Yesterday I was in extreme agony. I could seriously only focus for 30 minutes or so a time without the aid of painkillers or having to lie down so I went to bed early, dropped a couple of herbal sleeping tablets (not that type of herb before you ask) and slept eight hours in one stretch which is virtually unknown to me since the stroke in February.
I woke up this morning feeling better, in fact there wasn’t an acute stabbing agony going up my thigh to my hip and then spine as there has been for the last ten days or so. My back still hurts, there’s still a dull ache in my thigh but I ventured out the flat today which was good though walking down steps is really quite painful but walking up them is fine. As this stands I’ll take this as an improvement though I’m not going to beat Usain Bolt or The Flash anytime soon.
Hopefully I’m at a situation where the arthritis or sciatica becomes manageable til it’s diagnosed and a medical solution helps me out. Thanks for the good wishes, it is appreciated when things hit a bad phase but I’m going to ask everyone to send some good wishes to someone else too.
That person is Norm Breyfogle. Norm’s a comic book artist best known for his wonderful work on Batman in the 1980’s and 1990’s, his work on Batman:Holy Terror (written by the equally wonderful Alan Brennert) is some of the best stuff you’ll see in a superhero comic of any era.
Norm suffered a stroke which affected his left side (mine affected my right side) but because he’s in the US, he doesn’t have the support of something like the NHS which we have here in the UK, which I’d be honest in saying had I lived in a country without something like the NHS I’d probably be dead, or on the way to a grave right now instead of moaning about a sore back.
I follow Norm on Facebook, he’s a genuinely decent bloke but he’s suffering post-stroke pain, something it seems isn’t widely discussed in the US, yet has been discussed with me in the months since mine and indeed, the NHS has done plenty of research into. His problems lie in getting painkillers which for me would be a simple visit to my GP and at worst, cost me £30 every three months with all my other meds while I still live in England, when I move to Scotland they’ll cost me nothing.
I mentioned in my previous blog about how there’s always someone worse off than you, Norm’s one of those people, so chuck some cash to the Hero Initiative who help comic creators in need. Or buy the rather nice hardback of his Batman work DC Comics released, or if you’re an editor working in comics have a thought in perhaps seeing what he can do for you as although he can’t draw anymore, he can still write and as I’ve discovered when your body isn’t fully working as it used to, your brain goes into overload.
Strokes are horrible things. I’m considering myself fairly lucky. Some others out there aren’t and they could do with a wee bit of the support some of us take for granted.