Staff - Stroke Support
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About HostSue

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  • Birthday 06/04/1947

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  1. Thanks girls, it is great to have positive feedback. Linnie I just looked up the Red Hat Society and there is a group quite close by now so I have sent an inquiry. It would be good to go out with a group of like minded women, I do need to make a move to join groups outside the ones I currently belong to. My life seems to be settling into a rut and new groups mean new inspiration. Pam, thanks for the nice comment. It is lonely for me being a widow but we all do the best we can with the hand we are dealt. I wish I knew what my time was supposed to be all about, I seem to lose the trail sometimes. I said that to my daughter tonight when she phoned ( we talk once a week) and she said: "just keep on doing what you are doing Mum and see what life turns into." and I guess that is as good a plan as any for me right now.
  2. when time stands still

    I had a funny phone call from a friend this morning. She and her husband had been to an Anzac Day Dawn Service. Somehow with all the items that needed to be plugged in at the Town Hall the power circuit blew and the town descended into darkness. An electrician was called in and finally fixed the power and the ceremony recommenced. But when she glanced up at the Town Hall clock it was slowly going backwards! Her husband is a clockmaker so after a hasty breakfast he went to fix the clock. I won't go into details but apparently there is a switch that stops the hands when the power goes off but it had malfunctioned and the hands started winding backwards instead of forwards. I was taken by this story because it is so similar to our own stroke journey. Every time my Ray had a stroke our time started to wind backwards, back to hospital, back to the wheelchair, back to therapy. My time would be taken up by putting Ray through the recovery process and when we finally came back to our regular routine large chunks of time had passed and our friends had moved on without us again. I resented this somewhat but realised that it was our life now. We had some good times between the strokes and I look back on those happy memories now and appreciate what we were able to do. But I also regret some of the things we were not able to do, like the travelling we had planned and just normal things like attending the milestone parties (50,60,70) of our friends, the family engagements, weddings etc, a part of what would have been our normal life without the strokes. But for me the learning on the journey is what sustains me now. The ability to overcome obstacles and play down fears. As I write this jet planes are flying overhead, there will be many Anzac ceremonies today and with some of them there will be a fly past, an acknowledgement of what the Air Forces contributed to the various engagements, particularly in the Second World War. I don't attend the Dawn service these days, I had a lot of years attending with my children when they were Scouts, Guides, Venturers etc. I remember crisp and misty dawns, both in inland towns and on the Central Coast, the brilliant sunrises, the scuffling feet of the young, the servicemen at attention around the Cenotaph, the trumpets playing the Last Post. After breakfast we then watched the handful of veterans marching at 11am with school children, the Junior Red Cross and the various Scout groups making up the bulk of the march with, if we were lucky, the town band accompanying them, depending on where we lived. Now I watch the marches on television. Without that other person to want to be at the ceremonies I find myself unmotivated to attend. Unmotivated is what I am sometimes. I know now why elderly widows are not seen out and about. It takes an effort to go places that others take for granted. I go out because I have something I need to do, to socialise and to simply be where people are. During the last two weeks, which were school holidays, a lot of my neighbours were away for a week or so so not a lot of movement around my neighbourhood, not a lot of people going by on foot, except early in the morning when the dog walkers are out in force, really no-one to engage with. This is symbolic of the lead up to winter, the time when people will be more inside their homes and less out on the streets. I always find winter a problem as there is less socialising and more time spent indoors. Then it is a real effort to find someone to talk to so my chat group I have joined in the shopping centre will be a good place to go of a morning for coffee and a chat. I really need those places to go to meet people. As I will be 70 in June I do qualify as "elderly" now. I don't feel that way but when I look in the mirror I see this grey haired woman looking back at me. I could dye the hair but the face, the hands etc would still give my age