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

Overall, it seems like a good idea. I pointed out though that for any stroke survivor, there is a need to have a pro-active attitude, first and foremost. To want to recover. So even though all the patients might be close proximity, a patient with that kind of attitude would benefit the most.

It is easy just to use myself as an example here. Attending something at the hospital also implies that I:

  1. Get myself washed and dressed, and out of the house at a certain time. OK, this is easy now, but that wasn’t always the case.
  2. Walk a half mile to my nearest bus stop (ditto)
  3. Catch a bus (the easy part), which involved a one-time application for a Disabled bus pass

So I had to be quite determined to overcome these obstacles, before I could even think about doing something useful. They seem trivial, don’t they? But that’s stroke for you – molehills become mountains. They’re all hurdles that somebody needs to jump over as incidentals. And there’s no point complaining – that is just the nature of the beast now. When you want to do something, these are just the hoops you’ve got to jump through along the way. For me, I was clear from early on that I needed to make myself busy to get a good recovery – that is why I started volunteering. That rule has got to apply to other people, too, a survivor will inevitably face challenges that they must be determined to overcome. We can have all the support in the world, but I think we have to be prepared to push ourselves…it really is sink or swim!

On the subject of support, I’m not sure if this is typical or whether I was just a slow starter. 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 benefit from the current venture. My gut feel is that it is a good idea, but maybe too soon?

But I need to offer them my support and am happy to do so. Week-on-week, it isn’t much different to what I’m doing anyway.


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!