17 Apr 2010

Post 201: Something genuinely inspirational

I wrote most of this on Thursday, topping and tailing it Friday but didn't even finish it then, so it's Saturday.

Thursday was a day where my diary was empty,
I wish I could take this opportunity to go back to bed, but it doesn't work that way with chronic fatigue . If I went back to bed I wouldn't sleep, I would lie awake feeling tired, unwell, depressed and bored. It's like being too tired to go to sleep, I don't get it! At least if I'm sitting in front of my computer I feel like I'm achieving something and I'm not cut off from the world. Sadly the writing course I've been doing (sparingly I'm afraid but you'll see why) has turned out to be a bit of a turkey. The reading matter was a bunch of platitudes like 'to be a writer, you must write' and when I have sent work to them the comments they sent back were lightweight and unhelpful and haven't inspired me to get writing or motivated me to continue with the course, I get more helpful feedback from the comments on this blog or from the facebook discussions that come about because of this.
It's no secret that I have desperately been looking for a couple or a girl to replace the Polish Couple who live here and look after the house, the cat and me (in that order). Basically, I can't survive without them as I'm not independent enough to make myself an evening meal, keep the house clean or open tins of catfood. Mariusz and Ilona have been brilliant. Both have dayjobs, so we're out of each others hair during the day, so anything that I need help with, I save up till they're back in the afternoon or phone my brother who's often in the vicinity because he maintains a lot of the local houses or if it's an emergency I try my neighbours (who are sometimes in). All of this assumes that a phone is within reach. (Which it sometimes isn't) eg when I fell over in the bathroom there was no-one to hear my weak cries for help. I had to psyche myself up to reach one of the bars and despite tremenduos pain and weakness after sitting on the floor for an hour I was able to summon the strength to get myself up back into my chair, try getting off the floor using one arm and one leg boo hoo poor Dom.
When looking for a housekeeper, I did try and combine this role with trying to find a companion,
but it turned up some less than positive responses, in fact some darn right disgusted ones, obviously living for free while looking after me is a hideous proposition, honesty and putting your cards on the table is clearly not how people want to play it. Since my stroke, I was starting to think that absolute honesty was the way forward – it seems to be appreciated but gets you nowhere! My current living situation is a well worn rut, but I survive, well that's not bloody good enough! People who live on the streets Survive, I doubt it's a life they'd choose.
I long for company, because I can't do much and convalescence is a lonely existence. I try and fill my diary with ANYTHING. For example, I used to do occupational and speech therapy with the community therapists .ie they'd come and visit me here because it was something to do even if I thought occupational therapy was a pisspoor excuse for a real thing to do and the speech therapist made me feel physically sick. I guess I'm just fed up with filling my diary with things stroke-survivors are supposed to do but make no f*cking difference to how I f*cking feel. I feel strongly about this! I just want to talk to people I get on with who make me laugh. To be clear I liked spending time with some occupational or speech therapists when I was in hospital because they were good company or easy on the eye, sometimes, just sometimes stuff they said made a difference but human nature tells us not to continue whacking our head against an immovable brick wall which is why I have curtailed the walking. I no longer have that impending sense of dread that I used to get on my walking therapy days, by contrast I enjoy my personal training sessions and I've already had a couple of comments that my right arm and upperbody are looking stronger, you see, all I want is results, and although it's too soon to tell if the diet's helping my energy levels, I have given up caffeine, without serious withdrawal symptoms! I have also lost yet more weight, I'm now at 92.6kg and I'm not going hungry. I'm living by a simple Maxim:No pain, no gain but Pain for no gain is a f*cking waste of time.
Completely changing the subject as I'm prone to sometimes do I got an email on Thursday morning from a mate of mine,Andy Kocen, easily spotted in this picture by virtue of the fact he's the only bloke
who has just completed the Marathon des Sables, quite simply the most evil sounding race in the world, actually known as 'the toughest footrace in the world'.
