Disclaimer

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.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Inspired!

I was looking at Facebook yesterday. Last night, there was a documentary on C4 about a stroke survivor, so on the C4 News feed, they advertised the program. There were lots of comments about how this woman is inspirational or courageous. One comment even said she was lucky - I can understand this in the context that even despite her injuries, it could have all been worse. But thinking of this woman getting up every morning, looking at herself in the mirror, and telling herself how lucky she is, is all quite unbelievable. Literally....I cannot believe that it happens.

I remember the only time since the stroke that I was told I was "lucky" - it was by an aphasia-sufferer who hadn't yet seen my disabilities, but it made me laugh. And after all, maybe from her perspective I am? Being unable to communicate as effectively as you once could must be horrible. As we talked, and she subsequently found about the physical limitations, the reaction changed from lucky to "poor you".

But at the risk of being non-PC, I'm not sure that inspirational or courageous are the right words. As a survivor myself, I'm not sure it particularly takes courage to get up in the morning - it's a necessity in order to do what we have to do that day. If we didn't do that, we'd end up just shrivelling up in bed. I don't think it's courageous, particularly, to do what everyone else does, to want to get on and live our lives as best we can. Don't get me wrong, I'm really happy that this woman is picking the pieces of her life back up (including making documentaries), I'm really pleased that someone like Andy Marr has been able to resume his career fronting possibly the best current affairs show on UK tv, but is it really anything above-and-beyond what any of us would do? And if someone wants to feel inspired by that, good luck to them. But I really think it is something that we would all do if we were thrust into this situation. I think we're all surprisingly resilient, we'd even surprise ourselves.

You know, even in terms of what we actually do in life, when I think of what I do (I have no idea whether this girl does anything in terms of raising awareness of stroke), all it really is is chatting to people. It's not rocket science (although actually my first job outside of university was as a rocket scientist 😊) But, really, anyone could do it. Sure, I can talk from the perspective of having been through that experience, so I do recognise that there might be some added-value in me going along as opposed to Joe Bloggs who has no experience of strokes. But really, it's not as if nobody else could do a satisfactory job.

I get similarly blasé about charities giving out awards for things like "inspiration of the year" - isn't it just what any of us would do? First and foremost, we're all human beings. And arguably we are pre-programmed to help each other out? I can maybe see this from another perspective, that of generating good PR for the charity - but to me that all seems a little fake newsy, you know, generating a story out of something which is not really newsworthy. It's a bit like when the BBC reports on the BBC (as it does quite regularly).

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Eye Clinic

Up at the hospital today, this time as a patient. Eye Clinic.

Another noncommittal scan. The same advice as last time, that laser treatment is available. The same reservations. See here if you're interested

I don't really like going there, because it is a stark reminder that bit-by-bit, this disease is progressing, and sooner or later it'll get me. I also get frustrated because nobody will give me a straight answer to the question, "But surely we can measure, or at least monitor, this progression somehow?" Maybe the answer is simply "That's what we are doing.", but the one thing I don't have a handle on is how urgent any of this is. The consultant is happy to tell me all the factors at play (to some degree they're irrelevant, in the sense that the treatment is already clear) but cannot/won't give me an idea of the urgency.

Anyway, that was today.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Testing, 1, 2, 3

I follow a couple of diabetes-related groups on the internet, and if you're so minded, it's possible to have heated debates with people on the question of how often you should test. I mean, test yourself as often as you want, but bear in mind that for each test, you have to prick your finger, so you really have to ask yourself whether pricking yourself too frequently does you any harm. The reason the question is impossible to answer is that in many ways it is just like eating itself - eat as much of what you like right now, because in all likelihood it'll take years to have any effect. Plus there are lots of other factors that come into play during that time.

Anyway, I thought I'd describe my routine. Bear in mind that as I've blogged many times, I take insulin, so if I take too much of it it's possible for my sugar to go too low (potentially, if that happens, I go into a coma and die. But don't worry - the effect is recognizable and correctable before this happens.)

My testing regime is just to satisfy myself that I'm taking the right amount of insulin. To achieve this, I normally just check myself just once per day, before any food or meds, just to get an idea of what my baseline blood sugar is.

If the value is higher than I'd like, I make a note of it for future reference. I try and think back to yesterday - what did I eat which could have caused this? It's invariably something high in carbs. A bag of crisps, maybe? Not necessarily anything sweet. Sugar is a carb, but it is a mistake to think that sugar is the only carb.

