due to my position as the match day safety officer and Stadium Manager at Cambridge United for 40 years I have had to write hundreds of risk assessments and method statements but can honestly say that I would not know where to start to support all the staff from top to bottom at Addenbrookes Hospital and would have very strong concerns about their mental health and think some staff must suffer from burn out but will direct my frustration at the government and politicians for the way the staff are treated and expected to work and the work load has clearly increased so much more with the covid situation but simple things like having the basic effective essentials would help.
How’s this for an example? The disposable plastic aprons the staff have to wear have been changed to what the staff believe is a cheaper version but consider this. The staff are generally working at speed and need this equipment to be efficient and effective but more often than not the aprons are pulled off the roll only to be thrown in the bin as they don’t tear off clean and cannot be worn. So is that cost effective? Unlikely? whilst also taking up time to get to patients which in some cases have life threatening conditions and I witnessed the frustration on the faces of staff again and again over something that could be sorted so easily.
It would be easy for me to say what the politicians say on national TV about the NHS staff along the lines of what a great job they do but is that just lip service they pay because that is what they think people want to hear after they have put in a flying visit to a hospital for publicity reasons.
Ladies and gentlemen in the Government here is a suggestion that I think you all should undertake.
Firstly read the book THIS IS GOING TO HURT secret diary of a junior doctor by Adam Kay as I did a few weeks ago and to be honest I thought some of the stories in it were farfetched but let me tell you from my own experience I now know they were true
Come on MP’s rather than carry out a flying visit to a hospital spend three full days at your local hospital as I am sure they must all be under the same pressures?
Spend day 1 in A & E
Day 2 in the Resus unit
Day 3 on a ward
Let me assure you whatever you think you know about the NHS staff it will open your eyes and minds and then ask yourself would you undertake this work for the reward they get, and let me answer this for you .
My view is that I think all the NHS staff are very special people who deserve better treatment in their place of work.
I will finish this journey by scoring the staff and people I came in contact with at Addenbrookes hospital and it is only there pride and will to help others that keeps them going but they are at breaking point and need more help now before they leave the service.
Paramedics 10 out of 10
A & E Doctors 10 out of 10
A & E Nursing staff 10 out of 10
Resus staff 10 out of 10
Scanning department 10 out of 10
Porters 10 out of 10
Catering staff 10 out of 10
Cleaning staff 10 out of 10
Now whilst I have scored every department 10 out 10 and the powers in charge will say that is because everything is place and working well but that is far from the case as it appears to be very close to being unworkable and if any further pressure is put on the system I cannot see how it will cope as they already appear to be far below the number of staff required in every depatment.
I really am grateful to each and every one of you who helped me in my time of need. And think the quote from Winston Churchill some’s you all up.
NEVER WAS SO MUCH OWED TO SO MANY BY SO FEW.
As I mentioned at the start of my week 6 diary my steps have been very low with only 35494 this week
Taking the total steps to date to 610.687
Donation total now at £3.755 leaving £6245 to the £10.000 target
I must thank the generosity of the sponsors that have again been kind enough donate money this week.
Hortech Systems Ltd
Not forgetting the anonymous donations
I hope to be well enough moving forward in week 7 to start getting some more steps on the board to enable the 1 million step total to be achieved
Ian Darler B.E.M
The week has been the most challenging so far for a number of reasons?
Firstly the final preparations for my mother’s funeral have been ongoing and I have also been suffering from an attack of diverticulitis which has meant I have had a week of being on antibiotics and not feeling that great.
On a positive note my final Cambridge Charity Fund Raisers charity fishing event took place on Wednesday hence the daily steps for Wednesday were down but we managed to donate another £500 to the The Malcolm Whales Foundation so we have donated £1000 to tmwf this year.
The money raised will be used to help fund a fully serviced holiday pod next to Rook Lake at Rookery Waters and will be used for families suffering with cancer.
Thursday also became a day to forget as the CUFC irrigation system failed?
Firstly the electronic control panel failed and had to be replaced and then the following day the pipework inside the reservoir tank burst and had to be replaced which was not a great job on what was the coldest day this autumn so far.
WE took the opportunity to remove the sludge form inside the tank and carry out a full renovation on the system
Walking this week was done mostly in the local villages again around Rampton, Cottenham.
I am very pleased to say that the challenge is now starting to attract media attention and hopefully this will encourage more people to donate moving forward.
Again I must thanks those people who have donated during week 5
Sue & Graham Brown
Jan & Lloyd
And again thanks those who have donated anonymously
Total funds raised as of 4th November 2021 £3550.00
AS ever I am very grateful to everybody who has supported the challenge
Ian Darler B.E.M