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Stroke Survivor - male
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About PaulNash

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    Associate Mentor
  • Birthday 05/18/1958

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  1. PaulNash

    I try to get as much exercise as I can; it usually lifts my mood enough to make life bearable. Unfortunately, when I get down, I start to lose the motivation, and so downward spiral until I give myself a serious slap.
  2. I have a note to look him up, have not had a chance yet. Life gets hectic, and my stamina is pretty low.
  3. PaulNash

    Thank you Heather. Just watched his broadcast; very moving and hits the nail fair and square on the head. Unfortunately, bigotry is all to easy, but even so, I cannot understand what drives people to do things like this.
  4. Hey Ed I try to focus on what is happening now, rather than what will or might happen in the future. I'm not that good at it, mind you, but I have realized that it's really easy to imagine a bleak future and forgot that things are OK now. That has been part of my social problem over the past year or two. I have been making a concerted effort to focus on the moment (how good things are right now, not how bad things might be in 10 minutes). People are bad at that; we've evolved to anticipate bad things and figure out how to deal with them, which is not always good.
  5. PaulNash

    Any exercise beats none. Even just walking round the block, pull-ups. light weights. Whatever limbs still work. It's good metabolically and makes all the difference for mood. I can't do what I did before, but I do what I can
  6. PaulNash

    This is absolutely tragic. My heart goes out to all the family and friends of those killed or injured, and to the survivors. It must share them to their very core.
  7. PaulNash

    Heather, that's what we did when I was a conscript many many years ago -- backpack and webbing filled with wet sand, then off for a 5 mike run. A really brutal way to get the us fit.
  8. To continue the thread hijack (because that's how conversations flow ...) Ed, I hear you and I feel for you. I'm in a similar position (details are different, but was the go-to person for anything that needed doing, understanding or fixing). I won't go into the litany of issues, just they are similar. Stroke was January 2016. I'm physically able but cognitively and visually impaired. I've only recently turned a corner, and understand that my family understand the struggle that I have day-today, still love me, still respect me, still rely on my but in different ways from before. I used to be the family historian (remembered everything in excruciating detail), now I can't remember a list of three things if I have to fetch them from the basement. But I am still a husband and a father, I still love and am loved. I am still learning this, and there are times (a lot of times) when I forget this. Your son may play ball with others now (this would probably have happened anyway), but you are still his father. And you are still alive. You have another role in his life now, which is to show him that however bad things may get (and he will understand that things are difficult and get more difficult at times), it is possible to persevere. Failing is NOT a problem. No longer being able to do things (drive fast, play ball, fix stuff) is NOT a problem. Giving up IS a problem. Depression, anxiety, irritability, even despair are all normal reactions to stroke (according to my health team). Being able to keep going is not always easy, but is the best lesson that you can give your son. He will admire, respect and love you all the more for the way you deal with adversity. Keep reminding yourself of this, and come here whenever you need a shoulder to cry on, or need to vent, or need advice. This is my home whenever I feel depressed (a LOT of the time), and it always cheers me up. You have our love and support (and, I am sure, that of your family)
  9. PaulNash

    Hugs from me too. Kitty hugs sound like a great idea.
  10. Hi Tracy, I can relate to your reaction to the Medicare letter. I keep waiting for the next disaster to strike, and stress out every time I get a bank statement or any sort of contact from my disability insurance. I guess it is natural -- once one life-changing disaster has hit you out of the blue, you know that it can happen, and worry about whether and when it will happen again. No magic wand, but I understand and I feel for you.
  11. Hi Janelle Thanks for the sage words. I have started to come to much the same conclusion, and I think that that acceptance it is helping. I'm looking long and hard and coldly at who I now am, what I can do, and I am grieving the person that is lost. So be it. And, of course, these things take time. My 3-year anniversary was a few months back, which has hit us both. I've found that it's easier for me to talk to Linda when I am honest with myself. I still feel like crap much of the time, but I allow myself to. I'm still bad at being a husband, partner, soul-mate, friend, whatever, but I am starting to be less guilty and defensive, which improves how I relate to her, and she is starting to respond to that. I have never been good at accepting things as they are. It's what made me a great engineer -- I would always find a way to improve things, fix things, create something better. Which has shaped how I have been trying to deal with the effects of the stroke. Now that I am starting to accept the new me, I am also starting to feel less depressed (but still down there a lot of the time), be more open, and generally a better person. It's not that easy, but it does take a load off, and lets me start to look outwards rather than inward. I just hope that I can sustain this path. I am planning to do whatever I can to sustain it. I've also just read an interesting book that has helped with this path: Mark Manson's "Subtle Art of Not Giving a *beep*". He takes a while to get to his ultimate message, which is to focus on listening to, and accepting, the people who are important to you, and making sure that you are important to yourself. He bases this on his own life experiences and discovering Stoic philosophy (which does not mean "just suck it up"). A lot of the book rambles through his life history and all the things that went wrong; the meat at the end was really worthwhile, though, and has given me new hope and a shift in direction. I need to re-read and keep re-reading.
  12. Hi Ed I feel for you, want to make you feel better somehow. All I can say is that moods ebb and flow, doctors are not always right, and things change over time. I hope and pray that things (and especially mood) pick up for you quickly. Grief is natural, and takes time, and you have lost someone who is really important in your life -- a part of yourself. I tend to wallow in it. Let myself go, feel really bad, and just let it all wash over me; dig down so that it hurts more and more. This is probably just my personality, but after some time feeling more and more sorry for myself, I exhaust all the available misery and start to come out of it, feeling paradoxically refreshed. Strokes suck. Well, more like blow goats. There is no getting any from it. Day-to-day, all that we can do is try to focus on what still works, but that misery is still there and needs to be heard. We're with you. Please keep pouring out how you feel -- it really does seem to help being able to cope. Now onto the upbeat part. I still see a significant change in my mood, my level of acceptance, and my cognitive function. Right now, I'm also on a downward path, although nothing material has really changed. Part of this is the weather -- after three months of significant snowstorms, with all the gloom and icy roads and being cooped up inside, *everyone* that I know in Toronto is gloomy to a greater or lesser extent. It sounds trite, but when the sun comes out and the weather warms up and the snow melts and our internal clocks adjust to the (RANT) ridiculously stupid bad no-good daylight saving, things will mostly improve. Some of it is acceptance. As I get used to the idea that this is what my life is now like, and as the people around me get used to it, things get better. Or maybe just less worse. It doesn't matter; the effect is the sane. As the summer starts to set in, and as I get used to the new times and start to get some sleep again, I know that things will improve a bit. Yes, I know that I will still have bad days, but they are at their worst right now. In the meantime, I cry for you.
  13. PaulNash

    Ohhh! That's terrible. I'm in tears just thinking about it. You poor thing.
  14. PaulNash

    I enjoy watching amateur hockey (here in Canada, you get "hockey" and "ball hockey") . The pro stuff is a bit too fast for me, although the junior leagues are impressive. I can sort-of skate, but I doubt that Linda would let me onto anything slippery. Field hockey is too violent for me; I used to play rugby at school in SA, where at least the ball was not solid.
  15. Nothing clever on my side, just a generic brain-fart. I'm slowly getting used to it 🙂. Family not so much ...