Once a year the Stroke Club I belong to gets together with four other clubs and we have morning tea with a guest speaker. Today instead we had a group survey as a charity fund has given a donation so that the Sydney based group can supply two coordinators to help the other groups extend their services. It is a great idea and addresses the problem of resource poor clubs going out of business for lack of new members. Our club is a flagship club as we have a lot of people sent to us by medical professionals.
I have been a member of WAGS since 2006 and still belong because I can support the other caregivers and survivors on their journey. I have some wonderful friends in that Club who have supported me in so many ways. The discussion group I was in all said that they didn't know how they would have survived as well as they had without the love and support they had received from fellow club members. I agree wholeheartedly. In the bad years being able to tell others exactly what was happening without fear of criticism made such a difference. We all need that, people who love us without wanting us to be perfect, or even rational at times.
I am so grateful now for friendship. Just to know that people love me or simply care about me makes such a difference. When I am not well, when I am looking at my life and not liking what I see in the future, when I am looking at the mud not the stars is when I need to know that I am accepted by people just as I am. I support others as much as I am able to, I have always had a great love of people, all kinds of people, and that keeps me going. Today I had lunch by myself in the shopping centre and just sitting watching families eating, laughing enjoying each other's company lifted my spirits.
My family do love me but their busy lives mean they don't support me day to day. I know that is typically the case for many others here, we are here, they all live some distance away. When Ray and I were both well and had the campervans there was no problem visiting family and friends but that decreased after his strokes. Now for me as a widow it is hard for me to decide to travel alone to see friends who are spread far and wide. And few come to see me. So it is easier to stick with local friends and leave those further away to be contacted by email or the occasional phone call which means we lose the closeness we once enjoyed.
I had some good news last week when I saw the Melanoma specialist, my PET scan showed no hot spots so that is one clear test.I need four to be fairly sure I am out of danger. One down, three to go. I do have several other health problems to tackle so my specialist is making me an appointment with a neurosurgeon to report on the aneurysm in my brain. She said now she has seen it in the MRI she must take the step of involving another health professional. That is another set of appointments to add to my calendar. But knowing what I do about stroke it is better safe than sorry.
I am doing a lot of hospital visits, people from the church as well as friends from the community. One of the members of another organisation I belong to has a brain tumour, another a broken shoulder from a fall. My special friend Lyn has been in hospital for four weeks from when his chemo caused his body to shut down. He is slowly recovering but three days on the floor without food or drink have taken their toll. That certainly is a warning to those of us who live alone to make sure others know what is happening to us. I am aware it could happen to me under certain circumstances. I am doing a short course called " Better Health Management" which emphasizes the need to keep fit and take care of ourselves. I know I need to exercise more and keep myself strong.
Spring is slowly advancing, sadly with no rain and most of the Inland in the grip of drought. A lot of our wheat, sheep and cattle farmers are in dire straits. Meat prices are rising and the cost of vegetables as they are sourced from distant markets. But I have a roof over my head and food on the table. Really we have little to complain of don't we? That is why we need to be thankful for what we have and mindful of the needs of others.