Following this, I'm very strict for a day or so. If the high value were due to food, then the test result should go down. If the test doesn't go down, and it's been that way for a number of days (I don't have a fixed number of days), then I think about increasing my dose. In theory, if the number were consistently low, I'd similarly decrease my dose. But it doesn't tend to happen to me.

If I do decide to increase my dose, I'm back to testing once again. Basically, to get a picture of what my sugar is doing throughout the day. I take insulin twice a day (after breakfast and after supper) so I'd like to get an idea of which injection to increase. At this point, the here-and-now characteristic is a pain in the neck. It'd be far easier (although a darned site more expensive) to be able to look at something continuous. Anyway...... But once I have made a decision, I will increase the dose by a small amount at a time (2 units, if that means anything to you). The process then starts over.

Oh, it's probably worth mentioning as an aside that the glucometer that I use doubles as a USB stick, and so every week or so I walk it over to my computer, which obediently sucks the values in. So I have readings from...forever. I decided long ago that keeping track of these numbers was more important than cost (I can get another glucometer, and its test strips, on prescription, but don't bother). It attaches a date to every reading and therefore eliminates the mind playing tricks.

Individual tests I take at least 2 hours after food, just so that it doesn't skew the result. I've also heard that 90 minutes is an acceptable interval, and don't really think it's something worth arguing about. The finger should be clean before testing, just from the perspective of contamination.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Trials and Tribulations

Had a hypo last night in bed, so was eating Jelly Babies in bed at god knows what hour.

Don't have them very often these days. Not a lot of food in the house, so have not been eating as much these last few days. And haven't been snacking, which is actually a good thing.

So following my sweet treat, my sugar was back at 11 this morning. Very average, given the readings I normally have. It was only 6 yesterday morning, so maybe I should have known?

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Harlow Stroke Support Group

I was chatting to a woman the other night, a friend of a friend, who is involved with running the stroke group in Harlow in Essex, on the outskirts of London (I think). Their stroke group has over 275 members, she says.

I couldn't help thinking of the last peer group that I went to, when four of us turned up.

Reasons? Well, maybe it is that people think we're a bunch of idiots, and they decide it's not worth coming, but to come to that conclusion, you'd have to make at least one visit. I mean, I do think there are a few people who fall into this category, but only two or three. Possibly as many people again who are irregular attendees, just because they're recovered enough to have other commitments such as jobs.

Salisbury is a city, so there is some kind of "target audience" within reach, surely? Certainly, I visit the stroke ward regularly and there's never a shortage of people in there. I mean statistics say that the vast majority of strokes aren't fatal, so surely it's reasonable to assume that the people I see in hospital will sooner or later be living outside of hospital. But there again that statistic can be obfuscated - a single stroke may be unlikely to be fatal, but what about when someone has several strokes? Those odds must stack up, so perhaps fewer people actually survive to make a recovery than we think? I wonder how these numbers are counted?

But Salisbury District Hospital covers an extremely large catchment area in terms of square miles, most of which is rural, and some of it not even in Wiltshire (which skews a little the traditional county boundaries of e.g. the Stroke Association). Even places which you'd say are not rural, the public transport is very poor (in general, although this is consistent with my own experience) so an individual's mobility becomes a factor. Certainly it is undoubtedly easier to get about, the larger the city.

I suppose another thing is what the group actually does. At our group, there is no organisation (something I like), we drink coffee and just talk about "stuff" for a couple of hours. The content may be stroke-related, maybe not. There are no constraints. I was signposted to the group by my then Stroke Association co-ordinator, but there is no Stroke Association involvement on a session-by-session basis. This other group does thinkg like speech and language, and chair-based exercise, classes - all brilliant for stroke survivors in general, it sounds like these Harlow organisers do an excellent job, but possibly not so much to the specific people who currently attend in Salisbury. And, I suppose, there are a couple of other groups in my area which cater for someone with those requirements, although personally I prefer the far looser content that our group has, and it happens to be in a more convenient location for me.

Maybe the reasons are more straightforward? Strokes generally leave people disabled and with limited mobility, so maybe they just end up feeling too isolated? That seems fair enough, but a couple of the Salisbury attendees use wheelchairs - one of them lives outside Salisbury and relies on a couple of carers to help her daily, including transporting her to our meets. So presumably it requires a not-insignificant amount of effort for her to come along. And then there's me - I obviously have my issues but I'm sufficiently determined to go to these events, and sufficiently able, and am sufficiently lucky to have public transport available to me. But maybe somebody's willpower plays a part?

