2016-12-31 – A real mixed bag.

Another year draws to a close, and I have mixed feelings about 2016.  It has been a real mixed bag.

On the one hand, it is the year that I had my deep brain stimulation operation – something that has immeasurably changed my life for the better.

On the other hand, it seems that scarcely a week went by without another death in the world of music and entertainment – the 2016 body count is phenomenal!

Then there was the referendum, the result of which has shaken our country to the core – whichever way you voted, the outcome was still a shock.  It remains to be seen how quickly we manage to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off – there is no doubt in my mind that we will do so, it’s just a question of how long it takes.

The U.S. Presidential election – another shocker, but, once again, the people have spoken.  In 2017 we shall see how right (or wrong) we were about Donald Trump – I sincerely hope that we were wrong, that he doesn’t prove to be the loose cannon that everybody says that he is.

Terrorist attacks galore, in every corner of the world.  Man’s inhumanity to man depresses me, quite frankly.  I have no idea what the answer is, I just hope that there is an answer.

Tonight we will be seeing the New Year in at home.  A quiet affair with just my wife’s sons and their fiancees, our granddaughter, a couple of beers, a little music (perhaps).

Happy New Year – I wish you all the very best in 2017!

2016-12-30 – Vlogging a dead horse?

It’s Friday again, and it’s crept up on me (again).  I need to publish my weekly vlog today, and I really haven’t given a lot of thought to it this week.  What’s it going to be about?  My life is so boring, nobody can possibly be interested in hearing about it, and yet over 300 people have watched last week’s vlog.  I’ll continue for a little while yet and see how it goes.

I decide on a subject (DBS and the dentist) and set about writing a script for the video.  Once I’ve decided what to write about, the words come fairly easily, and by lunchtime I’m about ready to start filming.

I load my script into the teleprompter app on my iPad and have a couple of dry runs to get my timing right, and then switch the camera on.  I really needed the filming to go without a hitch, because my wife and I are babysitting our granddaughter tonight, and I wanted to publish the video before we go out.  As usual, when you want something to go smoothly, it doesn’t – I fluff my lines so many times, it’s beyond a joke.  Finally I think I have enough material for the edit, and I take a break to walk the dog before it gets dark.

My walking is still a little wooden, but nowhere near as bad as it has been for the last couple of days.  My voice is still quite weak, and the main reason for having so many takes when I’m filming my vlog is because my voice ends up sounding strangled – if I consciously think about my breathing and don’t rush, then it definitely gets a little better.

By the time my wife calls me to say she’s on her way home, I have just about finished editing my vlog.  By the time dinner is on the table, the editing is finished and I’m uploading the video to my YouTube Channel.

2016-12-29 – Bloody freezing!

I slept well (again) last night, and didn’t get up until well after 9am.  The world outside our window is sparkling frosty white this morning – my car looks to be completely encased in ice.  I hope the temperature rises a little bit later on – I want to wash my car today (I haven’t done so since before I was in hospital in April).

The ground is frozen hard underfoot when I take the dog for her morning walk, and my toes are completely numb inside my wellies – it’s bloody freezing!

Eventually the sun defrosts the car, and I venture out armed with a bucket of warm soapy water and a sheepskin mitt to do battle with the generous quantity of bird muck that coats it’s paintwork.

Clean car
Clean car

The frost (and it’s subsequent melting) has softened the bird muck, so it actually washes off really easily, and it doesn’t take me too long to do.  I’m struggling a little with shortness of breath and muscular stiffness today, and it makes the task a tad more difficult than it usually is.  At least tremor is (mainly) under control.  Dyskinesia and dystonia are fairly stable.  My walking is atrocious at the moment (more of a stumble than a walk), but at least I am still managing to stay upright.  My voice is still not very strong, but it is better than it was yesterday.  Motivation is still improved compared to last week, so I’m pleased about that.

We have to go to Hevingham to give my wife’s ex-husband’s girlfriend her birthday present (what a rubbish time to have a birthday!) and to collect some fabric samples to show to one of her customers tomorrow morning.  When we get back home, the day is pretty much over – it’s dark and everything is getting iced up again.  My wife prepares a dinner of Christmas leftovers while I light the fire, and we select yet another Netflix movie for the evening’s entertainment.

2016-12-28 – A family affair.

My wife’s family are scheduled to visit us for nibbles and drinks this afternoon, so we are making sure that the house is in a fit state for visitors.  My wife is vacuuming and dusting like a thing possessed, so I take the dog for a walk – she doesn’t like the vacuum cleaner…

When I get back, I organise the logs and woodburner, making sure that the fire is lit, but just ticking over – it can get a bit oppressive with a house full of people if it is really blazing.

My walking isn’t good today and my voice is really strained, so I’m not looking forward to lots of conversation.  Tremor is okay.  Mood is okay. Motivation seems a little better than yesterday.  Everything else is pretty much unchanged.

Our guests arrive (5 adults and 2 children) and I busy myself serving drinks while my wife is warming sausage rolls and mince pies in the oven.  We spend a pleasant afternoon eating, drinking, opening Christmas presents and chatting.  My voice does give up on several occasions, but it’s not too embarrassing.

At long last, we have the house to ourselves again, so we clear up, put the dishwasher on, pour (another) beer and select another movie to watch on Netflix.

2016-12-27 – Glad to be home.

I slept like a log last night – no cannabis required!

We are having my wife’s family over for nibbles and drinks tomorrow afternoon, so we need to go and buy some food!  We go to Lidl and Sainsbury’s in North Walsham and purchase the necessary.

While my wife is making sausage rolls, I get the logs in from the garden, light the fire and settle down on the sofa to watch a thriller on Netflix.

I am still in discomfort with my shoulder where I fell onto the sofa the other night.  I thought it would be feeling better by now, but I’m still wincing every time I stretch out my right arm.  If it doesn’t improve this week, I suppose I’ll have to go to see the doctor.  I still have this strange sensation in my right hip – it’s a little bit like pins and needles, and a little bit like the vibration that my iphone makes when it receives a call, in pulses about every 5 or 10 seconds.  It’s not uncomfortable, but it is quite annoying.  My tremor is only just under control, but it is under control.   Dystonia and dyskinesia are both still hanging around, but neither of them is too much of a problem.  My mood is okay, but I know that my motivation us suffering a little bit at the moment.  My energy levels are on the low side, too.

After we have had some dinner, my wife and I pick another thriller to watch on Netflix, and pour a couple of beers.  I’m really glad to be home.

2016-12-26 – Boxing Day lethargy.

