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I advise you to not get it via Kindle as it is not free that way.I wanted to write something for recent stroke sufferers and their families. If you need a printed version, you will need to pay for it but you can order one here.
I firmly believe the secret in getting over difficult stuff (crap etc.) in life is to have that positive attitude, mine is simply refusing to give up. I adopted the motto Never, never, never give up as my personal motto some 15 years ago. It’s amazing how such a simple choice has had such an impact on my still being here using oxygen and bumbling through each day.
Never giving up can back fire on you when, you get so very low in a bout of depression, you would rather give up. Nevertheless, there is ALWAYS hope. For me there is always that little voice inside calls out to you; what about your motto?
I take my motto very, very seriously; so much so I had it tattooed on my arm
it is there to remind me and anyone who sees it that we need to be tough in this life and not be easy to throw in the towel. I really like the final verses of Hebrews 10:39 says:
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Since the stroke I have been poked and prodded by more doctors than anyone should be. They, my collective nouns for doctors, quacks and all things medical, I asked my GP one day that I would like to see a Neurologist so I could have an accurate appraisal of why my brain is the way it now is. He mumbled and said you would have seen one; I said no I haven’t after much flipping through my rather thick file, he agreed that I hadn’t. So it was off to see the Neurologist, an Indian lady, who was very nice and she calmly sent me for a new MRI. Now, I hate tight closed in places. If you have never had the experience of an MRI they put you in a tube it is brightly illuminated but a tight fit.
Now just before they were going to send me into this tunnel of noise and closeness, one of the guys offered me headphones and the offer of music to pass the time and take my mind off that very tight looking tube. I said great, he asked what kind of music I like and I replied Classical. Now if you have never seen the film Soylent Green you will not share my horror. As I was lying inside of this horrible machine the music coming through my headphones was the same music used in one of the final death scenes being Edvard Grieg – Peer Gynt – Suite No. 1, Op. 46 – II. Listen here. This was the music in my headphones. Needless to say I was NOT comforted.
The results of that very scary MRI were discussed with the doc, she looked at the images on her viewer, then looked at me and said Mr Watson, you have very good mobility. I sensed she saw something in the image and asked her ‘doc if you had seen those images before you met me what would you have expected to see?’ This was in hindsight an incredibly smart question (undoubtedly a Holy Spirit prompting, as I’m not that clever). She looked me straight in the eye, waged her head in the Indian fashion and said “a vegetable.” Really was my intelligent come back. Yes, you are quiet amazing, something like that. But… why does there always have to be a but! She noticed an area that didn’t look right. She mentioned it but was unsure, so she packed me off to yet another doc. He was an interventional radiologist.
I had never heard of this particular specialisation. He wanted me to undergo a special type of CT. I can’t remember what he called it, but simply whilst inside the machine, mid scan they would inject something into my groin (why oh, why does it always have to be the groin?) He explained that it would make me feel strange, but that I was OK. The purpose was that it enabled a better view of blood vessels in the brain.
So I have this scan, and yes the chemical did make me feel a little weird, but the results were very clear. I knew it was serious as he came out to me in the waiting room and sat next to me to explain that I had a totally blocked right carotid artery high up in my brain. There was no way of telling if it had always been there or it was a left over from the stroke. I asked him could he do a procedure to clear it, my theory being better blood flow has to be a plus. He spoke slowly and carefully looking me straight in the eyes that there was a procedure but that carried serious risks. The procedure could very well clear the artery but the procedure could also kill me. He believed the risk to my life was too great so we decided against it.
This over with they then thought I should have my heart tested. I have never had any heart problems, my blood pressure perfect and cholesterol has always been low; but still off to have a stress test. Due to my disability I went to a place that used drugs to put the heart under stress rather than running on a treadmill. So that turned out, that I have a heart as strong as a Malle Bull.
The following year brought a hard, hard struggle. I was showing one of my daughters the way to our mechanic one morning, she was following me. I took a completely wrong turn at one point and merrily drove along until my mind organised itself so I could then correct the course and get her to the mechanic, then drop her home and get myself to work. I didn’t think much of the incident until later. I found that I was getting confused that morning until about 11 when the women in the office became concerned at my confusion. I called my wife to come and get me to the doctor. As I had no appointment we just sat in the waiting room and so my wife started asking me questions, did I know who that was, the nurse who I had known for 20 years, no I said something like nice lady. Chris was getting quite concerned and the doctor thought I had had some kind of regression, but to rule out stroke he sent me off to the hospital. I will say by this stage I didn’t know who he was or that I had children.
My GP had hit the nail on the head. We knew of a lady therapist skilled in this area, so got a referral to see her. After some time she was positive that I was suffering from DID click here for more information. DID is the new name for what was called multiple personality disorder.
I have been through five years of sessions dealing with these elusive child parts. It is hard work; it is draining and it is embarrasing.But, I feel more whole and better than I have ever felt, mentally at least.
Backtracking now somewhat. I have suffered a level of depression all my adult lifet ym heart I have had those times, so terribly dark and heavy, and admit to getting very close to acting on the depressive thoughts. One time a phone call from a dear friend caused me pause long enough to re-engage with reality; on another occasion, a puppy climbed into my lap and began to lick my face. I firmly believe she sensed something very wrong and decided to “help” in the normal dog way by licking. I am now in a far better place in my head anyway and no longer prone to such dark moments.
I have my routine, which involves pills I would rather not take, but I have this pain you see… constant unending burning pain. This is neurological pain, a left over, so to speak, from the stroke. This pain is mostly down my left arm into the left hand, but also at times down my leg. Due to the type of pain, normal everyday pain killers have little to no effect. So I have to take this drug, actually two drugs that compliment each other and work at alleviating this pain. Now I don’t have pain free days; I haven’t had a pain free day since December 1993. For it was in late December 1993 that I had a motorcycle accident, smashing my left leg to the extent that my knee was close to destroyed. I say this only to illustrate I know what chronic pain is and I know I don’t like it,how could anyone like being in this much pain, but I equally know I have insights to contribute for people who may be facing something similar.
Well I’ve had enough at the moment and should be thinking about going to bed.
As the saying goes tomorrow is another day and there are days when I long for bedtime to roll around, for then I get a new start.
My mobility is not good. I was supplied with a wheelchair by the state department that provides equipment to people that qualify, however what they provided, under the idea of giving me more independence; was not the modern lightweight chairs, but a steel framed dead weight equipped with a self propelling method via a lever action like this
This I thought was great. I could get around OK; but two things 1. to lift this chair in and out of a vehicle was a mammoth task as it weighed some 28 kilos. My wife was just not up to it & Secondly my right arm was not unto it either; after about 10 months my right shoulder was in serious danger of becoming useless. So back to the Quacks and now I have a beautiful electric wheelchair that is a dean to “drive.” Our next hurdle is a way to take the chair where I need or want to go. This means a special vehicle, so we are trusting the Lord to show us the way.
The glove on my left arm is a specially designed lycra splint that keeps my wrist and had from curling up as often happens.