Have had a few dalliances since becoming disabled, but think I am now really independent plus use a walker.  Have brilliant friends and am 'great fun and interesting' apparently!  Post menopause, so I don't have much of a sex drive now grrrrr! Am only 55, don't want to die as a nun! Tried internet dating, and chatted to a few guys but, when they find out that I use a walker, they slowly disappear and consequently, have not met anyone!   Knowing my luck, I'll meet someone in the old folks' home, get on like a house on fire, then drop dead the next day! These days, I truly feel if I meet somebody = fine and if I don't = that's fine as well!  Their loss haha! Anyone else suffered similarly? Any advice? Thanks.  Peace Carole :) 

Hi Carole, I'm not quite in the same boat so to speak, just come out the other side of a divorce, so the last thing I am looking for is out of the frying pan.

I do though believe in the power of the universe. Everything is a lesson, and there is a kindred spirit for everyone.

If someone can't accept you as you are, it is there loss.

My split was stroke related, the different me was unacceptable. But I'm better off now that it's all over. At one point my ex asked me if I'd met someone new, laughing probably wasn't the response she expected. I did clarify the laughter by pointing out the obvious, I'm toothless, thanks to decisions made when I was not capable, I can walk as far as the car with two sticks, and I wear inco pads.

I don't know if I will ever find a girl/woman to put up with me, but I am at peace with myself. If I find someone to share life with eventually, great, if not, that is what was written.

I'm sure, as long as you are happy with yourself, then there is a pretty good chance there is someone just waiting round the corner, which corner I couldn't say.

I'd avoid dating sites, online dating, people can be whoever they want you to think they are. As you said, the reality is very different.

You sound like a pretty together type of person, so just keep your eyes open, you can never say never.

Happy hunting, Namaste.

Hiya Ian!

You sound to have come through the other end of the tunnel, like I have after a really tough fight, like you.  Only makes you stronger, eventually, doesn't it?  Jeez, ALMOST committed suicide and am really glad now that I didn't, ahem.....

I use a walker and am using Always Discreet Boutique knickers now!!!  Can't hold urine, like I used to when I was younger and able, hey ho!  Nobody can tell, and it isn't an issue.

Am impressed that you used to be a nurse.  I was a legal assistant.

Just been in Leeds for the w/e, and was with lots of friends.  Had such fun, respectively.  Was brilliant to meet up again, as I used to live in Yorkshire for almost a decade, and still have lots of good pals.

Am v v independent, as had no choice.  Take myself out for shopping and breakfast a couple of times a week.  Go to the gym once a week, and am a shareholder for my local Housing Association.  Am also a lifelong poet, and have worked with worldwide musicians, who use my words as lyrics to songs.  We have made 6 CDs now (nobody famous though, but don't care!!) You? Be well and take care.  Carole 

Hi Carole,

I did send a message via the whatever thingy, so you might read that one first.

I spent most of my time in and around London, but moved north just over five years ago. A little further north than I thought I was moving. Will be trying to get a little more south, when I have sorted this house out.

Yer it has been a rough couple or more year's, but I have emerged happy and at peace.

I've been on the precipice of the dark side a couple of times, but have been lucky when the crisis struck.

I served 25yrs in the NHS, mainly in mental health. I was the Trust lead  violence reduction specialist when life changed.

I'm impressed with your peotry, and that your work has been put to music. Poetry I came to in my thirties, not writing, but reading. There is a verse to explain every experience in life.

I've been to Leeds once with work. I was sporting a very fetching black eye ( a martial arts mishap) most people avoid me at the conference, until I spoke about misconceptions, an appropriate subject considering.

Unfortunately I couldn't return to work after my stroke, and really haven't been able to commit to any gainful employment, being classed as unemployable. I was lucky in gaining my full pension from the NHS.

A major life adjustment from very active, doing martial arts, and training NHS staff to manage violence, to being happy just getting through the day. I do get the odd day or days when I can be quite productive, but when they occur is a surprise.

Well I have waffled enough probably, writing or typing is easier than most things because I can order my thinking.

Well, take care Carole, keep making the CDs, and I look forward to hearing a number one hit. Ian ?

