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Portrayal and perception of disability

milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
edited August 2016 in Disabled people
I have a guilty little secret,  I watch the Jeremy Kyle show. There I've said it and it feels good to be honest. All jokes aside, I watched an episode recently entitled something like "don't stare at my child, they're inspirational". As you may have guessed, the premise was parents of children with disabilities talking about the conditions and how the public perceived them. Now don't get me wrong, these were wonderful caring families dealing with all manner of issues and I'm the first to say that educating the public is absolutely the right thing to do. 

What I do take exception to is the title of the episode and the concept that someone with any disability is either to be pitied or be an inspiration. I find inspiration in all kinds of situations and know people, both able bodied and disabled who inspire me. The idea however, that someone is inspirational because of disability leaves me cold.  Why should I as a wheelchair user with CP be held in anymore regard than any "normal"  (how I hate THAT word) person struggling to make ends meet and raise a family. 

Equality is one thing but this tendency to inspiration port smacks of a society that still thinks in terms of "how brave you are to live with a disability". Err  no I'm not,  I've always been this way,  I don't know any other way to live. The only  way I want to be considered an inspiration is for my daughters to be inspired to live their lives,  their way and to make the most of their limitless potential. 

OK,  rant over.  Time to make coffee before Jeremy's back on tv...


  • Geo08Geo08 Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    Hi @milo

    I personally think this is a very interesting point of view. First off, we all have little guilty pleasures. Mine for example is watching trash TV like Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures despite the fact its most likely faked :tongue: 

    I relation to being a 'inspiration' I take a different view. If I can inspire someone to do something better of give something for someone to aspire to, I can only think that is a good thing. Of course, I'm not on ITV parading myself about. 

    I have recently been engaged in internships with law firms in Leeds and I would be lying if I didn't 'sell' my disability. Not as a negative thing of course, but demonstrating all the additional barriers that I have had to overcome to get to where I am and highlighting the future barriers that I will have to overcome in the future. I feel this helps me demonstrate a drive and determination which sets me apart from the other candidates who are 'normal' (or 'non-disabled' or 'able-bodied').

    My bugbear with this type of thing is that it blurs disability into one kind of blob grouping everyone together. Not everyone has CP, not everyone who uses a wheelchair has an intellectual disability (which some people seem to assume) and not every disabled person uses a wheelchair. 

    So in short, call me inspirational if you want, if I inspire you: great, but remember that as a person in a wheelchair my brain still functions correctly until I tell you otherwise.

    Right that's my rant over,

  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    Thanks for your comments Geo8. I'd agree with you in regard to disability being lumped together as one homogeneous grouping but then, I think that tends to happen in regard to society's perception of disability in general. I'd be lying if I said that my disability hadn't ,on occasion, opened doors for me or led me down paths that I would have otherwise not explored. For example, if it wasn't for my CP I doubt I would be on this forum having this conversation.

    Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with being an inspiration for anyone I would just rather that it was for something other than soley having been born with CP. The main issue I have with shows like the one mentioned above is that I am always left with a nagging feeling that the guests are paraded for entertainment rather than educational reasons. Maybe it is just me but I can't help but feel that it is vaguely reminiscent of the Victorian circus sideshow or paying a penny to see the patients at Bedlam.
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    Hi Milo an George. My 11 year old  son regularly gives performances to the public in the supermarket, on the street, in restaurants etc which give them a run for their money despite not even requesting one! All I can say is I feel joyful that he has as much right as anyone else to be out and about and if he  throws a wobbly then that is also his choice. He has Down Syndrome and a severe learning disability but he certainly know what he wants and doesn't want! It can be exhausting keeping up with him and dealing with his frustrations and challenging behaviours.  We have certainly seen the best in many people who have tried to help me when in the middle of one of these tantrums but also seen people just sit with their jaws hitting the floor clueless as to what to do or say. Who can blame them! He is an education to those around him and often is approached by kind people who have no experience of how to communicate with a child who is non verbal and non compliant. They have sat on the cloor with me asking how they can help. I thank God every day for being blessed with a sense of humour as I don't know how I'd manage without it.

