Use it or lose it so they say :
today I had my session of martial arts. which is mostly balance exercising and before: anyone reading this is under some sort of complete misapprehension that I am going to become the next black belt in martial arts. well i am pretty certain that I still would not be able to land a head kick on the most diminutive of snow white’s seven friends.
and this reminds me of a friend at university who also was quite proficient at martial arts and the only time he ever needed it was at a pub when he used to get quite lippy because he felt he was a black belt and could handle himself now I am no expert here but I am pretty certain that Having a black belt did not furnish one with any great fighting abilities after the said person had drunk enough beer to drown the entire population of Bangalore and also,
my pacifist tendencies were given fulsome support each and every time this person came back to the college with his tail between his legs because he had suffered yet another defeat at the local: and despite being led to believe that I could expect the many gains I have made will start to tail off soon because it has been7yesrs YEARS since my accident and after my martial arts session, well: I was quite happy; that I am still making improvements and I actually halved the time it used to take me to do the run and sure there are not any metrics or measurements I can compare my balance with but the instructor was certainly very impressed with the improvements I have made and this tally ‘s: with what I have been doing and what I believe. That
the neuronal pathways were there prior to my accident when I was andrew BC and now all I need to do is to provide the neurons with the correct stimulus to open up again because they were there( the pathways ) as Andrew BC and they were definitely there as andrewBC and yes I do believe I can get back to where i was, well. I bloody well, will just have to because there is no other option as I see it, Aything lees woylfr just be that less but I think this goes for the whole brain rehab and my cognitive developments such as my memory and my clarity of thinking : in that hey were there before and I just need to ensure there is the correct stimulus to assure they are Appropriately reformed
Team work relationships are team work: and it is this I have been missing but I now have with my trappee: relationships are a sense of shared responsibility/: And it is this sense of life being more than something than just me, it is a sense of purpose and just like the functioning of our physical body; it is team work like no other. and so too with our brain; why should it not need bit of team work the functioning of our body is team work like no other; for instance when we cut ourselves our blood clotting system needs to be working and our digestive system needs to be working to ensure all of the nutrients are in the right place and the right time , and then obviously we our circulatory system must to be spot on. so that the clotting factors can get to the area quickly , and so it is with our brain: our brain or what little I have of it Still : well it more than ever needs someone to bounce ideas off : someone to be encouraging. With wink and a nudge for the many many many times it Wanders off into a period of self-indulgent melancholy ; and indeed it can be this that is immortality for us all; it is the environment we have created for our children to grow up in and they in turn will create for their children and so on and so on
It is not a physical exhaustion it is a mental drip drip away that leaches away from you as you realise you are making the same mistakes again and again. And no, it is not anything actively that you are doing wrong like someone doing something wrong on purpose: but it is the slow realisation that your body is not going to do what is being asked of it again. Because if it was something you were actively choosing or something were doing wrong you ewould just change it – i mean it is not complicated would just change it . I mean it would not be difficult but it is the slow realisation that you’re not going to be doing it incorrectly again And this is as elegant As I can describe it, and this is why I Have been saying my body has become a bloody wife. In that it can do it but it just bloody wont
My reading now it was quite a long time ago when I Could not even read at all, it was because of my homonymous hemianopia, which meant each line of a book was left overlying the line below it and also there was the other aspect of my left sided homonymous hemianopia. Which also meant I missed the first part or the left hand side of each word which essentially resulted in: if I was reading about a pancake I would be left wondering why the person was flipping a cake but not even the giant writing of a children’s picture books. Could I read to my kids?