away. I don't worry about the wrinkles, I have earned those but I do care about the creaking knees and other parts of my frame that do not work as well as they used to do. Like others I sit up, put my feet over the side of the bed and hope everything works for the day ahead. That is why we lump age and disability together as age brings it's own disabilities. And there is no winding time backwards from that. Keeping as fit as I can, eating healthy food, keeping my mind sharp ( I played Carnival Games on my Nintendo Wii this morning as a self-challenge) is what life is all about now. And just going out and about doing whatever seems right for me to do. Today it is gardening, tomorrow it will be visiting nursing homes etc. What I need is a routine with some flexibility so I can do other things if I want to. In two days time I will have lunch with my Adelaide grandchildren and their mother as they are up with their mother for the school holidays.. I usually see them once each school holidays, that is four times a year. It is not as often as I would like but it works to keep us in touch. Every time I see them I see changes in them, they are growing taller, talking about different things, they change slowly but to me seeing them only a few times a year it seems much faster. They do not show the interest in me they used to, I am just the Granma who lives on the Central Coast now. They are polite to me but not loving. I guess that is partly due to the modern way of life and there is not turning back from that. Maybe if they lived closer we would be more closely bonded but maybe not as family life is much different to what it was when I was young. I don't think my children realise how much I as a grandparent look forward to their visit, that glimpse of what the life ahead is for them as they grow up. I love them and miss them living close by as they once did. For us older folk who remember way back it is sad sometimes to realise that the majority of our good times are behind us now. That the way of life we once knew is fading and that the generations between the Wars have passed on. Today, as I looked at the veterans marching in Sydney on my television, it was obvious that many marched on behalf of others who were no longer able to march, parents, grandparents and even great grandparents in the case of younger children. That doesn't mean that the march had less meaning or that we shouldn't remember, just that we are getting further from the memories of the two World Wars now and the older folk marching are from later conflicts. I believe in making memorials, I just know that as time passes that they mean less to us. It is good to be aware of the history of our countries and the history of conflict is a part of that. Lest we forget.
  3. My allergies are mainly to lactose and palm oil and palm oil is in so many products. Luckily I seem to be able to eat all fruits and vegetables so that and small amounts of meat ( my doctor wants me on a low fat diet) seem to be what I mostly eat. I do have some trouble eating out but enjoy it so much as it is part of my social life. Often I sit and nurse a coffee while others eat muffins and cakes but that is okay as I am used to it after many years with the problem. Thank goodness for sour dough bread being easy to find now as that is one of the staples of my life.
  4. I think we have all been there, opened our mouths and said something that seems right to us but so wrong to someone else. I have got to the stage where I try to think before I speak but still manage to say the wrong thing sometimes. I have learned that no two strokes are the same, no two recoveries are the same so I like to ask people how they are doing and hope that whatever I say after that is appropriate. I know for me I have to keep on enjoying life as much as I can and participating in life despite the set backs that occur from time to time.
  5. Tracy, I have often written poems to clean up the dark thoughts in my mind. Sometimes I come across one and wonder how it all went. Life is sometimes hard and cruel and we do struggle to survive. Thank you for expressing this feeling for us in a way that speaks to our hearts..
  6. Must be very frustrating for you Susan but you have a fighting spirit and always seem to make the best of what you have got, Enjoy your Spring.
  7. Pam, you are a hero too. Heroes are humans who summon up the strength to make a superhuman effort. I see that in you.
  8. I always grow a lot of parsley, mint and chives, I mostly eat it just walking past the herb pots so it seldom gets as far as the dishes it is meant to improve! If you look around other gardens in your neighbourhood it gives you hints about what grows well in your area. I also buy a lot of my plants from market stalls I go for colour rather than form. The joy of a garden that is mostly in pots is you can regroup them whenever you get tired of the way they look. Hope you have someone to help you with the heavy lifting.