Hi Ian

I am in Bellshill (where Sir Matt Busby hailed from), near Glasgow.  I am from this area but, as I said, lived in Yorkshire for almost a decade.  Married a Yorkshireman, and took my stroke whilst there in 1993 (was only 28).  That is why many of my friends worked in the law, beside me.

Not sure there will ever be a No 1 hit haha, but I feel like a millionaire just being accepted by those musicians!!  Will attach a poem below, and hope you enjoy it.

Haven't worked for cash since I took the stroke, but have done a lot of voluntary work and/or courses.  Used to drive before the stroke, but am not allowed to now as I banged my head when I collapsed.  Wear glasses and my sight is fine mostly.  Just that I have double vision when I look to the sides.  Have learned not to, so turn my head first, then look!  My sight has merely deteriorated now, due to age, as am 55.

Am not looking for a relationship per se, as am content with my own life with friends and family.  If one ever happens, fine, if not, that's fine too!  Good for you qualifying for a pension.  I seem to be able to 'keep my head above water' re benefits.  Made a lot of money before the stroke, and miss the high powered life sometimes, don't you?  

Peace Carole

'Over There'

Starting over, in this time

When I look at you, it is plain

To see we should take a 

Chance and drive away.

Begin somewhere else

Somewhere with sea and sand

As I take your hand

I see tears in your eyes

It is obvious that we have to go

Because you and I both know

That things are not safe here

My dear, we have to leave now

There is a bus to catch at ten

We can be with our friends

And watch the world burning

Behind us.



Hi Carole,

28 is no age at all, not even had time to blossom. You've nearly lived as long as post stroke as you did before.

I'm 55 in January. I was 46 when I had my stroke. A most abstract experience. Thought I just had a bit of a knot in my shoulder, then I fell over, luckily I feel on the bed, even then I just thought it was a a bit odd. It was only when I felt a bit sicky, I thought I better make it to the loo, that was when I found things really weird. Mrs wasn't too impressed as I burst through the door and collapsed hugging the toilet.

It was strange, the ambulance crew were the same as attended a couple of months earlier when the Mrs collapsed in the shower, she was to about the same point when I interrupted, shampoo, drowned rat stage, as she was when the crew attended previously, not a happy bunny!

The rest was like everything in fast motion. I can remember the consultant standing over me, his face right over my face, I probably would have thumped him if my arm could have moved! He went through my options, ha ha, risk it or risk it!

I thought, a couple of weeks I'd be up and running. That wasn't to be. My recovery stopped at about three months. Who knows why?

I miss my old job, I was the Lead Nurse, Violence Reduction Specialist, and most of my job was assessing risk, management plans, and training all staff from consultants down to domestics. I loved it, I had the power to change how services operated, to reduce flash points, reduce conflict on the wards, and improve safety. And I got paid to do my dream.

I also taught martial arts.

I miss the crack, the camaraderie, and the I suppose the fact that no one in the Trust could question my expertise, not the directors, the legal team, managers etc. I was the only one who was expert in that area.

The old saying, look after people on your way up, because they won't be there when you crash, couldn't be truer.

When I was in hospital, yes I had directors from my Trust and the Trust from the hospital visit, the nurses thought I must be some sort of VIP, some were even a little jittery when they had to treat me. I broke that illusion when I was compus mentus enough.

But when Of Health started saying I wouldn't be fit to return in any role, it got very lonely except for the union.

How the mighty fall! Yes the NHS are good with the pension, but it was only because they classed me as being unemployable. I was 8yrs off of qualifying for my full pension, but because of how I was classed, they made up the years. Unfortunately the DWP also class me as unemployable.

Then we had to sell the house when my sick pay ran out. That how in a strange way ended up in Northumberland. I didn't even know where the heck I was moving to. I thought maybe Midlands, Yorkshire? When I saw the angle of the north, the penny dropped. Been here for coming up 6yrs now, would do anything to move further south, but after the divorce I was left with the house. Sounds good, but it is a bit of a millstone, needs nearly everything done before I can sell it. Did cost me a mothballed print pension in the divorce. That I could have drawn next year, easy come easy go, what I haven't had, I won't miss.

