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:
- 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.
- Walk a half mile to my nearest bus stop (ditto)
- 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.