    However I agree that the Jeremy Kyle show exploits vulnerable members of our society whether disabled or not. I have to say I cannot watch as I feel it probably does more harm than good to the families and individuals concerned in the long run. Having said that, these parents of disabled children  have chosen to go on TV and that is their right. They are going on TV as individuals and not representing the parents of all children with disabilities. Interesting title though. I think it is the parents who are inspirational and not so much the children, who are just being themselves!

    On a good day I might go so far as to say that I feel inspirational. On other days I just want the ground to swallow me up. My daughter keeps me and my husband grounded. She is only 9 but laughs with me and sometimes has to dry my tears. We certainly don't live a boring life. The only reason I have found the time to write this is that I have a bad back and my husband has taken the kids out for the day. Every cloud has a silver lining....
  • Geo08Geo08 Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    HI @milo and @Katymary321,

    Thanks for your responses, this topic continues to be very interesting. 

    I just wanted to know that your thoughts are on things like the Paralympics? I remember 2012 as a year that changed many people's perceptions about disability and what disabled people can do. However, I feel it created an expectation of some disabled people (perhaps one that is unrealistic), that they should all be super active and doing all these amazing things. 

    Titles for programmes more recently 'superhumans', 'the unbreakables' ect, all seem to imply some kind of above average quality which is very interesting. I mean, TV seems to like showing off the 'inspirational' and 'above average' disabled people while perhaps neglecting the 'general' disabled population. Is this something you agree with?
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    Hello again @Geo08 and @milo

    It's an interesting question you ask @Geo08 about the Paralympics. I believe awareness was raised in a positive way about disability and the ability of the amazing athletes who participated in the games. I am not physically disabled myself but was - and still am - in awe of the incredible achievements of any athletes disabled or not, even more so if they made it to the Olympics. The rigorous training schedules any athlete has to follow to remain at the top of their game is something no regular person could do in my opinion. So I suppose they are special people in that very few make it to that level. Do you agree?

    I don't usually have the chance to watch much TV so I can't really comment on the other programmes you mentioned but it sounds as though they make for watchable telly and the programme makers need viewers! In some ways they may be accused of making freak shows if they focused too much on those with say learning disabilities. I am sometimes wistful when I see actors with Downs syndrome playing roles in films and soaps as I know that this is something my son is very unlikely to do. However I never say never. I look ahead at what he will do in life rather than what he won't but I also have to be realistic! In our house the small steps are celebrated as much as the big ones:) In real life the general public don't get to be on TV unless they put themselves forward to be on games shows or reality TV series. I for one would never be seen dead on either but everyone is different. Folk like you and I maybe prefer putting forward our views on forums such as these. I'm not really one for being in the spotlight. Maybe you are? If so then all i can say is 'go for it George!' 

  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    Hi @Geo08   and @Katymary321 . I think that the para athletes are phenomenal and that the Paralympics do so much to bring disability to the fore in terms of the public's thinking. As I said previously, I think so much can be achieved with just a little education. Certainly much has changed in the way disability is regarded even within my lifetime and I fervently hope that it continues to do so.

    I think there is an understandable tendency for TV to dwell on the idea of the exceptional rather than the mundane. That's fine but it tends to skew the perception of what disability is and what it entails for the individual.

    I'd like to see more education in schools to give a realistic picture of what disability is. I know it would be impossible to discuss every type of issue but at least it may help end the awkwardness many seem to have around disability.
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    edited August 2016
    Hi @milo and @Geo08

    I agree with all you say @milo. Thought it might interest you to know that I was recently having a chat with my daughter about disability all because of a book she was reading. She is an avid Jacqueline Wilson fan and was reading one of her latest novels entitled 'Katy'who has an accident and ends up in a wheelchair as she damages her spine. Interestingly this was a rewrite of a book called What Katy Did. I read this when I was a child in the 1970s (still have the book as it happens!)

    Amazon description is as follows:
    What Katy Did
     is an 1872 children's book written by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey under her pen name Susan Coolidge. It follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old American girl, Katy Carr, and her family who live in the fictional lakeside Ohio town of Burnet in the 1860s.

    In the original version it's all 'happy ever after' as Katy learns to walk again....

