January 1st saw us driving back from Tonbridge where we’d spent New Year’s Eve with the Peacocks and friends, and we pretty much lazed around.
Nik back to work and Fareham overnight whilst Ed and I took down all the Christmas decorations, lights and tree. I had a natter with Kate, told her all about the chat I had with the General Manager for Europe for the alter G treadmill and promoting it.
Ed back to school on Wednesday, so back on my own again. Went over to Cheltenham for an hour’s training with Dan, boy was it hard getting going again, I started doing 20 minutes on the alter G at 2.2km p hr and on a sneaky incline and my AFO was hurting so stopped, sorted and started again and did a further 15 minutes building up to 3km pr hr. I met another of Dan’s stroke patients, a slightly older chap but nevertheless willing to work at it. Told Dan a goal for this year, it would be good/nice to run, and to give boxing a go, so at the end of the session he bound up my right hand, I sat down and we had a go at ‘sitting boxing’, it was good, enjoyed it, different cardio exercise.
I saw my younger Connect chap in Moreton, asked how his Christmas and New Year was they’d had a good time he had very limited use of the I-pad to help his aphasia, big meeting on Monday to see how things are progressing for OCE, and otherwise.
Leisurely Saturday morning, then went over to Cheltenham to do some shopping and get car washed, spoke to Dad later on. Sunday Ed had his staff lunch from the pub at the Thai in Moreton and had a lovely afternoon, no rugby for us today. Nik and I did some gardening, well I watched him! Then we went for a walk up by Bluebell Wood, and I walked 200 yards without my stick!
Well a year ago today I went to the Oxford Centre for Enablement, and my God look how far I have come thanks to my determination and their excellent neuro. rehab facilities, we need more centres like this, specifically for younger stroke survivors.
I went to see my older Connect chap today to see how he is doing, he had had a good Christmas, he has been playing dominoes so we had 3 or 4 games, he seems more chirpy talking a little more, they have at long last heard about his SALT therapy which starts next Monday at Moreton.
I had a good session with Dan, we did lots of stepping, side steps, up and back down a step with left then right leg driving up through each leg both times, boy did my gluts ache, I also walked up and down the exercise ladder on the floor, like Ed used to do at football, Dan timed me walking up and down the gym approx. 10/15m with and without my stick – without 24 paces in 26 seconds, with stick 15 paces in 16 seconds. Dan sorted out my elasticated lock laces into my trainers.
I went to our Connect meeting and Christmas party at the Bumble Bee in Quedgley near Gloucester, Nik took me on his way to Bristol. It was a good lunch nice to see Caroline, Tony and the others. We then went to see Mattie and family in Bristol and went round to Andrew and Kath’s.
Breakthrough this morning, I was able to put on my own ankle splint and do up my trainers with my lock-laces and come downstairs without any help from Nik or Ed. I had a meeting with Andy Caudell who is the General Manager for Alter-G in Europe, he has asked if I and possibly Kate will be a ‘brand ambassadors’ for them with regard to the NHS and possibly TSA – to be discussed further.
And another little breakthrough whilst I was watching TV I was stretching my left hand fingers and thumb, and whilst holding my 4 left hand fingers with my right hand was able to move my thumb on its own.
Nik and I went to Jimmy Spice in Stratford and then to the cinema to see ‘Warhorse’ and both cried, nice food, good film, good date night. Ed worked at the pub.
Saturday Nik went to the barbers, cleared some air over dodgy post. Ed and Henry did some leaflet delivering for Tim at the gym, and Ed stayed over at Henry’s, minor eruption and demolition derby followed.
Paul’s birthday, forgot to send card so called him and spoke to Jen, spoke to Dad today too. Met Annette for a coffee and lunch at the Swan in Broadway, it was really great to catch up on everything.
I did some of my telesales stuff, there was apparently 10/20 days-worth, and I did it in 2 hours!
Physio with Sandra she said my walking is improved, I haven’t seen her since September, I did a 10m walk with my stick in 13 seconds, 16 steps. 10m walk without stick was 18 seconds and 20 steps. May need to see her to improve my gait, saw Steve the orthotist for a chat discuss orthotics see how the splint is going.
Gloucs. Younger Stroke Group Network meeting at a new venue, the Norwood Arms in Cheltenham, I picked up and took Kim, we discussed our sponsored ‘Step out for Stroke’ walk at Sudeley Castle in May or June, it was a good meeting in the pub.
Thursday I did some of my telesales stuff, caught up on some calls as well as some database cleansing.
Friday off to see Dan and I did a lot of stepping work, sideways, on and off stability cushion, stretching arms with long elastic stretch band swinging from side to side. Then I did some ‘seated’ boxing and some abs work moving backwards and forwards on seat. My ass really ached on Saturday morning. Ed worked Friday night.
Nik and I stripped all beds, then washed and ironed the new bedding, what a fulfilling day! Ed went out beating helpless birds!
Sunday, Nik and Ed worked in the garden tidying it all up and much trimming, filling up 3 bins! because they also did next door which hasn’t been touched since she died.
Catch upon weekend e-mails then off I went to see my older Connect chap, his SLT meeting was only really an assessment to see what he can do and where he is up to, so we played dominoes 5/6 times, he didn’t want to look at magazine or do his photo-book. On Tuesday I went to see Dan for an hour’s session, 40 minutes on the alter G treadmill at 3.1km per hr and walked 2km. Had a good natter with Jane W.
25th - Today would have been my lovely Mum’s 75th birthday, I txt Dad and Jen to let them know I was thinking of them, I often think what she would have thought of all this stroke lark, thank God I get my stubbornness from her, it wouldn’t have got me where I am today, I do so miss her being on the end of the ‘phone for a chat and see how I’m doing, how we’re all doing.
Mary called in on the way from her Mum’s in Bournemouth to the training day at Tewkesbury on Thursday, we had a coffee and a really good catch up
Thursday and I am back to OCE for more botox, I didn’t see the Prof I saw another chap, and had more in my leg this time. Lovely to see all the staff, Corinna, Alison, Ali who’s now looking very big, leaves in March and due near my birthday in May.
Friday I had a nice trip out with Nik, Saturday and it’s getting very cold now I think we are having our winter, so wrapped up and went over to Stratford to do some shopping.
Sunday went to the rugby club, still cold, and nice to catch up with everybody have a beer and Ed to start back at training on Tuesday.
Nik in the office for 2 days, I went to see Sandra for an hour’s physio concentrating on my gait and got some new exercises. Ed had a Spanish coursework assessment as 15% of his GCSE coursework.
Test of my stamina today, I left home at 11.30 to go and see Dan for 12 – 1, calling for petrol on the way, I did 30 minutes on the alter G treadmill, my left leg/foot aching in either new trainers or splint because of my hypersensitivity who knows which! I rested and had some lunch then drove round to the hospital to do my Connect befriending work on the stroke ward, I saw Bernard my scally friend , he’s doing so well since I last saw him, he is much improved, I saw physio Rachel, so so good to see her, I cried as I always do, she always made me cry, and good to see all the other staff too, Claire, Emma, Sandy et al. So I was there until 4pm drove home and then took Ed and Henry to rugby training.
Dad had called so I rang him back he told me about Elaine’s Kev having had an injury to his thumb and fingers on Sunday and was in hospital so I gave her a call to see how he’s doing, we had a good natter and a giggle, it was really lovely to catch up with her.