Boxing day!  I had another bad night, in spite of self-medicating with cannabis when we went to bed last night.  I put it down to being in a strange bed with a heavy quilt on it, meaning that I woke many times in the night, uncomfortable and overheated.

We get up and go downstairs after an extended lie in.  Neither of us can face breakfast because we are still digesting Christmas dinner, but we manage some tea/coffee.

A day of lazing around ensues, punctuated with unnecessary food, too many chocolates and a couple of beers.  We spend a good portion of time watching Carpool Karaoke on YouTube, which is highly amusing, and round off the afternoon with the Absolutely Fabulous movie, which is quite entertaining (but which could possibly have been funnier if we had been able to get either the subtitles or my ears to work).

I find that my hearing has deteriorated to the point where I could use a hearing aid – either from going to too many gigs, general old age creeping up on me, or as a symptom of my Parkinson’s Disease.  I don’t know which of these it is, and nobody else seems to know either – probably a bit of all three!

After the movie, my wife and I gather up our belongings, gifts and dog, and return to our little cottage in Southrepps.  In no time at all we have a fire blazing in the woodburner, a film playing on Netflix and a couple of beers poured – a suitably lethargic end to a generally lethargic day.

2016-12-25 – Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

We stayed at my wife’s youngest son’s house last night, and I’m definitely missing being in my own (very comfortable) bed. I didn’t have a particularly good nights sleep and was awake well before we got up at 6.45am.

We are all round at my wife’s eldest son’s by 7.30am, opening presents and scoffing bacon baguettes before certain family members are due to be at work.

Then we are off to Stalham to see my mother and my brother and his family before getting back to Hevingham so that my wife can supervise the cooking of the Christmas dinner.

I’m feeling particularly knackered today, so I make myself comfortable on the sofa and spend a happy hour or three watching MTV and drinking KingGoblin whilst everyone else is slaving away in the kitchen.

I manage (just) to avoid falling asleep on the sofa, but it is a battle, and not related in the slightest to consumption of alcohol.

Dinner is eventually served just after 7pm and we all eat more than is strictly advisable.

I think I’m having some motivation issues again.  I’m unsure if it’s just because I’m feeling so tired, but I really can’t be bothered at the moment. If it wasn’t for my wife and her family, I’d be perfectly content to shut myself away at home, sit in front of the fire and wait until the festive season is well and truly over.  I’m going to self-medicate (cannabis) before I go to bed tonight.  Hopefully I’ll get a better night’s sleep, and wake up with a more positive attitude tomorrow!

2016-12-24 – Shattered before I start!

My wife didn’t get home from work until almost midnight last night, so it was about 1am before we got into bed.  My wife was up at 6.30am, wrapping presents.  I dozed until my alarm went off at 7am.  I have to drive to Sprowston this morning to pick up my wife’s present – not really what I want to be doing on the last shopping day before Christmas, especially not when I’m shattered before I start!

My wife is going to her customer’s house to fit the loose cover that she finished making last night, so I take the dog for a quick walk and then head off to Sprowston.

Amazingly the traffic on the roads is relatively light, so driving isn’t too stressful.  I collect my wife’s gift, and then pop into Tesco to buy some chocolates, some milk and some KingGoblin (well, it is only Christmas once a year..).

The trip home is similarly uneventful, and I wrap the chocs and my wife’s present.  We are going to Hevingham tonight – having dinner with my wife’s eldest son, his fiancee and our granddaughter, and then going next door to stay with my wife’s youngest son and his fiancee until Boxing Day.  So, there really isn’t any need to bring logs in today, but I do so in any case – one less thing to worry about on Boxing Day!

I am experiencing a most disconcerting sensation at the moment.  It feels as if I have my phone in my pocket, switched to “silent”, and it keeps going off at 10 second intervals – only my phone is on the table beside me.  I would be inclined to think it was related to my DBS if I hadn’t had this happen before I had the operation (on several occasions).  I’m concerned that it (perhaps) heralds more disease progression – we will just have to wait and see.

Someone posted a link on my YouTube channel to a news item about Mannitol.  It is a product used by the food industry which (allegedly) reverses some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease – I go online and order a kilo of the powder.  Anything is worth a try!

2016-12-23 – Help! I’ve lost a day!

I have a bit of a lie-in this morning.  I heard my wife get up (much) earlier, but went back to sleep.  When I do wake up, it’s almost 9am, and my wife is just about to leave for work.  It’s okay, though, because it’s only Thursday today – plenty of time to do what I need to get done before the big day.  I decide to do some scripting for this week’s vlog, because I’m aware that I need to publish it this Friday, and I think Friday is going to be a busy day – the more I can get finished today, the happier I will be.

While I’m sitting in the lounge drinking my cup of tea, I hear the bin lorry outside the front door, come to collect the recycling bin.  Strange, I thought…  bin day is usually on a Friday, I wonder why they are a day early?  Must be because it’s Christmas weekend, and Monday and Tuesday next week are bank holidays.  Normally a bank holiday will mean that bins are collected a day or two late, not early – but what the heck, we are in Norfolk!

I listen to PopMaster, and Ken Bruce says he will be back on air next week.  I wonder why he isn’t on air this Friday, but it still doesn’t register that today is Friday!

It’s only when I go to use my iPad, that I see the day and date.  Help!  I’ve lost a day!  I was so convinced that today was Thursday, that it has totally thrown me.

After a few moments of blind panic, I manage to isolate a number of things that have to be done today.  Find a present for my wife (I already promised to have some of her grandmother’s jewellery remodelled into a necklace and bracelet, but I don’t have anything to give her on the day); script, film, edit and publish my vlog (in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really that important, but I hate having a schedule and not sticking to it!); walk the dog (twice);  get the logs in for the fire;  get the Christmas tree into the house from the back garden so that it can be decorated tomorrow.

I manage to find a present for my wife online and reserve it for collection tomorrow morning – major relief!

Walked the dog (one of two!).

Scripted and filmed my vlog, and imported the video to my MacBook in preparation for editing.

Walked the dog (two of two!).  It’s starting to get dark now (just after 3.30pm) but we manage to have a little game of “Fetch” before it is too dark to see the ball.

Got the logs in (by torchlight – it’s just after 5pm, and pitch black outside) and lit the fire.  I did try to lift the Christmas tree, but failed.  I’m going to wait until my wife is here to help me – the last time I struggled to lift a Christmas tree on my own, I gave myself a hernia.

