Saturday, 26 April 2008


Just playing around looking for an email address for my GP on Google,
came across this site :-

Playing around with the site I discovered that it shows some simple
performance graphs for GP's, as well as giving email addresses and
contact numbers, among other info. Like wise, you can also find out
which Dentists in your area are accepting patients and what kind of
patients they are accepting..... (bet you didn't know you were in a
category did you?) and other services. For instance, there's
some basic info about stroke, diabetes, what-have-you too.

Quite handy

Thursday, 17 April 2008


Well, all done with the 'little adaptions'. Much better than expected :)

I expected simple D-handles, but the second stair-rail (our stairs are enclosed rather than open bannister) is a combo of kinda twisty grab handle thingies and wooden rails. Likewise, kitchen to downstairs loo is a wrap-around rail. I'm well impressed. No more making like a chimp to get upstairs. Before I'd worked under the principle of walking upstairs was a process of falling over and avoiding falling backwards at all costs.

Now it's a doddle, and I can take my time.

The toilet fitted rail that helps me get on and off is shaped, and comfortable to use, but unlike the others, is plastic. I have a bit of a niggle whether it's going to be sturdy, but hey, I'll see how it goes.

Still waiting for a reply to the City Wide Alarms Service.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Cool :)

Nice surprise.

Having our property adapted. Nothing major. But darn useful

New shower fitted side-on, over the bath.
Removable, adjustable, bath seat.
A second Stair Rail
Rail access to downstairs toilet.
Rail access into downstairs toilet.
Rail access to the front door.

The nice surprise is that we only found by accident we could have this assessed and fitted for free - previous options were either expensive or needed a torturous assessment.

As it was, the assessment was quick, simple, and the lady from our Physical Disability and Sensory Impairment Service (UK) went out of her way to be helpful. I only had to demonstrate my amusing attempts to get in and out of the bath, 'walk' (I use the term loosely) upstairs, access and use the loo, and enter and exit the house.

All free.

I didn't ask for the check. We assumed, as it wasn't offered as a result of my otherwise excellent Stroke care, (and I admit, my very independent attitude) that it's something we had to provide for ourselves. But as part of a modernisation package (we live in a rented home) a terribly nice chap visited to asses our modernisation needs, who went away, and the next thing I know I was being being visited and bingo :)

Apparently, there's a security system available where you use a 'panic button' if you fall, and either your alone, or there's no-one available who's available to lift you. That costs, but I'm waiting for the info to arrive.

And the work will be done within two weeks. Magic :)

There are some interesting twists if you live in council accommodation, or own your own home.

But I'll comment on that at a later date.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Love me for a reason......

I often have trouble making myself understood, and understanding others. Telephones really blow my mind - if you'll excuse the pun. Yet, oddly, I can type quite lucidly I think. (I can can't I?)

I can write too - though it looks quite childlike. I couldn't do 'joined up writing' any more if you paid me :)

The solution to the telephone problem was to splash the cash on a decent mobile a couple of years ago that could plug into my computer. Couple that with a pretty nifty little free program, and I'm able to text happily from my keyboard. The combination in my case was a Sony Erikson K750i and MyPhoneExplorer. This allows me to text, keep a to-do list, calendar, reminders alarms and notes, and even check if someone's mobile is on without disturbing them for the price of a text.

The important thing is that in what sometimes feels like a pretty chaotic and confusing internal life I can pull back some control to myself.

Don't know about you, I found having the old grey matter scrambled horribly confusing for a long time. I felt like a genie stuck in a bottle. When you have communication difficulties, you tend (on the whole) know what you want to say - but it doesn't come out anything like the way you want to say it, if at all. And I find often that I'm listening to someone, I hear what sounds like Japanese. Which is great, if you understand Japanese. I don't. People don't like being asked to repeat themselves, and often do so v-e-r-y l-o-u-d-l-y and slooooowly.

Annoying. Almost as annoying as caring and loving people, trying to be helpful, who finish off my sentences or try and tell people what they think I really mean - or (Grrrrr!) 'guess' what I'm going to say next. I call those 'anti-psychics', 'cause they're always wrong ;)

The problem is Joe Public tends to equate ability to communicate with intelligence. This genie in this particular bottle suspects his intelligence is largely intact. Well, it was last time I looked. I found my solution was to be a little more aggressive. The frustration helps.

It doesn't do your 'nice person' image any good, it certainly gets me called a "cranky old sod", but I found it catches people by surprise nicely and they have a bit more respect should they choose to speak to you again.

Their mission, should they choose to accept it......

The important thing is - and everything is important if you're a stroke survivor -to maintain independence as much as possible. You'll soon find out who your real friends are, and the bright amongst them will work out exactly what your up to. And those that care enough, who don't cotton on, will understand once you explain to them :)

Of course, you could just sit there, struggle, and sulk. But that's not for me.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

"I wanna be...."

"Your stroke survivor...."

As the song goes.

Got your copy of copy of Stroke News through yet? If not, why not? Nip onto the Stroke Association website (see sidebar) and get yours now.

It's, in my opinion, gone a bit downhill nowadays in some respects - less readers letters, a greater emphasis on promotion. But then again, it IS free, and drumming up support is what it's all about.

On the plus side, great articles, Lager - er... larger typeface, much easier to read, and more event adverts - had to chuckle at the one for "10K Military Run" One-half K Military Wobble followed by a 91/2 K stretcher in my case :) And in this Spring edition a great emphasis on Aphasia and depression, something both of which are grossly under recognised individually, and even rarely considered together.

I'm luckily enough not to suffer from depression, but I do have aphasia. To quote the writer Terry Pratchett, on discovering he had early onset Alzheimers, it's an "Embuggerance".

How does an Aphasic blogger blog? Very, very, slowly, and very carefully :)

Please note the new link on the sidebar to the Left Handers Club .

I was born in that generation where the left-hand was considered "The Devils Hand", and got a rap on the knuckles if I used it when I used it. After a right-sided stroke, it turned out they did me a favour. I'd always favoured my left in most cases. So adapting was easier.

However, getting hold of left handed scissors, or a tin opener, for instance, was an absolute pig. Until I found their shopping site.

Oh, on the tin-opener front, I found a NO hand tin opener The One Touch for £20 (about $36) from a local John Lewis. Marvellous :)

Watch those sharp edges though - and as I'm sure you're aware, some commercial carer organisations won't use anything other than ring-pull cans. Health and safety fears, apparently.

Wusses. But that's for another day...

Please feel free to share your experiences.