Long live the new flesh-Life after a stroke

After my recent stroke I’ve had to adjust certain things. It left me with right sided numbness and although according to my GP last week, my recovery is waaayy ahead of the curve there’s still the realisation that the body is not the same as it was, and indeed, this new flesh is somewhat broken.

Just in case anyone’s confused about the title of this blog, here’s a clip from one of David Cronenberg’s nice films called Videodrome.

Now I’m not going to grow a gun out of my hand (damn) or go around shooting bad people (double damn) but I do have to come to realisation that for the time being I’m disabled. Now I’ve spoken about the discrimination I’ve seen and even experienced in the short time I’ve been hobbling around with a stick, but here’s a few truths about my current situation.

  • I can’t go anywhere quickly. Before I’d simply drag myself out of bed, nip to the bathroom and then get dressed and leg it. Now it’s a 40 minute task every morning rather than the 20 minute task it was before. That’s because with right sided numbness everything is slower, so the left side of my body is fine but it’s dragging the right side.
  • Walking is getting better, and my stamina is building up nicely but uneven pavements are a pain so I have to scan the street ahead of me to see if there’s not a paving stone that’s a wee bit out of place that could trip me up. Sometimes it makes me look like some creepy weirdo staring at everyone’s arse, but I’m not, well, not all the time…
  • Because of my weight loss (around a stone and a half) in the last month I’m also getting used to not dragging as much weight around. This is also throwing off my centre of gravity so there’s times when I’m a bit wobbly because my body is trying to adjust itself but it’s going through so much rapid change that it’s not keeping up at times.
  • Because I’m currently disabled it doesn’t me I’m either a child or need constant help. I appreciate people’s concern and it’s understandable but there’s been times when people have tried to help and it’s nearly sent me flying because they’ve knocked out my centre of gravity by holding onto an arm or offering support when I don’t need it. Chill, I’ll ask for help if I need it and it’s not letting my body sort it’s new condition out.
  • My right leg is still annoying me. Because the stroke stopped signals getting to my right side, it affected my right leg badly so sometimes I have to think about walking to force my leg, ankle (you probably have no idea how important your ankle is to helping you walk) and foot do what it should. At the minute it’s still a bit flippery but with thought I can nearly walk normally. The biggest problem are times when my brain sends a signal to move to my leg but my leg isn’t listening, so it’ll drag behind me or worse, stay where it is which has nearly seen me fall over a few times.

All of this though is good, even if it’s probably something that would scare you if you had to wake up in the morning and deal with it, but that’s the thing, once you’ve survived a stroke and it’s not killed you then everything else is a bonus. You just have to deal with what your flesh and bones are doing now.

I’m still on course to get around 80% mobility back, though that could be months, even years away. This week’s another important week as I find out if I’ve got cancer or not for sure, and the NHS works out what damage has been done to my organs due to the hypertension and stroke. Stress is still high but at least work are being a tad more human and putting everything else on hold is wonderfully liberating. However for now, the shell that is my body is getting there. Just don’t ask me to get anywhere quickly…..

 

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