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Staff - Stroke Support
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About swilkinson

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    Blog Moderator
  • Birthday 06/04/1947

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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    New South Wales
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  1. swilkinson

    Routine is the way to go with dementia. What do we do when we get up? We have a shower, clean our teeth and get ready for breakfast and so on through the day. What do we do on Tuesdays? We put on clean clothes because it is the day we go to the shops and get our favourite beverage, with my Ray it was hot chocolate ( made cool so he didn't burn his mouth) and a muffin cut into quarters. What do we do on...days have to include a treat where possible as that is incentive. I looked after my husband for 13 years from 1999 when he had two major strokes four weeks apart which retired him and me to look after him. In 2006 he was diagnosed with vascular dementia caused by the number of strokes and the amount of brain cells lost. I discovered a whole new way of living life. It was hard at first but better after I retrained ME. No expectations, praise whenever he did anything out no matter what it was. You put your glass in the sink, great, thank you so much. Good ol' positive feedback. Know that once any skill has gone it is never coming back,even what is now you may lose after the next stroke. Ray had seven major strokes, minor ones with changes lasting either a few week or larger ones which gave him defecits that lasted the rest of his life in some cases. Nothing was the way it should be, the way it used to be or the way I wanted it to be but I loved him anyway. And for the past seven years I have missed him so much. Bless you for caring enough to look after your husband. Remember to look after yourself too. We caregivers are precious.
  2. swilkinson

    Water is the gift of life. Kev good neighbors like you are hard to find. That was a mighty good deed mate.
  3. swilkinson

    Stay home is the advice in Australia too, for the over 70s, the disabled and people with physical problems over 60, and anyone with a low immune system regardless of age. The idea is to keep the numbers of people going to hospital down so the staff have just Covid-19 to contend with. Unfortunately the timing is bad with the last of our summer days and the problem is bike tracks and beaches as well as shopping centres where people don't seem to think the same rules apply. They don't realise they may have no symptoms but still be carrying it back home to their old folk and others in the vulnerable groups.
  4. swilkinson

    I have been self isolating for three weeks now. I set myself three tasks a day, nothing big, cleaning out a drawer, pulling up some weeds in the garden, sorting photographs. I have a lot of fun sorting photographs as each one has a memory attached. I spend time on the Internet, Facebook, this site, several others I enjoy, I ring friends, even write letters, I am able to post them within walking distance of here. I enjoy sitting on my verandah and reading, having an afternoon nap, watching some mindless TV. I guess being a widow has made me less susceptible to loneliness. Who would have thought that would be a positive?
  5. swilkinson

    It is sad to see the Ruby Princess is sitting off the local beaches with her crews on board, some of whom are sick now. The ship is waiting for orders to go back to their home port or wherever the company sends them. It must be a very frustrating time for them all. I am so sorry this is happening to people who were so kind to me and my travelling companions.
  6. swilkinson

    The latest batch of blogs include reactions to the Corona virus. If you have an opinion why not start your own blog. Whatever you do at least read the most recent ones and comment on them where that is appropriate. Remember we are all in this together.
  7. swilkinson

    There isn't much we can do apart from self isolating. I am doing that because of a recent operation with following complications so I am on antibiotics. I have enough food etc for probably the next two weeks and will then have to go,out seeking more. Being 70+ I am in the endangered group but having faith in myself think if I wash my hands etc I will be fine. You take care of yourself and we'll both survive till the next Big Thing.
  8. swilkinson

    Hello from home.