It's a difficult one. If I were in a position to do so, I'd like to try and tease some of these answers out, obviously with a view to increasing attendance at our peer coffee group. But maybe the people best-placed to be able to get in touch with someone would be the ward itself? (i.e. someone who already held names and addresses and is already familiar with data protection issues, contacting them maybe six months after discharge?) But there again, the NHS probably has enough on its plate as it is. Plus, we're now in the realms of social care, not really acute care. Certainly though, just knowing that you're not alone in your predicament is a big step forward. All around me, I see organisations (including but not limited to the NHS) that have been diluted down so much that these issues are far too "big picture" to really be solvable. And, in my position as a humble volunteer, I can (and am obliged to) shrug my shoulders, so this is just a thought experiment.

This post was a bugger to write today, by the way. Very stuttering - I had a vague idea what I wanted to say but it was only really by writing it down that I've been able to get it clear. I hope!

If anybody happens to read this post and is interested in coming along either to the Salisbury or Harlow groups. then please get in touch with me. Even if you're not in either area, I can ask the Stroke Association, on your behalf, or you can contact them directly.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Goals and Achievements

Really pleased this morning, I've achieved what was quite a longstanding goal. The first time was a couple of days ago, the second was just now.

The goal? To use my bad arm, unaided, to switch the kitchen light. Not much at all, but it shows how I'm getting gradually more movement.

The switch in question is on the wall, I guess around 5 feet off the ground. It is around about shoulder-height for me, just over. With some degree of effort, I can get my arm to the horizontal. Just getting it that few inches further, to the switch, has thus far been prohibitive. It is difficult to explain - I can get the arm so far and then it just becomes impossible to lift its weight any further. It's compounded because my wrist is deficient (just points downward and is limp), and to get to the switch, I need to move my arm away from my body toward the wall. So all told, feels like a Herculean effort. But, a couple of days ago, I finally conquered it.

Right now, I'm still at the stage where I sometimes succeed, but mostly I fail, so there is a further goal - to get my success rate up to 100%. Yesterday, for example, I crashed and burned. So it's kind-of a continuous challenge for now, until I'm reliable.

I'm also fortunate that this is just a light switch. I don't really have much movement in my hand yet, so I have to use it pretty much as a club. But for a light switch, that works well enough.

This post probably seems quite trivial, but I don't really see any improvement from day-to-day, so for me this is a big milestone. It is interesting but I have to view all of these disabilities as temporary, that one day I will overcome them - this seems to be a typical trait of survivors no matter what their current plight. I think I need that sense of hope to keep going.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Determination

I had a meeting up at the hospital with some of the staff a few weeks ago. The subject was getting a kind of peer group up and running. The kind of stuff I do already (on my own) at my drop-in, but they wanted some more survivors involved, plus current patients. I think the hope was to kind-of bring the peer aspect to the patients.

A nice idea, but I tried to point out that for any stroke survivor there was a need to have a pro-active attitude, so even though the patients might be close physically, it would require a patient with a pro-active nature to benefit. In fact I think if you could do one thing for a stroke survivor, it would be to instill that "never-say-die" attitude in them. First and foremost, you have to want to recover.

For example, in my own case, attending some kind of peer group at the hospital would imply in the first place that I:
  1. Get myself washed and dressed. OK, this is easy now, but that wasn't always the case.
  2. Walk a half mile to my nearest bus stop (work in progress!)
  3. Catch a bus (the easy part), which involved a one-time application for a bus pass
So I could argue that in order to enjoy the benefits of my peers, I had to be quite determined to overcome these obstacles in the first place. If you don't see these things as obstacles, that's great, but be aware that some people do. And not that I'm complaining - after all I could happily spend my Wednesdays sitting on my backside, but I choose to volunteer instead. I was clear from early on that I needed to make myself busy to get a good recovery. I'm just saying that in order to do volunteering, I need to be pro-active to start with. Same with seeing my buddies at the Playhouse - really nice to see them every fortnight, but I need to get myself into Salisbury in the first place. And I just think that a survivor will inevitably face challenges that they must be prepared to overcome. We can have all the support in the world, but I think we have to be prepared to jump in ourselves - it really is sink or swim!