I enjoyed your poem, keep writing them, it only takes one to be discovered.

It's a shame about driving, have you ever thought of trying to get your license back, I know you can be assessed by DVLC.

I'm far from looking for a full on relationship. I miss sharing, the companionship, not that there was much before the Mrs left. One day maybe, if the stars align?

I've worn glasses for years, used to only be for driving, but then I found when I responded to alarms, I couldn't work out who were patients and who were staff. Used to have the super bendy glasses, saved them getting broken in restraints. Could do with them now the amount I have broken falling asleep while wearing them.

I still drive, but not long distance, had to have a steering adaption with my current car, one of my dogs near ripped my arm off, not his fault, just a freak accident, but it has left some restriction.

Have any of your CDs been released? I'd like to hear one sometime.

Well I can write for Britain, shame I can't talk like it.

Peace and good health Carole Namaste ?

Jeez Ian, what a story!  I agree, am still v v angry my stroke happened right in the   middle of an excellent legal career and marriage!  Like you, had worked hard to get to where I wanted, and was in charge of a few people, also paid a lot too. I loved Mark loads, and most of our marriage was great and loving.  

Unfortunately, on 29 January 1993, I was happily on my way to another Star Trek convention. Had a lot of friends there, and was due to meet Jimmy Doohan ('Scotty').  He ended up sending me a signed photo, teddy and announced what had happened to all.  They applauded and sighed, have it all on DVD and it touches me deeply. All the way walking to Westgate Train Station in Wakefield (up a hill from our house), I felt strange.  Disregarding it as excitement for the looming event, I posted 2 letters before reaching the station.  Walked up the stairs to the bridge taking me to Platform 2.  Once there, I felt soooo woozy and odd.  Nobody was around (as all the workers had gone to work by then), though I spied a lady walking down to Platform 2.  I screamed out 'Excuse me, can you help me please?'  Felt like WW3 was going on inside my skull, by that time, then there was an almighty BOOM (later found out that was the piece of tumour hitting my brain).  Thank God, she did, because I collapsed by the time she reached me.  A railway guard was soon with me too, and another guard telephoned an ambulance.  I owe those 3 my life, and would love to meet them now.  My lovely boss, John (a Solicitor), kept my job open that entire year I was in hospital incidentally.  Mark stole that cash (as I was in hospital) grrrr!  I got all the contents from our home (perfect for my own flat), but HE kept the house.  I was in no fit state to argue, just wanted to get home to my parents.

Pinderfields Hospital is literally 5 mins away from Westgate, in a fast ambulance. Was in a coma (was given the w/e to live)  My parents and many friends all met at the hospital apparently, including my ex)  Awoke, but couldn't move or speak. Ended up spending a year there, had to go to Leeds Teaching Hospital in April for a massive open heart surgery (an unknown tumour was discovered on my heart and a piece had broken off and hit my brain causing the stroke, had to get it removed as it would have killed me otherwise - approx 17 doctors were looking at my scan and I was petrified as I knew something was really wrong BUT COULDN'T TALK THEN, plus was given a total blood transfusion to 'wash' out my body.  That tumour was apparently pickled, and is now kept in Leeds Hospital, as it is a teaching one.

That is when Mark told me he 'couldn't take any more' - how the eff does he think how I felt???? Was still in a w/c, v weak and couldn't speak.  Even spat in my face!!!  Was destroyed mentally.  My friends were absolutely amazing, and still are. Returned to my native Scotland, and moved into an adapted flat where I still am.  Neighbours are all lovely and helpful, as nobody else is disabled.

Had a benign brain tumour a few years ago, but drugs helped.  Broke my hip in April, on the first day of my holiday grrrrr!  Now have 3 pins in my hip, and have mild osteoporosis.  Can talk again, but my voice isn't as strong as it was.  Still have a brilliant sense of fun, love of music, and adore 'Star Trek'!!!!  Was suicidal for a time, and have come through a very dark tunnel regarding my feelings.  Can't believe I'm still alive, but feel I'm cursed sometimes.  My brilliant Dad sadly passed in 2011.  My childhood sweetheart (Billy) whom I reunited with suddenly passed too in 2013.  Both of them were fantastic helps to me, and I miss them dreadfully.  Was crushed mentally yet again by losing one, then another............

