Saturday, 25 October 2008

Quick tips for blogging

Sorta stroke related. If you're anything like me - and I have some use of my right side - you'll have a bit of bother with some of these. Sorry if I'm poaching on your territory Lauri (the blogging guru!).

Hooookay... Blog offline. There are a few ways to do this. I have used some really fancy (free) programs, and there are a lot of them gallivanting around in the wild, that will allow you to compose a blog, save off to your blog and to your hard drive. The idea is that you have a permanent record at home. Lots of fancy options, like adding fancy text or piccys and stuff, or to post multiple blogs/blog suppliers and/or web pages. Personally, the numerous options irritated after a bit. Can't remember the name of the one I used to use, but I got it from NoNags.

But the idea of keeping a permanent local record is darn useful - as I've had reinforced recently. If you ever re-read a blog you've posted (which, to my shame, I don't do often enough) and you think "Do what?" you can compare the local (saved on PC copy) and either blush, or think "Oh, sugar" I'll get to that one in a minute.

The simple, cheap way is to use Notepad, or Microsoft Write. Quick, no fancy graphics or anything. Both Windows and Linux have 'built in' text editors. Write the blog, don't bother about anything other than basic formatting. Save it into a folder called 'Blog' in My Documents.

Keep, say, Notepad open.

In Blogger, open up dashboard and go to 'Create'. Go back to Notepad (Alt-Tab) and then click anywhere in the window. Hold down Ctrl-A. That should outline all your text in blue in Windows. Now hold down Ctrl-C. This will copy the text into the 'Clipboard'. All this means is that the text in Notepad will be copied into the computer memory.

Alt-Tab back to blogger. Click anywhere in the window. Hold down Ctrl-V. This should 'paste' or copy the text into the 'Create' window. Fiddle around with it as need be to get the look right. Click Publish.

You might have noticed that that there's one big drawback to this method. Y'need to hold down one key while pressing another. Great if both hands and/or arms work. One way around that is to use Sticky-Keys in windows. You'll find it under Programs, Accessories, Accessibility. That will enable you to press one key at a time. I, however, find it slows me down. And annoying. I'm far too impatient

I prefer using the mouse. Whichever hand you use for the mouse - and if your not used to it, this takes a little practise, so make sure you've saved your work, 'cause work it is, to your folder.

If you've used Write or Notepad, click before the first letter of the text you've written. Hold down the left mouse button, and keeping the mouse button pressed, drag it across all your text. Let go of the mouse button, it should remain 'highlighted' in blue.

Being careful not to hit the left mouse button, (You'd lose the 'highliting' and have to do it all again) click and hold the right hand mouse button. In the 'menu' that appears, use the left hand mouse button to select 'Select All'. Click the right hand mouse button again, and select Copy.

Done. Your blog is now copied into computer (temporary) memory. Don't know anyway around this - I can do it with one hand - but Alt-Tab back to blogger 'Create'. Hit that left hand button again, (to select that window) then hit the right hand mouse key again. You should have a menu that says 'Paste' in it. Let go of the right hand mouse button, click 'Paste', and it should be pasted into 'Create'. Using Blogger Create, Format your text and click 'publish post'

My apologies to the computer veterans, but there are two ways that computers save information. One is to 'memory'. While a computer is switched on, anything saved to it, like copy and pasting between different things, is lost when the computer is switched off.

If you are using Microsoft Word, Open Office, Microsoft Write or Notepad, remember to save anything you write to 'Save' or 'Save as'. That'll save it to the hard-drive, which retains anything you save to a much more long lasting storage, which will be available when you switch your computer on.

Friday, 24 October 2008

As I've posted on another blog :-

" My apologies to those who have posted recently while I've been away.

It would appear there has been a security breach on my blogs. Changes were made to some posts. and some quite gross images added, that do not represent the views of anyone at Wheelie Manor. It seems to coincide with a spam attack.

I AM a little annoyed that some posters who presume to know The Wheelie well didn't pick-up that there was something very odd about some of the posts, and didn't contact me off-blog to ask "What the heck?", or I would have picked up on it much sooner.

You'll find some previous posts on my blogs have been edited back again, and its possible as a result some comments people have made on some posts may seem a little out of context.

I'm working with the really nice people at google to find the source of the problem. Meanwhile, I'll be re-enabling comment moderation, and I'm sorry for any inconvenience that may cause."

Thank you for your patience :(

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Aw, heck.....

Bear accompanied me for our yearly Flue injections today.

She assures me that I'm really not old enough, but, then again, as she's at least ten years younger than I, neither is she. I believe that's called Women's Logic, but since I'm a fella, it's way over my head. But I had to go anyway.

Afterwards, she fell into the local Supermarket. It's a family (her family) trait. Her dad has developed it into a fine art. There's a gentle breeze, a blink, an incline of the head, and suddenly, a sudden gust blows him into a bar. Genius, Genetic, and an admirable skill in inclement weather.

