Saturday, 8 March 2008


To Carol Barnes who died today after a stroke last weekend, aged 63.

The little things unseen

Is their a positive side to Stroke? To having one, no. Stroke is a serious disabler, a killer, and a brain attack, and it's not good. I won't kid you otherwise.

What is life changing is overcoming the downside. It's a challenge that with determination, independence and downright pig headedness can give you a quality of life that maybe might not have had previously that shakes you out of the rut you had pre-stroke. If you are a Stroke Survivor, and reading this then you've hit a plus already - you're around to read this. :)

If you're a carer, then you'll understand from the outside in, and any comments you make will be greatly appreciated. Feel free to share your experiences - good and bad, because my missus, and my carer, The Bear, will be reading this too. It'd be fantastic to get Carer's opinions.

By the way, all hail Google Blogs Spell-Checker.

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Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Woke up, got outa bed.....

Dragged a comb across my head....

Well, no. Not exactly.

Fell asleep on the settee. When I awoke this morning, full of the joys of spring ( loike yer do), swung my left leg over, and....

Hello floor, my old friend. Then I remembered. Sigh.

Me and my mate Floor are old mates. Been with other through thick and thick. Me and my forehead have.

To be blunt, it's a bit of a bugger. In my dreams, I head down that steep hill, leap, and I'm flying until I decide to land. Fair enough, the flying bit is a bit unrealistic. It's just annoying to be reminded that I don't like grounds. Hights don't bother me. Grounds do. I get annoyed at being reminded.

If I could find a way of kicking the s*** out of my right leg without falling over sometimes, I would.

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I was listening to the missus talking about her great uncle, in his 70's, today. Single. Right sided stroke. Lives alone. Had his one and only stroke 12 years ago. Has carers visit twice a day, off to a care home a couple of days every couple of weeks. He pays for them. He's able to talk near-enough normally now. His carer's, who he employs, refuse to have cans in the house that need a tin opener. In case the poor souls cut themselves. Health and Safety, apparently.

He eats when they say. He has to be in bed by 8pm, because that's the latest they'll visit. Any other care is given by his daughter, who's married with kids.

Maybe I'm spoilt, because I'm a family man. I insist on being the head of my family, which seems to be an old fashioned idea nowadays. So I'm constantly involved in my world, and constantly stimulated. I'm convinced that's what keeps my head above water.

Since then, I've talked to someone who drives, wears a neck support, who also gets the same treatment from employed carers.

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Saturday, 1 March 2008


Q. How do you tell whether you are having Major Stroke, and a Mini Stroke?

A. You can't.

What? you want more? :)

Okidoke. Some facts and figures. I'm not going to pull any punches.

F.A.S.T. - Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Test all three. If ANY of these symptoms are present call an ambulance straight away.

One in four stroke survivors die within a month.

150,000 people
in the UK have a stroke. Anyone can have a stroke, including children and even babies.

A stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK. It's also a leading cause of severe adult disability. More than 250,000 people live with disabilities caused by stroke in the UK alone.

A stroke is a frightening experience for both the stroke person and their family. It involves a lot of immediate medical treatment and sometimes months or years of rehabilitation. Things are improving in the UK, but even for those lucky enough to have supporting families, it means a lot of hard work for the stroke survivor, and a lot of commitment from those providing the care and support for the stroke survivor.

I'm hoping a friend, who's a single Stroke Survivor will be able to link here soon and give a perspective from their view.

In a nutshell, if you, or anyone with you suspects you are having a stroke, you need to get medical assistance very quickly. A stroke is a Brain Attack, and is no less serious than a heart attack. If you thought that someone was having a heart attack, you'd get medical assistance immediately - a Stroke is no different. Many people who have small strokes go on to have major strokes, and as strokes are a leading cause of permanent severe disability or death, they need treatment as quickly as possible. Seconds count.

If you've never commented on a Blog before, you'll notice below this post is something saying zero (or more!) Comments. Hover your mouse pointer over it, and you'll find it's underlined.

Left-Click it. I have verification enabled. Type the letters you see in the box provided.
This is to prevent spam delivered by software robots. Click the circle that is appropriate
for you. Anonymous is fine, if that's what you prefer.

If you have trouble reading this blog, then if you hold down the CTRL key, and tap
the minus '-' or plus key '+' keys, the text will enlarge or decrease. Not always easy with one
hand. Enough people request it, I'll post in larger text. Cheers!

(Many thanks to Country Girl for suggestions for revisions and edits)

I can also be found as 'DRAY' on the stroke association