3 Sep 2009

Post 152: Something of a rant

Sadly I don't have it in me to make every post light-hearted, but I'll have ago by starting this weeks effort with my favourite mixed metaphor of the hour courtesy of legend Steve, he's something of a master at these:-' you can lead a dead horse to water, but flogging him won't make him drink'
Serious stuff starts: I've been having some thoughts about the sanctity of human life after watching a truly harrowing film called 'Return to Paradise'
about the binary and arbitrary nature of Malaysian law on suspected drug traffickers, and it got me thinking about the fear of death and the terrible effect it has on the person concerned and the people around them. I'm afraid that I might spoil the plot here but I'd never recommend anyone see it because it is the type of film that leaves you crushingly depressed and dare I say I felt a little emotional afterwards. The climactic scene particularly moved me. Joaquim Phoenix
is standing on the gallows with the Noose around his neck in Penang prison yard and Vince Vaughan
is shouting through his cell window 'you are not alone', 'you are not alone' over and over again, it is the feeling of being alone and the fear of death that makes us as humans feel awful, and although I am not close to death (at least I don't think I am), I feel the solitude of being unable to have freedom of movement everyday when I can't leave my house. It often feels like being on death row, because even though I do 6 sessions of mentally and physically torturous physiotherapy a week and my goal is to one day walk independently again, it'll never be proper walking, the best I can hope for is to one day be able to get out of a chair and walk (well stagger) to the bathroom and stagger back, no nipping down the shops, the pub or spending late nights on the tiles dancing badly and having a laugh with my mates. My life isn't exactly over, it's just different, and I've accepted some of it but letting go has been hard. My only way of meeting new people is through the internet or through my existing friends who are so kind and I am as honest as I can be about my situation often directing people I've never met here to the blog to try and help them understand me a little before being subjected to the onslaught that is me in person. I tread a fine line because I want people to feel empathy for my situation but I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me because that's just a pathetic basis for any friendship. But here's a good example of an email I received the other day from a girl I had expressed an interest in on a dating website and it genuinely upset me:
'I didn't sign up on this website to be someone's carer'. I was f*cking mortified, because it made it clear to me despite everything I've ever done in my life and who I am I'm just this f*cking wheelchair bound person that means less than sh*t now. It was a fairly bad moment and even though I thought my reply was succinct and pretty good 'er, sorry, I was just looking for someone who cared, it's obviously not you' it couldn't repair the damage. This must be how a stand up comedian feels after being booed off.
To try and turn this around I am trying to find things to be grateful for and it has not been easy. I suppose I am grateful for a lot, for a start I am aware that as stroke survivors go I am in a fairly good place but that doesn't alter the fact that I feel my life is beyond repair and that I have no chance of retaining a small fraction of my pre-stroke life. I know this because 4 years down the line although I have made significant improvements on the corpse I was, I am nothing physically and mentally compared with my old self and as much as people harp on about how I should always think in terms of the former, the latter thought dominates my mind, especially as despite doing more and more physio, walking never seems to get any easier or more automatic and I just seem to get more tired. And it annoys me that I am even writing this because it can't be much fun for anyone to read. It's bloody hard enough writing it. I suppose a big thing I am grateful for is that I have so little to spend my income on these days, kind donations to the Dom Pardey trust pay for most of my therapy and any special equipment I need. The trustees, led by my mate Tony make sure every penny is only spent on things that will directly help my recovery (physiotherapy, neuropsychology and sadly my ill-fated useless attempt at going on a course aimed at reducing my crippling fatigue), it was sadly the only option at the time after my disastrous experience with being prescribed the stimulant Ritalin that probably set me back six months, I remember when the Royal Hospital for neurodisability
did that to me 3 odd years ago without the use of the wrong medication, their physiotherapy department refused to let me practice walking because of health and safety concerns for their therapists. I don't think I'll ever forgive the RHN Physiotherapy department not that they'd give a damn. Firstly, they seemed to forget I'd done six months+ of Physiotherapy in the Frank Cooksey rehab unit and I still believe this is the reason why I can't walk today, it's all very well me shouting and screaming about it now but it'll make sod-all difference, I seriously think that a big opportunity was missed in helping me walk again. A head should roll over this. Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand did far less than this to Andrew Sachs and they were out on their*rses. Then as if the RHN hadn't done enough the transitional Living Unit physiotherapist helpfully told me I'd never walk again. She must be from the school of reverse psychology because despite the comedy depression it sent me into It made me determined enough to say 'f*ck you, I'm going to try anyway'. This doesn't escape from the fact that I'm livid for their initial negligence and the hellish time I had on drapers ward. That little rant has been strangely liberating, I think the point I was trying to make is that I have been grateful for the opportunity to take my friends and family to so many shows which I would not have done before, I now focus all my energy and income on finding events to go to, be they stand up comedy events or rock concerts. I have noticed that during the summer months there's less and less stuff to go to, probably because people are on holiday and bands clearly concentrate on the big festivals.
This is where the Proms
have been such a godsend. To be clear, classical music is not my first love but I can certainly appreciate it plus The Albert Hall is Unique. When I go again this Sunday I will have been to the Proms 6 times! And I have probably been to the Albert Hall over ten times in the last 20 months. It is perhaps fitting that the best prom I went to was with Jackie and Selwyn on Tuesday for it was them that first took me to a classical concert at the Albert Hall in May (Post 126).
The reason why Tuesdays prom was so good was obviously because the music was stellar, we had fantastic seats next to the Orchestra and we had a delicious dinner in the Albert Hall cafe Consort first (that was only marginally contraband). The highlight was of course the music played by some Dutch Orchestra. Now I'm no expert but the first piece was an excellent piece of Haydn, now I can't get away with saying 'it was unmistakeably Haydn' because I wouldn't know my Haydn from my Handel, any Muso's reading this will probably be muttering 'philistine' under their breath. From what I understand of Haydn, it is classical music for quite a wide audience, pleasant sounding well defined melodies in a major key, in fact it was symphony 100 in G Major and was lovely to listen too, as was the piece in the second half which was quite different in style, it was Shostakovichs Symphony No.10 in E minor which had allsorts of dramatic flourishes, certainly the guy in the BBC radio 3 box was getting very excited and his unforgivable bouffant seemed to get bigger and bigger as the night went on. The last Prom concert I'm going to is this Sunday as Steve and Naomis 'farewell to the UK' present. You'd struggle to get more British than a Prom.

1 comment:

nurul iman said...

Thank you very Steady info ... hopefully more successful.
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