Putting Humpty-Dumpty back together

Hello wonderful people,
Here’s my latest thinking on my recovery.

I have much to rejoice about my progress, but there are shady unexplained moments. None is more perplexing than my famous “locked-glute” day (now known as “locked-glute / numb-calf” day). This alternates with a non locked-glute day. They alternate with absolute precision, like clockwork… and have been doing so for almost a year.

Well, recently I have been questioning the integrity of my brain, and have found some questionable tendencies going on. It all started with someone suggesting that faking a stroke could be a way to gain sympathy from others…the so called “Munchausen Syndrome”. Wait a minute, I thought. Could that be what I am doing, subconsciously? I feel what happens to me is possibly a construct of my mind to gain empathy / sympathy from my team / wife ? …and maybe my body has formed a habit of this, and follows this pattern like clockwork? So I am telling all, about it, rather like when you want to make a new years’ resolution official.

In the meantime, this friend who gave me this idea, believes I am so aware of this and question myself so carefully, that it can’t be artificial. Now, it may not be 100% my creation, but I have noticed that my brain can influence the pain of locked glute / numb calf. An after-lunch nap helped. A lesson I gave took my mind off. My mood certainly counts for something, and I have told my wife the my bad days are purely psycho-somatic and she is to give me no sympathy whatsoever. Nor do I want sympathy from anyone else, which is why I’ve “come-out” with this theory.

I know people’s minds are slightly out-of-whack after a stroke, and my mind is having trouble putting Humpty-Dumpty (me, of course) back together again !! I should make an official list of things that need fixing, but I’m afraid to compound my issue. Anyway, I am not asking the good Lord to heal me, but to grant me the clarity and objectivity, so I can have a fighting chance (which I maybe already have?) …arrrg…I’m overthinking…

All opinions deeply appreciated,
but please spare no sympathy,
Ciao, Roland


I read a book of Bertrand Russell essays a few years after stroke, and the next book I felt I needed to read was a Red Dwarf novel. :smile: We know that babies smile cutely, not because they are enjoying seeing you, but because they don’t want you to abandon them. This is instinctual stuff isn’t it? White hair is an hormonal consequence but it also is a white flag when danger is present. I don’t know where I am taking this reply to be honest, so I will ramble in the hope something I write might connect to your thoughts. My partner gave me very little sympathy, but I respected that is part of her personality, and I never expected it. She hated the year I shuffled. She told me she actually hated it, especially if she was stuck behind me. But that wasn’t psycho-somatic because no matter how much I wanted to take a full step, my brain refused. The mind is constantly playing tricks on itself, the National Geographic series, Brain Games, is a good series for harvesting some knowledge on the psychology and science of the brain in everyday action and thought. I should watch it again, because it has some good stuff in it, although the later episodes get a little too close to popular science for my liking.

Although, I do question whether the habit of this is not atypical to the stroke brain and could be something most people’s brains do in order to affect this, that and the other, perhaps? Funnily today, I was standing queue at the post office. It was a long wait, behind me was a dear old lady who looked to me to be a great age. I was in agony from the wait and felt like I was going to collapse at any minute, my left leg started to wobble, and my vision was horrendously off. When it was my turn, I kindly turned to the woman behind me and offered her my place. Well, I’ve never seen so sprightly and so seemingly fit a person of that assumed age dart over to the counter and get her business done. Meanwhile, I shuffled with cane in hand and barely made it to the counter, huffing and puffing. My brain assumed sympathy over a perceived condition of hers over my own. Once again, Roland, I have no idea where I am going with this and shall return to the topic once others have teased out the concept of it. :sweat_smile:


@pando @Rups

I think it is healthy and natural to question ourselves and examine our motivation.

Maybe as one stroked this is a process that helps when dealing with the whole thing.

This forum is a great place to attempt to sort it out, compare with one’s peers and even gain a little clarity sometimes.

I’m beginning to realise how much we rely on the brain to automatically manage our physical world and how much an able person takes it all for granted.


Aye, I find that having cognisance of what my brain is doing has been a fundamental part of making sure anxiety doesn’t have too much of a say in my day. I think it is worthwhile, encouraging the mind to do mental gymnastics.


I think there is something in the mind playing a part in helping / stalling our recovery if we allow it too. But not rely sure conscious this process is. We go from doing stuff without thought to having to think quite hard how to do stuff. Maybe we should think less and just go for it. I have tried this to a very limited extent but for me it never made a difference but maybe i didn’t try it long enough.

An interesting theory perhaps.


I truly believe that we have the power to, as @Mrs5K says, either stall or help recovery.

The difference between a positive or a negative mind set, does control the outcome, I am sure.

In my opinion it is something that applies to everyone, not just those with an ability problem.

Of course optimism alone does not make everything ‘turn out right’ the adage that you get out what you put in also seems to hold.

Nevertheless there are times when you can do no wrong, which get balanced, of course, by the times it is a problem to get anything right.

Here endeth this morning’s tutorial on Stroke Philosophy.

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smile: :+1:

I do like a toon!


Thank you Bobbi.

I stumbled across the answer last night. EUREKA !!!
Will write about it when I have time.

ciao, Roland

1 Like

@pando I look forward to reading your scribings.

I’m not sure how to deal with the image I now have of Pando sat stark naked in the bath shouting ‘Eureka’ while examining the depth of the bath water.

From Philosophy to Physics, only one small step . . .


Hi Roland

your hypothesis of munchausen’s syndrome is one possible but implausible explanation - I can guess where the seed came from - I think other writings reveal another possible and more plausible hypothesis; your locked glute is from the previous day’s exercise…

As others have said it is absolutely the case that state of mind will influence your recovery journey
State of mind being a combination of conscious and subconscious thoughts

However I’m now in danger of waffling so I’ll stop


1 Like

Thanks Simon,

but it has been going on for 10 months, don’t you think I would have tried that (over and over) in every variation ?

Well, now I have the proof that core strength is needed to relieve the leg. And I verified this on Wed, by releasing the glute on demand every time I engaged core. I could feel the mechanism inside my body. What is not so good are all the suggestions to work away at the leg; only the runners (several of them) stumbled across the solution… Shame on all the support groups, too. Sorry to say.

Have a great day, ciao, Roland


I have found that because of the rarity of cerebellar stroke that I had to search elsewhere from other conditions in order to fulfil my rehabilitation routine.


Can you give us one example, Rupert?

1 Like

Aye, I think one of the most standout examples would be auditory biofeedback which has been invaluable to me, usually, associated with postural control which isn’t what the physios seem to focus on with cerebellar stroke, all I got was a load of gaze stabilisation exercises, which are useful for some acquired conditions post cerebellar stroke, like nystagmus, but not much help with anything else.


Well you know you don’t get any sympathy from me :rofl: Only because I know what a fighter you are now :grin: So whenever I see a despondent post from you, I only ever attempt to surreptitiously attempt nudge you back on track. You don’t need sympathy, only encouragement on your bad days; we all have them from time to time :wink: