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STROKE REHAB

S**t happens – so do Strokes

S**t happens – so do Strokes

On day One (October 8th 2016) IT happened. I went to the bathroom and I DIDN’T GET BACK. All of a sudden I had to sit down (not on the toilet) – I knew at once what was happening – I was having a Stroke. It shouldn’t happen to me, I thought, I’m only 74 – yeah that’s right we’ve all been there –  ONLY!? —- Why ? I thought, when I should have been thinking, right what shall I do about this. So I could set about planning my future.

At first I could do nothing – literally nothing. To move any part of my left side was near to impossible, I had lost all control over my bodily functions, much to my shame, and had lost the ability to clean myself up which meant relying on others all the time for everything. When you enter hospital you forsake all dignity until you leave.                          Then I started to accept the challenges, and the long road back had begun. The call bell for help was being ignored for hours it seemed, so I played hell. I WON. The reply of ” be there in a minute” could mean literally hours of waiting (its called the hospital minute) again I played hell with them, and I won again, ( I was getting used to winning and found that I liked it). I spent hours a day (sometimes as many as eleven) sitting in a most uncomfortable chair, where I could practice and plan, After a while I realized that if I treated problems as challenges, they became challenges that I could win mostly, if I put my mind to it, and my mind hadn’t been affected. It was something I could do, so I did it.

So I spent my time plotting and planning my future progress.  I fought against the goo that they insisted was all I could force down, and I won again. Water tasted like nectar, my first mouthful of pastie with vegetables and gravy was heaven. I graduated from the overhead hoist through various stages of equipment until I was able to get up under my own instigation, and then I was transferred to a stroke rehabilitation unit where I  continued to learn until I could stand on my own two feet. It felt good, and at about that time I became able to move my thumb, just the faintest flicker but it was still a massive achievement for me and I saved that to show off to my wife when she next came.

I cried with pride that night.

Several weeks pressure from the Physios (bless them) wrought some of the desired effect, and I got released. I had been hospitalised for a total of  67 days, during which I have to say I was treated quite well. The food was very good (except “b****y sandwiches every night for tea). All of the staff were exceptional, except when I was on a crusade        over some thing or another, or I was winding them up, I expect I was a PAIN IN THE A**S really. Every stroke is different and affects different people in different ways. In my case it seems not to affected my brain, (what brain you say?) but very often this was ignored. Everyone seems to treated as brain dead, which is frustrating to say the least.

Who cares – I was home again. What did I ask for for tea that night? A FLIPPIN SANDWICH of course. Talk about institutionalised.

Now was the time to really start to learn……I’ll tell you what I did ( good, and idiotic ) soon.

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YEAR 0NE – TARGETS ACHIEVED – ALL OF THEM

Yesterday I climbed onto my scooter and went to see my friends and colleagues for the first time since the stroke. I told myself I would – and I DID IT.

 Its so simple when you say it quickly, I suppose. But to me it was an immensely satisfying achievement, for which I just want to say THANK YOU EVERBODY for the help and encouragement given, without you I couldn’t have done it.

Now then – this years target – I will start to mow the lawns before the year of 2018 is out, and I will start back to work. Nothing to it really, simple if you say it quick !

It is merely a matter of determination, that’s all.

See you soon.

Tony.

GETTING FEDUP WITH ALL THIS.

STROKE – WHAT STROKE ? – IT’S THE RECOVERY WHICH IS HARD.

After my last (quite severe) fall, I have taken a long time to recover back to the achieved state of that time. That’ll teach me, I hope, about the importance of being more careful. A greater degree of concentration is called for – that should do it, I HOPE SO ANYWAY.

Anyway – I’m almost there. Thanks to the efforts of Mathew and Sarah, Steph and Andrew, and of course Pat, my scooter is now safer to use and can be easily seen by other road users, so I will be using it to go and see the group leader next week to volunteer my services in some way, probably local delivery of drugs where needed. At least I’ll get there before the first anniversary of my stroke, and at one time I thought I’d never achieve that.

The visibility improvement was the addition of a flashing beacon to the scooter – not me. We achieved that quite cheaply by dint of a little online searching through which we found that the parts could be found QUITE CHEAPLY if we ignored N.H.S or MOBILITY suppliers ( who are ALWAYS TOO EXPENSIVE ). If anyone wants info – get in touch. I’ll be happy to help.

So here I am, still in pain – still getting better – still learning every day.  But who am I  to complain ? There’s many a lad in the churchyard who’d happily swap  places with me.

NOT YET THOUGH !               MY FAMILY WON’T ALLOW IT !

SEE YOU SOON

Tony

Y’KNOW – CONCRETE IS HARD !

Well it is if you hit it, believe me – I know from bitter experience.

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling good. Off I went down to the shops – ON MY OWN       ( for the first time )- got the paper and returned. Parked up in the store and dismounted –  THEN IT ALL WENT WRONG – from a  feeling of achievement I went from euphoria to agony, and I mean AGONY, I fell over and hit the side of the bungalow ( it’s O.k ) and bounced off to land on the hip region of my lower back on the concrete. The path did better than me. Here we are a couple of weeks later – the concrete shows no signs of the attack, I however am still suffering, the white hot pain is settling down, and I’ve learned to stop running before I can walk, serves me right for being cocky I suppose.

