Blog

This blog contains regular updates on my recovery from a stroke involving right side paralysis. I primarily wanted to record my progress after 22 months. Also if other stroke survivors want to see how recovery progresses, I thought it might be useful.

A number of things are clear. No one is the same, everyone is different. Recovery appears to be possible. It is not the muscles that have stopped working it is the neuro messages. To recover you have to use the muscles and eventiually your brain finds another way to make neurological messages work automatically. In fully able bodied people whe you for example learn a new musical isntrument, a part of your body learns to operate the muscle movements.

I also wanted a blog to chart my mood, which as most people know after stroke does tend to change.

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Progress

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

It is now 40 months or so since my stroke and I am determined to up my game over the coming months.

Two new projects I am working upon

Zadar - a CD of music, songs and stories inspired by the Sea Organ in the Croatian town of Zadar.

Life Coaching by cats - a book of drawings demonstrating the wisdom of cats.

I am also preparing a bid to get some arts funding in order to pay musicans to perform at shows.

I am also developing in my mind a play provisionaly called Attor and Rotta a play in 22 scenes and two acts.

WHY...?

My answer why not?

Fatigue

Posted on May 17, 2015 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I was fortunate to see a video article by Dr Anna Kuppaswarmy about her research into stroke recovery fatigue.

Everyone has told me that fatigue is a key element of stroke recovery although no-one explained why.

I thought it was probably to do with the mental effort of consciously undertaking previously automated actions.

However Dr Kuppaswamy had done some very significant research and has been able to prove that it was not the mental effort of actions that causes fatigue, but a result of lesions on the affected area of the brain. Also some people were less affected than others by this. Dr Kuppaswammy is seeking volunteers I am keen to help but a) I do not live close enough and b) my stroke was more than 6 months ago, which is the maximum time they want volunteers.

Perhaps it serves to remember that after any stroke, the brain is damaged either through a blockage restricitng oxygen to the brain or as in my case a haemorrhage which kills an area of the brain. Luckily for me, I don't appear to ahve suffered any cognitive loss, although one can't be sure. But one thing is for sure, the damage was not to my muscles, my physical capability. There is just a severance between the brain function and the muscle function. Through physiotherapy and exercise it is possible to stimulate the brain to send the signals again, and for the muscles to accept the signals. The key is persuading the brain to automate the movement function. As I say elsewhere when one learns a new physical skill the brain learns to operate new muscle groups and responses. In the case of recovery from stroke one has to relearn fairly basic motor functions.

Two years in my arm and hand movement is improving virtually everyday, even though I am not exercising those muscles as much as I would like to. My walk is taking longer to return to normal and is still a considerable way from normal. But then walking is a complex series of muscular motions and as those muscles are being asked to move by conscious brain activity, if you have forgotten what those muscle movements are it is difficult to restart.

It is particularly difficult when I can only just about manage to walk about 2 miles at most, so I am not really exercising intensely, because I am also fatigued, after my brain not only has to deal with the forward motion of walk but also, appreciating the surrounding environment managing traffic, and possibly sometimes talking to a walking companion.

If you arte reco vering and this blog is to be any use to you, I have found that if you can you should walk over uneven surfaces, but also spend as much time as you can on a treadmill, where the walk can become quickly sub conscious and the surroundings are limited to a mirror and your struggling face tgrying to keep steady,

If I learn anymore about Dr Kuppaswammy's work, I will report it on this blog.

Snapshots

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I've just taken possession of proof copies of my new book Snapshots of A Stroke Recovery. It is a complete rewrite of my earlier Drabble Diary of a Stroke Survivor. There was a lot of errors in the Drabble Diary and I was unhappy with the overall quality. Also I now am giving 50% of the profits to the Stroke Association. the new book is not only a complete rewrite it also contains several new stories unconnected to stroke.

Drabble Diary of a Stroke Survivor

Posted on December 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Just finished the lay out for Drabble Diaries of a Stroke Survivor, available soon from Success Stories Publishing and via smashwords as an e-book. As the UK Stroke Association will get 25% of the profits, Im hopeful that they will promote it

Is it any good...God knows..its rude irreverent and describes a life changing event so its got to interest someone

Mystery of the Mind

Posted on December 29, 2011 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello............ lovely of you to come. I’m fine now that you’ve come to visit but I was in pain yesterday.

I’ve just come back from a walk and I’m a bit tired. It wouldn’t be far for you, but it was a long way for us, particularly when we're usually in wheel chairs. We didn’t even need our frames. We went up past the church and round the back....there’s no cemetery there now, then round behind the shops, and on to where the old air raid shelter used to be and you won’t believe it but my old dolly Mandy was still there in the corner right where I left her. We were all singing, it being Christmas and all, even her over there, that silly ugly woman that can’t sing. She had a lovely voice this morning.....away in a manger, she sang and it was as if she had been hiding her voice for 80 odd years.....not croaking “ O God help me” for the last three years and she was very happy to be able to sing today of all days now her son has come to visit her.

I was smiling and it was warm out there in the snow. We got all dressed up, me in my pink nightie which I hate and they made me put those blue hospital slippers on to keep the snow out. It was mid morning, but the street lights were pools of orange on the white floor you know? And my mother and father were there watching out for me in case I slipped. My Father says he’s given up smoking, but I don’t believe him. My Mother was just smiling and waving a flag at me and she had a tray round her neck like they have in the flicks with freshly baked bread and cakes on show to cool and they smelt beautiful.

