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Stroke Survivor - male
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About Deigh

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  • Birthday 10/31/1929

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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    Music, photography, campervanning, fishing, electronics, engineering
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  1. Pam, Thanks for some wonderful reading...both yours and the replies....I have recently had a 'reminiscence attack'. It was not in the same calibre as your green shorts but since these attacks are rare with me I'd like to share this one....I was walking through a local market last Saturday. The open marketeers sell fruit. vegetables, bright flashy clothing, wooden toys, plants, snake oil that will cure everything, new religions and just about everything else. I love these markets and am a regular visitor. Then I paused at a second hand bookstall and saw 'THE' book. It was by Keith Draper and his picture was on the front casting a fishing line. I stood transfixed for some minutes as a flood of memories flowed through me. Many years ago needing a break from business pressures I went to a fly fishing school run by him at Taupo. There were six others and we stayed at local motels. It was a magic week for me. The weather was perfect and he taught us all how to cast a fly rod, handle the equipment, read a river, choose the right fly for the conditions and we were lined up along a fishing river within two hours. He wandered from one to another caster showing him the finer points of the casting skills. He was incredibly knowledgeable, a good teacher and became a lifelong friend. We practiced and fished all the time, moving from one incredibly beautiful fishing possie to another. Standing in fast flowing water surrounded by bush, singing birds and biting sandflies. On the third day the incredible happened, I caught a trout and over the next few heart racing minutes had to learn how to handle it. The trout got away leaving me stunned, incredibly excited ....and MAD. After a break for meat pie lunch on the bank, I returned to the river again, this time armed with a net. An hour later a tug on my line told me it was happening again and for an exhilarating five minutes I worked the fish closer and closer and eventually into the net. I returned to the bank to the applause of the rest of the party to find how to mercifully kill the catch. I was on a high like I'd never experienced in my life before. Keith greeted me with congratulations and then said "That's the biggest mistake of you've ever made". Staggered and deflated, thinking I had done something wrong, I asked why.."Now," he said "You are hooked for life". He was right. Over the next twenty years I spent a fortune on equipment, spent hours learning how to tie flies, reading every book and magazine on the subject and every spare moment working out how to get back to the river again. Here I was standing transfixed by the bookstall for five minutes as a multitude of reminiscences flowed through me. I didn't buy the book, it would have been too painful to read, the stroke means I 'll never wear waders again or stand in a fast flowing river. I 'm not sure I could stand by a lake on firm ground and cast for a trout. If I caught one it would probably be stronger than me. The reminiscence was wonderful. Deigh
  2. I can fully appreciate this. In my third year of recovery I worked hard at getting the left hand going again. You will have experienced yourself how difficult this can be when just a six month rest period means starting all over again with the painful finger syndrome! My Ibanez GB20 had some unpleasant buzzes coming from the fingerboard and I purchased a set of special files to work on the faults in the frets. It was two years before I realised that the buzzes were being caused by my weakened fingers and not the frets! My right arm had suffered total loss of strength which took a lot of exercise to remedy, At the same time I had lost strength in my left arm too, probably 25% and this meant that all those years of finger skills had taken a hammering too. Once I had this knowledge of my problems I started to re-educate the fingers of that left hand too. I am now playing fairly well. Nothing like as good as I did before and there is no way I will ever sit on a bandstand again but at least I do get some satisfaction! Deigh
  3. Becky......... Beautifully put! Deigh
  4. I'm in my sixth year of recovery and just taking stock of the situation. From a completely dead right side I can now walk without a stick, up to about 2K without problems. Bladder problems are more-or-less under control with the odd mishap. Uncontrollable tears are unheard of now but care has still to be taken not to have a recurrence. Choking is a thing of the past as is foot-drop. My fingers cope with me playing guitar and keyboard again but nowhere near the level I'd achieved pre stroke. Other minor and major problems I had seem also to have either gone or have reduced enough not to interfere with my life too much. Despite a lot of work my speech has shown the least recovery factor. I can be understood as long as I don't panic but that's as far as I have got. I have found the chat rooms to be a great source of enjoyment. The reason is that I can have a conversation there and have my say among a bunch of intelligent people. To do this live would mean me working out exactly what to say and then waiting for an opportunity to say it, by which time the subject would have moved on! I found out by asking questions that most of the other devotees have the same problem as I! I'm a happy chatter! Deigh
  5. Deigh

