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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

    George, great to have an update from you. I am having some health woes too but hope that once I am over them I will go back to leading a more interesting life. It is wonderful you are finding Lesley's Mum a good addition to the household, I am sure she values her time with you and Lesley too.
  2. swilkinson

    Thank you for your kind words Pam. I am just waiting now for the three specialists to work out what the most necessary operation is and where it needs to be done. Waiting is hard but I simply fill in the days with my usual routine. Life can be good whatever your circumstances.
  3. For me colour is a big deal. If the wall colours are neutral find some cushions, curtains, bedcovers etc to give you colour. Flowers are a great idea but if you don't have a lot of time and energy pots are the go. I admit to having a hundred or more but a small group of pots with colourful flowers and greenery work well and are easy to deconstruct for winter. I hope you make a happy home for yourself wherever you go.
  4. Yes, 6am the next day for the afternoon chat when we go off daylight saving on Sunday and noon for me on the East coast of Australia for the evening chat. Will endeavour to change my security settings to get into chat when Trevor gets here and can help me with that. I don't seems to be able to get it right by myself.
  5. Went on again this morning, no room box. My tablet settings won't let me in . Will ring my son for advice. Does the new chat use Java or Flash like the old one did? I have a new name now - mine 🎆
  6. swilkinson

    I have a feeling this is a time to time thing, based on the end of Winter and the coming of Spring, a late version of SAD, I get it in September each year.Then I question who I am, what I do, how effective I am at that. I question why I am alone, if anyone "out there" cares about me even. In the end I do what ASHA suggests and just let time pass and somehow I find myself enjoying life again. I hope you find the same Kelli (((Hugs))).
  7. I'll make sure I've got the latest updates before I try again. I managed to leave a couple of "Hellos" in the lobby. All I have to do then is set my alarm as your starting time is 7am this week and 6am next week as we go off daylight saving on Sunday here in Australia.
  8. I got to the chat rooms but wasn't able to post. I will get up early another morning and try again. It is about doing a meet and greet from time to time for me.
  9. swilkinson

    Always waiting

    I went to the throat specialist, he said the thyroid operation was the way to go but probably the right side of the thyroid removed would be sufficient. I don't know how I feel about that. Anyway I agreed and now await an operation date, probably in May. He also asked me if I wanted to have the brain aneurysm surgery first but as the thyroid is the lesser recovery time I said let's do it first. This may be the wrong decision but I hope not. I really miss having someone else who can help me make decisions now as my family say: " It is your decision Mum." The weather has suddenly got colder, last night was a cold snap bringing a dusting of snow to the Snowy Mountains and the cold winds came north to us. Then today it rained and I spent my gardening time rearranging my autumn wardrobe. I have a lot of clothes available, I just keep recycling them every year. Some of my clothes must be almost vintage now. I come from the mix and match separates era so it is a matter of matching blouses to jackets to skirts or pants to shoes etc. Of course the thick stockings I am wearing will be less obvious in winter which is a bonus. I had a enjoyable week out west in an area called the New England District going out by train to go to a friend's 70th birthday party. Another couple stayed with him too, old friends from way back so it was a time of reminding each other of shared events and the fun times we had. Of course that would once have included Ray which made me a little sad. I guess you never get over a loss, just spend less time thinking about it. Those 44 years together will always be a background to whatever is happening to me now. The next event will be Trevor and Alice coming here for the school holidays towards the end of April. While they are here they hope to go to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, to Taronga Zoo and possibly the Australian Reptile Park so I shall hardly see them. I love having them here and of course it means having the other grandkids visit too and mayhem all round. For a week it is great fun. Of course Christopher is in University now so I will probably just have Naomi visit this holiday. Life changes all the time doesn't it? When I came back from my inland visit I had the house lights fuse, seems some of the house wiring may need replacing. Actually I need it all reviewed now. That is one of the problems with a house like this that has been built onto a few times, you forget how old some of it is, the original three rooms having been built in 1959! We bought it in late '60s and as our family grew more had to be added onto it to accommodate us. I sure miss Ray for that too, where is my lovely handyman husband now when I need him? Life somehow is always a mix of happy and sad for me. I hate being a widow. I loved being a member of a couple, it always felt safe to me. Not that Ray and I were the perfect couple but someway or another we always managed to compromise. A new friend said to me: " Sounds like you were always fighting." but it wasn't like that. And of course there were all the years of me looking after him but I always included him in the decision making as much as I could. That is what a true partnership is about. This is a blog about the way life is as I live it now, I have some freedom but it comes at a price. That price is loneliness. There are certain advantages, like I sleep at night without that voice calling: "Sue can you help me?" I still sometimes dream that. I miss Ray. And life is not as good without him. End of story.
  10. swilkinson

