On 3 July 2013 I was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm, which later turned out to be two. This blog is a journey into my brain as I deal to the aneurysms lurking there. Along the way I'm calling on the collective proverbial wisdom and sage advice of some recognised (and maybe a few not-so-recognised) writers for aphorisms which complement my journey.

This is not just a personal journey but also a journey of discovery for everyone who has, had, or knows someone with a cerebral aneurysm.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

"I'm constantly in fear of having a stroke" ~ Lewis Black

When you have a stroke, whether it's ischesmic (a clot stops blood supply throughout the brain) or haemorrhagic (blood leaks throughout the brain tissue), makes a very big difference to you about how you will continue to live. For me, my stroke affected my frontal lobe and for much of my early hospital days was playing games with my speech. It has taken me a year to really think about what I am saying and remember most words. Sometimes, when I am trying to talk - especially when I am tired - I miss words, forget them and can't find them.

Recently I joined a new website, Enable Me, set up by the Stroke Foundation. There are goals in this website which I can set for myself. In the "Body mind after stroke" there are brain and cognitive, exercise, fatigue, personality changes, speech language, and many more. So many of these relate to me. The "My life after stroke" page gives suggestions, which, for me, includes food and nutrition, organising my life and rehabilitation.

This morning I sat down with Enable Me and started to set my own goals. This website is not particularly easy, even for me, but the end of setting a goal gives it back to me to watch. So far, in my last year, I haven't seen anything like this, even though I have tried something before I simply forget it. It's not in my diary.

Yesterday I re-found the Moreton Bay Council page for Older and Bolder. Yes, I had seen this before - but I'd forgotten it. Very frustrating for me! Earlier this year I'd done some stuff which I thought was excellent, so to re-find the brochure for the next few months encouraged me to look and find anything I wanted to do. I found a week of exercise at PCYC for free, which I have joined.

It's the week that Stroke Foundation has advertised as the National Stroke Week - 14th to 20th September. That week I will be exercising to improve my body after my stroke because of the goal I have set in Enable Me, and the event I have found at PCYC. Perhaps this stuff should cheer me up!

My Enable Me goals include making sure I keep my diary full with anything I am doing - and check it before I double-schedule anything! I have been running my diary (in my phone) at least since I moved to Moreton Bay area, but there have been a few times when I hadn't looked at it when I should have, so had either double-scheduled or just missed something. If I follow the Enable Me goals online maybe I won't do that!

I now have involvement with STEPS, Aphasia, Stroke Foundation, Synapse and, of course, BASA (please don't ask me to tell you what each name mean - look them up!). This involvement is starting to feel very good for me. After having my own article printed in the local Redcliffe newspaper recently, I am now getting my own story printed in the Synapse Bridge magazine. I am attending meetings with STEPS and Synapse. I have been invited to an activity run by CBRT (my former rehabilitation team) for the National Stroke Week. I have finished Leader training with STEPS and will soon co-lead training up my area.

All of this is far different than my (paid) work which I now don't do, but I believe that eventually I might be recovered enough to do something that I will be paid for. Now though, thanks to Enable Me, I can move ahead with my future. It won't actually "fix" me, but I think I can learn from it.

Lewis Black's quote was set up as the heading for my post this month. After my first stroke I live with my own constant fear, because I know that a stroke can get just about anyone.

If you have had a stroke, I hope you are living your best future.  

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