19 Jun 2011

Post 294: Only inconveniencing people who say stupid things

Another difficult (difficult?! When's it not difficult?) subject today largely because I've got so many, too many. Firstly, a big thanks for coming round on Tuesday Evening to Rachel
to share in a great enthusiasm I've always had that has become more important since my stroke, red wine! I can't drink white anymore because my tastebuds have changed, so it tastes funny plus white wine makes me choke. I can no longer 'get the beers in' because needing the loo in a wheelchair does not lend itself to 'nipping out for a quick piss'. Plus, alcohol and brain injury AND fatigue don't mix – when you're as risk averse as I am now, beingy tipsy is not great plus being tipsy isn't fun anymore, it's dangerous! But there is just something about the shared appreciation of good wine whilst having a chat about nothing in particular that separates us from the animals. Dr Oz (as she is now styled) is a phD in Physics and sadly about to move to St Albans to become head of physics at some school or another but because her boyfriend lives in Seaford she'll be able to drop in although I can't help thinking our red wine appreciating days are numbered because she'll no longer just be up the road even if I do have 'the finest wines known to humanity' here. On Tuesday we were sampling the Neethlingshoff Malbec, noteworthy because it's amazing and I've actually been there a couple of times, first in 1999, and second in 2002 (I think). It is a beautiful place and despite any antipathy I might have for Stellenbosch based Afrikaans south Africans they make tidy wine.
Onto the bigger picture – I have pretty much decided after talking to who I regard as the experts, Dr Malik (a consultant neurologist) and Darren (an experienced Neurophysio that I can't afford for more than an assessment) that killing myself like I've been doing has no real point because the opportunity to reorganise my scrambled brain so I can be a normal human has been missed and there is no benefit to intensive practical therapy for me instead I am going to ramp up my personal training strength training which doesn't depress me so much if I can find somewhere to put one of these in my lounge – apparently it's called a power rack. All the exhausting and depressing work doing assisted walking and balancing has helped my general fitness and helped me keep my weight under control but my independent balance and independent walking and my overall wellbeing (something that has always been my main issue but which noone else seems to care a jot about) has not improved. Apparently this is my fault. Bullsh*t. I challenge anyone to do anything if they feel like this. Apparently it is my choice to feel like this. Bullsh*t, I hate saying this. Like the mushroom, I used to be a fun guy, although I wasn't so keen on dark, damp places (er at least some of the time, sorry), I know this'll probably sound hypocritical, but I hate people who complain, UNLESS THEY'VE GOT GOOD REASON and from where I'm sitting, able bodied people who have no problem walking or driving have no reason to complain. You can do what you want, go anywhere you want. I understand depression because I've been there,done that, hated the t-shirt, it discourages you (often strongly) from doing things – it is only physical disability that stops you doing things and fatigue is not just in the head. It is a physical problem. Some people may think I'm wrong and being harsh. I'm not a doctor, but I know what I see and feel. Enough ranting, in some better news I've found new housekeepers, Hassan and his partner Agnieska have been here since Sunday and everything about them being here has been brilliant so far – I have been trying to find a 2nd couple for the other double room but Hassan has recommended his cousin Abeer who is an assistant chef (always helpful). I hope they're all happy here as per the opening paragraph of the household manual that I've been working on this week(seemingly for hours)

“The way I see it with live in housekeepers/carers is this is as much your home as mine – you're here to look after the house first, feed the cats second and look after me last. My aim is to be as 'little inconvenience' as possible” - The main thing is that I can't fend for myself anymore, so you must give me plenty of notice (>24hrs) if you're not going to be here”
I still aim to inconvenience idiots at every opportunity I get. For example, my pet bugbear at the moment is 'god botherers' -usually, I leave them well alone unless they say something really unbelievably stupid. I try and stick to what I think of as the 'Stephen Fry' rule, I don't wish to argue with anything that helps people find salvation', it's only when they make idiotic proclamations like 'Gods plans couldn't be wrong'. This has been inspired by a row I had the other day on the 'young stroke survivors group' on facebook -usually a very quiet, timid, consensual, helpful and understanding place. I'd been on it a few times, usually to share experiences, offer advice and learn. Despite it being a welcoming place, I couldn't help noticing that once in a while some fool would 'thank god' that their stroke had helped them 'find God'. Funnilly enough mine has helped me not so much shut, more slam the door on any possibility of his existence. What kicked off the row was someone asked the question 'has your stroke strengthened or weakened your faith?
With typical unabashed unconfrontational aplomb I wrote 'if anything this has made me a more radical atheist'! (This thread has now been deleted so it's hard to remember precise wordings) Then this lady waded in saying 'how sorry she felt for me and how empty my life must be, as if this didn't wind me up enough she then went on to say how she thanked god for making her a 'locked in quad' -a fate worse than death in my opinion where you can only blink, surely the thing to be grateful for is that she'd amazingly recovered enough to be having this row with me. The other thing that wound me up was someone seemingly saying that Strokes were 'something he could use', to me this clearly implied that I was being punished by god for something I'd done, now I've done some 'questionable' sh*t in my life but nothing that merited having my life ruined. Unfckingblvbl. Maybe I am too easily wound up but where I see idiocy and delusion I just can't help myself! This even continued into an offline row with one of my 'ultra positive' friends. She simply said 'I bet that 'locked in quad' lady would be more happy in that situation than you would have been' I'm sure that's true. Whereas she'd be blinking out 'praise the lord, I'd be blinking out 'Dignitas'. I'm not a quitter, but I don't believe we're built to endure that much misery for such an uncertain and bound to be below par payoff. I just believe in reality and what's realistic but being positive no matter what is saying is if make believe and delusion make us happy, let's all just be like that. Let's just legalise LSD now, no sod that – lets put it in the water supply! In better and more Realistic news, Ham (my favourite cat) is sleeping on my bed most nights which is a massive improvement to my quality of life – an actual human female seems like too much to hope for.
Well, the Hancocks have just left,Matt (my old housemate, now an MP) and Martha had decided for the sake of conversation to leave their kids, Hope and Ferdie, with a babysitter, obviously saying 'good shout' is not quite what I think because they're good kids and kids are welcome. I soon realised that this gesture was of shared benefit because they were nursing substantial hangovers from Chancellor George Osbournes 40th birthday bash last night! The excellent roast Beef at the Bear (up there with the Fish and Chips) soon saw those off, and my attempts to get any good gossip out of them served to remind me just how well behaved they are, not just for Tories, for anyone. Jog on hacks.

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