But yes, these were very dark days indeed both metaphorically and in reality: I mean I was a doctor I had to be able to read again I just had to
but No, I had to memorise each page of the children’s picture books in order to ‘read’ them to my kids and again I am left being the complete human contradiction where I am giving my kids 50p pieces for each book they read and here I was not even being able to read myself, and my god the level of the things I went to try to do to compensate for my not seeing the beginning of each word , I even tried to have a computer program that will convert any text to one that I could read which was where for each word would have the first letter highlighted in red and . and then there was the most enormous or cumbersome device made for me by the physio which Allowed me to read each line by itself which stopped the overlapping line issue
and there is vision which is also so essential to our day to day functioning. For instance there are limits to what one can remember, and these limits are also distinctly restrictive to a person who has left half of his brain by road side or in the surgical bucket of detritus ; such as when remembering where we have put our glass of drink or coffee on the table in front of us. But my god it made finding the car in a car park very difficult ; we Are Visual creatures such as when we walk through our living room we can just scan the Living room for our wallet and keys , and if we have just left them behind then when we see them they become a visual prompt to take the,m, vision is a back up to our memory
Titanic shadows and cognitive development can you believe it but it has been implied of me yes of me that i would argue with my own shadow. But I. Must admit to taking a deliberately contrary line or point of view even if I do not agree with it but I see it as a test of wits and the final most independent arbiter is obviously. Myself where if I can get any sign from the person with whom I am debating my point that they can see i have a correct argument or they can see my point of view and ; there is one chap at the. Pool that I go to and he.is constantly chatting and he Is a Cornish fishermen and for very obvious reasons call him titanic and I tell him that his wife’s ears must be purely decorative , because otherwise she would be driven mad or deaf by all of his chuntering, which also brings me to the most pertinent point can one be driven deaf by one’s own voice, and I am also reminded ,of seagulls which squawk incessantly
A friend replied to my question. My life has just all been for didly squat with the following I said obviously I am very grateful and i will struggle to live up to your sentiments and are you sure they were actually meant for me or some other angelic demigod
s life ever sums to squat. I’ve done engineering, law, finance, business; studied at Melbourne, ANU, Cambridge and Harvard; done a range of amazing roles & responsibilities; managed $100+ million in other people’s money; know many millionaires/billionaires … but still don’t have a job! (Go figure!) I haven’t had anything like what you’ve experienced over the past decade, yet I selfishly say the same thing: “What has my life amounted to? It’s all for naught.” Obviously, flagrantly, patently false in extremis.
Think of the hundreds of people’s lives you directly impacted as a doc and (most fundamentally) as a mutual member of our common man: all your countless patients, your fellow doctors, your students, family & friends across the globe — astounding! You’ve made a profound impact on the world! I use your example of outright determination, hard work and conviction to achieve; I use that example, your (!) example with my kids and others all the time, to inspire greatness in others … and it works!
I openly admit that I am fundamentally incapable of understanding/comprehending what you’ve been through. But (in my humble opinion) it is that unfathomably unique experience that you can contribute to the world and much more … whether through doing a doco re your life, educational/teaching, a book re your experience, or something different again.
And my reply well obviously I was exceedingly grateful and I did wonder if his words were really meant for me or someone else and I will endeavour to live up to your words and I said obviously I am very grateful for your sentiments and are you sure they actually meant for me or some other angelic demigod
Can you be immunised against mental illness; well of course you cannot but i am certainly feeling on the edge of depression as opposed to the edge of reason ; but I can certainly tell how this social distancing does s not do wonders for anyone with faintest hint of depression : I mean I have been left with the greatest tragedy : which is a gift left given and what is it that person with half a brain can give well it is my corrective sarcasm, which is in itself a massive compliment to the lucky recipient’ because i am assuming the person has an ability to learn
Unsteady by x Ambassadors now this is a great song but it sort of makes me think which is never a good thing despite it being despite it Being amazing or deeply worrying for the lucky recipients of my thoughts but they should; rest assured that it is amazing that I can even think at all but here I am having lost absolutely everything that I ever held dear to me: now if you would permit me a little bit of unabashed self-indulgent wrist slitting here . no sure I have not actually died but I do just feel I may well have; but not in a suicidal way . but FUCK IT THIS is not me??!! I am so much better than this bag of of morosity or this fucking pessimistic but here I am sitting again writing at my computer; lonely having lost my my wife and kids and my occupation and sure I have woken up and the game has changed but I still have to make the best of it and I Have so much to look forward to which includes my computer game and getting my rhyme; lub dub published and there is getting my website up and running daddy day care
the incident The past and
Wow and bloody hell it is almost 10 years since my moment of madness I mean 10 years YEARS. Since I was standing on the start line in my gimp suit with a whole heap of of other rubber gimps lined up on the start line of the triathlon I mean there I was an NHS consultant in intensive care medicine and the associate professor of medical law and ethics , and a happily married man and father to three children; all it took was 5 seconds or less probably for me to have my cycling accident and sure I effectively died indeed I did on the operating table when I had a cardiac arrest and the anaesthetist a friend and colleague had to get out the defibrillator for me when i somewhat unexpectedly decided to cheek he was awake still and I had a had a cardiac arrest.