  9. I haven't written a blog report for a while, we seem to only be getting a couple of blogs a week now. I'd like to encourage those who haven't blogged for a while to do so. Thanks to all who do contribute a blog from time to time and a HUGE thank you to the handful of people who contribute regularly. Early in March Lin (lwisman) celebrated the 20th anniversary of her cerebral hemorrhage stroke, that is a good survival rate Lin and we are so glad you are still here. Pam (SassyBetsy) last blogged at the end of March, she tells of helping another lady with her makeup, "we all want to be pretty" is her comment at the end of the blog and that is so true. It's good you can help people Pam. George (GeorgeLesley) and his wife Lesley have Lesley's mother from New Zealand coming to live with them. She is 94 and wants to end her days with Lesley. They have plans to take her with them in their motorhome. You are a brave man George to travel with two women. Steve Mallory has put a link to his blog on the Blog list. His blogs are very interesting so do click on the link and go and read them. Tracy (tmciriani) has written a couple of blogs in the last six weeks. Tracy also posts comments on blog and is a great encouragement to others. I (hostsue) have written three blogs in the period. I hope some people find them interesting as I simply write about my life here in Australia. The last blog was about connecting with elizabethc, Elizabeth lives in Newcastle close to where my daughter lives and it was a real pleasure to catch up with her at last. Stockflyer has also updated his blog. It is about several subjects including his new neurologist. Thanks for updating us Stockflyer. Julie (thejule1) who used to be a regular on Caregiver Chat has written an update on her husband Larry. Among other things about how hard it is noticing that slow decline in your partner's health. Thanks Julie. ts4759 wrote his first blog for a while, about being bored. I am sure you will find plenty to keep you busy now Spring is here ts. Asha ( achandra) wrote about a car accident she had in early April in her new Suburu. No serious injuries to her family for which we are thankful Asha as we need you here. Keep on writing so we know you are okay and going on with your life. Dean (dreinke) has written a blog, the first for a while, he is holding down a full time job, writes a blog on another site which has had 1 million views and walks 10,000 steps a day, quite an achievement Dean. Kelli (ksmith) has lost focus and that makes blogging a challenge but she managed an update. Kelli has also had a lot of anxiety since her stroke. Thanks for making the effort Kelli, we really appreciate it. And most recently Strokewife has written a blog about a memory her hasband has of being surrounded by dragonflies, what she thought of as 10.000 angels. The memory was recalled when while they were dining out they saw a dragonfly hovering close by. it is good to have those happy memories. So if you read this and your name is not on the list get writing. Fred (fking) is posting on the blog community forum at the moment as he cannot access his blog. So you can read what he has to say as he posts there. Sue. .
  10. Julie, I was away when you wrote this so I didn't post a comment. I often think of you and Larry so i am glad you posted an update. I know what it is like to watch that slow decline. Better have as many good days as you can. (((hugs))) to you both.
  11. Fred, not a worry, we all have that problem from time to time. As long as you come on here that is what counts. Happy Easter,enjoy your Spring. We look forward to hearing from you again. Sue.
  12. Those moments are so precious, when our stroke affected partner suddenly returns to be the man he used to be. It happened with Ray and I a few times in our long journey together. i sure miss that man. Hope you have many such moments.
  13. I'm with you on the gardening. I have a lot of flowers and shrubs in pots (left over from when I used to move every three years) and a few hours in the garden quiets my mind. The thing with pots is that when I get bored I can move them around and redistribute colour and foliage. I also do handwork and at the moment am making Twiddle Muffs for the nursing home I visit. Always something to do to keep boredom at bay. Of course I am two handed so don't know what handwork you could do. I do know a lady who has only one hand which is usable and does tapestry on a frame. And there is always sitting in the sun and daydreaming.....
  14. Always " to blog". I have done such a lot of crying, rejoicing, learning and being taught by what others have written and commented on in the Blog Community. I can look back over so many years of blogging and laugh and cry at what I read in my own blogs, so many memories, over a decade of life events commented on now.. As well I get to read, enjoy and empathise with the blogs of others. Always "to blog".
  15. Steve, a good range of emoticons (Becky click on the smiley face above the message you are typing) although it takes me a while to look around and find all I need itis always good to have an update.