rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Where to start? I suppose the pleasantries would be good? My name is Darren, otherwise known as Daz, but NEVER Dar. Grrr, hate it with a passion. Funny how as a kid I grew up with a hatred of the name Daz. Being in the depths of Somerset it was very very rare that it was used. Dar is more common down this way. But now, so many years in the Midlands, almost everybody calling me Daz, and now I hate being called Dar. Strange how we evolve.

I am an assertive, without being controlling, opinionated, but only when I know the facts, stubborn minded typical male.  Just ask the woman who decided to openly say on a blog I do on a dieting forum that “pubs are a dangerous place to eat, you wouldn’t catch me ever doing that again”. I don’t mind people’s opinions, just don’t attack something I am very passionate about. Perhaps I shall bring that post over to here one day, just to give it context. Haha.

For those of you that are interested enough to have read my bio you will know I had a stroke, followed by a massive weight gain. Well, massive for me. To go from between 9 and a half and 10 and a half stone when I gave up smoking over 5 years ago to around 12 stone, that was acceptable. Giving up over 40 fags a day is bound to have an impact somewhere. Yes I had a bit of a belly, nothing major, after all I lived and breathed pubs and had a passion for real ale. Every perk has a down side. But with the lack of mobility after the stroke I went to my heaviest weight of 15st 8lbs. And it was all on the belly. The face got podgy, 2 more chins appeared, and the tops of the legs decided to meet for the first time in over 40 years, but apart from that the vast mass that came was on the belly. I had started to look heavily pregnant. YUK. (No offence to any pregnant females reading this.)

The stroke was a major illness, something that nearly killed me. And yet, to me, it seems no different than if I had suffered a common cold. Of course there was a bit of anxiety after the event, and depression probably reared its head to a degree, but not massively. I would sit here and ponder how long the recovery would take, imagine myself going back to work, and best of all, being allowed to drive my car again. Wow, that’s hard, losing the act of driving a car. Having that form of independence taken away from you because DVLA won’t allow stroke survivors to drive again until they have been assessed. And still I haven’t been able to get assessed due to the vertigo. I sometimes look longingly at my beautiful car abandoned on the driveway.

The first 5 days I spent in a general ward in hospital. They treated me as an alcoholic, with glucouse drips to flush me through. That’s what happens when you are found face down on a pub floor apparently. I complained to the ambulance trust about that. One of their crew members opening gambit as he walked in the door was “whatever, cider for breakfast was it?”. Of course he denied that. I must have got it wrong, stupid me. Of course nothing happened, although they did say that they had given the ambulance crew a talking to. That will have solved that issue then. Oh, and then they decided I had Labrynthistis. I would get over that in a few days, same as any other virile infection. On the Friday morning I walked around the hospital bed, by the Friday afternoon I couldn’t get out of it. But still, I hadn’t suffered a stroke. I was far to young. So they left me all weekend until a neurologist could check me over. That took until Tuesday. He looked into my eyes, said you will start to feel sleepy………no, he didn’t, but got you going there didn’t I? He sent me off for an MRI. Result, I was immediately transferred to a stroke ward. Really don’t know why we need consultants and nurses, myself and my family gave that prognosis on the Thursday, they took 5 days to work it out. Wow. Complained to the NHS, pretty much the same as the Ambulance Trust really, but also the fact that I was to young for a stroke makes it all ok for them to misdiagnose. And little old me can’t find a way to battle the massive system. Never mind, I will just have to put up and shut up.

After 2 weeks of being in the same hospital they considered me well enough, or should I say less likely to have another occurrence, to transfer me to one of the dedicated stroke hospitals. It was a lovely place, so much more of a personal level than the general hospital, and a few very pretty nurses. (Hey, I’m single, not so young anymore but, still, single.) 4 weeks of recovery and rehabilitation. From being bed ridden, to using a wheelchair, to walking out of the hospital on day of discharge with the use of a wheeled walking frame, I was off. Free to get on with my life, although at a pace not becoming a pub manager who is used to the 24/7 lifestyle that it is. I have always maintained that running pubs is a way of life, treat it as a job and you will last the proverbial 5 minutes. But no more of that for me for a while.

