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. As indicated by the domain name, I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - 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.

Naming - the blog and me

On the name of the blog, "Stroke Survivor"...I chose the name quite deliberately because I am, well, a survivor., a fighter. Trust me, every day since the stroke I have to fight something - one way of measuring progress is to notice how the battles change over time. I'm not a "victim", which I feel conveys the wrong thing, something altogether more passive - I think we choose to be victims of something when we allow it to change us. I chuckle a bit when I see news stories about the police's Victim Support - a name which I'm thinking was contrived without asking anybody who'd been on the receiving end of a crime.

I realise that this is just semantics, and feel that people mostly use this description out of ignorance - I can't really blame people because I myself knew nothing about stroke until it happened to me, plus there must be a zillion other things I'm still ignorant about - but now that I do know, the least I can try to do is to get it right.

On my own name, it's not a big thing, but I'd prefer to be anonymous. I took counsel from other bloggers on this, and the general feeling was that writing a blog where one's identity is known is tantamount to putting on a pair of handcuffs - when your known by people, certain subjects are off-limits. To an sxtent my real-life friends and family know about the blog and might read it, so there is always (and will always be) an element of self-censorship here. But I need to strike a balance between this, and recounting life's events.

I heard of one blogger being fired from their job when their employers found out about the blog. I don't think the blog was defamatory, even, other than describing the boredom. But the blogger was fired, and although they subsequently won at an employment tribunal, their anonymity would have made for a quieter life. For the same reason, I guard my exact location, although less jealously than my identity. I use my nearest city on many of my posts, just to give the reader some kind of context. I've found that helpful when reading other blogs, just from a "where in the world" perspective. But in saying that, the information I share publicly anyway will get you close enough.

Having said all that, I do other things on the internet, so an industrious person could probably soon find out my identity. If you do, please keep it to yourself. Or do me a favour by sending an email to this blog - it'll get to me eventually - telling me how you found out, just so I can perhaps close the loophole. But I know there are certain trapdoors which will lead from me to the blog (but not the other way), so some of these are deliberate.