Edited my vlog, uploaded it to YouTube and published it.  My left leg tremor has re-emerged today, but I think it is due to stress/anxiety rather than the settings of my neurostimulator.  I did take some of the Olimax CBD oil that I decarboxylated several days ago, but it appears to have had absolutely no effect – I’ll self medicate with some cannabis after dinner.

I have just sat down on the sofa, when my wife calls me on FaceTime.  She tells me to get myself some dinner because she is still working, and will be “some time” yet.  It’s 8pm.  I make myself a fish finger sandwich, and then curl up on the sofa with the dog.

2016-12-22 – Venturing out.

I don’t have to do very much in the way of preparing for Christmas.  Not because I’m super-organised and have got everything under control, but because I have a wife who manages to take the pressure off me to sort everything out (putting the pressure on herself, instead).  We are having our Christmas dinner with my wife’s youngest son and his fiancee, so the pressure is well and truly off for that one.  Christmas gifts for all of her family have been taken care of by my wife.  I have already sorted out gifts for my son and daughter (so, I did do something, see!), and just need to get some goodies for my mother, a little something for my brother and his family, and a little something for my wife.

It was with my wife in mind that I decided to take a trip out to the outskirts of Norwich today, and also I wanted to buy some beer and get the ingredients to make some brandy butter and some cheese straws – both of which I volunteered to make and take along to Christmas dinner.

The shopping trip was an utter nightmare.  I thought that by leaving the house at 2pm, the traffic would be light, and I planned on being home by 3.30pm.  How wrong can you be?  It took over an hour each way to make a 20 mile journey, I didn’t find a gift for my wife, and couldn’t get the ingredients for the cheese straws.  Luckily I got the beer and some unsalted butter (for the brandy butter), otherwise the entire day would have been one great big fail!

When I got back home it was dark, so the dog had to make do with a trip down some dark lanes on the end of her lead, rather than chasing a ball across the field.  Poor girl – I’ll have to make it up to her tomorrow.

My voice has been a little better today, but I wonder if that’s because I hardly have to talk to anybody during the day, rather than me thinking that it has deteriorated (due to tiredness) by the time evening rolls around and I’m struggling to converse with my wife.  I only really notice the weakness of my voice when I’m struggling to converse – so if I go through the entire day without having to talk to anyone…  Just a thought.

2016-12-21 – Delivering the goods.

I had a bit of a disturbed night – my wife didn’t sleep very well, so I was also awake a couple of time around 3am.  She tends to have bad nights when she is stressed about work.

My wife is busy trying to finish the loose cover she is making before she stops work for Christmas, so she has given me a couple of tasks to perform.  Today I need to go to Thorpe Market, Buxton and Aylsham to deliver Christmas presents and cards, and resize a large number of photographs so that they can be printed “contact sheet” style for some Christmas presents she is making for relatives.  I also have a bit of clearing-up to do – I left the kitchen in a bit of a state last night after preparing dinner for my wife’s birthday, so there’s a bit of washing-up and drying to be done!

I’m feeling extremely tired at the moment.  Nothing to do with the amount of sleep I’m getting, I’m sure.  Even though I had a disturbed night last night, I have (generally) had plenty of sleep, so shouldn’t be fighting off sleep during the day.  I have to get up and move around when it strikes, for fear of it overwhelming me.  I have heard of Parkinson’s Disease medication causing this, but I don’t take any prescription meds.  I guess it’s just Parkinson’s, then…  My (other) symptoms are much the same – perhaps we have reached a point where my DBS is taking care of as much of my symptoms as it will do.  Perhaps it could be adjusted to address some of my other issues, such as bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and muscular stiffness/weakness – I’m just wary of doing anything which will compromise tremor control.  Another visit to the DBS programmer in the new year, I think.

I do my routine tasks, and then pop out for an hour or so to deliver the Christmas presents and cards.  When  get back, I sort out the kitchen, light the fire and sit down with my MacBook to resize the photos that my wife wanted me to do.


2016-12-20 – Birthday girl!

It’s my wife’s birthday today,but we aren’t celebrating it until this evening.  She wants to visit her customer and try fitting the loose cover that she has been working on, and until she has done that, she can’t concentrate on anything else.  So she leaves the house at 9am to visit her customer, and then to go to work at her workshop in Hevingham.

I intended to book a table at The Vernon Arms for dinner this evening, but a quick look at the bank balance makes me think again.  I decide to cook a meal for us instead, so need to go and get some ingredients from Lidl in North Walsham.  I have a vague idea of what I want to cook, so that helps, and I manage to get everything I want without any trouble.

Back home I manage to do some leisurely food preparation, get the logs in for the fire, vacuum downstairs, walk the dog and await the return of my wife.  She is going to be late this evening because she is seeing her sons for her birthday presents before coming home –  it makes no sense to drag them all over to Southrepps just so that I can watch her tear the wrapping paper off her presents!  Her brother is coming over to see her at 8pm, so she is on strict orders to be home for dinner at 7pm – I just hope I can schedule it all.  It’s been a while since I cooked a proper meal.

I had a kind of fall last night – not a proper fall…  I was in the act of sitting down on the sofa, but fell sideways as I was about to make contact with the seat.  There was quite a loud “crack”, and we wondered, at the time, if it was me or the sofa that had made the noise.  Today I’m able to confirm that it was (probably) me – I’m not exactly in pain, but definitely in some discomfort with my right shoulder.  It’s not bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, but I shall definitely be taking it a bit easy for a few days.  Tremor remains under control (just), dystonia and dyskinesia haven’t got any worse so I guess I’ll stick with my current settings and see how things go.

2016-12-19 – Preparing for tomorrow.

I self-medicated with cannabis just before going to bed, so I had another good night of sleep.  Considering how well I have slept for the last 2 or 3 nights, I do have moments of almost overwhelming tiredness, and could easily fall asleep during the day (on occasion) if I didn’t fight it off.

I have quite a lot to do today, so can’t spare the time for daytime naps!  It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow, and she is extremely difficult to buy for.  I plan to go shopping this afternoon – just to see if I can get some inspiration.

My wife is babysitting for our granddaughter today, so she’s up early and out of the house before I’m properly awake.  I get out of bed just after 8am, adjust my neurostimulator to its daytime voltages, go downstairs, make my morning cuppa and Nutriblast, walk the dog and listen to PopMaster.  With the essentials taken care of, I check my email and my YouTube channel and reply to comments and messages, and then drive to North Walsham to wander around the shops.   Inspiration strikes, and I buy a few bits and bobs and a birthday card!  Once back home, I do some gift wrapping, walk the dog (again) and light the fire.

