Breaking Bad

Morning all. Just a small update to cheer you. In the last three weeks I have broken three wine glasses.......with my good hand! Sometimes the good hand can be worse than the weak one. I have been told off in no uncertain terms. When I responded by saying I had to do my bit around the house, I was told there was no reason for me to touch a glass at all.

On the plusvside, the weak left arm and hand continue to stabilise. I utilise them as much as I can and exercise them regularly. My walking,however, seems to be better some days than others, although my partner says he can see no change and certainly no deterioration. I still hope for more improvement.

Overall, I am much more my old self and cannot believe the distance travelled since the first months of brain injury. To my fellow survivors I would like to patient. Improvement has to be worked at and it is much slower to come than you think. I still get the fatigue too, but that just has to be accepted now.

As for the London Marathon, if I were to take part it would take me a week to get out of the park. Enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend!

Love the update JJM ? your persistence is an encouragement to everyone.  Strong in mind, strong in body.  Don't know what the alternative is to fragile wine glasses, plastic things are just ghastly, maybe drink straight from the bottle!!  

It's lovely that you're feeling better in yourself, I'm really hopeful that will happen to my husband one day, I miss that aspect so much.  Long may you continue to improve, if any one can ... YOU can.

Have a good day, currently sunny here, over in North Norfolk xx

Thank you for cheering us all up.

 I too am left sided weakness but far less severe than you.Possibly stating the obvious, my right side is crumbling under the pressure, so yes I can believe the good hand will err. And depending on the amount of SF i will certainly struggle to walk on bad days whereas I can even run on gooddays. I think I will keep to walking rather than running, but its nice to know what is possible.

Waiting for the risk of frost to go away so I can put out my plants. The conservatory is overwhelmed by plants wanting to get out their pots. 

We are enjoying loads of asparagus. I planted this a few months before stroke, so I cant recall much about that. Only what I read in my diary. But it has to grow for 2 or 3 years before we can pick. And this year we can pick ! I am sure you can actually see it grow. One of my more successful veg plot escapades.

On a less pleasant note, I did my tax return. Complete and submitted. Now that does tax my brain (sic).

Best wishes to you and partner and to all who might be reading today



Thank you Colin. We live in Worcestershire, where asparagus thrives. We love it as a vegetable. Stroke fatigue is a real bind. We visited an NGS open garden today and went at the time I usually rest. End result was a delayed rest so that by the time we got home I was zonked. Am fine though after an hour in bed. Can’t run though, but at 75 why would I want to?

thanks for the little window into your daily adventires. I amused my family by walking unaided alon my hall bearing a wine glass that required re charging. neccessity drives recovery, so I have read!I carried it with my stronger right hand. left hand is still not functioning. I am taking a short exercise walk every day, and recently got a new bit of movement in my ankle so I am hoping that the foot drop will eventually be solved as new connections are made. as you say persistence is key. I still hold out some hope for  recovery with my hand. this would delight me immensely. I was always quite handy and enjoyed working with my hands so this has been a cause of much grief. I can grip but not release so there is something, but spasticity is quite serious. I have an FEs machine that I use regularly for therat which opens up my tight fist and I hope will encourage some connections. I shall persis.

best wishes 


Most of my life has been spent in Harrow, north west London and the vale of Evesham was a good place to visit. It was always associated with the asparagus crops. Now I live in Essex and Norfolk is viewed as associated with asparagus. My garden is now the centre for our asparagus.

Thats very good that you can recover from extra activity in your rest period.

I am reviewing my active times as I am getting SF worse than ever. For me, I do my morning chores then immediately rest for thirty minutes. I have been missing this regime and now I am going back to it. I need to be more insistent about rest times.

Running was almost a bit of showing off to see if I coud make it. My normal speed enables snails to overtake me.

Best wishes



Tony do keep at it. A physio told me at the start that the arm and hand are slower to recover than the leg and foot because they perform more complex functions. As you know, my dropped foot chose to recover after 3 years. Hopeful it will stay that way.

thank you so much for the encouragement.  there are some days I despair of getting any  movement back in my hand, I was also told this would be slower, as it is more complex. I was so fortunate to have seen some professionals at the National who first began to help me with the spasticity. it was they who tried me with electrical stimulation therapy after which I bought my own device. the spasticity is variable now and some days fingers are not tightly flexed. ifI can get even a flicker of Voluntary extension, I will meet the threshold for the intensive upper limb programme at the National, whichI was referred to but not initially accepted because spasticity  had to be treated first. so I try to stay hopeful and keep working at it. the encouragement really helps. I  will plug away at walking and was much encouraged by your experience of the change in foot drop. the fact I got a new movement in my ankle was really great, much work to do yet. I always loved walking, and so motivation is not a problem. I'm not aiming to get back to the long distance walking I had started to enjoy before the stroke but would love to get back to being able to do at least an easy walk in the countryside. I hold out hope that that will be possible one day. I won't have the freedom of movement sI had previously but I can learn to live with that  I f I can limp down the lanes and enjoy the outdoors again that would be a joy. so I think year four of my post stroke life will I hope be more outward bound than the first three years  outward bound, I like that and I think I may adopt it as my motto for the year. 

 and thanks again. dare I say crack on with your own journey!!

very best wishes 


Colin,  That is brilliant that you did your tax return, I remember just  a couple of years ago that you were really  disheartened because your brain wouldn't work the way it did. I'm improving with most things except my talking. I'm still working hard at it and even practice whistling when out walking. Occasionally I nearly get to warble again. I sing loudly behind the entertainer at my local club on my night out. I can be understood by most people but have to avoid anything argumentive since I just can't get the words out. The worst word I can say is RURAL and since we live in the country it is often a part of the general conversation.


