Thursday, 26 March 2020

Covid 19 - The Silent Killer - Controversial to Say the Least.

Covid 19 - The Silent Killer 
Controversial to Say the Least.

I’m supporting residents from home with the restricted movements and working from home rules now in force due to the global pandemic.

Whilst I do that in Warrior’s Retreat (my aptly named garden office) I think of the people who have lost their lives through the disease that has strangled the life out of so many. I think of the families and friends’ of the victims’ who have lost people to the disease. I think of the vulnerable people who are most at risk of (1) The disease (2) Changes to their care and support services, changes to services that they may not be able to cope with or wouldn’t be able to manage without. 
I think of the people who are on the front line looking after the sick and the dying, then the key workers and front line service personnel keeping our country running at this time. I think of the councillors, government officials, local, National, and armies of volunteers. The unsung heroes, too many to list, I have admiration for them all.

But then I think of the greedy people and corporations looking to profiteer from people’s misery. The Sports & Leisure retailer billionaire who’s inflated his prices to cash in on the pandemic and the store owner over inflating prices on hand sanitiser because everyone needs it. The actions of the fraudsters who are quick to set up scams to fleece people when they’re at their lowest and most vulnerable. Those actions make me feel angry and upset me. The inconsiderate people who let their children out to play, putting their children and others at risk, the people who just carry on regardless because they think they’re invincible and without observing Social Distancing advice. 

But then I think of the people who, through no fault of their own are now having to claim state welfare payments. It wasn’t that long ago that many of those new claimants, the people having to claim because they are unable to work because of the pandemic, would’ve been verbally attacking existing claimants for whatever reason. I clearly recall some political parties themselves would label claimants as ‘work shy’, ‘lazy’, ‘idle’ the list goes on. Whilst many from society would then call political parties the ‘nasty party’, ‘out of touch’ etc. the list goes on. Isn’t it ironic that the former attackers of claimants are now the claimants themselves in need of support because of a situation outside of their control?

The politicians are no longer attacking the weakest and most vulnerable members of society via  cuts to care and support packages, cuts to welfare payments, but, be rest assured that will come when this pandemic is over, it always does. Because the weak and vulnerable are defenceless and easy to attack. Easy to target. 
One hopes that this pandemic will change people’s opinions for the good for ever. 
One hopes this because at this moment in time everyone is vulnerable to attack from this deadly, silent assassin, Covid 19, Corona Virus. 

Some are more vulnerable than others but we’re all vulnerable.
Covid 19 is nasty, unrelenting and can, as we’re witnessing all over the world, choke the life out of many. Covid 19 doesn’t discriminate. The rich, poor, healthy, unhealthy, Covid 19 doesn’t discriminate, working people, unemployed, self-employed, sick, disabled, fit and well, Covid 19 doesn’t discriminate. Covid 19 the silent assassin that shouldn’t be underestimated.

But when this is all over, which it will be. When Covid 19 has been controlled and defeated, which it will be. I hope and pray that from now on we are all kinder to one another. For the future I hope that political Parties/Groups/Independents speak to one another in the National and Local Interest. Political Parties/Groups/Independents should talk to each other wether those groups be in your local Village, Town, District or County. I hope that we (society) never return to attacking, in whatever form, welfare payment claimants ever again. To attack them as society did should be considered a Hate Crime. I hope we are more considerate of other’s needs. The panic buying that occurred at the beginning of the crisis was an embarrassment in itself. There are many in society who have nothing to eat on a daily basis, without Covid 19 being in existence let alone now! It’s indescribably overwhelming that volunteers have offered themselves to support vulnerable members of the community whilst Covid 19 spreads like a silent cloud of carbon monoxide from an invisible source. But, when this is over we (society) shouldn’t just conveniently forget the vulnerable people we’re keen to support now and at Christmas, but, we should continue to support anyway and be kind always. Vulnerable people need you every day of the year not just now. They need you more now but they need you every day. 

My name is David Di Palma. I’m a Brain Injury Survivor. My seizures have increased through stress associated with aspects of this situation but I don’t care about myself, I care about every single one of you. Wether you be my next door neighbour or the woman who told me to eff off yesterday because I waved and said hello, I care about you and I’m here to support you.  I’m an elected Councillor at Braunstone Town and Leicester Forest East and I care about you and I’m here to support you with the support of my support team. If there’s anything we can do to support you please let us know. Thank you. 
Yours sincerely 
Councillor David Di Palma Cert. CIH
Winstanley Ward, Braunstone Town.
Leicester Forest East. 

Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Monday, 16 March 2020

The Invisible Man

Monday 16th  March 2020 – The Invisible Man (A Survivor’s Inner Strength)
06.30.

I’m Not feeling particularly well. I’m having difficulty communicating, my speech is slurred & I cannot find the words I need. I’m feeling numb down the right side of my body. The numbness spreads from my head to my toes. I lost my balance a short while ago and fell, banging my head, but with no visible sign of injury I’m not going to worry about it. I made it to the toilet and back without getting caught short, a victory in itself. 
I’m back in bed now but will get out of bed again soon. 
I’ve no visible injuries apart from a large scar to my scalp from neurosurgery but not all disabilities are visible or fit into a tick box. 
I can neither make myself, nor my circumstances nor my disability disappear. 
My mindset is positive and determined. 
My name is David Di Palma, I’m a Brain Injury Survivor and Proud. 
More diaries about survival coming soon in my new book…. 
David J. Di Palma – Surviving One Day at a Time.  
click me to discover more
Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Abuse - I’ll probably be better off dead.

Monday 16th  March 2020 - 0200 (Contains content some may find distressing)
Abuse - Sometimes I think I’d be better off dead.

The time is 0200. My head hurts, it’s excruciatingly painful. The pain caused by another episode of illness. It’s worse at night. No one is around to support at night. I don’t know if I’ve had a seizure but the searing heat located in the right temple and the agonising pain sends my memory back to the time when my father would repeatedly strike me around the head with his hands. Just one of many ways he would hurt me. This incident is being recorded on my digital voice recorder. I’ll play it back later and type the notes up from the recordings as I often do. I don’t know what I did to deserve the frequent hurt and beatings my father used to inflict upon me, I haven’t got any children but I know if I did I wouldn’t hit them. My bed is wet, I don’t know if that’s perspiration or I’ve passed urine. According to my father I was a worthless, useless, person who would never amount to anything. That’s all he ever told me. He was probably right. What use am I to anyone? I try to convince myself that I’m useful. Parishioners nominated, selected and voted for me in the local elections after all. Hence why I won more votes than the former Braunstone Town Mayor. My dogs love me (I think) but dogs love anyone who takes care of them. It wouldn’t matter to my family if I were dead. I very rarely hear from family unless they want something. Of course they had me labelled as a troublesome person out to cause mischief but none thought that I was having difficulty expressing myself and trusting people because some vile people closest to me were actually abusing me in the most horrific ways. So horrific that I was forced to be silent about it because I was repeatedly told that my mother and sisters would get hurt if I told anyone about it. I protected my family from the truth for over forty years. But no more. I’ve gone through counselling, I’ve spoken to some of my family about the abuse, the ones that would speak, most are in denial but the ones that have had a brief conversation with me have told me that they witnessed certain events going on, but yet did nothing to stop it! I’m crying now. For over forty years I thought I was protecting family from the truth, but, for over forty years they knew about some of what was going on? The question is… How much did they know and what type of abuse did they know about? 
Sometimes I think I’d be better off dead. I certainly used to think that when my father was alive. 
Well, soon the whole world will know the truth. 
I’m holding nothing back anymore, there’s no need to.
My new book will reveal all.
Coming Soon….
David J. Di Palma – Surviving One Day at a Time.  
visit our website for more information

Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

The Hottest Topic This Weekend

The Hottest Topic This Weekend 

Sunday 15th March 2020

I attended the 1030 Eucharist at Leicester Cathedral this morning. Upon my return I switched the coffee machine and kettle on to make a drink. Unfortunately, I became unwell part way through the task, whilst pouring the boiling water into the drinking vessel on top of the coffee from the coffee machine. 
The end result; one scalded leg, one floor to mop, and one pair of jeans and jumper to change. The saliva on my jumper and cctv recordings provided the evidence required to support my conclusion that I had experienced a seizure whilst carrying out the task.
Always one to look for the positives at least my leg saved the glass from smashing.
David J. Di Palma, Brain Injury Survivor and Proud. 


Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

A Weight Off My Mind – 14/3/2020

A Weight Off My Mind – 14/3/2020
It’s Saturday 14th March 2020.

Today I attended the Everlast Fitness Club with Julian (Support Worker).

We concentrate on working with weights on Saturdays. We always start with the Bench Press exercise. From my perspective this is one of the most challenging disciplines as a consequence of my brain injury, I have co-ordination, sequencing and balance difficulties, therefore, I’m at most risk of being crushed to death when lifting the weights from laying down of the bench. Julian always stands behind me and the rack ready to take the weight from me and put it back on the rack. The ‘crushing’ problem was almost proved today when I decided to go for a new Personal Best lift without Julian being in position. I forgot to wait for Julian to get into position, I attempted the lift but the jump up in weight caught me off guard, thankfully Julian was already getting into position and was quick to react, grabbing the bar and putting it back. 

We ended our session with both Julian and I achieving new personal bests. 

Health & Fitness are very important aspects of my life. From a physical and mental well-being perspective and in respect of goal setting. 

The downside is that working out causes an increase in seizures.
David J. Di Palma, A Survivor & Proud


for more blogs visit our website

Friday, 13 March 2020

Blink and You’ll Miss It – 13/3/2020


Blink and You’ll Miss It – 13/3/2020

It’s Friday 13th March 2020.

I’m a Survivor of Physical, Mental and Sexual Abuse. I didn’t sleep very well last night due to vivid flashbacks to the abusive past. I slept with the night light on and the bedroom door open in a bid to help me sleep. I experienced a seizure in the course of the night and daybreak arrived. I love the sound of the birds singing first thing in the morning. The birds singing to welcome in a new start to the day.

I sustained a fall in the bathroom before Support Worker Claire arrived and I had difficulty dressing myself (some of the many daily challenges I experience living with a brain injury disability). Support Worker Claire and I did some admin and did some preparation work for payroll next week. There’s more to do this time of year due to the fast-approaching financial year end.

Claire and I attended the gym although I had a lot of difficulty with my balance and coordination. Claire keeps me in line, telling me off when I do too much and ensures that I remain safe. I’m happy that Claire keeps me in line. Claire is brilliant in respect of motivation and keeping me as safe as possible. The staff at the Braunstone Leisure Centre (Leicester) are aware of my health situation and are supportive. They have had to search the building for me on a previous occasion when I became very unwell and went missing. Thankfully I wear a GPS Tracker around my neck, through which the Police are able to track me and assist me when the need arises.

After Claire left for the day, I had another seizure and I spent time studying the papers for the forthcoming meeting of Full Council at Braunstone Town  Council & Leicester Forest East Parish Council of which I am an elected member (he says with an enormous amount of pride.)

The week has passed by so quickly – blink and you miss it.

 Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Quicker than Linford Christie - 12/3/2020

Quicker than Linford Christie – 12/3/2020

It’s Thursday 12th March 2020.

Support Worker Claire has been put through her paces today. We attended the gym for our health and mental well-being session, Claire achieved a New Personal Best on the Tread Mill. The gym visit was followed by a visit to Subway for lunch. I ordered a foot-long steak and cheese on Hearty Italian, tea to drink and a packet or crisps. The plan was to eat half and to save half for my evening snack. That plan went out of the window, as I was hungrier than I first thought and so the food was demolished quite quickly. 

Next onto Leicester Aquatics for some Neon Tetra (small Tropical Fish). A quantity of ten fish were purchased for my new fish tank, although once more Claire was tested when I purposely sneaked off to see how alert she was. At 6’ 1” tall I can move quicker than Linford Christie, blink and I’ve disappeared. I may fall over a lot due to balance issues, but I can still move very swiftly.

Claire being alert to the impromptu test promptly found me, before I even got out of the store. It is always good to test one’s team members to see if they are alert (he says with a smile). In all seriousness, team members can’t take their eye off the ball otherwise I’m likely to wander off in a disorientated state especially in busy environments. 

Thankfully Claire is always alert, so no harm done. 

Once the ‘test’ was complete we returned to the office to carry out administration tasks.
Feeling exhausted now and having experienced a seizure just before Support Worker Dipak arrived for duty it’s time to rest. 

Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Compare and Contrast - An Alternative Perspective

Compare and Contrast - An Alternative Perspective
(Please read the post in full). 

David’s Perspective

Tuesday evening was a frustrating experience when Support Worker Dipak didn’t arrive as expected. Dipak was due on site, at my home, at 1815. At 1845 we were due to leave site to attend two meetings running consecutively at Leicester Forest East Parish Hall in my role as elected Councillor for Leicester Forest East. 
At 1830, not knowing if Support Worker Dipak was going to even come I knew I’d need to allow sufficient time to get to the meeting by walking. I got my shoes and coat on and I left home to head to the Parish Hall when I heard Dipak almost running behind me. I’m taller than Dipak by quite some margin. I really dislike being late and of course one doesn’t always do tasks in the right sequence. 
Thankfully we arrived at the meeting with a few minutes to spare, which is a good thing as that allowed one time to recompose oneself  as one always tries to mask how one is actually feeling. I neither ate an evening meal nor took medication because I forgot to eat and to take medication  at the allotted time because I have memory problems, ensuring these actions are carried out are Dipak’s main objectives each shift. 
I made worthwhile contributions to the meeting, briefly spoke about Wardens’ Walk, the businesses in Leicester Forest East and Wardens’ Walk area of Braunstone Town, Litter Picking, Hi-Viz Vests, and had an enjoyable experience conversing with councillors at the end. I returned home, I again forgot to eat and forgot to take medication. On Tuesday night I experienced seizures.

On Wednesday Support Worker , Claire and I took a trip to the Aquatic Centre. With the support of my team I keep Tropical and Cold Water Fish. I’ve kept cold water fish on and off from childhood but have never kept Tropical Fish before. Claire has them at home so is ideally placed to support me. Fish keeping is very good for my mental wellbeing.  Watching fish and listening to the water is therapeutic and recommended by the medical professionals and counsellors alike. 
Whilst we were at the aquatic centre Claire and I spotted a very large aquarium. So big that Claire, Julian or Dipak  could lay down in it and have room to spare. Unfortunately I don’t have the room big enough for it, which is probably a good thing as it would be expensive to run.  I purchased three Tropical Fish and some aquaria accessories.  We didn’t go to the gym which is an activity vital for my weight management, and beneficial to my physical and mental health wellbeing although exercising causes more seizures. 

David Di Palma
Brain Injury Survivor and Councillor 

Support Worker Dipak’s Perspective (as per previous post) 


Yesterday evening was a stressful time for David, as we were due to attend a Council Meeting and I thought the meeting was at 7.30 not at 7.00pm!!   So, by the time I arrived, David had been waiting for me to turn up feeling anxious not knowing if I was going to turn up as I am never late!!  David did not think to call me and started to walk to the meeting without me, luckily I saw him and had to run after him, as he can really walk fast when he’s on a mission!!


Anyway, once I caught up with him, we went to the meeting and got there well before the start time.  Well, David took that within his stride and managed focus during the meeting without any more excitements. 

Today, David went to Nottingham to get himself a few fish for his Aquarium. We're hoping having the aquarium will be good for David's mental health.  While there, he spotted this tank and thought… Hmmm I wonder if this is large enough for the Support Worker, Claire to fit in it!!

Dipak Rao .. Support Worker 


Summary and Conclusion.

Both of the above accounts are the respective perspectives of the authors, but, perception is one thing, reality is something different. This post isn’t to critique either author but one does find it interesting to say the least that one perceived the Tuesday incident as David taking something in his stride whilst David went without food, medication, was anxious and left home unsupervised and as Dipak suggests David appeared to make the meeting look easy “Well, David took that within his stride and managed focus during the meeting without any more excitements”. 


The moral of the blog... never assume that all is well and something was easy because it looks or is made to look easy. I have a hidden disability. I am an abuse survivor, brain injury survivor and a councillor. For the vast majority of my life I’ve had to mask the abusive past and to mask the realities of living with a brain injury disability. I’ve had to mask it because my survival depended upon keeping things to myself. But I don’t have to keep quiet about anything anymore. I’m not being forced to remain silent by abusers and I’ve attended years of abuse counselling. I want to help people to overcome their difficulties through my experiences. If I can help at least one person to overcome their difficulties my life will have been worthwhile. If not then my life will be remembered as a waste of time and oxygen.