    A month ago I was embarking on my cruise. I don't care what the world thinks of the Ruby Princess my heart goes out to the wonderful crew those who served us so well and cheerfully, courteously and compassionately. Thanks to the Captain who managed to get us into every scheduled port. And thanks to those passengers who helped my friend with dementia when she lost her way and asked them: "Have you seen Michael, have you seen Sue." It was the passengers from the cruise after ours who caused the problems with Covid-19 by getting off the ship in Sydney without a health check. What a problem that has caused. I am so lucky I went cruising when I did as I have those memories now to see me through unhappier times. The week between then and the operation involved more tests but some good things came out that as some of the conditions my GP had worried about were less of a concern in those tests and my brain scan showed the clip perfectly in place and no additional problems. The next event, the operation to take out the right side of my thyroid and the attached polyps took place two weeks ago. I was only in hospital overnight and was assured all had gone I well. I was only home a couple of days when my neck began to swell. At first I thought it was nothing, then I thought something was probably wrong and in the end called an ambulance and went to hospital. I felt like a fraud, I just had a swollen neck, but the staff assured me that going there was what was needed as wounds that don't heal are liable to become infected. In hospital they drained the wound site for three days and then sent me home. I was sent home partly because of the Covid-19 virus because all hospitals were on standby in case of an influx of new seriously ill patients. At home I again self isolated, I have antibiotics and when they are finished hopefully I will feel that healing is taking place. On the two weeks visit to the specialist last Friday he dismissed the problem as just one of those things and said it would resolve itself in 4-6 weeks. Now haven't I heard that before? And so,like everyone else, I am here at home for the duration of whatever our government thinks is needed. As an over70 I am classed as a vulnerable person and so a danger to myself if I venture forth. So the ironing basket is empty, the laundry is up to date and the garden is gradually turning from a Jungle to an organised suburban lawn and series of flower beds. There were luckily a couple of bags of books I was keeping for winter reading so they are my relaxation. And Just Dance will keep me fit. With no Lions Club dinners, no church and Clubs and restaurants closed my social life is bleak but there is Facebook and Messenger and the phone so I can keep in contact with friends. And dear reader, like me you can keep others informed by using those forms of communication to beat depression and reassure yourself and others that we are not alone. I thank God for those wonderful friends I have who ring me and check to see I am okay. And especially those who have more more time whose phone calls last an hour or more, whose words brighten my days and lighten my heart. So remember through the tough times that there is always hope, hope for a better future. We pray for courage and endurance at times like these and a sense of humour to carry us through. We have survived for a reason, many here from stroke, others from personal distress and what others might call the hard life of a caregiver. We have endured so much and hopefully we will come out the other side of this stronger and with a smile on our faces. Watch out Covid-19, we are some of life's greatest survivors!!
  9. swilkinson

    Tracy, hang in there, that is all any of us can do. I find my emotions are up and down at present and know that is because my social life is non-existent and while I seem outwardly a strong and independent person I rely on friends to keep me engaged with life. It seems like that is not going to happen for the next few weeks. I guess it is time for me to slip on the cheerleader dress and remember that others are in the same situation and go into my cheer up routine, even if it is just to cheer ME up . We have better days ahead of us.
  10. swilkinson

    Tracy, this virus is a scary one and I can see with all you are going through right now you feel you are not able to control your life which is also scary. Each of us probably have some of the feelings you do. I have just had the partial thyroid operation, developed a leaky blood vessel where the half removed used to be and had four days in hospital. I went to see the surgeon yesterday and he said it is nothing new and will resolve itself in 4-6 weeks. I am - whatever- rolling my eyes and shrugging my shoulders. I know you need a hug so am sending you one from the recommended social exclusion zone plus a few thousand sea miles. ((( Hug. ))).
  11. swilkinson

    Wish I had your hoop house set up, the seedlings look strong and ready to plant out. Your riding style should improve as you do more riding. You are doing well in your recovery which is what matters. Good for you!!!
  12. swilkinson

    Janelle, no words, just (((hugs))).
  13. swilkinson

    Jay, you will have to make your own fun. I have been home alone for a week and the days pass. I am rotating through my usual hobbies. Like you I really miss socializing but there is the phone and the computer and every day I ring someone or someone rings me. Weeks I can take, months I am not sure of. Nice to see you back blogging.
  14. swilkinson

    Nancy you are very brave. That is a big move. I hope it works out for you. I always wanted Ray to come home but knew from the first that it was not possible. Our nursing homes are allowing visitors still but with limits, no more than two a day per person and only in the resident's room. My Shirley is now Chaplain in a Aged Care Facility and there residents are restricted from going out except for a walk on the beach, a special treat as it is directly in front of the facility. She has offered to help the staff in any way she can while the crisis is on. I'm hoping you can hold out for whatever time that takes. (((hugs))).
  15. swilkinson

    I was glad I went on the cruise when I did, four people tested positive to COVID-19 on the next one on the Ruby Princess. That was a lucky escape for me and my travelling companions.