Have done lots of voluntary work or courses.  Rejoined Chest,Heart & Stroke Association, and will find out on Monday in which context, as would like to help?  Although he changed a lot, I now don't regret being married to Mark.  (When I was young, beautiful and able LOL!)  Am simply sad about how we ended.  Miss Billy more than anything, and am delighted we met again, as was he!  I have tons of health experience, which I'd rather not have because disability was my worst nightmare!  It's amazing that I am still sane haha!

Good for you Ian, and stay well.  Thanks.  Peace Carole 


Just wanted to tell you about a freak fall I've just had.  Was getting a tangerine out of the fridge, after my lunch.  Next minute I was swinging on the kitchen door, and the only thing stopping me falling WAS MY HEAD!!!!  Was screaming, but what else could I do but help myself?  Somehow I got onto my knees, I could have snapped my neck or ripped my head off!!!  Jeez, it was terrifying but I managed eventually.  Broke my heart crying for ages, though am fine now and bloody thankful yet again that I'm OK phew!!!

Hope all is well, and sorry to bother you. Peace Carole?

Blimey girl, thought I could write..... You win on that one ?.

Sounds like you went through the mill and back. 

Till death us do part, in sickness and in health, for better know. They don't give you a list of caviates, I do unless should be included.

I was put through the ringer before my stroke, could never get home on time, no one told me what time that was meant to be, although I technically worked 9-5, it wasn't the sort of job you could fit into 9-5, not if you wanted to be the best, and I was at the time. Preparation made sure I was best. Never could follow the five Ps, poor performance wasn't an option when you effect people's lives. I was the same on the ward, so I don't know why it was such a surprise when I moved to teaching.

She had the green eyed monster, I was in a role that every person in the Trust thought I was their best mate, she couldn't stand others talking about me, usually in good terms. Next I was seeing every female from domestics to consultants, irrespective of age or if they were married or otherwise engaged.

The stroke brought most of that to the end, except for my O.T. who got married while she was supporting me.

I didn't spend long in hospital, bed pressures cured me, or I was less ill than the woman that needed my space.

For a nursing assistant, my ex, didn't even attempt to understand what was happening, she refused carer's support, to her, you just dust yourself off and back to normal. But it never did get to what she believed was normal. I got her every bit of information I could, it all ended unread, in the bin.

I don't know if you found the same, when I told people my ex had left to "have a happy life", most people said how crawl she was, when I told them how she really was, most couldn't believe how long I'd lived with her let alone married.

I think that is a common theme with a stroke, fear, most bits can be repaired, replaced, or even lost with little trouble, well some maybe a problem, but your brain is who you are, and after you are different however well you recover.

Please try not to rip your head off, most unbecoming, and one heck of a mess to clean up!

Have you been checked out, it's not normal to have funny turns, why do we call them funny, they are anything but.

I've had a few spins of late, but I think that is down to my head not keeping up with the rest of me. Sometimes I can blame one of the dogs, they never answer back, usually just sit there wagging their tail.

And never worry about bothering me, wish I'd known sooner, but this portal doesn't let you know if you have a message unless you log in.

Hope you are not going to have any more turns, I'll have to check in more often to see how you are.

Take care, namaste ?

Thanks and quite a story of yours too!  My ex was/is a Social Worker, so thought he would support and help me.  Not to be, I'm afraid.  Pig left me whilst I was in hospital.  His loss haha!  Made me into the independent woman that I am now!

Have joined Plenty of Fish today, just really for guys to chat to.  Am content on my own = no hassles!  (Except had nobody to help me last week, when I fell...) Have no choice, after darling Billy passed. What will be, will be, I guess......?

