A Personal Update Journal & Of Mental Durability

Reuniting with my ex-classmates from over two decades ago (the second time for me, this past National Day on August 9th, 2017), I’d begun to regale folks will my “Stroke-adventures” (even I stopped telling Taxi-uncles after a few years lol), and had a rethink of my circumstances, from before-Stroke, til now, nearly seven years later, after waking up in the Acute Stroke Ward at the end of October, 2010.

Long Story Short: Eye-sight is better now, having developed a severe dislike to wearing the eye-patch (although I still do when it comes to focus and mobility, but otherwise I no longer mind looking at “two plates of food” in front of me LOL).

Mobility is a mixed bag, as I find myself stumbling more these days, of not for my fat-frame, but for my sense of balance, which is really not great as before … As for “constant exercise”, I had recently gone back to lecturing part-time, which provides me with movement, true - but I recognise I really should get off my fatass blogging like a insane mad (Who’s writing this blog-post again? HAH) and move more, I know, I know … :p

"I just visited him at CGH on 22/10/10. He is now able to move his limb and speak roughly (and tell jokes). As his vision is quite unbalanced, he will be required to wear an eye patch which changes side frequently. He is mentally strong and I believe he will recover well. Best wishes to him!"
Featured above is a video recorded by a friend (whom I met thru my blog, actually) who visited my bedside a few days into me being warded at Changi General Hospital (I was first there for a month, before moving to St. Andrews), and is a gentle reminder of how far I had come since then, a slice of which I had attempted to share with folks here reading this blog :)

Met a dear friend from overseas not too long ago (Waves to Lekky!), who had the “benefit” to have met a chubbier me from years back (3 years, maybe?), and noting a “slightly slimmer” me, left such a huge smile on my face and in my heart - I need to make more of an effort to get myself healthier!

I have also come to realize, it isn’t exactly a past I am capable of “forgetting”, as I have not “succeeded” in life, even after (limited) recovery … with all that I can achieve now, I am also reminded constantly of what I cannot achieve physically, which in turn of course reminds me of the past, right? And as much as I muster the memories of the effort I had put thru to regain my independence to life, to push myself forward, there’ll be times when harmless comments chip at my confidence, scraping at my vulnerabilities, and I am back to the insecurities of a secondary school boy again, even before Stroke!

I used to abhor it when folks who say my Stroke was “MILD”, as if the effort I put thru in recovery and rehabilitation did not justify any recognition or worth! But in reality, it’s “worth” only matters to ME, while others do not know or can identify with otherwise.

These days I will be the first to exclaim that I had been “lucky that it had been mild”, as I constantly remember the folks around me in the ward, and in the rehab centers (then), that I can now speak properly (I can talk my students to sleep, maybe :p), and walk without an obvious gait, so HENG, AH! KNN!

“Identification” is a key word folks might take for granted, or for the lack of, versus “empathy” (which is a stronger emotion to attain, IMHO) which at most times “sympathy” is what folks project instead, understandably so as they might not be able to identify with the malady in the first place.

Folks who care, or are interested, will attempt to bridge that, while others are simply curious, and there is nothing wrong with that … as long as survivors like myself understand that, and react accordingly.

In the past, folks/adults will ask about my eye-patch (kids will just “ARRRRR!” at me hahaha), and I’ll do the “I had a Stroke”-story like as if I was selling insurance! Maybe not such a good idea, but for conversation(s) between a passenger (me) and the taxi driver stuck in a car, in a taxi-ride, yeah? LOL

These days, I’d recognise that folks maybe want to ask, but not needing to hear my life-story, and me getting rid of the chip off my shoulder about trying to justify my efforts in recovery (:p) .. and it would be the simple truth: Diabetes f88ked-up my eye sight!

Nearly seven years on, since surviving Stroke, I recognise I had not kept to a regular physical regimen in keeping physically healthy / fit, but also recognise the psychological aspect, where in the beginning I had thought I was “strong” enough to last (at least for myself, while for other survivors, it more likely will be a hurdle, as much as “physicality” is/was, IMHO), but I also needed to consider the durability of said “mental strength” … and as much as I attempt to inject it with “positivity” (as this particular blogpost is suppose to somewhat, I admit), I am most times struggling with it, as I feel I am the only one “self-medicating” :p

But of course I know there is my family, and close friends who keep me in check, and no, the last thing I want is “public sympathy” ~ OMG hahahahaha

What can I/we do now but to eat well, exercise and stay healthy. Stay supportive of folks around us and for folks recovering from Stroke, offer a listening non-judgemental ear if you can. Some might solicit sympathy, although some do not welcome it, but judge not what “they could have / should have done”, but instead focus on how to push on forward with their lives, IMHO.

The “past” is good for a blogpost and such, and might even be legit “fuel” to keep your “future” going, but don’t let yourself/them keep “living” in the past :)


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