In a confluence of situations prior, i had found myself sitting in the patient's chair in the office of a clinical "mental-health" expert (whose official name for, has escaped me - for that I apologize) in the hospital, for which I was referred to (no doubt simply because I blew my top at an attending doctor who did not seem to be able to offer any reasons for my malady - another post about that soon).
And then I had subsequently spent an hour and a half (yes, time was indeed measured at my end, as was the doctor's wrist-watch she was constantly referring to, which i conveniently ignored) yakking on about my life, my Stroke, my life after having Stroke, my blog, and what contests I was planning to hold on my blog (in that order). And while i dare say i had (nearly) a clean-bill of mental-health (no, there is no actual paperwork available to me to claim such ;p), one thing was mentioned (when she had a chance to have a word in edgewise) was that perhaps I should update my Stroke-blog (which you are reading now).
I had mentioned I had started a blog for Stroke, and was pretty diligent in updating it with info about both my own recovery, which in turn was to more importantly "educate" folks about the effects and recovery of Stroke (moreso than regaling about my own health, I insist!). But this blog has been left un-updated as of late, simply because I had developed into a stage of recovery, that this blog begun to remind me more about my Stroke - and the nasty effects that had gone along with the memory of - with it.
Recovery thus far has been … "spotty", with a number of speed-bumps along the way (more on that in another post, promise!) and perhaps I had let my own personal feelings affect this blog - which as of right now, with this very post - I have learnt to reconcile with, simply because this blog is mine to maintain, as much as this life i have now, is mine to lead.
I had actually asked a couple of folks to add to this blog, about their own journey of both recovery and taking car of folks - but you know what? I should just do this on my own, as there will be less expectations disappointed, and perhaps a more focused journey of a single person would be more effective in this regard.
Hell, I'm not a medical practitioner, and frankly the last thing i need to be doing is "self-medicate" - and leave my health to the experts that know better … ah but when the experts cannot help? … now, THAT'S another post coming u sometime soon …
And while might be clear of my objectives and aims, not necessarily all folks downed by physical illness might feel the same. I can imagine folks feeling depressed, and even suicidal - because let's face it - being in Stroke is not like an illness you can just take medicine and "get better".
The physical recovery is "hardest". Some folks grapple with lack of speech abilities, and even worse still physical disabilities. I remember when my legs could not put themselves one in front of each other, when my mind remember they can. I remember peeing into a container (while in hospital bed) because I had not the ability to walk myself to the toilet - barely 6 metros away from my hospital bed. Hell, I remember looking at my own crotch and seeing the pee-patch grown larger while being unable to control my bowels! If that does not fuckup your thoughts, hey, do not know what will. I am thankful now I can take my own showers, walk about (with a walking cane) and can make my own way to the toilet at home (even tho the newly discovered diabetes makes me getup at 6am in the mornings to go take a leek).
Physical recovery for any Stroke patient, takes a certain amount of time.No Stroke recovery might be timed exactly like the other, as no particular Stroke by individuals might be exactly similar to the others. There are a myriad forms of Stroke-effects to be had, even of the symptoms might be similar.
I know of someone who has been in rehab for a span of over a year. I myself had been in rehab for nearly 5 months now (when I was self-confident enough to think 3 would do it - well, here's egg in my face!) and frankly, I have learnt it is a "marathon", not a "sprint". And the only other reason why we need to give a timeline to it, is (A) the cost of rehab, and (B) the ability of the family to go along with it.
But what is most important in this equation, is the mental ability of the recovering patient, to continue with this timeline - and NOT feel useless, being a burden, feeling helpless.
A lot of Stroke patients are elderly folks. And with a lack of a strong family structure and support, do you really think they have the mental fortitude to continue working forth, and not feel being "a burden, useless and helpless"? Especially for Asian families, and I am not being racist here - just pure simple observations.
But in actual fact, I have begun to see even younger folks being downed by Stroke. There a guy aged 34, and another aged 31 in my (former) rehab sessions. One os married (bumped into him and his wife at an exhibition in town not too long ago too lol) and the other has a one year old daughter. So "age" is no longer exclusive to Stroke. As is the mental stress of it, without a doubt.
"Mental Recovery" is a conundrum, for without the basis of fortitude and tenacity, or even a will to survive and thrive for the future, hell, the road will indeed be long an arduous! And sometimes. that "mental recovery" is not alone for the patients to bare - sometimes folks around them provide them that strength, to carry on with the recovery, with being "whole" again.
And while I am in no medical position to infer what IS good mental health, I reckon it is the ability to survive the long-haul, the strength of not giving up and giving in, and the sheer tenacity to go forth and rehabilitate. No one else will make you miraculousy "better" (Religious folks will not agree with me here ;p) besides you working on to rehabilitate yourselves. Just know that that journey is not you and yours alone to tread - for you need folks around you to support you, and perhaps aid in any way for you to carry on your task.