My tremor has been better controlled today, particularly on the left side, so I think the minor adjustment that I made yesterday has had an effect.  I seem to have a little more dyskinesia in my right arm, which is strange!  Usually dyskinesia on my right hand side is related to the right hand setting on my neurostimulator, which hasn’t been changed for quite some time.  Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, although I’m not a great believer in coincidence – things generally happen for a reason, even if you don’t know what that reason might be.  Dystonia in my right foot doesn’t appear to be any worse, which is a relief.  I feel generally pretty good, but am a little lacking in energy and “get up and go”, so perhaps I should have succumbed to the daytime nap after all…

2016-12-18 – Time for another adjustment.

I slept really well last night (because I self-medicated with cannabis just before going to bed), and slept right through until almost 9am.  My wife had a really good night’s sleep as well, and I put that down to the mug of hot chocolate that I made for her with CBD infused milk.  She says that she couldn’t feel any effects of the CBD, but something is obviously working!

I return my device settings to their daytime voltages, and head downstairs for my tea and Nutriblast (prepared by my wife).  My wife has a tricky job on at the moment – making a loose cover for a bed-settee.  She wants to go to work today, because she wants to get it finished so that she can relax and enjoy Christmas, so she heads off to her workshop in Hevingham, and I take the dog for a walk!

I have had some really moving comments in response to my vlogs on YouTube, and I spend some time this morning responding to them.  I get quite choked up when I realise that I have helped someone deal with their own problems, simply by highlighting how I am managing to cope with my own.

Right sided tremor (and dystonia) is fairly well controlled at the minute, but my left side is a different matter.  It’s not that it is unbearable, just that it’s a flipping nuisance!  I decide that I will risk another small adjustment on my left hand side because I don’t seem to have any dyskinesia in my neck (which relates to stimulation on my left hand side) at the moment – I can always reduce it again if it’s a problem.  So now my settings are 2.2v on the left side and 2.3v on the right.  Balance and walking aren’t perfect at the moment, but are not causing me too much concern.  Mood, motivation and energy are all reasonable.  Voice – not great, but not as bad as it has been over recent days.  One symptom that has crept up on me and really bugs me is muscular stiffness in my arms – particularly my left arm.  During the day it doesn’t bother me (too much), but it’s when I get in the bath and try to wash my back…  It’s painful, and so frustrating.  I really appreciate that fact that my wife is happy to come and scrub my back, but at the same time I hate to admit that I need someone else to perform this task for me.  It’s like admitting that Parkinson’s Disease has got the better of me.  When I first had my DBS programmed I was amazed at the effect it had on  my muscle weakness and stiffness.  As time has progressed, and my programming has focussed more and more on targeting my tremor, then the effect upon my muscles has gradually declined.  It’s also possible, of course, that DBS control has remained static, but that my symptoms have progressed – who knows?

We are having dinner with my wife’s eldest son and his fiancee (and our granddaughter) this evening, so I make sure that the dog has a good run around this afternoon, get a load of logs in from the garden (in case we want to light the fire when we return home) and then drive over to Hevingham to join my wife and family.

2016-12-17 – Shopping

My daughter wants to go shopping today.  She has an idea of what she wants to get for Christmas for my wife’s sons and their other halves, but hasn’t yet had the chance to buy the gifts, so we get ourselves sorted out at home (tea, coffee, breakfast, dog walk) and then set off for North Walsham.

After an hour and a half spent wandering around various shops we have had enough and my daughter has purchased what she wanted to purchase, so we get back into the car and drive on to Stalham to visit my mother.

My mum (who has advanced Parkinson’s) is pleased to see her son and her granddaughter, and her voice is stronger than usual, so she is actually able to have a conversation (of sorts) with us.

My tremor is very close to the surface and breaking through on both sides from time to time, but it is manageable so I’m not going to make any adjustments today.  It’s only later in the day that I notice that I managed to select my Group “B” settings instead of Group “A” when I changed my device to its daytime voltages this morning – not sure how I managed to do that, but at least it explains the way my tremor differs from the way it was yesterday.  I set it back to Group “A” and things improve (to a degree).

My wife’s son and his girlfriend are coming over to see my daughter and to have dinner with us this evening, so we drive back to Southrepps in time to see them.  Then it is time for my daughter to drive back home to Stevenage (a truly flying visit) as she has things she needs to do at home before she travels to Dorset to spend Christmas with her mother.

By the time we have the house to ourselves again, all we want to do is clear up the fallout from the evening meal, crack open a beer and sit by the fire while some soothing music (London Grammar) plays on the sound system.

2016-12-16 – A busy day.

I have a busy day ahead.  I need to finish the script for my 2nd vlog, and then I need to video myself, transfer the video to my MacBook, edit, sub-title and watermark the video and then upload it to YouTube and publish it!  Around this activity I need to fit in my visit to the dentist to have a tooth extracted, walk the dog (twice) and go shopping in North Walsham.  My daughter is visiting us tonight, so I need to get something for dinner (ready meal Thai green curry) and something for her to drink (pear cider).

I have my morning cuppa and Nutriblast while I am finishing the script for my vlog, and then walk the dog before PopMaster starts.  The courier calls to collect the parcel to my brother in Nova Scotia, and the postman calls with a couple of packages for me – at least that’s got the doorbell ringers out of the way before I start videoing!

I shoot the vlog video in 2 takes – I’m getting better at being in front of the camera, and the vlog doesn’t have to be perfect!  I load the video onto my MacBook before leaving to go to the dentist in Aylsham.

Tooth extraction cancelled!  My dentist has been reading a letter from the DBS team at the NHNN, and isn’t comfortable with performing dental surgery until he has spoken to my consultant, so it probably won’t happen until the New Year now.

I dash to Lidl in North Walsham, grab the ready meals, pear cider, and a couple of other bits and bobs, and then head for home.

I get back just as the light is starting to fade, so take the dog for a quick rub around the Village Hall playing field.  Then it’s time to edit my video.

My left leg is jumping around a bit this afternoon, which makes editing the video on a laptop a bit  of a challenge.  It seems worse than it was prior to my increasing the voltage the other day…  perhaps it’s just a glitch and it’ll calm down again later – I won’t make any further adjustments at the moment, especially as neither my dystonia or dyskinesia are any worse.  My voice is being a bit of a pain, though – it really hasn’t been very strong for at least the last week.  I notice my balance and walking aren’t (quite) as good as they were yesterday, but they have been worse!

