8 Jun 2008

Post 47:'Samsonesque' haircut or a collective sigh of relief

The subject of todays missive is going to be decidedly mixed. For starters I feel I've probably lost any of my scant remaining powers because I've forced a haircut on myself. This samsonesque happening has finally got rid of my highlights (for the uneducated my blond bits ( no, you don't say) ). OK so it's tidier, but does it really need to be tidier? I don't think so so I might just sod it and I might get them put back again. I'm sure no-one really cares. The interesting thing that has happened in the last week is I found a fellow young stroke survivor who has decided to share his thoughts via a blog too. He has a similarly acerbic sense of humour and he has told me he enjoyed reading this. I mean the poor guy enjoyed reading this stream of misery, what it demonstrates to me is how extraordinarily unhappy strokes can make people I know that this applies to Mat and I , His blog is at . The poor guy can relate to some of my tales,particularly around heartbreaking breakups and the exhaustion that simple stuff like morning routine's can create. Despite it being tragic what has happened to him he has regained being able to walk independently with a stick which is amazing, although he refers to himself as a 'wobbly person'. To be honest I have tried to imagine what it would be like to be steady on my feet again and it is very hard to imagine as is using my left arm properly again. It's pretty grim always having thoughts like these just below the surface but I was given a bit of heart on friday when I went back to the TLU (on the way back from the hairdresser) to primarily get weighed (as they've got special scales) but to catch up with some of the staff and patients, including my remarkable friend Carlie who's in the main hospital. It's always nice to see Carlie. She has this amazing calming influence and she always tells me I look better than I feel. She really is rather special. What gave me heart yesterday was seeing one of the TLU inmates, Yaya (the sarf London gangster) walking confidently without a stick. I also bumped into Chris (the fanatical Chelsea fan) who looked a lot better. He was genuinely pleased to see me and we even had time to trade playful insults about each others haircuts. Him that I'd finally got rid of my 'gay' blond bits and me about how his new haircut further accentuated his baldness. Touch̩ I thought. I suppose I do miss having other people to banter with and importantly having the inflection in my voice to carry it off. Since my stroke it has been rather hard to convey that it's only that rude if you take it literally and don't apply the requisite pinch of salt. People just see you as charmless and rude if you interpret everything in the same way as the average American would. OK so that's a tiny bit of a generalization but you get the point! The only thing that slightly marred my visit back to the RHN (apart from the fact that I will forever associate the place with the most miserable time in my life) was the story the weighing scales told. Unfortunately I appear to have put on weight yet again. It seems like a neverending futile battle which I can't seem to win. I'm not a fat bastard but the scales tell a different story. What really confuses me is that most who visit say that since leaving hospital I look like I've lost weight and I convince myself it must be because I'm no longer eating the RHN stodge. The south African ladies I live with always cook my evening meal with fresh stuff and the same can be said for Tanya's awesome cooking. I guess most of my troubles around my waistline can be laid at the door of inactivity, the thing I can't bear but with which I have no choice. As I have on an avenue Q (look them up if you haven't heard of them) mug Р'It sucks to be me'. Speaking of things getting worse, next week there will be a change of carer РI will be transferred from the excellent carers the NHS sent (excellent and ultra reliable local middle aged ladies who have been doing this for years) to a care agency which I will have to pay for and organise myself. I've got several problems with this the least of which is that I'm going to have to pay although I am a little disconcerted. For starters from my time in hospital I'm not tremendously positive about agency staff mainly because there seems to be little incentive for them to really try and make much of an effort, so I'm frankly scared. A social worker from the long term care team turned up at my house to meet me and my folks (they were here for the meeting because they share my concerns). Unfortunately the social worker appeared to be the kind of 'right on' middle class hating lady who seemed only too happy to wash her hands of me because I'm clearly the type bent on sucking the limited resources of the state dry bizarrely because I'm not destitute and the flat which I own in Brixton which I can no longer live in is over the asset threshold so I am disqualified from long term state care. My mum instantly wound her up by ploughing into a daily mail-esque rant about the iniquties of government policy on care for the disabled. Neither side was willing to budge Рthe social worker stuck to her guns as only she could whilst mum continued to rant about the unfairness of government policy.Obviously, the social worker could only follow her policies but these are not people you get on the wrong side of because they can make things considerably harder if they so choose. Anyway, we will have to see. I'll soon find out and let you know.

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