Thursday, 28 June 2012


First rant......Infection!
A nice, standard ward bed became available in Southport this week but because of this stupid dam infection I couldn't move! Here's hoping it’s not another month before the opportunity arises again!

Also, in other infection related news, despite infection control assurances there's like 0% chance of it being contracted, it would appear our Paul is that statistical anomaly, so get well soon paulo! (Bit of small print, he picked it up prior to it being diagnosed!)

Next rant.....Sneezes!
I used to have a big, bellowing, man-size sneeze, loud enough to clear a room, much to the disgust of Jenna. Now, due to a lack of abdominal and intercostal muscles, despite the same big build up I only have a sneeze equivalent to a six year old asthmatic girl and this now provides untold amusement to Jenna and disappoints me greatly!

Next up.... Weetabix!
Thankfully I can just about open the individually wrapped Weetabix myself and the sugar too but sometimes the staff are still a bit too keen and will do it all for me. This morning, for the umpteenth time, despite my protestations the sugar went on before the milk!! In what world does this make sense?..... anyway I think I might be getting a bit carried away!

So, generally I'm doing pretty good, been doing some rehab this week which is encouraging and have also got a new chair, much more like a standard wheelchair, so I can push myself around a bit now, the only limitations being my own feeble upper body strength! All of 20 metres usually before I ask for a push!  It's all progress thought!

Right it's time to get in said chair again now, thanks to everyone, as ever love Mark.  

Note from Betty. 
I would like you all to know that Mark is now keying all this himself.
Also, check out the crossword tab at the top of the page, it's Mark's next challenge.


I just had to show this.......after my little rant yesterday this is today's Weetabix delivery,  SUGAR FIRST.... it's just so not right! 

Mark the Miffed!


  1. Jennifer Jones6/28/2012 12:53 pm

    Hi Mark, Jenna and the gang,

    Ah Mark I am sorry to read your frustrated message above. Through your frustration however it is clear to see that the progress you are making is phenomenal. I struggle to open weetabix packages at the best of times, you are doing brilliantly! Also sounds like your sneezes have changed for the better.

    In all seriousness, am so proud of you all. Your strength and determination is amazing. Your progress in relation to the chair, writing and everything you set your mind to is so rapid and you are doing amazingly, keep up the good work!

    Adam and I are checking the blog daily for updates, thank you for keeping it so updated, it is great to read.

    Fingers crossed re Southport and tonnes of positive thoughs being sent your way.

    Loads of love

    Jen Jones

  2. Stocking up on feathers to ensure a demonstration of sneeze later on. Mwahahaha!
    Rubbish regarding Southport move, although for once I think the weather up here is better than Merseyside way. Every cloud...
    See you later on male chum, Beth xxx

  3. It's like putting salt on the chips first !!. Mark, get them to toast the weetabix next time and have it with a topping of melted cheese or jam...seriously delicious.
    Southport news is just a stumbling block mate and will happen sooner rather than later. I guess because " Confine It " is an anagram of infection, they want to make sure your all systems go, so bear with them fella.
    Encouraging news about rehab and the chair. One expects to read 100 metres in under 10 seconds soon, so progess as you say is being made.
    Ok team swift, on the subject of anagrams Im going to set you a challenge. I want you all, individually, to come up with an anagram of the word " theremarkableswift ". The best one will receive some goodies from me so get your thinking caps on.
    Thinking of you guys and love as always

  4. male fart reek with B.S.

  5. With regard to your outing in the chair. A first trek blew me. Although I think Betty's anagram is closer to the truth. Keep up the good work in the chair and you can go to Southport under your own steam. I have a theory if you just turn up and knock on the door they won't turn you away. Sugar has to go on last especially on cornies otherwise you don't get that frosties taste and the crunch from the sugar.
    See you soon mate.


  6. Firstly, Weetabix are rank! You might as well pour your milk and sugar on the cardboard box and eat that instead!! Secondly, see if you can find a second wheelchair for races down the corridors on my hunt for the canteen the other week I found a nice long corridor on a little bit of a downward slant - perfect for your tired little arms!!!
    Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and great to keep reading about your progress!
    Lots of love,
    Nolan xxx
    p.s. your ginger beard almost rivalled Bebbs, the gingerest of them all!!!!

  7. Mark my sympathy is with you for the weetabix- there needs to be just enough milk so that it is fully absorbed but not so the weetabix is swimming and/or disintegrates and floats- then and only then should the sugar be evenly sprinkled! I hope they have learned their lesson and leave it to you from now on.
    As always amazed by your progress, love that you are pushing the chair and amusing Jenna with your sneezes ;) Prayers and fingers crossed that Southport will be soon.
    Hope to see you soon
    Lots of love
    Anna xxx

  8. Emma Cleator-Webb6/29/2012 3:38 pm

    Hiya Mark,
    What with the added beard width and all the compliments you are getting on here, I'm a little worried about you getting your head out of that ward.....but I must say you are quite amazing! Its brilliant to see on here how well you are doing and how quickly! You seem to achieve something new every day.

    I totally sympathise with the sugar/weetabix/milk problem, although I have to say, if I was in hospital I might have to play the sympathy card and hold out for coco pops....

    Hope you get to Southport soon
    Emma Cleator-Webb xx

  9. Mark, when I used to eat weetabix a long time ago I always put the sugar on first before the milk is that not normal ? In fact so did Jenna and Lynsey. I believe Jenna was getting stroppy with the nursing staff again, If your not careful they will soon kick you out to Southport at this rate! Unfortunately for you Rose and I will come up and see you next weekend, before the open starts. GIVE OUR LOVE TO YOUR MUM AND DAD (caps went funny)
    xx Rose and Peter ps on my 3rd JD

    1. Excuse me I think I ALWAYS put the sugar on after the milk!!! Keep off the Jack Daniels please dad, you'll be getting a name for the Hughes family! Just sitting with Bren now, just about to go top up her wine glass!! Jenna xxx

    2. Cereal plus sugar = gross. And Mark, I have just been on FB and seen the beard.... Good work and KEEP IT UP.

      As always you are doing SUPERBLY (have come to expect nothing less) and although the annoying infection sitch, I have everything crossed and have a very good feeling that another opportunity in Southport will come up soon.

      Sending you all MY love and support as ever, and I will see you very soon.

      Love Jayne xxxx

      ps please cheer for Spain career depends on it... Jenna will explain....

    3. no idea why MY is capitalised...

  10. David Rankin7/02/2012 3:21 pm

    Hi Mark, frustrating news about Southport but hopefully it won't be too long before you're back here on the west coast. I trust you enjoyed watching Spain last night and went to sleep dreaming of what might have been if we still had Alonso, Torres and even Arbeloa in our team! I've been checking your blog every few days and it's great to see that you're typing it all yourself now and sticking to your principles on the weetabix front. I'm really not sure about the earlier post about toasted weetabix and cheese though, I've never heard anything like it!

  11. Complain to the chef...but make sure its after you've eaten!

  12. Hi Mark-

    This is Jennifer Remington again, from across the pond here in America.

    Sorry for your weetabix issue, to be honest, not sure what weetabix :-)

    Laughed a bit when I read about your new "sneeze". I too suffer from a mouse sneeze. My children laugh at me everytime I sneeze! I also find that my laugh is not as deep as it used to be and my cough is weak to say the least. It amazed me after my injury to see how much the spinal cord controls. In fact, my voice box was originaly paralyzed and I my voice was very airy. The docs said it could take up to a year to come back and it was back in 30 days!

    On that note, please know that things will come back! Keep up the hard work and positive attitude and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

    From one SCI to another...Keep on rolling!