Yesterday more aids to living with the monkey arrived. 'Ability Net' brought his laptop with Kid Trac trackball and Dragon software (voice activated). Through their Remote training, they will teach him how to use this and he will be able to work from home when the time comes, but also use it for lots of other things. It's amazing stuff - his laptop will recognize his voice and the software is so advanced, we're told that as his voice gets more tired throughout the day, it can be programmed to recognize his 'morning' voice and his 'evening' voice. All this - laptop, software, training, is provided by 'Ability Net' and paid for by the MND Association. It's all on loan and will go back sometime in the future, when it's no longer required. That will be my responsibility.
We really are very lucky. We have such wonderful support. Today Anna (physio) and Susannah (OT) came to visit. Susannah was anxious to inspect the aids she had arranged to be installed by Medequip last week and Anna had come to talk to Roch about using the rollator and generally for a catch-up on how he's doing with exercises etc. They are young, very professional, very dedicated and (if I may be allowed to say so) also very attractive. I'm sure that's a bit of a bonus for Roch! I think they like him a lot. They manage to have a good laugh with him. Roch can usually find something to joke about. But they are very sensitive young women, who listen intently to what he has to say, who never lose eye contact when he is finding it difficult to talk about aspects of his illness which he finds distressing and who never fail to leave us feeling somehow vaguely cheered by our contact with them. They can still come up with solutions to most of the physical difficulties he is experiencing at present and take an obvious pleasure in the success of their suggestions. Completely professional and utterly charming. Unfortunately both are moving on within the next few months. I hope their replacements will live up to the standards they set.
We had a good evening yesterday. First leg of the Champions League Quarter Finals. The whole family glued to the TV, with our good friend and neighbour Christian. The Arsenal v Barca! How we groaned through the first half hour. Our spirits rose at half time when miraculously the score was nil all, only to be dashed by Ibrahimovic 23 seconds into the second half. 2-0 down we were close to despair and the family sat in tense silence. But our celebrations were second only to those of Walcott himself when he scored in the 69th minute (Christian said he wished he had had a camera to record the sight). After Fabregas' penalty goal Kate and I winced in sympathy as he limped gamely round the pitch! We held our breath until the whistle blew. We were exhausted but what a great night!