    What I love about the new Jacqueline Wilson version is that it provides a much more realistic version of disability. Katy (who was a strong character to start with) goes through all the emotions of anger and self-pity and yet she gradually comes to accept that she will never walk again. At the end of the book comes the realisation that life can still be good and that she can live it to the full despite having a useless pair of legs. This book is no doubt being read by little girls across the UK so is in itself providing an education about attitudes to disability.

    If anyone on the forum knows of a similar book that may appeal to boys it would be good to hear about it. 

  • onyeeonyee Member Posts: 10 Connected
    interesting topic of conversation.
    I have recently taken on the care of a little girl with CP who had never been told that this was a life long condition, she fully expected to outgrow it by the time she's 8, she's cutting it fine there!  so I had that conversation with her and the recent para olympic ad of 'yes I can' did inspire her.  she didn't realise that other people have disabilities like she does, she didn't realise she could do anything she puts her mind and body to, even if she needs some additional support to do it.  she has lived her life up to now being told she cant do stuff becoz she's 'ill', shes 'fragile', etc.  she's come from a very difficult background anyway and with a very confused sense of who she is and who she could be, and while she doesn't have any aspirations to be an athelete she IS inspired by the atheltes to try to do things that previously she thought (had been told) she couldn't do.  so she now climbs stairs by walking up them (was carried or crawled previously), she walks for up to a kilometre with a walking frame after being pushed in a pushchair previously, she uses a knife and fork instead of fingers, goes to the toilet by herself, cleans her own teeth, dresses herself, all things she'd been told she wasn't able to do before.
    i'm now working on the attitude of her sibling who has grown up with her and also heard, but from her own more typically developing self's point of view, the same story and who is still trying to reinforce the message of dependency to her older sibling and keep her as dependant as she can. that may well take longer to deal with!!
    I get the point of not wanting people with disabilities to just be pitied or be seen as inspirational, I have a son with a learning disability so I feel that frustration too, but I like the idea of the 'yes I can' adults and children inspiring my small charge to understand that yes, SHE can too, even if, for her, this just means she can now learn to reach her own potential, whatever that may be and wherever it may take her.
  • Geo08Geo08 Member Posts: 49 Courageous
    Hi @onyee,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to our discussion, I think what you have posted is extremely interesting and perhaps acts as evidence of what many call the 'social model of disability' (people are disabled by society and its perceptions more than their illness). 

    I suppose the moral of the story is: 'Yes you can'*

    *with a suitable amount of hard, work with the right support and dedication.

    I remember telling the careers lady at my high school that I wanted to be a lawyer. Her face was priceless! I remember her suggesting I might want to consider 'alternate' career paths such as 'retail'. We'll see who's laughing in a couple of years when I qualify as a lawyer :wink:
  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    edited August 2016
    @Geo08 and @onyee I think you're both raising some interesting points. Yes CP is lifelong but it doesn't have to be life defining. In response to anyone who asks me what it's like living with CP my only response is "what's it like living without it?". At the end of the day it may cause me physical limitations but I've achieved so much : a degree,  a career,  a family, I'm happy with my life and CP is part of that. The symptoms can be managed to a greater or lesser extent depending on the individual and you live your life the only way you know how, just like everyone else. I know it may sound trite but I don't think of myself as disabled, I just do things a bit differently to the majority. 
  • onyeeonyee Member Posts: 10 Connected
    That, @milo is kind of the message i'm trying to send to my small charge, that the CP doesn't mean she IS CP just that its a part of her and who she is but it isn't the sum of what she is, which is kind of the message she got in her family home.  she changes her mind every day, as small children are wont to do, about what she wants to be when she grows up and her ideas range from being a dustbin man, to a doctor, to a vet, to a teacher to a dog walker.  she knows no limits! she does also complain bitterly when I tell her I wont do something for her that she is perfectly capable of doing! but old habits die hard I guess!
  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    @onyee that's great to hear. One of the best things (amongst many) my parents did for me was to give me the belief that I could achieve anything I wanted. Bearing in mind that I am in my 40s, they did that at a time when attitudes to disability were very different to those of today. As hard as it may be at times, you will be doing her a great disservice if you stop encouraging her to achieve her true potential. 
  • Aliarcher1989Aliarcher1989 Member Posts: 1
    @milo hi there, I'm new to this forum and this is the first topic I read. I just wanted to thank you for bringing this subject to light. All the time I get your an inspiration or you've done so well with your condition. It gets sickening and really annoying when people keep doing it. The worst is when it's people like your family or your friends. I have a hidden condition, autism, and it becomes a battleground in my head when deciding to tell someone that I have the condition or not. It can make or break a friendship. And the fact it's exploited on TV makes it even harder to just be accepted for who you are as a person rather than your condition. Again thank you for posting this topic. It's good to know I'm not alone in this, although it shouldn't be happening in the first place. Ive got to the point where I now just give retorts, like I said to one of my friends, you're such an inspiration, I mean you're blond and you go to university good for you. He looked at me all shocked and then launched into a rant about discrimination until he realised what I was doing to him. I'm not proud of it, I have nothing against blonds or anyone for that matter, I just wanted him to feel what I was feeling. 
  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    Hi @Aliarcher1989 and welcome to the forum. You're certainly not alone when it comes to deciding how to discuss your condition with people. Speaking for myself, it's not always easy deciding between explaining enough or putting people off and I'm sure others on here have faced the same situation. 
  • bambam Member Posts: 331 Pioneering
    @milo when I meet people I am constantly thinking that. I am always asking myself, how much do I need to know tell them,how much should I tell them. I have found when people find out that I have MS they want to steal from me. Mostly they want to steal money or medication. It's like because I have
     MS I should pay their rent
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    Hi @Aliarcher1989 and @milo @bam @Geo08