But today was merely overcast. So Bear, in gentle breeze, simply fell in to the supermarket.

Then I remembered why I DON'T shop with Bear.

"Bread ?"

Bread. Wholemeal please.

"Milk ?"

Milk. Yes. Super Filtered Semi-Skinned.

"Anything Else ?"

Ha! Now there's the Gotcha point.

Bear, eye's like saucers, and hunted expression, should seek the venerable "Anything", and defeated, hopefully, give in.

Not a chance. I recognised the grim determination, and the stunned look of a rabbit , overwhelmed with choice, caught in the headlights. Up ?, Left ? Down ? Right. I tried to head her off at the pass and failed.

So I did the only appropriate thing in the circumstances. I swore quietly under my breath, and tried to herd her towards the checkout..

Too Late.

"Mummy ?" said a little head just off to the left of my vision, all blonde ringlets, and pony tails and angelic frown, and two foot tall.

"Why did Father Christmas just swear at that lady ?"

Oh my, oh my, oh....

Monday, 13 October 2008

First day of the rest of my life :)

My Bear is out shopping. Luckily, we aren't in a position whereas we could be victims of the 'credit crunch'. Though the price of stuff like food, gas, and electricity has shot up, we are ok. I saw it heading our way, and budgeted for it. So far, we haven't had to cut back yet. Still resent having to pay more tho'. Ah well , I'm not one to worry about things like that I can do nothing about.

Alert! Alert! :) Medic week coming up! Diabetes check, (and all that feet fiddling - yoiks, I hate that....) blood samples, tablet review, flu jab for us both, (Bear has it because she's my carer).

I hate going to the doctors. I go in feeling ok(ish) and come out with something else wrong.

Am I alone in that eating is a problem? I lost my hungry instinct after my first brain attack, so I'm not a big eater, and when I eat, I'm careful what I eat. I eat because I need to, not because I want to, and, between you and me, not a lot. Yet, my waistline seems to expand.

Any tips out there?

Don't tell me I need more exercise. Though I'm a wheelie, like a lot of wheel chair users, I have some mobility out of the darn thing, just a little.

Meanwhile, Christmas is coming up, and I'm lucky enough to be prematurely white haired and bearded and my neighbours kids who have stopped believing in Santa will be um, nicely surprised :)

Any ladies out there going to surprise their families with the Best Christmas Ever?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Oh my, I'm getting so many requests from comments and emails to do the post I said I will do.

I will, I really will, and thank you all for trusting that I'll handle it sensitively. BUT I'll deal with it soon. It's obviously more relevant than I realised to so many people.

I'll make some observations though, looking through my mails. One is, It's the ladies who are more open and think it's a good idea. Almost three-to-one. Why is that?

Another thing that's puzzling me is that fellas seem to get more grumpy - about anything really.
At the risk of falling out with him, one chap even suggested that I'm too humorous and even 'disrespectful'. His point was, that if you're stroked, it's a serious matter that I shouldn't be flippant about. Particularly about 'That'. Have to admit that made ME grumpy.

'That' is why I wanted to post anyway. It's something partners do. It's an important part of a relationship.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Tired, tired eve tonight.

I want to keep awake for my Bear, who at half past 8 at night, wants me to eat. Which is right.
I should.

But, I will. But, phew.

I know what'll happen when I eat. Boing, I'm gone. Sleep city.

My last post ? I'll be with that in a couple of days. Promise

Sex and Stroke.

Well, there's a shock headline for you :)

But seriously, it's a difficult subject to tackle - and I've been married for over 20 years, a little more of than half of them stroked. But it's an important part of life, whether you're in a relationship or not. If that makes any sense. Yeah, I'm aware that people have personal, moral, and religious, views about discussing the subject, but I've no intention of provoking a discussion, just putting a personal view. I've no wish to offend anyone.

And being an important part of a relationship, there's some things I'd like to say. So it's over to you.

Can I share my experience? Carefully, of course.


After a few hours reflection, and to be honest, a few draft posts I wasn't at all happy with, I've decided to wait a little while and put it in my 'to-do' book. I think I should cover it at some point though, because, though a leaflet should be available from the British Stroke Association, (see my links sidebar) it's always out of print.

I'd rather cover it properly, than jot random thoughts , as I've found it's such a hidden, but a very important but difficult topic for stroke affected couples.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Two Wheels on my wagon....

It's about 2am Uk time, the family are all asleep. I'd like to say they're ALL in bed, but 11 year daughter ( "DON'T Call Me Tots, Pops! I'm Too Old Now!" ) has decided to crash out on a chair.

Heh, "don't call me Tots" indeed. I'll be calling her that when she's thirty, god willing. Our other two were just about to hit the 'terrible' teens when she surprised us with her appearance. That serves me right for marrying someone 10 years younger than me! (Only joking Pads -aka The Bear - honest :) ). Why do I call 'The Mrs' Pads? Because she looks like, and wears a hat like, Paddington Bear.