My name is David Di Palma, I’m a Survivor and Proud. Visit our website to discover more





Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Shopping for a fish or two (11/03/2020)

Yesterday evening was a stressful time for David, as we were due to attend a Council Meeting and I thought the meeting was at 7.30 not at 7.00pm!!   So, by the time I arrived, David had been waiting for me to turn up feeling anxious not knowing if I was going to turn up as I am never late!!  David did not think to call me and started to walk to the meeting without me, luckily I saw him and had to run after him, as he can really walk fast when he’s on a mission!!

Anyway, once I caught up with him, we went to the meeting and got there well before the start time.  Well, David took that within his stride and managed focus during the meeting without any more excitements.

Today, David went to Nottingham to get himself a few fish for his Aquarium. We're hoping having the aquarium will be good for David's mental health.  While there, he spotted this tank and thought… Hmmm I wonder if this is large enough for the Support Worker, Claire to fit in it!!

Dipak Rao .. Support Worker 
  


 For more blogs visit our website www.radfordunited.com

Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Price for a Spring Clean!!!

Today I was struggling with trying to ascertain what kind of weekend David had as he forgets!! That’s what David does! He has major problems with his memory amongst other things.

I found out that on Saturday David went to the Gym and then Nottingham with his Support Worker Julian to get some  things for the house.  David must have forgotten to check that the dogs had no access to the lounge during his absence, the result was that the dogs got into the lounge and had a BIG PARTY!!!

Oh, yes, David is, now in need of a replacement Remote Control, some candles and a new pair of slippers.

Well, then there’s Sunday, David has no support and he was in a mood for a Spring Clean.  So, he decided to have a good go and he does like to give his 100% to everything he attempts.  Hey, that’s great for us but not so great for David, as he pays the price for this surge in energy spend!  This leads to David being clumsy and making more mess which needs clearing up. Slips, trips, falls and other injuries and then there’s the seizures. By the end of his Spring Clean you cannot tell which bit of the mess was from ‘David’s Spring Clean Party’ and which bit of mess was from ‘The Dog’s BIG Party’!

So, let’s talk about the price David pays for trying to Spring Clean.  On Monday, he was very tired and unsteady.  David had a seizure in the car and now has to sit back and watch the world go by!!. 😉

Dipak Rao - David’s Support Worker
 For more blogs visit our website www.radfordunited.com

Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

De-wired and Exhausted! (05/03/2020)

 Yesterday, David went back to the hospital to be ‘de-wired’ after being hooked to a monitoring device to record EEG readings for 48 hours.  During the 48 hours of being ‘wired’, David participated in his daily normal activities as instructed by the medics, this meant that he went to the gym as he does regularly although, he did not break any of his personal best records!!

David was glad to get rid of the probes attached to his scalp as this affected his sleep and this lack of sleep led to heightened level of anxiety, in addition to balance, coordination and other problems.   
Today, David in his Councillor role helped an elderly Parishioner from Leicester Forest East with a licensing issue. 

Should you wish to make contact with Councillor David Di Palma, Councillor for Winstanley Ward (Braunstone Town) & Leicester Forest East please visit www.radfordunited.com for full contact details.

For more blogs visit www.radfordunited.com

Dipak on behalf of David J. Di Palma – A Brain Injury Survivor, A Councillor and Proud. 

Expressing the personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Been wired up! (02/03/2020)

With my Support Worker Claire I attended the Leicester Royal Infirmary to undergo a forty-eight-hour EEG to investigate abnormal activity in my brain.

The instructions received from the specialised medics was to carry on with my normal activities so that the resulting data collected may be used to help with future treatment programme.
On Day One I attended the meeting of the Citizens’ Advisory Panel at Braunstone Town Council with Support Worker Dipak and on day two I was back on track by attending the gym with Support Worker Claire.


Dipak on behalf on David J. Di Palma – A Brain Injury Survivor, A Councillor and Proud.

Small Print
Expressing personal views of David Di Palma unless stated otherwise.
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Long time no hear

It has been a long time since we last posted but it has been a very busy few months in respect of supporting the communities of Braunstone T...