Thankfully, am still here following that terrible fall last Thursday = eek!  Would have made a horrible mess, I agree. Doesn't bear thinking about.  Stay well.  Peace Carole 

Hi Carole,

It sounds like your ex was a real gent, I know how I would have acted, and in fact did act when the shoe was on the other foot. I suppose I have adopted the thought of it like a rebirth, one day I was me, the next version mark ll. I wish she had buggered off sooner with hindsight, but hindsight is a luxury. It's funny, I was talking to a contract on the internet, he does a lot about mental health, and said that at last I am at peace and hassle free. It's a lovely feeling.

You have joined Plenty of Fish, hope you don't find a kipper. I don't understand these dating sites. I'd guess that they can be a bit like the TV ads, but I know people that have found their match.

I missed the treky connection before, I don't know how, because I did know I had read it. I used to like Star Trek the original series, but it's strange now looking at Kirk and co these days, it's a bit like seeing it with different eye's. I remember each episode as daring and exciting,  but now they seem so dated. Before my stroke I liked the spin off series, along with Star Gate etc. I think since I haven't got the imagination you need to watch them.

The TV is on most of the time, not that I really watch it, but it's voices and kills the silence. I can't concentrate on programmes, and find there are bits I completely miss, so can often sit here and wonder what the heck is going on?

I got my new nashers today, they are going to take some getting used to, had to wait four years to get them. Haven't tested them on food, but I have found it damn nye impossible to swallow tablets, and drinking for some reason is a bit hit and miss, mainly miss at the moment. The dentist did say that they will take some time for my mouth to get used to them. Me, I think I need to learn how how to swallow paracetamol quick smart, as it feels like I've been chewing pebbles.

Well I wish you luck with the fishing. Think I'll leave it there for the night.

Wishing you well, Namaste ??

Hi Ian

My ex was an absolute pig, in the end.  Wish I'd buggered off while I was still able, instead of suffering like I did.  There's a lot to be said about mental health, correct.  Being hassle free is fantastic.  When something major happens, you find out your true friends/family.  What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, they say.  Like you, I don't stand for any rubbish now.

Known Alex almost a week now, and he seems nice and understanding.  You can never tell though, so am being v v careful.  Haven't swapped mobile numbers or email addresses yet.  Maybe never will?  Dunno.  We both love Xmas, so might have a festive fling if nothing else?  Who knows?

Am still a major Trek fan.  It might seem dated now, but that sense of wonder never left me.  Adore all sci fi.  Loving Netflix, when I am indoors.  Usual TV/adverts do my head in although some mainsteam TV is good, like 'War of the Worlds' on BBC1.

How are the new teeth?  Hope you are getting on better with them now. Chewing pebbles doesn't sound a nice sensation = eek!

Have a few lunches out with various friends and family in the run up to Xmas, as well as appointments.  Will be alone again Xmas Day, but quite like that now.  Safe and warm inside!!!  Not been the same since Dad passed .  Mum and Aunt go away, and sis spends it with her own family.  Meanwhile, I am left and hated it for years, felt ignored.  Still do, but try to make the most of things.  What are you doing?

Peace and stay well - Carole



It's strange when there is any challenge, you soon find out your friends and foes.

Mental health is something that I used to work with, it was other people. Now I take more pills than I used to dish out to patients ?

Hassle free is great, but does become too comfortable, think I am getting too comfortable, almost avoid the world, seems too peopley. I don't mind if I can do some good.

Thanks for asking about the teeth, they're still a work in progress. I'm trying to work out how to eat with the buggers. Think they need some fine tuning.

Is Alex near to you? You are right to be careful. On the internet we can paint a picture of whatever we want others to see.

I did meet a lass that I started to chat with, ex copper, she was exactly how she portrayed, if not a bit more magnified. She had a brain injury from work, but it seemed to turn on the super positive switch. I believe in positive attitude, but, when full on, it is a tad grinding.

I used to like sci-fi, I don't know if it is part of my brain damage, or the damage years of abuse, but I find it difficult to watch now, but then a lot of fiction I find difficult. I wanted to watch War of the Worlds, but I think I was scared by the black and white version I watched as a kid, the eye working around the house, looking, behind the sofa moment!

I'm watching His Dark Magic, I might have got the name wrong?

