Monday, 7 November 2011

October - an Indian Summer

w/c 3rd October starts with great temperatures, 29c and Nik recovering from his leg op doing a mile a day, in between working! which he shouldn’t be. Nice to sit out in the garden too.

Charles has headed back up to Uni for the start of Fresher’s week and is off campus and sharing a place with two others in Lancaster, near the bus station and not far from Sainsburys.

On Tuesday I had my first stint at Cheltenham hospital doing my Connect Befriending work on the ward, lovely to see some of the staff again, patient I saw was a bit of a moaner but hey I’ve been there hospital isn’t the nicest of places to be.

Chris came to see Nik and I to chat through a few things with us…..

Busy after school week for Ed, French, rugby training at Shippo, Astronomy, rugby training at school. On Thursday I went for a session with Dan took my rigid AFO and managed to do 800m on the Alter Gtreadmill in half an hour at 3km per hr, good walking session.

Andrew came over and we went to the RSC in Stratford, had a walk round the new theatre and had a coffee there, it was very windy we almost got blown over!

w/c 10th Didn’t start too well for me, had really bad headache and felt sick, and you always panic and think the worst, is it going to happen again, do we call 999.

Ed had another busy week school rugby game against Balcarras, Henry did his shoulder in and ended up at Warwick hospital. Ed then went to Shippo for training. He had sports leaders helping with cross country for the local primary schools.

On Wednesday, one of my old school friends, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, Karen Sibilia, came over to see me from Nuneaton, less than an hour away, for a natter, catch-up/ gossip, we hadn’t seen each other for about 12 years and it was just like old times, with a possible follow up at Champneys spa!

It was Kath’s birthday, so we called and sang HB to her and sent some lovely flowers. I had a meeting with Connect in Gloucester, Nik drove me, first time he’d driven since his op, he did OK. The meeting went well and it was nice to see everybody again. Spoke to Dad briefly, but he had to go ‘cos Joan and Bob arrived, tried Jen left a message with Lew.

Friday back again to Gloucester to the Job centre(joy) first time Nik has ever been in one, boy did he love it! Anyway my medical assessment for ESA went alright I guess, they may/may not write to me. I went to see Dan afterwards and did a really good session, Balance Master for 10 minutes, Vibrogym for 10 minutes doing one legged squats! Lying on my back pushing Dan up with my feet it was fun, hard work but good.

Saturday morning at Ed’s school for my flu jab, one of the Doc’s came up and said it was great to see me walking in as I’d gone in my wheelchair last year. Ed worked at Mrs Weir’s doing her garden.

Sunday rugby game at Old Leamingtonians, boys played well and they won.
w/c 17th Nik back at work today down at Fareham for 2 days, it’s been nice having his company whilst he’s been on ‘sick leave’ (in between working!).

I have excelled in the kitchen managing and coping with making a cottage pie on Tuesday, then on Wednesday cooking salmon fillets on the grill and dealing with it using one hand, very pleased with myself indeed! Ed had an away school rugby game against Chipping Norton and they won, no injuries to their year a broken ankle in the year above! Spoke to Jen for a really good catch up as we hadn’t spoken for a few weeks, in fact since before Dad returned from holiday on 30th.

A really great session with Dan, using rigid AFO on treadmill, 2km in 45 minutes at 3.1km per hr, well pleased. Ed went beating on Saturday, missed rugby on Sunday as he wasn’t feeling too good.

w/c 24th – Ed on half term, he went to Mrs W’s to do some more gardening, then we went into Moreton in the afternoon. Ed went to a Disco at the Rugby Club on Monday night went to Lesley and John’s for Lesley to take and then pick him later, as I am not overly confident in the dark yet.

An interesting day, Ed and I went into Broadway then later on in the day Maxine and Lesley called in after a day of spend, spend, spend in Swindon giving the cards a hammering!

Wednesday, Nik had a day off, he should have had the whole week off but with having 2 weeks sick leave thought it wouldn’t be appropriate to have the whole week off! So we decided as it was a nice day to go to Clevedon, good practice walking for me along the front, where I used to go roller skating with my Jenny and our cousins, who lived in nearby Nailsea. We had a nice lunch at Tiffin,and a good laugh, then walked until the rain came. We called in at Kath and Andrew’s on the way back for a cuppa. Nice family day with my men.

Gloucs Younger Stroke survivors meeting in Cheltenham discussed filming and sponsored walk for TSA next May, unable to go as we were in Clevedon.

Ed did 2 lots of car washing at the pub, then we went to Cheltenham to do some shopping, postponed Dan until Saturday as Helen gave birth to lovely little Daisy. Then we went to see Johnny English Reborn, hilarious, best bit was when my stick fell and made the kids in front of us jump! Came back and Ed straight to work at the pub.

Saturday morning and Ed is up early to go beating, earning pennies for an iPad. Nik and I went over to see Dan for a session, Nik went on the bike. Warmed up leg and arm on Vibrogym and did 10 mins of squats on Vibrogym, splint off and then 10 minutes on the Balance Master and walked up and down the gym splint less holding Dan’s hands.

Sunday, training session at rugby and Ed sustains a shoulder injury after a tackle, so home we come and get changed then Nik and Ed whizz off to A&E at Cheltenham to see what he’s done, quite a few there with rugby injuries, queue of about 30, painkillers, x ray outcome being torn ligaments, then guess what the hospital ring home 2 hours later, Doc has had second opinion and there might be a slight break between collar bone and spur he needs to go back to the fracture clinic on Wednesday!

So Ed went to school on Monday – Hallowe’en with sling on and that was October for us.
An observation I have made, and I don’t know if my fellow stroke survivors have found this:

People are really not fully aware, and do not realise the full extent of having a stroke and how it can affect a family unit, the things you are unable to do, simple things, clothes on a hanger, tearing toilet paper when you go to the loo, ironing one handed, cooking one handed, pulling out a grill pan with one hand. 

There is additional pressure on the partner/carer who is perhaps holding down a demanding job, as well as running the house, whilst looking after a now disabled partner. They get on with their own lives as if nothing has ever happened, it may be there in the background, but, I wonder do they ever think about this, do they ever think, this life changing event, could I do anything to help, ever. Or maybe, perhaps, they find it hard to cope with and therefore, brush it aside and get on with their own busy lives.

A stroke survivor may have come home from hospital and is trying, striving to get their lives back on track, however, it doesn’t mean that help and support is no longer needed.

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