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7 Jun 2009

Post 131: A mostly good(!) week.

A mixed(ish) week, with the highlights being supplied by the weather at the beginning of the week and a couple of good shows at the end.
Maybe it's too soon to tell but the Ritalin has not (as I suspected) been the answer. Those who understand what I'm talking about will know what I mean when I say it has made me feel 'speedy'. This is not a terribly pleasurable sensation where you feel butterflies and a sort of hollow emptiness in your stomach. You still feel exhausted but the thought of lying down and resting couldn't be further away. It's that awful feeling when you've been awake far to long, you really should sleep but can't, so sadly no magic. The amazing weather at the start of the week as you have no doubt seen has meant that I have been able to move my walking therapy to my garden which although not easier for the actual walking is more convenient and time efficient, grass is also softer to fall on if something does go badly wrong.
I try and set myself a couple of tasks every week to try and drive change in my life. This gives me something to do and structure and takes my mind off the desperation of my situation. The first was to try and get an ipod
compatible with my stereo (which has a docking point for an ipod) so I can transfer some of the excellent relaxing music I have on my PC to the stereo in my bedroom. This will mean I can lie down in comfort (in my bed) and listen to music/audiobooks that I download. I can lie flat in my wheelchair but it's nothing like as comfortable as bed unfortunately.
The 2nd task I set myself is to start doing some investigating into getting an easychair
I can easily transfer in and out of from my wheelchair, as you can probably tell I am fed up with having to sit in my wheelchair all day. If I sometimes do sit on other seats it's only when there are strong people around who can help me safely transfer in and importantly transfer out back into my wheelchair. Sadly most seats in my house are too low for me to have the strength in my legs to stand up and then safely transfer into my wheelchair. In a sense once I am in a normal chair I am trapped, I have no way of getting out. This is sadly what life has become. Always worrying about the next thing I won't be able to do independently and it pisses me off.
Anyway, crap feelings shelved for a bit, hopefully, I've found the ideal chair, they're even coming round to measure me for it on Tuesday, this makes me feel like a bit of an OAP! I won't be getting it in any of the picture colours.
So onto the latter half of the week, on Thursday I took my parents to a classical gala at the Albert Hall Now before this I probably would have never been to, letalone taken my parents to anything like this. I can only afford it because most venues kindly give you a free ticket with a wheelchair, so it has given me the chance to take out the people who have cared for me during the last three and a half years and to get out of the house and see a bunch of stuff I wouldn't normally see. For Example, just yesterday an old friend emailed me to say that he loved Muse and that they had recently announced dates at the dome. Now the most I can say about Muse is I've vaguely heard of them. I don't know a single one of their songs but ten minutes later I'd booked tickets. Simply because it's enough for me if my mate has a good time and nine times out of ten I'll love it. So back to the Gala, my parents loved it and were rapturous about being taken out to something and somewhere they genuinely love. I, myself was mesmerised by the sound and display of skill. For the soloists playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Albert Hall must be as good as it gets and I was in awe. First up was a Clarinetist called Emma Johnson to play Mozarts clarinet Concerto, my mother informed me she was a former Young Musician of the Year, a program that she has watched religiously for years. Indeed, I was impressed as Ms Johnson played the piece flawlessly, I was particularly impressed because this was a very technical piece that I remember playing sections of under a completely different arrangement (ie just for a piano accompaniment) when I had been a 14 year old grade 6 clarinetist at school. A skill I have long since lost. I can't even read music now. The second soloist was apparently another former 'young musician' called Nicola Benneddetti playing Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. Now I'm no music critic/connoisseur but I would hazard a guess after seeing/hearing this that this must be one of the most technical pieces for violin in existence. When it finished I think I even said 'wow'. These people are so skillful and talented and what's more both Ms Johnson and Benedetti were easy on the eyes and I'm registered blind and we were a long way from the stage. Result! My dad had also suggested the name of a play that he had heard good things about. After seeing how happy taking them out had made them I have booked tickets for us three to go and see 'The War Horse' later this month.
As much as I love musical events, stand-up comedy is still my first love because laughter is the best medicine for a fragile mind like mine, so Friday was about laughter and treating some very dear and loyal friends to a night of finding the funny with my current favourite comedian Stephen K Amos
at the Hackney Empire, a great little theatre, the only drawback being it's in Hackney! Simon Dawes and his lovely wife Yvonne (Post 85) drove my van (and I) there and we met my best mate Tony and his new(ish) girlfriend Kate who I am determined to take them both out because I owe him so much for being a great friend, particularly since my stroke and Tony bringing Kate along is a particular smiling point for anyone who knows Tony. They're great together.
It was a great night because Amos is a wizard. He instantly gets the crowd on his side by being friendly and 'one of us'. He is also hilarious and is not afraid to wander from his prepared material. For instance when he asked some backstage person for a drink and he was handed a bottle of water, he quickly quipped sarcastically 'water, are we at war?' but the thing that really made the evening special was at the bar afterwards.
Since going to a gig of his in 'a shed' in Farnham back in March Stephen and I have had the odd to and fro on the wonder that is facebook and I had mailed him to say I was coming to Hackney. In the bar after the show he actually came to say hello to me. What a gent! It's just a pity I forgot to get a picture! Anyway, the evening ranks as my #3 since my stroke, with #1 being going to see and meeting Bill Bailey in November 2008 (Post 85), #2 being Amos' first show I went to in Farnham and then friday.
Saturday wasn't half bad either with a visit at lunchtime from great friend Simon W and a girl I just adore, Pandora. She is a bit special because not only is she gorgeous she is also hysterically funny. I barely stopped laughing for the hour they were here. When they had left I retired to my bedroom to watch a movie that got me thinking, not a classic by any means but 'forgetting Sarah Marshall' reminded me how a girl leaving a bloke can be the most devastating and heartbreaking thing in the world. So often it is men that are portrayed as heartbreakers but it can be the other way around. Like in the film I once naively thought that love was all it took. That's not true.
Ritalin may be ineffective at lifting my mood, but friends,good weather, pretty girls and laughter is a veritable elixir. Sadly next week isn't looking as good although my brave amazing tetraplegic friend Carlie
is finally leaving her hospital room at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability to go back to her mums house in Lewisham with a team of 10 carers. She is the bravest most patient person I have ever met and is an example to all of us. I am off to see her to wish her luck on Monday.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Sorry we couldn't stay longer on Saturday. Blame Ben Green :p

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