Vlog edited, sub-titled, watermarked and uploaded just as my wife gets home from work – result!   I light the fire, my wife does her whirling dervish impression as she gives the entire house the once over, and then we sit down and await the arrival of our visitor.

2016-12-15 – Decarboxy-what?

My wife seemed to have a much better night’s sleep last night.  She was awake early, but not that early (after 6am), so I am going to put that down to the cup of hot chocolate I made for her (with CBD infused milk) an hour before we went to bed.

I am going to decarboxylate the Olimax CBD oil today.  Decarboxylation is required to convert the CBDA (CBD Acid) into CBD.  CBD is more bioavailable, than CBDA, which just means that the body is more able to use it.  The lab report on the manufacturer’s website shows that the 4% oil only has 0.8mg of CDB, the other 320mg is CBDA – not really what is required!  To decarboxylate the oil, it needs to be heated to about 100 degrees Centigrade for about an hour, so I put my sample CBD oil in a pan with about half a pint of water (to keep the temperature to that of the boiling water) and also chuck in a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil so that (hopefully) the CBD oil will combine with the coconut oil, and thus will become solid at room temperature – I haven’t tried doing this before, so it’s just a theory at the moment!

While my oil is debcarboxylating, I get the camera and tripod set up by the cooker and take some shots of the process to use when I put my review video together.  I also get my thoughts down on my iPad, to use as a script for the video.

When the hour is up, I let the pan cool down to room temperature, and can see that the oils are a nice dark green colour, and appear to be well combined, so I put the pan into the fridge to speed up the setting.  Once it has set, I pour off the remaining water, and I’m just left with the decarboxylated oil.  I will cut it up into dose sized portions and try taking some tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I have also committed to publishing my next vlog, so I need to script that today, so that I can video it tomorrow morning – I’m having a tooth extracted tomorrow lunchtime, so I’m guessing I won’t be feeling like doing very much videoing tomorrow afternoon.

I’m feeling a bit shaky this afternoon, even though my DBS seems to have my tremor under control, so I self-medicate with a little cannabis after I have taken the dog for her afternoon walk.

2016-12-14 – Testing CBD oil

I have a couple of minor jobs to get out of the way today and then I want to start work on my next video review.  So, I get my routine stuff done (tea, Nutriblast, dog walk, PopMaster) and then arrange for a courier to pick up a parcel to send to my brother in Nova Scotia.  Then I ring my dentist to get his email address – he’s extracting a tooth on Friday, and I have am email from the DBS team at the NHNN telling him what precautions he needs to take because of my DBS.  I get a basket full of logs in from the garden for the fire tonight (it’s not really cold, but I do like having the fire lit).

Okay, now I’m set to start work on my review of the Olimax CBD oil sent to me by the Polish Medical Marijuana website.  I have recently joined a group on Facebook called CBD Users UK, which is an extremely busy and useful group for anyone considering using CBD, so I take a couple of snaps of the Olimax products and post a message to the group asking if anyone had come across the Olimax brand before.  I’m virtually inundated with responses, and eventually come to the conclusion that at least one of the oils sent to me will be of little use without some further processing.  I set up the camera and tripod and take some shots of the product, and then take the recommended dose of 4 drops.  2 hours later, there’s a very mild sensation, but nothing to write home about.  I’m going to decarboxylate the oil in some coconut oil tomorrow to see if that livens it up a little – watch this space!

Tremor is very close to the surface on both sides, and it’s hard to make a judgment on whether or not the small adjustment that I made yesterday has had any effect.  My balance and walking are much better today.  Dyskinesia and dystonia are much the same as they have been for a while now – both present, both bearable!

I walk the dog again, and then set about making a nice root vegetable mash to go with our dinner tonight – I made one last night, and it went down extremely well.

2016-12-13 – Door furniture.

Glen Tilbrook
Glen Tilbrook

We had a little bit of a late night last night.  We went to see Glenn Tilbrook perform at Norwich Arts Centre, so we didn’t get home until close to midnight.  Then I made my wife some hot chocolate with a dash of CBD infused milk to see if it would help her sleep.

I slept well, but did wake up briefly on several occasions.  My wife got off to  sleep quickly enough, but didn’t have a great night’s sleep – I’ll try giving her a larger dose of CBD infused milk tonight.

I want to install some door furniture today.  The bedrooms have doors fitted, but the doors have not had the latches and handles re-fitted after being removed for the renovation of the doors.  I have a search around the freshly re-organised conservatory for the tools that I require to do the job, and find everything fairly quickly.  There’s just one problem – my wood chisels (required for cutting the door frame trim) are as blunt as a bunch of very blunt things.   I need my bench grinder to sharpen them, but I can’t locate my bench grinder.  After a bit of scrambling around on the floor of our spare bedroom (because I think it might possibly be somewhere under the spare bed) and quite a lot of swearing, I decide to leave that task alone for the day.

I am having a tooth extracted on Friday, and the dentist wants confirmation from my DBS consultant that this is okay, so I dash off a quick email to the DBS team at the NHNN.   Then I order a Christmas present for my daughter on eBay (hope it arrives in time for her visit this weekend – I left it a bit late!).

It’s a miserable, grey, drizzly day in Norfolk, and I have to pick my time for the afternoon dog walk, but eventually it stops raining just after 3pm, so we venture out before it starts again, and before it starts getting dark.  My walking is quite stilted this afternoon, and I must be quite a sight stomping around a muddy field in my wellies.  Hopefully there’s nobody looking.

When we get back home, I decide to light the fire and watch the flames – very soothing.  I have had the usual tremor breaking through on my left side, and also a (very) small amount of tremor on my right side.  I decide to increase the left side voltage on my neurostimulator by one notch, and see how much effect that has.  My (daytime) voltages are now 2.15v on the left and 2.3v on the right.



2016-12-12 – Thingummyjig gone!

I had a better night’s sleep last night (I remembered to turn my device voltages down!).  I return it to daytime settings when I get dressed.

Wooden "thingummyjig"
Wooden “thingummyjig”

Downstairs, I drink my tea and Nutriblast while my wife is getting ready to go to work.  I’m expecting someone to collect the wooden “thingummyjig” that I sold on Facebook over the weekend.  They are due to collect it at 10.30am, and my main concern is that it might interfere with PopMaster!   In the event, they turned up at 10.35, right between contestant #1 and contestant #2, so I was able to deal with it without disrupting PopMaster – result!

I’ve received an email from the Cleveland Cannabis College informing me that the first batch of video files that I sent to them had now been copied out of DropBox, so I delete the first lot, copy the next 4GB of files to transmit to them and then send them an email telling them exactly what I have done.