and the intervening period of time
and in the intervening period I have had to witness the loss of myself as an independent at and private adult and the loss of my wife and my life : and I was seemingly helpless to it all to what was going on In front of me ; because I was effectively in a locked in state like a dispassionate, or disinterested observer watching a a raging bull or an unstoppable and uncontrollable force. Raging through the embers of my life
and oh yes as if this was not enough I got to witness the loss of myself as I knew him to be and the loss of my career which was not just a career but it was a vocation for me indeed it was my whole essence, and as much as it was my personal identity my career and this catalogue of tragedies was all witnessed by a succession of well-meaning strangers, to whom am incredibly grateful t and indeed as I sit here even now 10 years on at my computer writing this f I am still welling up with tears as I think about the wrist slitting summary of my life.
and now. only now i feel I am back to myself but only just I am endeavouring to carve out a new-life well one that has any meaning for me a life that is centred on helping others or in a way that has some significance to them such as giving a series of inspirational lectures and becoming a life coach but now I am ready to face my next challenge .ie one were i return to a meaningful existence ; and not just existing . my god I believe in a meritocracy, and I am bloody determined to get back to some sort of emeritus life, or a life worthy of merit. as much f or me and slso firjny kids brecsuse it is essential to lead by example
Welcome to my new wife
Well; firstly let me tell you there will not be many young lady’s crying as they read the title to this blog and when i say many you can read any :
this is the is background to a preparation or a lecture I am to give to the stroke group
All I am saying is it will become much more difficult to learn new skills but I am definitely not saying that you cannot ever learn a new skill but
you can expect to find it incredibly hard to develop new abilities you did not have before your Stroke or accident such as standing to put on shoes and socks but when it comes to doing things you have always done much as buttering your toast , with your affected hand . well these finer skills will also take little longer to master but I do think you will find it very difficult to develop new abilities such as standing to put on your shoes and socks but this s is absolutely not to say you will not ever be able to learn new skills I mean the brain is a pretty amazing thing when you think about it – which is in itself something I have only been recently unable to do is to think well with any conviction I mean just to be think is for for me is pretty amazing
there are approximately 67 billion neurons up there well in yours but not mime, and there are countless more connections as well; and if you if you follow this to its logical conclusion it is absolutely amazing to think that we came from nothing our brains have developed from nothing at all just happenstance and bizarre or circumstantial meeting of atoms and-these atoms just happened to twitch into life
and ‘all’ @@ !!?it takes to be able to be able to learn a new skill and to relearn an old one is to put down some new connections and what is different about my brain well I have become acutely or suddenly stupid or thick As mince and l also I have countless neurons switched on opposing my neurons which are correctly attempting to complete a given task and these auxiliary neurons that are also switched on these are working against me ie, they are activating the muscles that oppose those very muscles that are correctly attempting to complete a task, I mean my body has become a wife . now it can do it but it just bloody wont
and no I have not always Had a servant dedicated d to buttering my toast And also no I was not get born with a silver spoon in my mouth: I remember my mother retelling us we always had what we needed but not always have what we wanted; which obviously begs the question, based on whose assessment!!?, but I think I may be a little bit more obstreperous now- and yes my mother had it so easy with me as a son: but with time comes cynicism and a tiny bit of obstreperousness. and yes also cantankerousness but not any loss of determination and it is this later adjective that will serve you so well when you are on your rehab plan and think of all of those neurons up there and of the connections that are just waiting to form a new pathway to achieving a goal