Saturday, 11 February 2017

Big catch up

We all go through our lives with very little thought to our own mortality. We hardly ever think how fragile life is and how our decisions are automatically aimed towards our own preservation. We cross roads safely, most of us drive in a way that keeps us safe, when there is a steep cliff we keep away from the edge. It is summed up as follows:

The Instinct Theory of Motivation views biological or genetic programming as the cause of motivation. This claim means that all humans have the same motivations due to our similar biological programming. This theory says that the root of all motivations is the motivation to survive.

But what happens when something totally out of your control takes you to a point in your life where you are on a tightrope walk between life and death. There is nothing that you can do at that point that will have any impact on your survival. You simply can't step back onto the pavement, turn the steering wheel or step away from the cliff edge. I didn't even know when I had my stroke that I was even on a tightrope. I don't know how close I was to dying what if the clot was larger or damaged a different part of my brain. Looking back now I know that this was the closest I have been to dying and that I hadn't got a clue. I think that because I had a stroke I wasn't thinking rationally. If you ask yourself "what would I do if I suddenly went blind for a few minutes". Your response is unlikely to be that's a bit odd and do nothing. That was my response and I didn't do anything about it for a few hours.

I started writing this post in the final few days of 2016 this year will be remembered for the deaths of many celebrities and many people have been touched by the loss of so many great stars. Maybe you are a Prince, George Michael, Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) fan or maybe music is not your thing and you have mourned the loss of great actors such as Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher or Debbie Reynolds. While these deaths are very tragic we are remote from these people and only know them through their celebrity and their lives played out through either their art or through the media. We have no knowledge of them as people. What is more important to us are the things that have affected us personally during the year, whether this is the loss of a loved one, the break up of a relationship or as in my case a life changing illness.

It is now February and I am determined that the posts that will happen from now on will be a lot more positive. I am by nature a positive person. In terms of the timeline since my stroke there are a few things that happened that I should catch you up.

In July I went for a check up at the hospital. I was having a particularly fuzzy day and was not making a great deal of sense. The consultant was quite concerned as the last time he had seen me I was reasonably lucid.  He was so worried that he admitted me to hospital there and then. He thought that I might have had another stroke. After a MRI it was confirmed that I had not had a further stroke. I spent 4 days in the stroke ward. It was not a nice place to be. The rest of the patients were a lot older (the youngest in my bay was 25 years older than me). They were also a lot sicker than I was. It was quite a sobering experience being on the stroke ward.  The doctors, nurses and other staff were truly amazing, particularly the nurses. Its not until you experience an inpatient stay do you truly understand the care that nurses and healthcare assistants provide. Whilst it was a difficult experience I will forever appreciate the job they all do.

July was also the month where both of the children graduated from their university courses. Whilst I was dreading the day and hoping that I would have a good day they turned out to be wonderful days. You are always proud of your children's achievements but their graduations were both celebrations of how far they both have come in their lives. We were immensely proud of them both.

At the end of July we went on holiday to America. This was again something I had reservations about but it was a great holiday. I did have to take it easy and planned rest into most of the days.  I also didn't feel too much of a burden. I did enjoy the holiday a great deal. My favourite part was meeting up with old friends both in Tennessee and Georgia. We spent about a week with our friends in Georgia and I was able to relax and enjoy their company. It really was a special time catching up and relaxing.

I am not sure there is much more to catch up on in terms of specific events although I will post further about my rehabilitation and starting running again.

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