Tremor persists in breaking through on my left side (right side is under control at the moment), so I decide to take a double dose of the Charlotte’s Web Everyday 200 CBD oil that the Polish Medical Marijuana website sent to me (this oil has quite a low CBD content, hence the double dose).  An hour or so later I can feel the (mild) effects, and tremor is a little calmer (although not entirely gone).

My wife has been very stressed lately, and hasn’t been sleeping at all well. Although she is loath to take any form of medication to help her cope with the stress or to help her sleep, she might be persuaded to try some CBD infused milk in some hot chocolate, so I infuse the remains of the CBD tea (that I reviewed) in 800ml of full fat milk, and then cool and refrigerate it so that it’s available if she decides that she needs it.

I take the dog for her afternoon run around and then spend half an hour splitting logs and stacking them by the woodburner when we won’t actually be needing them this evening – I forgot that we are going out tonight to see Glenn Tilbrook at the Norwich Arts Centre.  Never mind, it saves me doing it tomorrow.

2016-12-11 – Getting a tree.

I had a fairly restless night.  I wasn’t lying awake, just conscious of having been thrashing about a bit from time to time.   It was only when I was getting dressed and went to change my device over to daytime settings, that I realised I hadn’t reduced the voltages last night when I came to bed.  I could have sworn that I had done so, but my therapy controller tells no lies!  At least that explains all of the thrashing around.

I knew that the aim of all of my wife’s efforts yesterday was to clear enough room in the dining room for a Christmas tree, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when she announced that she would like to go to the smallholding next to Gunton Station this morning to buy a tree!  So we drive the mile or so to Gunton Station and buy the smallest tree we can find (which is still quite a size), cram it into my wife’s little Seat Ibiza, and drive the mile or so back home (with a prickly branch stuck in my ear).

It’s a bit early (as far as we are concerned) to have the tree indoors and decorated, so my wife finds a pot to accommodate the roots, and makes our little tree comfortable out in the back garden.

Next on the agenda – visit my mother, and get some groceries.  We drive to Stalham to see my mum, who is back home again following a brief stay in North Walsham Cottage Hospital.  She seems much better than when we last saw her, so that’s reassuring.  On the way back to North Walsham, we stop off at Wayford Bridge to check on the boat.  The boat is still afloat, which is also reassuring!  Final stop is Lidl for some groceries, and then we head back home.

I take the dog for her afternoon walk (before it gets too dark for her to see the grubby old tennis ball that she likes me to throw for her), and then light the fire before we sit down to have some dinner.

Still the same situation with my symptoms – tremor still breaking through, but not quite enough to make me turn the voltages up on my neurostimulator for fear of provoking dyskinesia.  Dystonia – ditto!  My voice seems a little stronger today, but my balance is still a bit pants.  My mood and motivation have been stable for quite some time, now – long may that continue!  Energy isn’t fantastic, but has been much, much worse.  I’m going to self-medicate with a little cannabis and watch a little something on Netflix!

2016-12-10 – Preparing for Christmas.

Today my wife has made a long list of things she wants to get sorted out before Christmas, which means that I really need to get out of her way!  She has a couple of minor tasks earmarked for me, too.  She wants me to advertise, and get rid of, a piece of furniture that we have no room for, and to put some latches and handles on the bedroom doors before my daughter comes to stay next weekend.  So I start by taking various photos of the wooden “thingummyjig” (I haven’t a clue what it is, but I’ve had it for years) that we want to get rid of, and then formulating a witty (at least I think so) advertisement to post on the various local “For Sale” pages on Facebook.

While I’m busy doing the hard work, my wife organises the conservatory (again!), washes the tiled floor and clears a space in the dining room for the Christmas tree (which we haven’t got yet).

Within a few minutes of me posting my first advertisement, I have a message from someone who wants to buy the “thingummyjig”, so that’s good and my wife is pleased (so that’s extra good).

That just leaves the door handles and latches to fit.  My wife has found the bag with all of the necessary bits and pieces in it – all of the handles and latches that I took off the doors when I was preparing to renovate them 5 years ago.  Now the trick will be to match up the right latches and handles with the right door.  That’s a job for tomorrow – I don’t want to overdo things!

I get the logs in from the garden, clean the woodburner – emptying the ash and getting the soot off the glass windows in the doors – and then lay the fire ready for lighting this evening.

Tremor is breaking through on both sides this afternoon.  It was breaking through on the left hand side from the word go this morning, and I very nearly decided to increase the voltage on my neurostimulator, but resisted the temptation to do so in case it was just a passing phase.  I am still tempted to do so, but resist again because I am worried about aggravating the dyskinesia (which is tolerable at the moment).  If the dystonia in my right foot gets any worse, then it will be time for an increase!  My voice remains quite weak at the moment, and my balance is a bit unpredictable, but generally I’m okay.

2016-12-09 – Whoops!

Whoops!  My apologies to those of you that receive my blog via email – I’m afraid I published yesterday’s enthralling edition before I had finished writing it.  Here’s a link to the full post.

I’m thinking about doing a weekly vlog, at the suggestion of a number of people who have commented on my YouTube videos, so I am going to spend some time today thinking about what on earth I could say that would prove interesting to others…  First things first, though – tea, Nutriblast, dog walk and PopMaster!

Once the important things have been accomplished, I sit down with my iPad and try to make some notes about Parkinson’s Disease, what it means to have it, what perceptions people have about it, what people may not realise about it.  I latch onto a couple of points, and before I know it, I have quite a script.

Strike while the iron’s hot…  I set up my handheld digital video camera in the lounge in front of the sofa and, after a couple of practice runs, shoot the video for my first vlog.

It’s a much more straightforward job than making a review video – it doesn’t matter (so much) if I fumble a few words, and I can do most of it in a single take, so getting the video onto my MacBook and editing it is a breeze.  I upload the result to YouTube and publish it.

I feel strangely nervous about it – perhaps because it’s about me, rather than some kind of product that I’m offering a critique on.  Oh well, it’s done now – publish and be damned?

2016-12-08 – Another appointment.

Another good night of sleep, thanks to self-medication with cannabis.  I have a busy day ahead of me – I want to edit and publish my review of the CBD tea infused milk, and then I have another appointment (the second one of the week) – this time it’s at the hospital rather than the dentist!

After walking the dog, drinking my tea and Nutriblast, and whilst listening to PopMaster, I make a start on editing my review video.   Time flies by in a blur when you get really involved in something, and before I know it the dog is asking me to take her for her afternoon walk.  I finish sub-titling and watermarking the video, upload it to YouTube, and then publish it and take the dog for walkies.