Spent the day wrapping presents today, why the heck I didn't sit down to do it, I don't know, apart I didn't think about it until after. Got one set boxed up ready to go off to my brother. Ran out of steam after wrapping my nephew's lot, maybe later or tomorrow.

I've spent most Christmases on my tod from being a kid, used to always volunteer for the Christmas shifts when working. Got me out of New Year, first year in the NHS I worked New Year, I swore I would never work another. Soul destroying, seemed like everyone was celebrating, there I was, on my tod trying to get two autistic men to settle down and stop screaming in a community flat.

Already got my Christmas dinner sorted, so if I'm lucky, I'll get it cooked before bed.

I used to feel ignored, well I was as a kid, mum passed when I was young. Dad started a new life, and my brother always had something on.

Now it is normal. So it'll be me the dogs, four goldfish, and a dragon (bearded). I might go for a beer Christmas Eve down the club. I would hunt out somewhere a bit more lively, but I can't walk far enough ?

You be careful re Alex, if you do meet up, make sure someone knows the plan, and the rescue plan, blimey I sound like an old codger. Well you know.

Take care, catch up soon - Ian x

I found in my early days of stroke recovery that I had to be very careful of what I watched on TV. Anything threatening or violent had to be avoided.


Hi Ian

You sure do find out who your true friends when there is v v bad news/a crisis.  Mental health is really interesting.  I trained (partially) as a counsellor, but Dad sadly passed half way through my training.  Don't miss it though, as it was tough.

True, hassle free is fab, but I also think I'm getting too comfortable.  Love making people happy though.  Like buying chocolates for the postmen etc at Xmas!  Best of luck with the teeth too!

Alex disappeared, but am back in touch with an old 'flame' (still haven't met).  Andrew and I hope to meet before Xmas?  No worries, if not haha!  Plan to go to a public place where I am well known, let my pal Ruby know plans and get a taxi there and back ALONE.  Initially anyway.  Thinking positively is a plus, though you have to be careful to begin with.  Brain injuries are a horrible thing.  Thankfully, mine only affects balance.

You meant His Dark Materials.  It's pretty good as well.  Well done you with the Xmas gifts!  Almost finished mine too.  Yeah, it must have been rotten seeing and hearing others have fun.  Terrible too about your poor Mum etc.  Xmas is really for kids, isn't it?  A pint on Xmas Eve sounds excellent though.  We just have to make the best of things.  Will message you over Xmas.

Promise to be careful re Andrew now, thanks!  Been epals for almost a year, just haven't met yet sadly, but we're both keen! Turns out he played Dad's bowling team in the 90s - sadly not Dad though it's still pretty amazing given that we're not THAT close re mileage!   He lives just outside Edinburgh, and I'm just outside Glasgow, so we're pretty close geographically!  Andrew is really busy with his job (he's a driver for a building firm), and grandkids.  He's 58, and I'm 55.

Be well and stay good.  Peace Carole x 

Diegh, there were so many things that I found confusing, distressing, just plain annoying in the early days, but that was nearly nine years ago.

As my ex wife said it was like I was one person one day and another the next.

I prefer mark l & mark ll. 

Mark l was full of energy, although I'd deny it, ambitious, very well respected by my peers and seniors.

Mark ll, was quickly forgotten, and the imbalances I was left with soon became apparent. I can reflect on some of it now as just my brain trying to make sense of the world and my place in it, but because of where the damage had occurred, most of the thoughts were getting lost, getting garbled. This was the most distressing symptom. Twenty four hours a day for months, about nine. Couldn't sleep properly, the odd cat nap.

With meds, eventually this all settled down, but I was left with some cognitive impairment, which lead to mobility difficulties.

Then I moved from the south to the north. The GP thinking I was on too much meds tried to reduce them. He soon found that he was out of his depths, and an urgent referral to the neuro service followed, they stabilised me again.

But I will never be mark l again, not sure that is overall a bad thing, it's just different.

Everyone changes over time, I just did it a bit quicker.

I know what frustrates me, I can't say what I enjoy. Much of the funny programme's, I don't find funny. I don't get humour as in joke's, I am happy in myself, and am at peace.



