30 Jan 2011

Post 267: The rocky road of post-stroke life

Despite having a few tough training sessions lately that have made me question why I put myself through this I received an encouraging email from Tom Balchin the other day (the stroke survivor who set up a physical rehab charity ARNI that Ian and I went to see last month. Interestingly I had met him 3 ish years before when some friends of mine had put on a fundraiser for me Here's what he said
Hi Dom

It was such a pleasure to meet you again after a few years - you have progressed astonishingly - in Oxted you were brought to the venue in an ambulance if I remember right. Now look how far you've come, I'm going to train Ian through the ARNI Accreditation and your progress will go through the roof. You and I will also be swapping trance music! Looking forward to next time we see each other at the ARNI Centre...

Once again, this should cheer me up but if only mere words were the solution, I'd be fine. Yes, talking it out and writing this helps, but it's not the solution. Instead this week has been diabolical. I have decided that my priorities in life that make/will make life worth living again are:
1.My family and friends
2.Keeping busy and trying to enjoy life
3.My physical therapy
You will notice that I am not going to bother going for full independence. In my opinion this would only be a goal worth pursuing, if I wasn't afflicted with this bloody fatigue. All the stroke survivors I have met who have achieved basic independence again have not been afflicted with anything like the fatigue that this stroke has given me. I have tried to overcome it but nothing budges it. Therefore, I decided that the only way I could live that makes life worth living is if able bodied people in the vicinity do things in seconds, that would take me minutes of struggle to do because of my exhaustion and disability.
Herein lies the problem, apparently this is me being lazy and 'giving up'. F*ck that, has no-one any idea how hard everything now is compared to anyone else? this is me accepting that my left arm and fatigue have not improved and will not improve and me trying to navigate the rocky path that is now life by placing absolutely minimal demands on others and trying to live the rest of my life according to my objectives:
1.My family and friends and finding love, if I found love, the chances of me chipping in more with occupational therapy tasks are infinitely higher, plus someone who genuinely cared about me would want to help me.
2.Keeping busy and trying to enjoy life well within my means
3.My physical therapy and staying in shape. (learning to walk within the constraints of this bloody stroke
Given what the last five years have been like, I honestly think this adheres to reason and logic filtering out emotional nonsense. Emotion is important and should be understood but logic is unflappable.
In other news I went to see comedian and cricket Buff Miles Jupp at the Bloomsbury theatre. I first got whiff of him on TV, he is certainly the poshest sounding comedian (even more so than Michael MacIntyre). In this his first solo national tour) he tells the rather entertaining story of how he went to India under the auspices of being a regional BBC cricket correspondent but has to bluff his way through being a cricket hack when his already sketchy credentials fall apart. Very luckily I managed to find a lastminute lift off college partner in crime Guy Wolf, I was obi-wan Kenobi to his Yoda at college and despite us being a bit late we managed to meet my old schoolfriend Owen there. Owen, a bit of a former Cricketer, I think loved it. We all had a good chortle, mission accomplished. Tonight (Saturday), I am taking in Cirque du Soleil for the third year on the trot (Here's my report from last year) Guttingly, my neighbour Trace can't make it but the legend that is Sacha can, and Trace's lastminute replacement is Sacha's friend Tasha who I'd only ever spoken to on facebook but any friend of Sacha's is a friend of mine. I must report they are hilarious together, a comedy double act and I hope they won't mind if I compare them to the 'birds of a fevver', but funny. Getting to spend the evening with them should be enough of a laugh, indeed it was, but if we have good seats in the Albert Hall it will be spectacular, sadly, I don't think they'll ever be as good as last year because of the design of the stage which I haven't got a photo of because all photography was forbidden. I remember saying a long time ago that one of the good things about the Albert hall was all the cute well spoken ushers, sadly the flipside of that was the balding speccy middle aged automoton male usher jobsworth Nazi that was incredibly officious about making sure that you are deprived of photographic evidence. I hate these people – they're up there with customs officers for enjoying being b*stards, I couldn't care less if 'they're just doing their jobs', they wield what faux power they have like a sadistic teacher. Grrrrr. Sorry, it really wound me up! As for the show, it really was amazing. I can balance independently on two legs for a few seconds. Some of thes guys get launched thirty feet in the air, do a couple of summersaults and land without breaking sweat. I like to think of it like this
I used to be able to juggle with three balls, it wasn't easy, your average cirque de Soleil performer can juggle with 20 balls, wearing a blindfold. They are freaks, superhumans. I can't even begin to describe how inadequate they make me feel.
Speaking of spectacular, I don't think that would be the wrong adjective to use to describe the cinema film that my 6 months pregnant friend Vicky Denning kindly took me to in Esher on Friday. It prompted me to post this update on Facebook 'Dom Understands why Avatar was amazing but can't quite put his finger on why the Kings Speech is better' It was awesome but made me think 'How weird was this country?'
Finally, while I was on Facebook I noticed that great friends of mine, The Rowlands (Shaun and Renae) have finally had their first baby, Polly was almost two weeks late but she's here at last, and mother and baby are well. They maybe on the other side of the world, but that doesn't alter the fact that I'm so proud of them.

1 comment:

leehuck said...

Occupational Therapy (OT) helps people maximize their ability to participate in life. You gotta see this for more info.



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