My hospital appointment is a screening for bowel cancer, and is scheduled for 7.15pm.  My wife gets home from work early, and we set off to the Norfolk & Norwich hospital, which involves a trip around the ring road at rush hour – joy!

Whilst going through the paperwork prior to the screening procedure, I’m given a tiny insight into how mistakes can be made!  I filled out the medical details form, and made sure that I wrote “DBS installed April 2016” against the question about implants, and I also noted “DBS neurostimulator” next to the question about pacemakers.  As she went through my form, the nurse said “no metals in your body. that’s fine”.  I said “Er, yes!  I have DBS” to which there was no acknowledgement.  I can’t see how a screening for bowel cancer could affect my DBS (or vice versa), but if that’s the case, why ask the question?  I made sure that the person operating the scanning equipment was aware – I don’t want anyone saying “you should have told me” after the event!

I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say the procedure is most uncomfortable, and half way through, my tremor kicked in with a vengeance and I lay on the table a shaking wreck.  Anyway – it’s soon over and done with, and I’m given the all-clear, which is good news.

On the way home, we pay a quick visit to Asda (beer and tomorrow’s dinner) and pay a visit to the in-store McDonald’s.  Satan’s food, but it did fill a gap!

2016-12-07 – My crumbling teeth.

The CBD infused milk that I drank yesterday afternoon was effective for almost 12 hours, and was certainly useful to me in getting off  to sleep last night.  I didn’t have a bad night’s sleep (considering that my wife did have a bad night’s sleep) and only awoke briefly on a couple of occasions.

Out of bed.  Adjust my device (daytime settings!).  Get dressed.  Downstairs.  Tea.  Nutriblast.  Dog walk.  Popmaster.

It’s time to address my crumbling teeth…  I had a crown (dental variety) part company with one of my molars whilst I was on holiday, and today I have an appointment with the dentist to see if said crown can be reunited with said molar.  I’m going to see a new (to me) dentist today, on recommendation from my wife’s youngest son, so I arrive early to compete the necessary “new patient” paperwork.  Whilst he is preparing to have a look-see, I mention to him that dental metals (particularly mercury amalgam) don’t agree with me.  Usually this is the cue for a long silence where the health professional waits for me to say something less controversial.  I am, therefore, surprised to find him willing to discuss the matter, and then to admit that there could well be a link between dental metals and Parkinson’s Disease.  He was also aware of what DBS was, and asked me to consult the DBS team to approve a tooth extraction (required because my molar is irreparable).  A very promising start, even if he couldn’t put my crown back on!

When I get back home, I decide to get the logs in from the garden before walking the dog again.  My recent log delivery is a bit on the large size, and large logs are difficult to burn if you do not also burn some solid fuel, so I get the log splitting axe out of the shed and spend a happy half hour splitting some of the larger logs into a more manageable size.  I’m pleased that I am capable of swinging the axe – something I haven’t done for a very long time.

Logs split and carried indoors.  Dog walked.  Time to light the fire, and then finish the task of importing the rest of yesterday’s video onto my MacBook.

Tremor is (once again) breaking through, mainly on my left side, and dystonia is on the increase in my right foot, so I intend to self-medicate (cannabis) in a moment or two.

2016-12-06 – A change of opinion.

I have decided that I’m going to try making some CBD tea again.  The last time I tried it was when I was videoing a review of it several weeks ago, and I found it to be of minimal benefit to me.  I got chatting to someone online last night who convinced me that I had prepared it incorrectly – to get the maximum benefit from it I should decarboxylate the tea by putting it in the oven for 45 minutes, and then bung 7 grams of the tea into 400 millilitres of full fat milk and steep it over a gentle heat for another 45 minutes.  So… I video the process, just in case the effects are such that I have a change of opinion and need to produce another (updated) review.

My tremor is close to the surface again today, so it seems to be a good time to try the CBD tea.

My wife disappears off to work, so I walk the dog, listen to PopMaster, then turn the kitchen into a studio again and film the process of making this CBD infused milk.  Then I drink the milk – it has a slightly bitter aftertaste from being steeped for such a long time, but other than that it tastes pleasant enough.   I’ll try chucking some drinking chocolate in it next time!

I was told it would take about an hour to feel any effect, but after 20 minutes I can feel it relaxing me (and sending my tinnitus through the roof).  By the time an hour has passed I’m extremely relaxed, and there’s no doubt that this infusion is more effective than the Charlotte’s Web Everyday 200 CBD oil that I reviewed a couple of weeks back.  I’m astounded – I hadn’t bargained on getting this kind of a response from a tea.   I write the script for my (revised) review, and then set up the camera. tripod, radio microphone, etc. and film it.

I walk the dog again before it gets dark, and then start the process of importing the video to my MacBook for editing (tomorrow).

It’s now 6 hours since I drank the CBD infused milk, and I’m still fairly well medicated – I’m most impressed.  It will be interesting to see how I sleep tonight!


2016-12-05 – A flat battery.

My car has been sitting without being used for almost 2 weeks now.  I tried to start it yesterday, but it had a flat battery – scarcely enough charge left in it to light up the dashboard!  I bring my wife’s car in front of mine, and connect the jump leads.  After a few minutes, my car’s battery is sufficiently charged to enable me to start the engine, and I take it for a quick spin to charge the battery a little more so that (hopefully) I will be able to start it again in the next day or two without having to jump start it.

The next task for today is to clear a space to stack the delivery of logs that I am expecting this afternoon, and rig up a tarpaulin to keep them dry when it (inevitably) rains.  So, I clear a space and rig up a tarpaulin, and then await delivery.

My energy is much better today, but my tremor is acting in defiance of my DBS hardware, breaking through on both sides of my body.  It’s not too much of a problem, though.  Dyskinesia and dystonia are (likewise) bearable.  Balance and walking are ok, too.  My voice is still struggling a bit, but perhaps that’s because I use it too much 🙂  Mood and motivation are (still) pretty damn good!  What I am having a lot of (at the moment) is muscular stiffness and pain – perhaps that is something to discuss with the DBS team at the NHNN, because I know that they can alleviate it by programming my device.  I’ll definitely be talking to them if it persists.

The man arrives with a large trailer full of logs, and dumps them in the road outside our back garden.  Luckily my wife is working from home this afternoon, so she helps me carry the logs into the back garden and stack them against the back wall.  It takes us a solid hour, but when it’s done I know that we won’t have to do it again for at least a couple of months.