Hi Carole,

I trained to be a registered nurse, mental health, and studied further to be a violence reduction specialist. I'm sorry that you didn't complete your training, but I can understand why.

Counseling is difficult, you really need to be well grounded.

Yep Christmas is sorted. I do try to get people what will make them happy. Have to aim at Christmas, birthdays are no chance of me getting them right even though I have them on my phone callender, haven't worked out the optimal time in advance for me to remember and actually act on them.

Thought of his Dark Material, as it came on last night, but at least you knew what I meant.

I wish you luck with Andrew, at least you know him, even if from the past. Alex, ah, he isn't worth thinking about.

I hope you find the balance you are looking for.

Take care, have fun, Namaste ?

That mail I sent was incomplete, Urgent local happennings dragged me away from completion! To continue.....I find my heightened emotions after five years  still a bit precarious, to watch anything serious or dramatic still brings feelings of distress and tears seem not too far away. Violence I take almost personal so it is better that I turn a blind eye to a lot of things. I find amusing things much more funny than I used to, I've always had a great sense of humour but my wife will tell you that I laugh out loud a lot more than I used to.

I find after this time I'm coping with most things pretty well, bladder problems seem to be under control and choking with food intake does not occur any more. I walk and exercise regularly and even ran for a few yards once in a sudden storm! I handle dealing with road crossings and small crowds quite comfortably. Big crowds have to be avoided. I've got back to playing guitar and keyboards but there is no way I will be anything as good as I was.

My two worst problems are sleep pattterns, which are easily disrupted despite all the tricks I get up to try and smooth out......and my speech, which despite daily reading aloud sessions and continual practice at awkward words like 'Rural' is not showing the progress I'd like. I can make myself understood but the flow is easily broken and to try and tell a joke is funny in itself.

Crosswords that I used to take in my stride now can completely flummox me and my handwriting is clumsy. I continue with both these things despite the handicaps.


Hi Diegh.

Nearly nine years on I find my emotions are a little more problematic. It was partially due to depression. That took about seven years to get on top of. Now I have spent the last two years getting used to feeling emotions.

Double inconvenience is a pain, I get by for most of the time, I don't always know that something has leaked, but I do get the oops moments.

Walking has steadily declined, no rhyme or reason, that really does get me, I was hardly Mr Fit, but I taught physical restraint most days and taught martial arts. That is a bit of an anomaly, if there is a physical threat, then for the duration, all my physical problems seem to take a break, but after it is like I've done a few marathons back to back, and I'm near crippled.

It's good you are getting back to music.

I used to hate people approaching from behind, I used to be hypervidulent, that I had to work hard on, as the speed I could walk, meant that most people would overtake, and in the early days there were a few close calls.

I can't tolerate children throwing a tantrum, the high pitched screams, I have to bite my lip, or it is like an attack of tourettes. Supermarkets are difficult. Too much everything.

Choice, don't give me choice, I can't cope with choice.

I have problems with word finding at times, most of the time I can substitute words to keep a flow, but I now have a stammer. One of the hardest word's, and I have used this word numerous times in life, and that is my surname, I just can never say it without getting stuck. Surprising how many times I need to say my name.

Can't sign my name how I used to unless I am stressed. All my jobs I have had to keep detailed records, until the computer took over I always used a joined up capital font when hand writing because it was always clear, now writing has a life of its own, joined up, baby, capital. Sometimes I can even read it ?

Sleep after the initial nine months of sleep deprivation, has been until recently been ok, I've had to change one of my meds to a different formula, same med, just different rate of delivery, I now know why I was taken off that formula, sleep is slipping. But if what I should have is unavailable, then it is what is the worst devil. I never want to go back to how I was.

Well I suppose we all belong to a club that no one wants to join, and like everyone we all have our individual querks.

Keep up the music. Be kind to yourself and others.

Take care, Ian.

Thats quite a list of problems you are tackling there! One of the best things about airing them on a stroke site is that others read them and can compare with their own handicaps. Sometimes they can come up with answers that you havn't considered previously.

The enormous range of problems a stroke can produce is remarkable. It took me about six months to find all my shortcomings and even now after five years, others are rearing their ugly heads.

Enjoy Xmas