Aside from it sounding like something Jeremy Clarkson might say, the fact remains it is running over 150 miles in 6 days in 50 degree temperatures on sand, it is literally 'going to hell in a handbasket' despite him raising over £10,000 for various things, he should be locked up in a loony bin, this madness is not without precedent,just over 10 years ago he unbelievably made it to the final 'I jest not' of the 'UK competitive eating' – both events required him to be an athlete in very different ways but I have boundless respect for the guy, particularly as at Uni he would often be seen with a pint in one hand and a fag in the other. Tell the truth I used to think of him as a bit of a fat b*stard. Andy Kocen, your feats make you a living legend, up there with Eddie Izzard. What Andy put himself through to complete this is an awe inspiring read here up there with when our friend Julian climbed Everest. In other good news; I've found a housekeeper. Step forward Miss Susan Pinkerton, someone I know and trust, she looked after the place, the cat, and me between Christmas and new year, it is a huge weight off my shoulders.
Changing the subject again, I know I often mention the cats around here but this place is starting to feel like the Serengeti. Pickle is killing something everyday and helpfully brings it into my room at between 4-6 in the morning. There is nothing I can do except totally shut her out of my room which I don't want to do. The last straw came the other day (I think). Fat Frank (next doors huge male tabby(neutered thankfully)) often sleeps in my room and he devoured the carcass of some poor bird with the bones crunching in his mouth sounding like he was eating maltesers. Hence the Serengeti analogy, Frank is the fat lazy lion and Pickle is his lioness. David Attenborough is thankfully nowhere to be seen. But given their willingness to eat basically anything it has reminded me of a joke told by self styled 'blackest man in comedy' the caucasian scottish miserable b*stard Frankie Boyle,
in fact his stand up DVD is being televised on channel 4 on Sunday (18th). If you're going to watch it brace yourself. I personally think he's hilarious but wouldn't sit in the front row, if anything, I think my wheelchair would give him more ammunition. Anyway his joke about cats came in one of those stand up rounds on Mock the Week (before the BBC sacked him for being too near the knuckle for his joke about the queen's 'pussy being haunted' -I laughed. The round title was 'things you wouldn't see on a label. Frankie said (and I still laugh whenever it springs to mind) 'we use only the cheapest horse-meat to go in 'f*ck it, it's just a cat'
Finally, before I leave you in peace, I just thought I'd mention the concert I went to at the Albert Hall last night to see 90s indie rockers James – it was brilliant – so much better than Jose (my personal trainer who heroically stepped in at the last minute after my plans came apart again) and I had expected and was probably better than seeing the killers there last year (and that had been awesome). I was a big James fan back when I was about 16 , well I had one of their CDs that I played a lot, James to me means long sleeve t-shirts, curtained long hair ( before becks nicked it off snotty nosed precocious little public schoolboys like me for the rightful wearers of such haircuts, chavs!)
and the thrill of nipping off to the bike-sheds for a crafty smoke back before I thought smoking was pointless. It was a better time, it was recapturing some of these feelings as to why I bought these tickets and it worked. Thankyou Hose for making it possible for me to go and for saying how much you'd enjoyed it afterwards, these things all help my rock bottom mental health.
asking for sponsorship for the 'London to Hove' cycle race on 27th June He has been such a good friend to me before and since my stroke that this is the least I can do.

I quite often get told to make these posts more light-hearted, I try and make light of this situation with the odd joke but sometimes I have to get the big guns out, by which I mean gratuitous animal shots. Sometimes they're so nice they make you want to self harm. This week I may have got the definitive picture that captures pure joy - it is quite simply my niece Maddie (8 I think with her new Puppy Rosie, It fair nearly sickened me into saying'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah' 'int that nice'


Andy K said...

You mainly used to used to think of me as a bit of a fat b*stard because I was!

Well, I was for the bit when I moved to London, got a desk job and stopped exercising, which was for a good few years.

Dom P said...

I always used to laugh at the way you spectacularly sold out. Umpteen years training to be a doctor at Fenland Poly, then a couple of years drinking in Oxford to end up as a stockbroker.

leehuck said...

Occupational Therapy (OT) helps people maximize their ability to participate in life. Read more for more info.

Dom P said...

I Imagine you must be an OT or that you've never had OT. I'm sure in theory there's some useful stuff but if you have one useless OT then the whole discipline gets tarnished



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