I light the woodburner while my wife prepares our evening meal, and then collapse (exhausted) on the sofa.

Time for a beer, methinks.

2016-12-04 – Christmas shopping

Another decent night of sleep.  Not quite as good as the night before, but I only woke up twice (3am and 7am).  I think I was slightly more medicated the night before, which could explain it.  I’m feeling that I have a little more energy today.

I leap out of bed (okay, it’s more of a crawl) at 9.25am, adjust my neurostimulator to daytime settings, and go downstairs to where my morning cuppa and Nutriblast are awaiting my attention (courtesy of my wonderful wife).  My wife is off swimming with our granddaughter this morning, so she’s out of the door soon after I get up.  I take the dog for her morning business, and then spend some time checking my DropBox file uploads (still chuntering away) and my email (nothing but junk mail).

When my wife returns, we head off towards Norwich – we have a couple of pre/post-Christmas birthdays to buy for, as well as Christmas gifts we need to purchase.  First stop is Asda to stock up on beer (we have our priorities right) and pressies for the dogs (yes, we really are that soft!).  Then we drop into Dunelm Mills to pick up something that my wife found online a couple of evenings ago.  Final stop is Aldi in Sprowston – principally for organic vegetables, but my wife managed to find a couple of gifts in there as well.  Home again by 5pm, and it’s already completely dark.  We both take the dog for a brief walk around a very dark field, and then sort out some dinner, and relax!

I’ve been pretty tremor free today, but now I notice the shakes coming through in my right hand, and dystonia is increased in my right foot – I’m not going to adjust my device, but I am going to self medicate (cannabis).  I’m sure it’s just because I’m tiring from this afternoon’s activities.

2016-12-03 – Lacking energy.

I self-medicated with some cannabis before coming to bed last night, and had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages – slept right through until almost 6.30am, and then went back to sleep again until gone 9am.  So why am I lacking energy?

I get dressed, change the settings on my device to daytime values, go downstairs, and just sit…  There’s nothing in particular that I need to do, but I haven’t the energy in any case.  My wife walks the dog this morning, which is good/bad (good because I have no energy, bad because it would normally be the thing that gets me out of the house in the morning).

I check on the DropBox folders to see how the transmission of my video files to the Cleveland Cannabis College is going – it says that it’ll be finished in 2 days time!  I put together (and send) an email to my contact at the college, telling him what all the files are.  I could really use some more space on DropBox.  If I refer someone to DropBox and they register and install the software, they will give me an extra 500MB of space… So, I register my wife and get an extra 500MB (thank you!), and then register the dog as well (another 500MB) 🙂

I prise myself out of the house by taking the dog for her afternoon walk, and then my wife and I go to North Walsham for a quick whizz around Lidl, and then on to the Cottage Hospital to visit my mum (who is fast asleep, and I didn’t have the heart to wake her).

My symptoms are much the same as yesterday, apart from the lack of energy.  My voice is still weak and husky, which is a blooming nuisance, but otherwise I’m doing just fine.  I’m definitely going to self-medicate again just before going to bed – hoping for another good night of sleep (and some more energy, perhaps).

2016-12-02 – More takes.

I remember to change my device settings to my daytime voltages when I get up this morning, but I still have a little bit of tremor coming through on my left side.  I may self-medicate with a little cannabis later on, if it doesn’t settle down.  I stopped videoing for the Cleveland Cannabis College yesterday because I was getting exhausted, so I have to go through the rigmarole of getting everything set up again in order to get a couple more takes.

I take the dog for a walk and then wait for my wife to go to work so that I have the house to myself (well, apart from the dog), and then set up the camera, tripod, radio microphone, lighting, teleprompter app, and clear the island in the kitchen before sitting down for PopMaster.

I finish the take that was incomplete from yesterday, and then do one more to be on the safe side.  Then I load the video onto my MacBook and set about transmitting the video files to the college via DropBox.  There’s a lot of data to transmit (about 12GB), so it’ll probably take a couple of days to go through, especially since I haven’t got that much space available on DropBox, so I’ll have to send it in small chunks!

That’s taken care of the bulk of the day – it’s starting to get dark now, so it’s time to take the dog for her afternoon walk.  My tremor, which has been a nuisance all day, has finally abated – just as I’m about to administer some cannabis.  I’ll save it for later to ensure that I get a decent night’s sleep – the last two nights have been very restless!  Dystonia remains about the same (it’s there, but manageable) and Dyskinesia seems to have reduced a little – either that, or I’m just getting used to it!  My voice is the worst thing at the moment – very weak and husky, and strangling my sentences a lot of the time.  It has made my videoing quite difficult.  Hopefully it will improve soon!

2016-12-01 – The perfectionist in me…

I’m videoing for the Cleveland Cannabis College today, so I have loads of preparatory work to do.  While my wife is walking the dog, I bring the camera, tripod and bag of video goodies (radio microphone, connecting cables, remote controls, batteries, etc.) downstairs to the kitchen/studio and then clear the island of plant and fruit bowl so that I can put all of my paraphernalia on it instead.

Once my wife departs for work, then the serious business commences.  Firstly, I need a shave.  Then I have to iron the Cleveland Cannabis College t-shirt that they sent for me to wear.

I wonder why my tremor is so bad this morning, and then I realise that I have forgotten to return my device to its daytime settings, having reduced the voltages at bedtime last night (still sticking to 1.9v on the left and 1.7v on the right at bedtime, and 2.1v on the left and 2.3v on the right during the day).  I make the necessary adjustments, and my world becomes a little steadier.

I load the video script into the teleprompter app that I have on my iPad, and then do a couple of practice runs to make sure that the text is scrolling at the right speed.  I set up the camera and tripod in the kitchen, and the music stand that I use to hold my iPad while I’m running the teleprompter app.  I set up the radio microphone and adjust the room lighting, and then I’m just about ready to shoot!  I’m not editing the video for the Cannabis College – just providing them with the raw footage so that they can edit it however they want – so you would think that would make my job easier.  Not so!  The perfectionist in me has me doing re-take after re-take because I want the raw footage to be as near perfect as possible.  I would normally do two or three takes, and then edit around any mistakes – I must have done about 30 takes this afternoon, and now I’m feeling exhausted and my voice has almost packed in!  Tremor has been creeping back on both sides as I get more tired, so I decide to pack it up for the day and have a sit down before taking the dog for her afternoon walk.

After dinner, I review the video and start importing it onto my MacBook, ready to send to the college via DropBox.  I’ll finish this tomorrow – for now, I’m going to open a beer!