Another thing - I'm not sure if this is typical or whether it is just me - is that I was a good six months out of hospital before I felt able to reach out for support, so it will be interesting how many current patients will be attracted by the venture. But I'm happy to support it in any case, since it is basically what I'm doing anyway.

Abortion

An article aboutabortion was just on breakfast tv - plugging some programme or other which I doubt I'll watch.

But I must admit I find it a fascinating subject - most of us can just shrug our shoulders at many issues, but not abortion. Furthermore, people's opinions tend to be very strong, and there is not a cat in hell's chance that they will change them (which makes debating the issue pretty unproductive).

It's a bit like the chicken and the egg - some people believe that the chicken came first, others the egg. Does the pregnant woman take priority, or does the foetus? Something like whether we should get rid of nuclear weapons, or keep them as a deterrent. Questions with no chance of achieving a broad agreement. I'm glad I was never in a position where I had to choose - my own child was very much planned.

But, of course, because of people's entrenched beliefs, probably great for the ratings!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Audible

The quality of my vision means that it is difficult for me now to pick up a book. Whereas I could once take in a line at a time, I now have to concentrate on individual words and letters, the pace is slower, and ultimately this reduction in fluency has left me disappointed.

I have tried Kindle, and this is an improvement.

However I am becoming a fan of my new audiobook subscription, which I've now had for a couple of months.

The subscription is with Audible, who are owned by Amazon. I don't like Amazon much - they're far too big and they don't pay their fair share toward society - and so while I've known about Audible for a while, I have refrained. The type of books that I read (I never really bothered with fiction, instead preferring to read biographies of unknown authors who had experienced exceptional events) means that I would expect to run out of interesting material at some point, but at just a few months in, it hasn't happened yet. I'm also interested in reading some classics to make myself better-read. Some of these I like, some I know I don't like (for example I never got on with Dickens), but it would be usedul to know the plotline of Shakespeare's plays, for example.

Anyway, to give a more solid idea of my tastes, here is what is currently in my "library". Bear in mind, I have olny been at this a few months.

Books I have listened to so far:
  •  Cousin Bette (Balzac),
  • Adults in the Room (Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Finance Minister, this one about his encounters with the EU. it is well worth the "read", but draw your own conclusions.)
  • Treasure Island
  • a lecture by journalist Robert Fisk - I don't see this guy as particularly political, but he's an expert on the Middle East and is very good at pointing out consequences of countries' policies, not least the UK and USA. He understands a history that many of us in the UK have forgotten.
  • Talking to my Daughter - a Brief History of Capitalism (Varoufakis once again. I quite like this guy's politics, although this book was more about economics. I was able to follow it but bear in mind that it was written with people like me as an audience. Doubtless the real world would be more complicated.)
Books I have bought, in preparation:
  • The Book Thief (the film came on TV, and I thought that the book is always better, so I stopped the film and bought the book instead)
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage (Brian Cox, the astrophysicist. This was my subject, all those years ago, still interests me now)
  • a Karen Carpenter bio
  • And the Weak suffer what they must? (Varoufakis)
But then you must know already from this blog that my tastes are......

Star Wars

Oops, I appear to have upset some other stroke survivors.

I was looking at Facebook, at my news feed, and I saw a post by a charity that I follow. Their post highlighted a stroke survivor's blog entry, comparing the effects of a stroke to some of the subplots from Star Wars. It make me chuckle, I thought this (to make the comparison) was quite an amusing thing to do, a kind of pointless exercise, so I posted a "laugh" reaction, and made a comment to the effect that maybe the blog's author had too much time on their hands.

By this I meant that, way back all those years ago, there was absolutely no way George Lucas could have realised that his film franchise would become such a behemoth, it was just A.N. Other film, so for us to now interpret pieces of its script as deep and meaningful mantras is probably somewhat misplaced. I think there's a danger of attaching far too much significance to these things.... But of course this is lighthearted stuff, both the comparison itself and my comment - none of this is going to change the world.

However, a couple of people seized on the "time on their hands" phrase and said that yes, a disabled person would have a lot of time on their hands. Clearly my remark had been received by some as far more serious than it was intended. I wasn't really concerned that some of the commenters hadn't understood my attempt at a joke (it falls kind of flat now in any case as I sit here and dissect it), but one person who commented was the author of the blog, who said that the post had taken some considerable effort, given how his stroke had left him, and so I felt obliged to explain my remark and apologise.