    Good to see this thread continuing to generate interest. My son has Downs Syndrome  (DS) and over the years I have experienced a huge variety of reactions to his obvious disability.

    An elderly lady once came up to us in a pub while we were having lunch (he was 2 years old and in a high chair) and beaming at us, said "Oh bless him. One like him used to do our local paper round". She beamed again and walked off leaving us feeling unsure as to how to react! One part of me wanted to run after her and shout "He is not a breed of dog you know. He is our son and he has as much right to eat his lunch in a pub as you do without being patronised and insulted!" The other part of me (which thankfully won) realised that this lady was trying to be kind and share some positive information about what she felt the future might hold for our son. The older generation did not used to see people with disabilities in the community as has now become the norm. So I forgave her and didn't say a word. Just smiled. I have ever since then tried to remember that most people out there are well-meaning but they just don't have the right words and mess up.

    We see our son as an education and we are older parents who do not embarrass easily thank goodness as he is non verbal and has regular huge frustration related meltdowns in public. I laugh and cry a lot (thats just me) but this is my life and I have to say at the moment i am in a good place and I love it. 

    I have never met anyone of you on this forum in person. There is a sadness in me on my son's behalf as you are all able to express your frustrations and vent your feelings on here yet this is something he will never be able to do. I am his voice and his champion. Just hope I'm saying what he would want me to say....

    PS BTW he recently got his 200m certificate in swimming and his teacher says that when he is 18 (he is almost 12) she will give him a paid job teaching the younger ones water confidence skills as he shows such promise. Never met anyone with as much faith in my son or who talked about him using such normal terms ☺
  • onyeeonyee Member Posts: 10 Connected
    hi @Katymary321 my son (22 and also with ds) is also a swimmer.  he takes huge pride, and rightly so, in his swimmer acheivements. one thing I learnt some years ago is that while I sometimes, often back then, got sad and frustrated on his part, actually he doesn't.  I used to worry becoz he had so few friends and never ever wanted them to come home and I worried that he was getting very socially isolated, but actually he was happy like this.  he has some autistic behaviours too and compartmentalises everything.  his friends from school were great, but only at school.  his friends from swimming were great but only at swimming etc.  home was for family. if he sees me outside the home when he is with his day centre friends and carers he wont even acknowledge me, his friends do though! 
    And I 'get' the how much should I say to someone thing too.  my sons intellectual disability is obvious to everyone, but he has other challenges too, mostly around toileting due to a congenital bowel condition, but no one wants to know about that and to be honest it is the medical problems that I have needed most support with over the years but which has been most lacking.  who wants to talk about poo once their kids are out of nappies, except my son was still in nappies at 11 years old and I still needed that support.  even now that he has had, hopefully his last, surgery, he still has accidents but people assume he is fine becoz after all he's had the surgery now hasn't he?!  hey ho.  gone way off topic now though!
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    Hi @onyee I hear what you're saying. Great to hear about your son being such a good swimmer and having his own ideas re friendships.  Youre right the sadness is mine not his and it only hits me very occasionally. My son has just had an assessment for autism and I am already a member of the DS autism connection support group on Facebook.  It's helpful to read the comments and know you're not alone having a child who is not typical of other DS children. I hate labels but it's hard to describe behaviour and how different it is. Maybe we should set up a separate toileting thread on this forum..... We are just starting out on that and he is 11 also (12 next month). Hes wearing new pants this morning and so proud of himself! Sorry to hear about the trials you've had with the surgery etc we've had other issues as he developed West Syndrome (epilepsy) when he was a baby which has caused all sorts of complications in later life.....he has outgrown it ☺ but it has done a lot of damage.
  • Geo08Geo08 Member Posts: 49 Courageous

