The Stroke Association had organised for me to attend a trainig session yesterday, one of those mostly-internal things organised by the local hospital, mainly for ward staff. On the subject of aphasia, the difficulty experienced by some stroek survivors in terms of speech (and, I learned, in terms of muddling up what is heard).
I was aware that I was primarily a guest on the course, and it was a subject I'd like to know more about, so I was happy to be quite flexible to get onto the course, to the point of paying for myself to get up to the hospital (too early to use my pass). It's the kind of thing that I can embrace as a one-off, but not really something that I want to make a habit of.
Anyway I got to the designated location a good fifteen or twenty minutes early, only to be told "oh, you're very early. We didn't expect to see you for another hour yet." So I wandered back to the little coffee shop and re-checked my email. Sure enough, I had arrived at the time requested on the message. Anyway...... Maybe the plans had changed at the last minute and they hadn't got around to telling me? I certainly didn't expect to be the centre of attention, definitely at this session.
So, anyway, I rocked back up an hour later, only to be told that my session had started an hour ago. Somebody had assumed that I was attending something different. I mean, thereafter everyone was extremely apologetic, but untimately I'd still put myself out and missed half of the session to boot!
Not very impressive. I mean, in my former life, I even used to be unimpressed with many of my clients' staff up in top London banks, so at our tiny provincial hospital in Salisbury, my expectations are lower still! I do think that in most things in life, there is style and there is substance. People tend to be good at the "style" side of things, but not so good at the "substance", actually being as good as they sound. And the poor old co-ordinator from the Stroke Association, also at the session, was also quite miffed.
Funny, we met someone last weekend who happened to be an Occupational Therapist who worked out of the not-too-distant Poole. One of the subjects that came up was the standard of life at Salisbury.
You kind of assume that there is a flat standard across the country, plus of course the vast majority of us only ever know one trust at most, so we're not qualified to compare. But I wonder....... Maybe it is little things like this, which taken on their own are pretty negligible, which aggregate and make a difference?
Still, the highlight of the day was meeting a couple of other survivors, as part of the session. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do that. With some very few exceptions, people are lovely. And speaking to these real people was far, far easier than the classroom scenarios. It may be that sufficient water has passed under the bridge, but certainly the conclusion I formed was that it was impossible to crack the hypothetical scenarios without some metadata passing between the parties. Maybe the thing to take out of all this is that, whether wuith aphasia in particular or stroke in general, is that we need to get to a certain level, in terms of recovery, or we're stuffed?
Up there again today to do a drop-in on the ward.
BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.