    Thank you for posting this Kelli. We need to pray for all the people affected by this horrific event. And then keep praying for our own neighborhood that this may not be repeated among those we know and love and never want to lose. My heart goes out to all affected by this tragedy. I too have friends in New Zealand and this is another reminder that out of sight should not mean out of mind.
  11. swilkinson

    Me too, prayers for your Dad and you too. Being on a list can be frustrating because they seem to move slowly but at least you have hope now. I am glad to hear you are enjoying chat. Keep up the good work.
  12. swilkinson

    Welcome back Sarah, as I said in my message I worry when people disappear from the Blog community. Glad you finally got the shower in too, much easier on your back and with summer coming a shower will be quicker and easier from now on.
  13. swilkinson

    Thanks everyone, I am just going on every day in my usual way until a decision can be made. Lovely autumn weather now so all is right in my world.
  14. swilkinson

    Thanks Tracy, got an appointment with a specialist in thyroid problems today for the 29th March, which is pretty quick. I hope that will give me a range of options including the operation. I like to have full knowledge of what is going to happen next, and some knowledge of ongoing care before I make a definite decision. Then when everything goes wrong at least I know what should be happening...lol.
  15. swilkinson

    Hard decision time

    I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer this morning, my melanoma specialist Prof Saw will find me a throat specialist who can see me locally but who operates in one of the Sydney hospitals. Then the throat specialist will liaise with the neurosurgeon who wants to operate now on my brain aneurysm to see who gets to operate first. Not a good day. I wrote that to a few friends yesterday. I was in shock, I had gone to the doctor to discuss some options and he read out the biopsy report and there it was, the biopsy had shown a tumor in the node that had doubled in size. A bit of a surprise as the last report a year ago had said the nodes were all benign. But my mother had had her thyroid out in her fifties so I guess it is familial. Dash it all. Another operation to endure. I know it is my age, for some of us reaching 70 is one bridge too far. So it is a waiting game again. I will hear from the melanoma specialist again with the information on the throat specialist, he or she will get in touch with me, maybe get some more tests done and then book me in for an operation. It would be nice if I had a choice but I don't. Remember I had the other operations in order to see my grandkids grow up? I guess the same applies. The aneurysm in the brain operation is more serious of course, no laughing that one away. But an aneurysm is a small unexploded brain bomb and it is either get it tied off or live with the uncertainty of when or where it will detonate and blow. That is indeed a dilemma. So I will have to screw up my courage for that one. It is a pity somone else couldn't make the decision for me but I am still in my right mind so the decision is all mine. So how do I feel? Not confident that I have a future. I say that knowing the side effects of both operations, the downside of doing hospital chaplaincy. Some people come through operations so well, recovering fully, some people don't. Either way it is a long recovery and life will be different to what it is now. But that is the good news in what may be an end-of-life experience. I say that because one of my younger friends (58) from my stroke recovery group died this week after two massive bleeds, one on the left side of the brain one on the right side. Life is uncertain. Where does my Christian faith come into all of this? I don't know. I have always known life was uncertain, I was a caregiver for all those years and watched Ray have strokes, falls, fits and seizures. I saw how very brave he was and how he struggled back each time. I want to be as brave and determined as he was. I want to go into the operations knowing that things can go wrong but be brave enough to be able to take that chance. That is what living by faith is all about. So if I write a few down blogs or put comments on Facebook that don't sound like my normal cheerful self you will know why. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike so don't feel sorry for me or worry about me. But do keep prayers and positive thoughts in your mind for me for the next couple of months as I deal with some of these awkward decisions. And help me to keep smiling when there is not a lot to smile about please.