    Old people are very funny! I was on the bus back to uni after having attended a job interview and an old women looked at me with a wide smile and asked 'Have you just come home from work?'. Its less what she said, but the way she said it. As if to say, it's great that somebody has employed you (despite being very high up in my class and having a huge wealth of experience).

    I think others have hit the nail on the head, people mean well but really don't quite get it. 
  • bambam Member Posts: 331 Pioneering
    I have found when I tell people in casual conversation I have MS they always have a relative that has MS. When I question them about their relative's condition and what medication they are on they have absolutely no idea. I just don't understand how you can have a relative that has a disease like MS and not have any basic understanding what MS is or their medications. I've heard about people telling others in a conversation that they have cancer and that person always has a relative that has that cancer too. It's almost like they want to belong to "our club".
  • bambam Member Posts: 331 Pioneering
    @milo I had to get my car towed into the mechanics yesterday to get some work done on it. I had a most enlightening conversation with the tow truck driver on the way and the mechanics. It's a little funny whenever I'm talking to somebody and we talk about me having MS people always want to tell me they know somebody with them that and they know what it is like to have a disease that affects your life on a daily basis. when I have these conversations with people I discover  pretty quickly they really have no idea what it's like. I was driving to the mechanics with a tow truck driver and we had this conversation about a mess. He told me he once had somebody in his life that had MS and he knew what I going through. During my conversation with him I felt his empathy. This man who didn't have that much education completely understood what it was like to live life with the MS. He really really understood and I very seldom meet people in public who have any clue what MS is like. It was really a great feeling to actually meet somebody who really really knew what it was like. People tell me all the time they know what it's like to have MS but hey have no idea but this man really did. He was so considerate and kind. He knew what I had problems doing because of my MS and he tried to help me so much. He tried to help me in a way that didn't make me feel like he felt sorry for me or I like was "special".
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    I can't empathise but I have a friend with MS who is in her early 40s. Her daughter is in the same class as mine (they are only 9). My friend has only told a handful of people about her condition as she just wants to be seen as one of the mums and not pitied or whispered about which I can totally understand. Her parents are massively helpful and I sometimes offer to help out as i would offer to any other of my friends but don't overdo it. She knows I'm there if she needs me. Not being in a wheelchair has helped her keep her condition secret. We never talk about ms unless she mentions it. I often talk to her about my son, however! I'm a heart on my sleeve girl that's how I deal with life's trials.....
  • bambam Member Posts: 331 Pioneering
    @Katymary321 how are you doing? I don't think I've ever said hello to you before. My family has done almost nothing for me. Nobody in my family has even bothered to find out what MS  really is. I wish I never told anybody about my MS. I have problems walking sometime so it's kinda obvious now there's something wrong with me. I've only had to use a wheelchair a couple of times. I'm kind of happy about that because my sister has stolen my wheelchair eight months ago and refuses to return it. It sounds like your friend is doing pretty good. I'm happy for her.it's really important for people who have MS to keep active and keep their legs strong
  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    @katymary321,  @bam you both raise some good points in the last few posts. There is a distinct difference in someone having empathy and having sympathy for you. I'm absolutely certain that people say that they are sorry simply because they don't know what else to say. I can only truly speak for myself when I say that I have so much going on in my life and so much more to me than a disability  that I don't have room for sympathy.  Hope it doesn't sound awful but I don't need sympathy and I certainly don't ask for it. 
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    Hello!@bam and hello again @milo Good to "meet" you too. Have you both been a members of this forum for a long time? I get what you're saying. Part of the problem for me is that I used to tell people the truth very often when they asked(we've had a bad night son wet the bed again 6th night in a row and he was in bed with me again/no son's behaviour is causing real problems/mother is in late stages of Huntingtons so no day is a good day (and she and my dad live with us)/husband had a major hypo last night (late diagnosis type 1 diabetes) thought I'd lost him. I'm starting to smile as I write this as none of it is funny but it is my life and I wouldn't change it!