At this point I was still the manager of the village pub. The couple that leased it were running the place until I could return. We all reckoned by June/July 2012 I would be back. Ha. No chance. Strokes are very slow at being forgiving, it is after all going to leave some form of brain damage. The fact that a piece of lining in the blood vessel going up the back of my neck to my brain broke away and caused a lack of blood flow rendered it “an acute infarction of the brain stem and left cerebellum”. Pretty serious sounding.

So, the brain has to learn how to work again. They say the damaged part would never repair, but the brain is clever enough to have other areas take over the rolls that are missing. Now, try to get your head around this one. I had severe, and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), of which, while the “clever” brain was relearning stuff, it taught itself that vertigo was normal. So I have vertigo without actually having vertigo apparently. Yeah, took me a while, and it’s my brain.

Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. I did meet the lovely Deborah from this site by accident the other Friday, and I did warn her that I probably wouldn’t have enough to say to make this of interest. I find it difficult to talk really.

I shall return and carry on, once my brain has had time to do a bit more learning.

(Oh, and I think I have probably lost another couple of lbs in the time its taken to write this down. Ace.)



Me, 43 y/o of the male species, currently residing back in the town of my incarnation after spending 20 years running around the Midlands area troubleshooting run down and/or bankrupt pubs. Single and stuck at my parents while waiting for the local authority to be really kind and give me a flat to live in. Seems they are not as quick with their thoughtfulness as one would hope. With so much time running pubs I have many an experience, long and tall tales to tell, stories of wonderful people, as well as some not so wonderful people. I still have a passion for real ales, in the art of keeping them, serving them, making sure they are at optimum level for the customer, and yes maybe drinking them, although now it is to a somewhat lesser extent. But more about that if someone wishes to ask, or maybe some of it will come into my blogs? One can never tell. I had finally come home after so long when the company I worked for decided they no longer had a pub for me to run when the last one I was in got sold to a local property developer. 2 days notice I had of becoming jobless and homeless. The traits of being a Managing trouble-shooter I’m afraid. So home I came, stopped at my best mates for a few weeks, left there and went to my parents. Travelled many a mile for interviews with pub companies and agencies, including almost 900 miles in 2 days for 2 such opportunities. That’s the love I have for staying in the pub trade. Alas it would seem that I also have far to much experience, a few Area Managers and company owners having an obvious disdain for the fact I knew more than them about the trade. Not that I was one to rub it in their faces, but I think it must have come across as I talked of what my past history entailed. Sunday 26th February 2012, I walked into one of the village pubs for a drink that had only reopened a few days before. Got chatting to the chap that was leasing it and by Monday lunch time I was the Manager. Result. Managing a pub I had known since childhood, knew most of the customers, and had a family name well connected to the area. Wish I had of gone in sooner, would have saved me a fortune in petrol. Less than 3 weeks later, Thursday 15th March 2012, the pub was doing good, lots to sort out to get it trading properly but the signs were very positive. Approx 6.30 – 7am while having a coffee and watching the news on telly the stroke happened. Put me on the floor, took my mobility, killed my speech, blurred my vision completely. Had to crawl down the stairs to let the ambulance crew in. So here we are, present day, lost my job, again, so homeless, and now unable to work, have ended up back at my parents. For ANYBODY that has a job where your home comes with it, buy something, even a caravan, but something, you never know when you will need it. It's now a while since it happened and all I have been left with of any inconvenience is vertigo, both the severe and BPPV varieties. That created a massive lack of mobility which in turn had me balloon by over 3 and a half stone. So here I am, grateful to be living, but determined to beat the vertigo, and to lose the fat. Follow my blog and join me on a journey that is actually enjoyable, in that it gives me a focus while I’m left as one of this Governmen'ts horrible statistics that they can't force back to work (yet). (Ooops, dont think me political, I am not, in any way shape or form, just as I don’t believe in God, but I do read the news about the state of current affairs.) Thanks for reading.

2 Responses to My first blog

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed meeting you too Daz. Having spoken to you last Friday, I think you will have plenty to say on the talkhealth blog – plenty of interesting and amusing things to say. I eagerly look forward to reading your blogs.

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