Dear Deigh

Thank you. It was an achievement to fulfill my tax return. Not overly confident because I never know what things I might have completely forgotten. But it was certainly better than last year. It was a tax return three years ago that really did make me grasp that my brain doesnt work as it did before and thats still the case today. You have a good memory to think of that.

Recovery takes a big effort, but I am so lucky that my speech does not need attention. My brain will not recall what I am waiting on, but at least I can now speak whatever I can recall. I can even sing a bit. I made it through four hymns recently, which was nice for me. Our village does a singalong for anyone who likes 50s and 60s music. Thats right up my street. 

Lots to do in the garden. We have had very chilly weather so my tender plants have been kept indoors. The conservatory is heaving with plants that have outgrown their flower pots.

I hope things are grinding upwards for you






Dear Tony

Keep at it. Its never too late. Come to think of it, my very fast recovery of mobility started in the toes and worked upwards. 

I only wish I could pass on to you whatever happened for me to get a lot of mobility within a few days. I still have subsidiary problems but I can do quite a lot. Up a stepladder, weed the garden and so on. 

best wishes


will press on. I have a good exercise regime but have had to leave it the last couple of days as stroke fatigue has wiped me out. very frustrating as you have often  testified. 


Grinding upwards is a fair comment on my progress. My fingers are coping as well as they will ever do on guitar and keyboards. sometimes I kid myself that I'm improving! When I look back I see just how far I've travelled, six months after my stroke when I started to look at playing again I even had forgotten how to hold a guitar to be able to play it without dropping the instrument. When I looked at sheet music I knew the dots meant something but had to re-learn the whole process again. I am not comfortable playing yet and have to keep practicing just to stay where I am, but when I come to think of it that is true of life generally.

Walking is no problem but I have to take great care with kerbs and stairs can be quite a challenge. 

My gardening is just playing with oversized window boxes and that is all I can cope with. Heavy digging is out of the question! Our soil in NZ is very different to UK. When it dries out it is like concrete and one can drive one's car over a lawn. At that stage it still grows anything but digging it is near impossible. The ground does not freeze over winter and our frosts are so mild that outside taps are not lagged! Anything grows and there are laws to stop you planting flowers and shrubs in native areas. Blackberries are a noxious plant  and must be controlled! We mow a lawn all year except in full summer when it can dry out.

Keep working at that singing, no-one is listenening!





Wonderful and wise words am sure your music is very good and if it gives you something to work towards and makes you happy bring it on x

Deigh, I always enjoy your posts because they show your resilience and determination. These are both great aids to recovery. I am lucky regarding speech, but still do the face exercises they gave me in hospital to strengthen facial muscles. As for singing, my trilling is enough to frighten even howling cats away. Oddly, I have quite a good speaking voice but cannot hold a musical pitch and tone if I tried.

Its that impossible option of physical or mental action.

And I still dont really have much idea what I should have done for some better recovery.

I keep reminding myself that over all things are better than they were. And a lot of improvement is so slow I cant identify it.

Do keep in touch when you can.


Dear Deigh

I would like a no money bet with you. In six months time your fingers will be more proficient on guitar or keyboard or both.

Isnt part of our problem that we are not going to excel at things we were good at pre stroke. Playing a musical instrument is a good example. Perhpas we need to adjust our sights to align with everyone else. Only a fraction of people can play a guitar adequately.

I can feel you dropping the guitar. Its such a shock when that happens. I am ultra,ultra careful with all tools, as suddenly we notice that things are not gripping on auto pilot. In the very very early days I dropped a tray with mugs of tea. It dropped when I switched off the light. I cried over that spilt milk for thirty minutes. What a shock to my whole being.

Needless to say it the wifes favourite bone china mug (Harrods no less) alongside the easily replaceable mug of mine.Asda no less).

Fascinating soil structure. No frost is a big thing, or in proper context, having frost is a big thing. The soil here in rural Essex is sandy and so easy to dig/weed. My other house, which I cant get to, is London clay. Thats easy to dig for about six weeks in the year. When its dry it is pneumatic drill rather than garden fork. 

Best wishes





thnk you Colin. sometimes all we need is a bit of encouragement and understanding. I have had a battle with fatigue these last few days, and think i is something I will have to learn to live with and manage the best I can. I am getting out independently more often. and the contact is good cognitively. my main frustration is mobility and my hand.   I have years in mind  now rather than weeks or months. but also am focusing on living well now with wt I have rather than aiming for a distant point in the future when all will be well. I don't know how long I have got and this ignorance I share with every living person, so I accept a lot might not change perceptibly. but try and learn how to live as a disabled person as well as I can, without giving up on the recovery programme. the latter is a pact with my wife and family who have been a great  blessing and support for me through some really bad times over the last few months when the job was falling apart. thoe dar days are over now, and I am given a new start. I have survived much. and wish to live as joyfully and gratefully as possible. will post my reflection as the occur to me. often find it helpful to put things out there on the forum, and I love it when I get a message back

all the best 


One of the trickiest things I  have to do is handle a Skillsaw or jisaw because the first finger is hesitant to let go the trigger and cutting continues after I've decided to stop! I've had no accidents so far but a few oversawn lines!


Thanks for that, Yes, stubborness is probably my biggest asset (and probably my worst too!)

We could do with a cat frightener around here. Neighbours moggies seem to prefer my tilled area of garden to their own!