    People kind of look at me and I know what they are going to say...."You've got a lot on your plate!" They then don't know what to say so rather than telling the truth (especially at work) I try to keep conversation light. If I really need to talk I've one or two really close friends I can offload onto. Otherwise I'm in danger of talking about my own life all the time and that would be really boring.Unlike [email protected] I don't have much else to talk about. That's not entirely true as I have a lovely family and we are close (but I always need to ask them to look after my son, interestingly, yet they will often offer to have my daughter for a few hours!) If I have a funny story to tell I will mention it (like the time when my 11 year old son had a temper tantrum in the pub standing at the bar on holiday recently because he wanted coca cola but he'd already had a pint so I said no more. My daughter and I both realised at the same time that his shorts had fallen down and were round his ankles taking the nappy with them. Everyone had gone quiet and they were all either staring at the scene or trying to avert their eyes. My daughter and i just got the giggles and couldnt stop. My son stopped screaming at this point, diverted by the laughter and let me sort his trousers out. You couldn't make it up. Life is so funny. Moments earlier i had been in tears on the bar staff as i thought I'd lost him. They were so long bringing his ice cream dessert that he'd decided to go get it himself....think they were relieved when we finally left....

    Ive digressed (again) Other people have their own problems and they don't need to hear my troubles. Hope I'm making sense. It's 2.50 am and I need to go back to sleep! Got the dreaded DLA form to finish tomorrow. Wish me luck I'm only on page 22. 18 pages to go. Wish I could learn to be more concise! Good night.
  • bambam Member Posts: 331 Pioneering
    There are so many times I'm laying in my bed at 2:30 a.m. thinking. I wanted to respond to this post but I have MS and I just had a pretty good fall. It really hurts and I know it will hurt even more over the next few days. This stuff always seems to happen when I'm at the end of my pain medication prescription
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    @bam It's not good that you are in such bad pain. (I wanted to say "I'm sorry" just then but in the light of our previous chats didn't think it such a good idea!) Is there anyone there who can help you? I hope you don't think I am being trivial about disability as it is something you wouldn't wish on anyone especially where pain is involved. Thinking of you and hope you manage to get some sleep x
  • bambam Member Posts: 331 Pioneering
    @Katymary321 I understand what you're talking about. With MS I'm kind of used to falling. I just know over the next few days because of past experiences I'm going to be in a lot of pain. I'm going to be really stiff. I just took my car into the repair shop yesterday so I'm glad this didn't happen yesterday. Thank you for your support. Just hurts a little. I wish I could have seen a video of the fall because it seemed kind of funny. I was falling backwards and I was reaching out with my hands just trying to reach out trying to grab the door in front of me. I just kept trying to grab it. I was so close. It wasn't really that bad of a fall. I kind of fell back kind of into a wall and then fell down on the floor. I just know because my MS I'm going to be really stiff and sore tomorrow
  • Katymary321Katymary321 Member Posts: 17
    Oh heck. Sounds like you really did it in style. My mum always used to swear by Voltarol gel for pain relief after falls. Used to get through loads of tubes of the stuff. The meds you use are probably more effective anyway. Hope the pain is not as bad as it has been on previous occasions. Right. I really am going to sleep now! 
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