But that small incident has consequences. First, it highlights how there is a fine line between ribbing someone about something, and causing them offence. Second, I think I need to stop commenting on such posts and keep my thoughts to myself, especially with the posts of a stroke charity, where other followers might get upset. The last thing I'd want to do is to upset someone over something this trivial. And if I feel if I shouldn't comment, it's probably safer just not to subscribe to the content in the first place, just to keep out of temptation's way.

If my reaction seems a bit irrational, maybe it was brought on by the stroke? Or, maybe I'd have had the same reaction even if I hadn't had one? Who's to say?

Disclosure

I don't particularly like telling people up-front that I've had a stroke. Of course, if someone were to see me walking they would probably guess that something wasn't quite right, although I'm not sure they'd pinpoint a stroke. But if I wasn't walking.... Or if I were sitting sipping a coffee , it's probably unlikely that anyone would notice that I'm only using one hand. Plus, of course, there are things like writing blog entries, which appear to the reader no different whether someone is disabled or not.

I found out a long time ago that these tiny printed cards exist, business-card-sized, which explained that the bearer had suffered a stroke. They're mainly designed for people with communication difficulties - I didn't really have any of these (it's a sliding scale - I notice I'm not quite as good with words, but you wouldn't) so consequently was never particularly interested in the cards. In my mind, using one of these cards is tantamount to saying to someone, "look, this conversation is going to be a bit rubbish, but I've had a stroke so please cut me some slack". I don't like it when people have to cut me slack. In the very early days, I strove hard to regain the communication ability I had from before - this can backfire a little these days because disabled people don't realise that I'm disabled too. They'll start telling me of some of the implications of their disability, and I'm just left thinking "don't I know it".

Another area where I'd feel uncomfortable is when interviewing for work. I wouldn't particularly mind talking about my stroke to explain my career break - I'm not ashamed of it, it happened, period - but equally it isn't my defining characteristic. Not in an interview, in any case (it's a dit different on here, but this is a stroke-themed blog.) I have a friend, a kind-hearted chap, who said to me that why would I not talk about the stroke? Because in his eyes, it doesn't matter. He chats to me, we have the same intelligent (or silly!) chats we always used to have, I'm certainly not unemployable. But equally I was told by a call-centre worker that, upon her return to work, she was asked to sit in an office on her own, lest any of the other employees "caught" her stroke! Britain, 2018, I'm not making this up! So ultimately I think I have a responsibility, not to conceal my stroke, but to get myself to a recovery stage where it is less of a focal point.

I think this is just human nature. In the schoolyard, children will torment anybody who appears different. I think grown-ups are basically the same, but they learn to be far more subtle.

I've noticed that a lot of stroke survivors will fall back on saying they've had a stroke up-front. Instead, I tend to judge a conversation (and, sometimes, a person) based on whether I need to tell them that I've had a stroke. I mean, sometimes it is unavoidable - for example telling my doctor's receptionist that I can't use the surgery's blood pressure machine because I only have one functioning arm, but really, most of the conversations we have shouldn't require this level of personal detail. The other person has a responsibility for the quality of the conversation, too.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Insulin

I've been meaning to talk about this for a while, and am just about getting around to it.

The drug I take to regulate my diabetes is insulin, I will attempt to describe the process below. A lot of the information here I take from the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) web site, which is one of the resources used by clinicians in the UK. Quickly on this note, the eMC seems squarely aimed at a UK audience, and these drugs might have different names or compositions in different countries, so if you live outside the UK please bear this in mind.

My insulin is ultimately injected into my tummy, and for this reason comes in a syringe which is called a "pen", shown below:


To the left-hand end of this, I screw in a single-use (sterile) needle so as to inject myself (the pen is used multiple times).

What's in the pen?

The pen contains a product called Humalog Mix25, by drug firm Eli Lilly. I think this is just about the only prescription I've ever had which specifies both manufacturer and product names. Mostly, meds are named generically. The pen comprises two active ingredients,

  • 25% insulin lispro solution, which is a fast-acting insulin (around 15 mins), and
  • 75% insulin lispro protamine suspension (intermediate-acting, I can't see a definition of what they mean by this, although they do have a chart on their entry in the eMC)

The list of "non-active" ingredients (the solvent) is detailed on the eMC web site, although I shan't discuss it here.