Apart from all the drama, life goes on. I still walk, albeit far too slowly for me,  and I am making progress in other areas. Planning some maintenance on my scooter to get ready for returning to work before very long. Stroke ….. WHAT STROKE !

Whoops SORRY,  I must be less cocky – strokes are a real bummer – rehabilitation is worse, and so time consuming, still it’s only been 10 months and I am winning, which makes me so lucky, and if I can do it ……. so can others. Go for it, all it takes is self belief mixed with a modicum of determination, and of course the help of a really good carer, and the love of a truly supportive family.

Remember … believe … go for it … and don’t fall over ….. it’s easy if you say it quickly.

See you soon

LIFE GOES ON

And why shouldn’t it I ask – every day continues to show some small improvement, although I  anticipate quite a long time will pass before I can really say I’m better.

Lets see, I have gone out on my scooter several times now, I can move a little more freely (particularly my arm) my footwork has never been fancy, but it’s getting there, mobility will improve when the council get around to doing their bit with the back step, and the walk in shower – it’ll be great to be all over clean again. As I said to the council man – I had a shower last year, and wouldn’t mind repeating the experience  before this year is over. He didn’t appreciate the wry humour.

I did though, if I didn’t laugh with Pat so much, I would lose what few marbles I have left.

But I’d better not drop them ‘ cause  I’ve given up falling over for the time being (I hope), in fact I’ve given up all things negative, and am going to concentrate on improvements yet to come, which they will of course.

I’ll let you know when they do.

See you soon

Tony

A DAY OF FIRSTS (AND ONE I CAN TELL ABOUT)

The other is not for public consumption, but was just as satisfying in it’s own way.       Don’t ask!

The one I can share, and am happy to, is all about going out.

I went out for the first time on my scooter, with the help of Andrew M, and just for a while I felt free again. I had control and it was great. We didn’t go very far this time, just enough for a test of the controls and me, we both passed the test, and I am pleased to say that it was most comfortable to ride, it tackled the hill – up and down – and, when in top gear it was quite a powerful little machine – SAFE to drive – easy to control – comfortable to ride and to drive.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this to anybody. The sense of anticipation that it has given me is wonderful. I can go to the local shops, with my wife at first, and soon relieve her of some  of the jobs that she has been doing for us. I also plan to extend my horizons by travelling further afield before too long. Just give me time, and watch this space.           ( look out Lewis, that cloud of dust could be me.) Also watch out B.S.G I’m on my way back.) First for a visit to see you all, and then (when I get my licence back) to carry on where I left off.

See you all soon,

Tony

 

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN.

Well they are for me anyway, and if you search for it, the silver lining is there to be found for us all.

The secret for me is to not wait for things to happen – make them happen, or do it yourself. So my bed risers have, like my perching stool and the Mowbray toilet frame, have all been lowered – the last two we did ourselves, and the bed risers were adjusted at our request by the phsyio team. At our request they have agreed to fit aids (like a step and hand rails) at the back door, to help me get out into the garden and be with Pat.

Also – this week we have erected a scooter shelter in the side yard, O.k it was mostly Pats work, but we did it and the scooter is now safe and dry.

I’m now able to go over the front door step fairly easily, so the back door will present no problems, and I am planning my first foray into the wider world on the scooter.

Today I’m wearing shoes that I have not been able to get on since October last year – they are comfortable, and as a plus it is easier to walk in them.

Right – boasting over. It’s not becoming to brag too much anyway.

I have a friend from years ago (I think of him often) who is going through a really bad patch in his life. I hope my successes may inspire him. As I said above, the silver linings are out there, all we have to do is find them.  Love to E too (A.K.A The W.W.W) you’ll find that being nice is most rewarding. Tell me if I’m out-of-order. Love to both of you.

Off to plan my skirmish with the great wide world, I’ll let you know how it goes,

Tony

 

 

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN !

Well they  are for me anyway. The secret is not to wait for things to happen, but to make them happen. Don’t always wait to be told, just get on with it. Because you know you can.

For me this week has been one big step forward after another. Pat and I have erected a shelter in the side yard (mostly Pat) so the scooter is now safe and dry at all times. I asked the physio’s to lower the bed risers after proving I was able to rise easily from the perching stool and Mowbray, which we lowered ourselves. we also asked them to install a step and rail system to the back door step, and they agreed! It’s coming next week. Today I’m wearing shoes that I’ve not been able to wear since last October, and not only are they comfortable, but also they make walking easier. I am now able to use BOTH arms to carry the perching stool around, and, as you can see, I’m excited by it all, oh and I’ve learned to blow my own trumpet——— forgive me.

Now I’m planning my first trip on the scooter out on the road – it might even be next week if I feel ready, — watch this space.

Boasting over, it doesn’t become me anyway.

I have a friend from years ago who is really going through a bad spell in his life. I’ ve not seen or spoken with him in years, but I think of him often, and just maybe my successes will inspire him in his struggles. I hope so.  GO MIKE!,GO!.                                                      (The ( other)  www is a friend too, although there are some issues to be addressed — good luck E it feels so good to be nice sometimes.) not that it is my place really to enter the ring.

Next time I’ll report on the ride out, all being well.

Tony.