This is the result of 3 collisions, many close calls and a lot of frustration, trying to get answers or action to a problem that’s been ongoing for some time.
If you live in Hastings and frequent the town centre or Queens Road, you may have seen me, snapping pictures of cyclists on the pavement and in the pedestrian zone, or barking ‘no cycling!’ at them.
Most of those cyclists will feign ignorance – ‘this is wrong?’. Some will feign deafness as I exclaim loudly, ‘No cycling on the pavements’. Some will apologise for getting in the way of my taking a picture.
In 2007, I started to come down with an, as yet, undiagnosed illness. The NHS being what it is, I expect to be another 9 years before they get round to diagnosing me.
The point is…I am ill. You won’t see it. I don’t look ill. At the most, I look flustered or tired, based on the comments I get. When I write, I am filled with an intense pressure in my brain – frontal lobes in particular. Words get jumbled. Spellchecker is my friend. A large cleft is felt between the hemispheres and there is a strong, unrelenting tightness in my neck that begins to run down my back, increasing as I type. Or talk. In fact, talking has become so difficult that I try to say very little these days.
And there’s my eyesight. I’m short-sighted anyway but since the illness started, I’ve been further hampered by stabbing pain in my eyes, when wearing my glasses, so I have to wear them less often that I need to. Then there’s been the blotchy, pixelated overlay in my vision, which seems to be removable with powerful anti-inflammatories but none of which can be taken regularly. Oh, and the double vision.
For the last 6 years, I have walked down into the town centre almost everyday. Along Mount Pleasant Road, down Queen’s Road and into a coffee shop. I will have a sudden loss of energy if I try to do anymore. I can’t turn straight around and walk back home, otherwise I find myself starting to slow, as a feeling that can best be described as walking through molasses, starts to grow.
And my reactions are hampered. If things happen fast, it takes me a while to piece together what’s going on. So essentially, I am a bit disabled. And easy bike prey.
I went through all the ‘appropriate’ channels and they showed little to no interest in the issues I raised.
I will try and tell that story and point out some of the issues as I see them.
I don’t want to say too much about myself. I have little energy for a battle and it was discovered early on that this would be an exhausting struggle. I thought someone might help me but that wasn’t the case. Most everyone I have talked to seems impotent, both in thought and action. I’m hoping the issues I raise can find some reliable folks who have the interest and energy to raise them further and get some action. I was getting increasingly ill trying to move them forward so I have channelled my energy into this website.
Feel free to comment.
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