We accept that a stroke messes around with the brain and after 8 years of working out how to cope with the disadvantages I have to admit that there were some gains the stroke gave me. Firstly is my loss of tinnitus. This I had had since I was very young and had got used to its presence despite having music as my main hobby. It was some time after the stroke hit that I realised it had gone, and it has not returned.

The second thing was headaches, again something I had regularly since about seven years old. It developed into raging migraine between twenty and forty and after that just became a fairly regular visitor easily controlled with aspirin. Suddenly a few months ago I realised I’d not had one since before the stroke. I do get the odd tightness around the eyes which I accept is the nearest to an actual headache, but no throbbing headaches at all.

To eat a bar of nut chocolate was to invite mouth ulcers within minutes, now I can tuck into chocolate without problems. This may or may no have been the result of the stroke but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

One thing I’ve never discussed before but am interested in finding others experiences with is the regular problem with reminiscences. If my brain finds itself not being used it is likely to run back and bring up one of the many uncomfortable experiences I have faced in my life. Times when I’ve been wronged or cheated or put in a difficult position plus regrets for the mistakes I’ve made (and believe me there have been plenty!). Initially I tried laughing at them realising I’d outlived the other people involved. This didn’t work and I’ve just settled for riding through them again and waiting for them to go away. It would be interesting to find if this was common to stroke survivors or just age on its own. The problem has eased as time wears on, but you would be surprised on some of the petty things my brain is throwing at me nowadays now that all the major ones have been faced.


Hello @Deigh, when I have insomnia, I always hope one of your posts will pop up because of your timezone difference. I have a little mantra when these thoughts pop into my mind, and that is, ‘intrusive thought, intrusive thought’. Sometimes, my internal monologue has to say to itself, ‘think of something comfortable and pleasant’. I don’t know if they are specific to stroke or age. I had them before my stroke and still have them now. As long as you are not ruminating on them, I suspect they are natural to most people but not something people tend to express happens to them. The difference, I guess, now is that if I let it, my brain will fix these moments into my memory stream, so it is a good idea to push them out until they get lost somewhere deep and dark in the hippocampus, never to resurface again, and only lovely thoughts intrude.

Glad to hear that others have the same problem, I tried initially laughing at them, that didnt work so next I tried argument, facing the problem outright and trying to justify my actions. I also tried practicing getting the last word in. This also was a failure, I always think of the final last word ten minutes after an argument!
The only trick I have left is to let the thoughts ride, they generally fade into the background after a few minutes and I can replace them with pleasant memories. It would be good to find a way to stop them completely but to not have them having a lasting affect on my life is enough.
One of the most annoying thing is that I have a lousy memory and its a pity I cant use this recall on my music, where I have to have a sheet up in front of me to remember the chord sequence!

Just to ride the time difference, I am sweltering in 29C temperatures and having to leave front and back doors open overnight to get some cooling draught through, while you are probably measuring the length of icicles hanging outside your window. I am also a member of a USA based stroke forum and like you they are in the grasp of winter. So at the moment I can moan at the excessive heat on that forum too.

When I was living in Melbourne @Deigh, temperatures reached 40c, for weeks. It became endless summers which got a little tiresome for my tastes, I needed variety, seasons actually. New Zealand is lovely, my sister lived in Wellington for a period, and my eldest son may be moving there. My father lives in Queensland (subtropical), and would never return to the UK as he detests the cold, he’s 84. I, however, do like a chill, but I more so enjoy the seasons, and also rain (positive irons). I am odd no doubt.

I visited Auckland once, and gave a talk on digital AR at Auckland University. It was lovely. I drank in the Father Ted pub and met some wonderful people.

Have visited Melbourne and Sydney a couple of times, found the temp too hot for me and also had trouble with OZ hotel airconditioning which in both cases gave me a streaming light flu. NZ suits me fine temperature wise, I was a keen fly fisherman and the cooler mid island is only a three hour drive away and full of trout. Think the ‘Father Ted’ pub is still going strong but nothing matches the British pub scene.
Some years ago we celebrated an anniversary with a world trip, just couldn’t wait to slip into a pub and try the beer again…but Yuk! it tasted terrible! Had got so used to the sweeter and easily drinkable chilled brews of this part of the world! The whisky was unchanged though.
I dont miss the English rain, we prabably get more here but it rains and goes away, nothing to match the four day drizzle an English summer can put out. We have four seasons here but last year donated the English greatcoat I wore here on an aircraft nearly sixty years ago. It had one small moth hole in a sleeve but otherwise looked like it came out of the shop brand new. I’d only worn it twice a year since that day.