To see what the difference is between a solution and a suspension, there's a video on Youtube. I can't find data on how concentrated these solutions/suspensions are compared to the solvent, although it appears to be somewhat arbitrary. It is certainly consistent for pens of a certain brand (so if you set a pen to dispense a certain dose, you get the same dose as you did with the last pen etc.), but not for pens of different brands. So, if I were to change the brand of insulin that I use, I would need to work out my dose from scratch once again.

How do I measure my dose?

Talking of dose, you can hopefully see, toward the right end of the pen, a dial. I can wind this dial both ways between 0-60. As you wind, the plunger moves in and out, just like a screw, varying the dose of insulin you'll receive. The gradations are called "units". The term "unit" is ubiquitous, although again the number of units of one type of insulin does not necessarily correspond to that same number of units of another type of insulin. Not all insulins are equal! I won't go into the different types of insulins available right now, but certainly there are faster- and slower-acting varieties, and I would assume that different manufacturers use different concentrations (insulin vs. solvent). Then there are mixtures of different types of insulin, like my pens, which are entirely proprietary.

Pens

One of my pens contains 300 units, in theory. In practise I think this varies slightly from pen to pen. Anyway, this corresponds to 3ml of the (insulin + solvent) mixture. So if you take a dose of, say, 50 units, you're talking about fractions of a millilitre. For me, each pen lasts roughly half a week (on two injections per day). Doses tend to go up over time (but slowly), presumably because one's pancreas gradually does less.

In terms of storage, I need to store unused pens in the refrigerator, although in theory they can be stored there for up to 3 years. Once I've started using it, I don't (i.e. I'm instructed not to) keep it in the fridge (in fact it's good to store under 30°C), but I have to use the pen within 28 days.

At the highest level, these pens come in boxes of five. And I submit a prescription for one box at a time (so five pens, around 2½ weeks of meds).

Disclaimer

One last thing, I'm not a clinicial so please don't use what I've written as the basis for any treatment of either yourself or of others. If you do this, understand that it is at your own risk. I'd certainly advocate you getting to know your own meds, and taking control yourself, but the purpose of this article is simply to illustrate what "taking insulin" is all about for me. If you notice any errors, please either contact me or post a comment, and I will correct the article as soon as I am able.


Cramp

A few weeks ago I posted about some of the niggles I have when dressing. I wanted to quickly address some of the issues I face while trying to sleep.

Bear in mind that I'm speaking as someone who has very limited movement in my arm, and no movement whatsoever in my ankle.

I've always slept on my side, and not necessarily the same side. This means that nowadays, my dodgy arm is essentially a bit of luggage. So my "good" arm needs to get involved when I moved. But all of this is do-able.

My ankle, however, is a different proposition. Quite often - every night, likely as not - I get a pain which feels exactly like cramp, in my left calf.Now, I used to get cramp when I rode long cycle rides, and read that the cause was dehydration. But I'm not dehydated these days, so it may not be the same thing. It feels the same.

The solution, in both cases, is to stretch my calf. Before the stroke, it never clicked (it didn't happen often enough for me to recognize a pattern), but I used to stretch the calf by putting my foot flat on the floor. I had to get up and sit on the edge of the bed to do this. Since the stroke I have noticed that my foot is generally quite limp, at an angle of approximately 180°, or thereabouts. I can stretch the calf enough by using my other foot to raise my bad foot to 90°, pretty much the position it takes when I walk. Of course, this can be achieved without getting out of bed, so it is now easier to correct. Sitting on the bed and putting my foot on the floor also works.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Job Opportunities

Happy New Year to everybody.

One of my goals for 2018 is to get back into employment. I have lots of experience in IT, designing and developing multi-user systems, mainly for financial houses and mainly in central London. There's no reason why I couldn't do the same kind of job, or something similar, once again.

Of course, largely because of the stroke, I have a few constraints. In the first place, I think my body would need more-than-a-weekend to recover each week, so I'm looking for something part-time rather than full-time. Second, as a result of the stroke I no longer drive, so my universe has contracted. It would be nice to do something from home, but realistically I can travel into the centre of my nearest city (Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK).The bus also places a constraint on when I can work, as there is no service on Sundays or in the evening.

I haven't worked since the stroke, but have a CV from just prior to that at https://www.jobserve.com/gb/en/Candidate/DownloadCV/32452688032B7DFB8D95.docx

If anybody is able to help, please get in touch with me.You can use the email address on this page, or the address on my CV.