So its Totsies favourite blanket chucked over her - the purple one, not the 'scratchy' pink one I like :) All grown up eh? Chuckle!

It's so important to me, as a stroke survivor, to have my family around me. To be honest, if I didn't, I'd be looking to belong to some sort of community. I'd be totally lost alone.

Sure, I grumble, yup, I can be a bad tempered and cussed 'ol Wheelie, and yes, I love privacy. But I'd hate to devalue the support I have from family and friends. And gosh, I know who my friends are now. The friends I have now are the ones who insist on being my friend whether I like it or not.

Stroke-wise, I'm one of the lucky ones. My first was a cerebellar stroke - I think that's right - top of the brain stem, back of the head -there are two that sound the same, I can never get it right :) I fall over a lot :) subsequent ones have being smaller and left sided, which I sorta recover from, but the effect has been a lot of loss of permanent function on my right side.

Why? Who knows. Luck of the draw I guess.

But there's a dark side that people don't like to talk about. The periods of inexplicable confusion. I'm not 'allowed' out alone. Well, I suppose I could. But it wouldn't be wise. Does Bear complain she has to accompany me? Heck no - she complains I don't go out enough!

I can be doubly incontinent. Bear has never batted an eyelid. Just gets on with it. Always has. I can be embarrassed as I like - but as far as she's concerned, that's my problem, not hers :) So she's there cleaning me and - anything - up, and washing clothes - and well, you get what I mean.

The family won't allow me to eat alone, because they worry I'll choke. But they don't hover over me - they just make sure someone is there. Just in case.

I drop some something - whoosh, someone is there to pick it up. I can get mood swings, and she laughs with me when I'm 'up' and if I get tetchy, the worst reaction I'll get is a sticking out of the bottom lip and an owl-like stare..... I fall over, and the kids shout "hey Mum, Dads saying 'hello floor' again" And she's there. Sure she says "silly old sod", but she's there.

Enough for now. I realise in many ways I'm spoiled having people who care around me, and I'm often left feeling dreadfully selfish. But on the other hand, I'd say to anyone in a similar position, that it's good to strive to be independent, and work hard to be so. But its good to let go and appreciate the value of a caring community around you too.

Gotta go. Tots has kicked her 'blanky' off :)

ps (about 18 hrs later) You guys must think I'm awful not replying to comments. I'm not ignoring you, it's just I don't know what to say - except, thank you. Thank you very much.

Monday, 6 October 2008

I see your true colours, shining through...

This was originally a reply to a comment, but I decided it was such an important point, it was worth a post.

Gaining independence is tough. Your stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On one hand, you need the support of the loved and be loved, on the other hand, telling them to back off a bit to give you time to think and work things out feels awful.

After all, they're only trying to be loving and helpful. But often by doing so - they aren't being either, bless them. But you don't want to alienate them. I have to admit, it's something I can do without.

It doesn't help that brain attacks affects everyone in different ways, and they seem to have an image of someone who loses their intelligence. Yes, sometimes, and often, to some extent that CAN be true, but not always and not all the time......

A distant relative, who I've not seen for some years died recently at an advanced age. I was shocked at a photo I was shown of him about a year before he died. He'd had a left sided stroke 10 years before. He'd been a strong, well built but not overweight man, and very active and very sociable.

The photo I was shown was of a man who'd become a shadow. Thin, Anorexic, uncommunicative, Talking to his carer, his daughter, she confirmed he'd "given in". He didn't "want to know".

It's hard to decide whether it's a lack of family support - though his immediate family tried their best - was it enough? A lack of support from social services ? Medic support? Maybe even prejudice?

My view it was bit of everything. So be on guard. Be important to yourself. Love, and be loved, and however hard it is, don't demean yourself.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Me bad....

Not really supposed to drink. I mean, heck, the amount of medication I have to consume, and the gosh only knows what effect that has on an already weird chemical mix.

But heck. I have to admit to a couple of cans of lager now and again - Gosh tho' don't the medics make you feel guilty about it? I have to admit though I get a perverse pleasure in just doing SOMETHING 'wrong' now and again. All good fun :)


Chill out day today. My teens are doing what teens do best. It's called 'out'.

11-going-on-18 is 'out' too, but I can forgive her that. She's at that wonderful pyjama party age, the Tots is, and unlike the others, she still calls me daddy. That lets her off the hook, lol :) I fell asleep on the sofa last night, and she insisted on sleeping in a chair nearby. Felt like being in a Jama party myself.

So when I was watching a repeat of a repeat of Cagney and Lacey at 6 am, her half asleep grumbling that I had it on too loud and could I "knock it down a bit" was so sweet.

Kids, eh? :)