25 Sep 2011

Post 309: Always trying to do the right thing

'Wake me up when September ends', so the song goes, so...... Not really much to report this week, it's been one of those weeks you get in convalescence, Mum and Dad and my brother have gone away so I feel if anything goes wrong I'm a bit stuck which at my age feels like an emasculation! Freudian psychology aside I still crave independence but I've accepted it's never going to happen ever. I cannot cope now without my housekeepers/carers and I realistically know that my left side and my walking have topped out. My relentless training stops me going backwards now, a fact I have grimly accepted, it has been staring me in the face since I plateaued in hospital 4 years ago. At the time I assumed it was a temporary setback, after 3 years of hard work and not feeling any difference except to realise hard work on the diet and training have helped me shed almost 20kgs. Recovery now is about achieving the best quality of life I can and by trying to achieve the best support I can from friends, family, acquaintances and strangers by keeping a sense of humour and what physical abilities I have left and by doing my best to persuade people I'm still worthwhile. This is my challenge. It sounds reasonable I think. This is part of what Omar ( my neurologist) said, 'medical research is always making advances and you want to be in the best shape you can be in case'. Hmmm, sounds a little bit like I'm clutching at straws, well, it's the best I can hope for, I'm not a blind optimist (or what I call 'a moron'), I'm a logical realist, some might say a bit of a 'cynic' . Any cynicism is based on the fact that everytime I've tried something new, it hasn't worked, like my latest attempt at an anti-fatigue drug, the best I can say about it is it didn't have any side-effects. I prefer 'realist'. I take what I can and try and make things happen, sadly there have been a few things this week that have gone against me. Firstly, my friend Jo drove all the way down here from Basildon on Monday to take me to some local comedy at what I can only describe as a 'dive' in Kingston called the Fighting Cocks pub
to see latest 'big name in comedy', Carl Donnelly,
to be told 'sorry, it's sold out' now, considering the last time I'd been there in (August last year) I'd tried to book and they'd never heard of me when I got there (and the line-up was bigger then) I thought I was on safe ground just turning up, just to be sure I even called them and there was no answer – so Monday was a shocker, to add insult to this I'm still trying to find a home for two tickets to see Julian Lloyd Weber play some Elgar with the RPO at the RAH on Saturday, I should be doing that right now, not this (as things are now, not finding anyone to take me is an admission that life is failing) Which is probably why I get so stressed about it. By the time I publish this I hope there's been some good news. Well, actually there has, although my housekeepers had offered to take me, my parents got back from holiday in the morning. As much as I'd love to treat my housekeepers (they deserve it, and Agnesieka hasn't been to the Albert Hall, however there is some niggling doubt over whether the insurance would be valid with Hassans driving licence, so it's better to be safe than sorry, so my parents stepped in and as ever we had a very nice time, infact during Elgar's Nimrod, one of the alltime great pieces of music, I saw my father wipe away a tear, he wispered in my ear 'your mother came down the aisle to this ' and that was in 1963.'Wow, a seminal moment right there. Sadly there is a slight spoiler to this, I tried to get Coldplay tickets for them playing at the Dome in December and they had sold out in an hour. I like their music but agree with Liam Gallagher
(probably the only thing I agree with him about) "That lot are just a bunch of knobhead students - Chris Martin
looks like a geography teacher. What's all that with writing messages about Free Trade on his hand when he's playing. If he wants to write things down I'll give him a pen and a pad of paper. Bunch of students.” He also more famously said that “Chris Martin looks like a bedwetter” I just think he's a bit self righteous, earnest and worthy, or 'going down the Bono route' as it's known, also given his dress sense and world view had he not started Coldplay I strongly suspect he would have been a Hipster dickhead, but I'll entertain music by Coldplay and U2, but not Oasis because Bono and Martin are not nasty like Liam, they're just tools. As I'm on rock, I did manage to get tickets to see Kasabian on Wednesday 14th December at the Dome in the good seats. Now, I'm at a loss to know who'll be up for this as Olly Cassidy, my usual partner in crime is cavorting around the Far East . Kasabian are brilliant live but last time I saw them (at Brixton Academy) there was about one girl in the whole venue (a real sausage factory as I believe it's known). I want to take two keen people, as this is likely to be great. I'll see if I get any takers as a result of this. I won't hold my breath. If people can go to bars and pubs to see their lower maintenance friends, they will. I would have probably been the same although it does surprise me how little people are willing, or worse, they say they are, but change their minds leaving me up a proverbial creek without the proverbial feeling like post-stroke, what's the point? I can't tell you how much I put into this. Sadly it's a bit late on Sunday now and I think I'll save it till next week to talk about Peter and Imogen's leaving gathering. I'm going to miss them and they should be rightly proud of the turnout, what got me is everyone it seems has 'accessories' now, you know, the adorable little ones that mean you never have to speak adult English to another adult ever again it seems. I love them really, but I'm never going to love them more than the adults who've inflicted them upon us.


Kaela Leon said...

Hi there, it brightened my day to see someone so in tune to their own tenacity at survival that I wanted to write to you. My husband had a stroke just over 3 years ago, he was 51, like you out of the blue. He had what they call an acute infarction due to a tear or (dissection) of the left carotid artery, funny thing is, he was in the hospital, and they were getting him ready to be discharged after walking briskly down the hall, I had left to run a few errands and when I was calling him to see if the discharge had been the complete, he had the stroke, but even more, was that they gave him Heparin and he hemmorghaged. He was an amazing glass blower and now spends a lot of time between playing solitaire and watching TV. I wish he could write like you, the communication is just the crud, and all the stuff they give you does not really make it happen. although he can throw the proverbial F bomb with clarity of speech, but has not said my name since april 1, 2008. He can not even type as any real thinking makes him frustrated and his brain hurts, or at least, I think that is what it is. I take him to as many places as possible and I am trying to give him the best I can. if you have any insight on what more I can do, from a guys perspective, I would so appreciate it. Google Noel Laue and check out his amazing work, sorry I am on a newer computer and I do not have any pictures, but since you are an about town kinda guy, I think you will appreciate his work. I am in southern california and I look forward to continuing to read your blog. Sorry about your going to a show that was sold out, bugger to them for not finding a way to let you in. You sound like the kind oof gy they should have let in, no matter what!
And keep your chin up, after just one reading I think you are amazing, Never stop writing!!

GirlWithTheCane said...

Just found your blog through Google, doing an experiment to see how well my own comes up under a search...I had a stroke when I was 23 (I'm now 34). It sounds like I've had some more return than you have...I'm able to live independently, but my left hand is still practically useless, so I pretty much live one-handed. I'm generally pretty positive (not obnoxiously so, though). I can identify with your frustrations...we're frustrated about different things right now, but it's still about stroke-imposed limitations. Makes for bad days now and then. I'll definitely be back to read more of your writing. Take care. - Sarah

Anonymous said...

Carl Donnelly? You really must advanced in comedic talent spotting. Last time I was in tune was went went to see a little known comic named Jamie Foxx. How I find more about Carl Donnelly?

Dom P said...

I'm sorry this reply has taken so long. Kaela - I'm gutted to hear about your husband. I sincerely hope there have been big positive changes over the last year. From the perspective of the stroke survivor the most important thing is maintaining your relatioships/friendships. It's a big ask - and it's the thing I spend most of my time doing now
Sarah - It sounds like you are doing the right things. Being independent after a stroke is huge!
Lou: Youtube is a superb resource (nay a goldmine) for comedy.



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