On the walk, I was chatting to that chap called George from Bradford that I knew sixty years ago who had a thing for me. He was a perfect gentleman back then sadly. Do you know he doesn’t look a day over twenty-five, what’s his secret do you suppose? I suppose that is what the snow does to you?

Everyone was singing, even the nurses. All in different languages, I think but I couldn’t understand them even when they smiled and said please. They gave us our medicine by the post box and they gave us our warm drinks and we all laughed. Even the lady who always has the screen round her was laughing.

By the Church, the consultant was there and he was skipping round the churchyard tree and waving that thing round his neck in the air. The sun caught the light in the silver and it was sending messages like Morse code from ship to ship, although we weren’t on the ship we were on dry land waving hello to all the soldiers coming home. But the guard said it was 160 over 130 and he was a little concerned and then he filled in his notes on that clipboard thing they carry and waved goodbye to Mr Khan the consultant, but behind me Mr Bridges the shopkeeper in his white apron and his white shirt told me he’s got some lovely ham and some fresh tongue in the fridge and if my mum lets me, he’ll give me a couple of penny arrow bars as a treat.

Cousin Maurice’s children are there but they’re stood still like statues. I never really liked them but they are dead now and his wife and I never got on at all, not since the gardening and she wouldn’t lend me her donkey stone to wet the front door step. When Lillian went to live in Southport I lost the best friend I ever had.

My Teacher Mr Perkins from the little school by the park said I didn’t forget I just couldn’t be bothered to remember.

For five pounds I can get connected to a lovely little girl on the TV who is also on the phone, but I don’t know her so why would I? It’s all very strange. But we were all happy and we were going home. I gave out those sweeties you’ve just brought with you, but no one likes the hard centres, so we gave those to the ducks on the little pond in the park near where my school used to be.

Round the corner, the rag and bone man gave me a balloon but I had to give him the hospital gown in exchange even though it’s got no back to it and then we all got on our sledges and slid down the brew into the courtyard and it looked like one of those old Victorian Christmas Cards that Mrs Madden used to send every Easter. Over there was a man with a hospital bed trolley and he was selling chestnuts, hot roast chestnuts and we all had a bag, although we didn’t have any money to pay for them you know....and they were hot and sweet and smelt of pine needles, just like I like them. My best friend from school pinched my arm but I just giggled because we were so happy. And then my best friend who was wearing a nurse’s outfit for some reason pinched my arm again and this time it hurt like hell.

And then at last I knew what I was doing here, but I don’t know where I am. There was a sign and it said free language courses, probably for the nurses I should imagine? It’s strange isn’t it how all this is going on and yet we never see it? But you just smile at me and is that a tear in your eye? Never mind I have a handkerchief and if I spit on it I’ll get whatever is in your eye. Look up to the left, look down to the right and you don’t have to sneeze like they do in Brief Encounter, because I’ve known you all your life. But I don’t really know you anymore.

 

Documentary

Posted on November 14, 2010 at 2:24 AM Comments comments (0)

I've just got involved with a new site called www.online-documentaries.tv.


There are some great online documentaries some in HD. 


Particular favourites are Sun Tzu and Mozart.

File Sharing & Record labels

Posted on October 29, 2010 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The legalities of file sharing are obviously complex and the minutiae of the defence and prosecution cases have taken the argument away from something most of us can easily comprehend .


However, I would like to state that the idea that the record labels assisted the artists is flawed.


Consider their marketing strategies….every week on Spotify (legally free) a label launches a “new” artist with their “amazing” debut album.


That is one of their strategies i.e. paid advertising telling the record buying public how “amazing” is the new artist .


99 out of 100 of these artists slips back into anonymity… because the public is not fooled.


Artists that develop careers do so through either hard work, or uniqueness or a combination of both. The label pays them an advance but the real promotion is done by the band/artist.

Therefore in earlier times the label were bankrolling the artists success and thereafter providing a distribution channel…i.e. records.


In the digital age…..this has surely changed.


1) Artists no longer need a month long lock out sessions in studios to create an album

2) Artists no longer need the label’s distribution channel - are there many music shops left….?

3) Artists have never needed the label’s publicity machine because mostly all the label did was fuel a buzz that already existed. I don’t know if there are many instances where the buzz and the success were created by the label.

4) Artists probably still need the bankroll (advance)…but actually it is inequitable…..you’d get better rates from a commercial lending organisation (if you could be confident that you’re music had a market - even in these credit crunch times).


In actual fact if you borrowed a record label advance of say $1m over 10 years…..you would only pay back a fraction of your earnings as a middle earning rock or pop band that you would if you signed to a label.


ergo…labels have missed the boat…(around 1998 )

ergo they had to take action against file sharers because their business model is crumbling - raining in the desert is taking business from the water sellers. Has I-tunes got them back on track - I don't know?


In fact what they should have done, as one of the lines of defence intimated…is use file sharing as a promotional tool, not solely an income stream


Still it seems like it's all over now baby blue.....

Friday 15th October

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 2:42 AM Comments comments (0)

Egriega will be playing one or two tangos at the open mike night at Arthur's Folk club at the Dog and Partridge in Bollington tonight

Flat roofer in macclesfield

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM Comments comments (0)

www.macc-flatroofing.com

Zen Tango in Roma

Posted on August 1, 2009 at 1:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Please find a video from Oscar Wright a Tango Teacher based in Rome.

 

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