    This is Justin, our 22year old grandson with his offroader. Connor's choice is excellent, keep the speed off road and there is more excitement! Deigh, *(Valerie shown in picture)
  6. Deigh

    I have little control over my sleep, by 9.30 at night I'm unable to concentrate and slope off to bed leaving my wife to watch reruns of the Antique Road Show . I am asleep within five minutes....but it doesn't always last long and I can be awake and taking another toilet run within the hour. If I'm fortunate I get 8 hours sleep with frequent toilet calls. For no apparent reason any one of those calls can result in my staying awake for ages. I have formulated a whole stack of tricks to get back to sleep. Sometimes non of them work and I'm forced through discomfort to rise. At the moment I'm following a pattern of waking about 5am and refusing to get up listen to my USB of jazz recordings. It is highly unlikely that this will let me return to the land of Nod but at least its resting. By lunchtime again I'm struggling to stay awake and a nap is essential. This can be anything from 15 minutes to over an hour, but it gives me enough energy to handle the rest of the day. Whilst writing this I'm not convinced the stroke is completely responsible, I live in a small community where most residents are pensioners. If I look out of my window any time of night I can be fairly sure that someone else's light will be on, indicating that they are awake too. It could be that age is also a factor. Deigh
  7. Three years ago when I got round to re- learning music I would look at a sheet of music and wonder what the dots meant! I knew they were important but exactly what they did was beyond me. Now I can read again but not with the speed I was capable of. Deigh
  8. Life can be tough........Have a thought about my trombone idea! did you get the Devil e-mail? Deigh
  9. You would be surprised how many people asked why I didn't change to playing left handed..................they obviously had no idea on what the left hand had to do! A trombonist is probably the only muso who could swop hands! Deigh
  10. Alan, If its any consolation to you, I once knew a pianist who only had a stump for a left hand. Incredible, isn't it:? You wouldn't know from the sound, it was only when I got close I saw the action. He kept up a stride movement hitting one key at a time. The result was more like a 'pub' pianist than a concert, but as we both know, it is the results that count, not how you get them! Good luck with playing. I've joined a Ukelele group just for the sake of being able to talk music. Deigh
  11. Deigh

    Mike, Just a quick word of welcome to you! Deigh
  12. It was fascinating reading all your reports about your strokes. My situation is different from most of you and I had several advantages. The first was my age of 83. This meant that I was drawing a pension and living in a country where hospitalisation was free and I didn't have to prove my right to it. (Surprisingly enough I was billed for the ambulance! because that is a private organisation!) The next advantage was that I am right handed and my stroke affected my right side so all the exercise equipment I needed for recovery was around me. The next advantage was that my family all had grown up and left home so I had no responsibilities like schooling or meals. We owned no pets, another freedom. The greatest advantage was my partner, we had been married 55 years and there was no likelihood of her leaving me for another. From the word GO she took over everything. Having lived with me for that length of time she was used to surprises and took this one in her stride. Unable to sleep, I spent the night trying to get words out. I was determined to say 'Good Morning' to the first nurse I met......It was a failure.....it came out as 'ruuemerospin' or something like that and I promptly burst into tears. The first high came when I found that I could actually walk unaided except for a Zimmer frame, this meant that my fear of a lifetime in a wheelchair was unfounded. Struggles with swallowing were short-lived and ultimately vanished altogether. My totally useless right arm started to improve quickly, before the ambulance had got to the hospital I found I could lift it to shoulder height and within two days I could actually offer a limp hand for a weak handshake. Automatic improvement stopped there and it took some months before I could touch thumb to each finger. Eventually I was able to get about 50% of my strength back and a lot of my flexibility. Now after 5 years I can drive and play the keyboard and guitar again, though very badly! What has changed in me is my attitude to other handicapped people. Pre-stroke I was terrified of people in wheelchairs. I cannot explain this, perhaps I had a bad experience with one in my infancy, but now I can approach them and offer conversation and help. Deigh
  13. Deigh

    Since it is eight years since your stroke you are doing well to continue to improve. There are a lot of people who believe that improvements will only happen for the first year. You and I are proving them wrong. Deigh
  14. Deigh

    You may be pussying around too much. It is not the occasion for horseplay or bull at a gate, but to be dogged is important. If things go wrong you must grin and bear it. Be like a mouse when the cat's away and play. Deigh
  15. Brilliant....Sums up the situation extremely well. Deigh