The voyage of discovery
Back from the hospital, let's embark on adventures. Life's unpredictable, but there's always a story. I'm Bobbi, chatting, sharing my lived experience of stroke and opinions.
The transfer gone wrong
While I was still in hospital I tried a solo transfer from commode to wheelchair. It was something a physiotherapist had shown me to help improve my independence. In the midst of this an attempt to stand turned into a slow crumple and I became a random heap of stroke person on the hospital floor.
A group of concerned nurses gathered around me and very quickly I was identified as being a 'very naughty boy'. A heavy lifting device was summoned. It was wheeled in and the 'very naughty boy', with much huffing and puffing, was dumped onto his bed. The nurses departed and left him to contemplate his naughtiness.
The doctor's verdict
A doctor arrived to survey the scene. The 'naughty boy' was declared to be 'still alive'.
The doc reassured him declaring that progress through Stroke World would regularly be punctuated with grazes, bruises and visits to the floor.
This relevant and timely conclusion was duly noted and often referred to on later occasions.
First day home, after the hospital
I came home, by ambulance after two long months in hospital, brought in through our front door by wheelchair to a room which had been prepared for my return.
During my first hour at home I was left alone sitting on my wheelchair. I began trying to retrieve a sock which had, annoyingly, been slipping off my foot. Slowly, as the sock slipped off my foot, I slipped off the wheelchair onto the floor. I was shocked, unable to move, and shouted for help.
My wife phoned requesting an ambulance. She was asked: Was I breathing? Had I any injuries? Bleeding, broken bones? They concluded that this was not an emergency. There would be a long wait, probably 10-12 hours. They also suggested she cover me with a blanket while we waited.
After two hours help arrived
A man with some equipment rang the door bell. He examined me, rolled me onto a device and, by a miracle of science, pumped me up to a sitting position. He then helped me onto the bed and left. We were greatly relieved, yet again it seemed, life would go on.
I remembered the hospital doctor's words about progress and began taking an interest in finding a way to get off the floor and onto the bed without help. There were more floor visits, each gave me a chance to practice the long ungainly scramble onto my bed. Sometimes I was bruised, quite sore and yet pleased with the progress I was making.
Still the floor beckons
Though I try to exercise caution and restraint. Often I look down and wonder when the next event will be. One thing is sure, it is never at all certain what fate has in store.
My wife is getting used to my 'one thing at a time' rule, my strangeness and the various ways in which I try to cope in this Stroke World.
The philosophy of bruises
Things going not quite according to plan is a common occurrence in Stroke World. Maybe the doctor was right and the knocks are to be expected.
Pain is a part of the process and anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise is likely leading you on a cruel and futile dance to nowhere. This applies to life in general as well as to Stroke World. There are, unfortunately, no magical solve everything answers.
It is tough stuff, but there is sweet stuff too. We get a share of both and can deal with them in whatever way we chose. So stroke is serious stuff, but there is also access to amusement and giggles which do help to lighten the load. It is good to share, to reach out. A partner, a friend, someone who cares, can make a huge difference.
The online community forum
The online forum provided by the Stroke Association opens up a wealth of opportunity to meet others connecting in a way that can be pleasant but also therapeutic. It is good to speak and to be heard, to share a little of one's life, maybe even help another.
A laptop computer has given me access to a place where I can explore the interests which I am still able to pursue. I have lost so much of my world but life isn't over. I'm learning to change direction and to make new discoveries.
I've been able to meet up and chat with others through Zoom sessions. I've shared my interest in food on the online forum and recently I've been given the opportunity to write this Blog with a chance to share my story. For all this I am grateful and I hope to continue to contribute in whatever way I can.
I would like to encourage others to get outside themselves and start looking for what they can do, what they can be.
To be disabled is to be challenged
The first hurdle is to discover that despite losses one still has useful abilities. We must recognise this and see what can be done to make best use of them.
Opportunities are there. There is help. We just need to find a way to move forward. This is a good way to do something about self esteem which has taken such a battering from the stroke experience.
Each of us will find our own way. Others have travelled this road and we can pick out where it is possible to go and what can be achieved. Others will follow, looking for a direction, hoping there is a way forward. We can be of use to them and to one another.
At first sight stroke appears to be a lonely and sad place
But very soon we discover there are others here. We have things to tell one another, stories to share. I have you, and you have me. We can and we will make our way forward together through all this.
Thank you for checking out my ramblings
I had a stroke almost two years ago and now I'm here sharing my experiences, my thoughts and my wishes.
Whether you have had a stroke, are close to someone who has, or simply want to know what is going on here, I hope you have been interested, amused, informed, entertained and will return, another day, for more.
For now, I'll leave you with this message from my Stroke World.
Keep on keepin' on