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.


  1. Reblogged this on Stroke Survivor and commented:

    Fandango posted about how he is getting ready to move house, so his WordPress activity will be hit and miss for the next few months. But he made it today and has posted his Friday Flashback.

    I have always liked the idea of his Friday Flashback, so shall also post my own. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining too. I’ll continue to post under the Fandango’s Friday Flashback tag, just to stay consistent with my previous posts on the theme.

    I picked a post today from exactly two years ago. It’s about my voluntary work. I’d been volunteering for maybe a year – in the beginning I just walked around the beds and talked to anyone who fancied a chat. In my post, I talk about an idea by the therapists, that rather than having a five-minute chat by the patient’s bed, the staff could bring out the most suitable four or five patients, and we could all chat in a communal area for maybe an hour or more.

    It was a good idea, but of course, it required some input from the therapists, identifying the suitable patients and often bringing them out to the communal area. That particular idea ended after the main therapist herself got pregnant and went on maternity leave. After that, it fizzled out, although there have been a few attempts since to put something structured in place.

    At present, we have a kind-of halfway house, which seems to work well. During the week, the therapists will put the names of suitable patients onto a whiteboard. By the time we come around, there will be seven or eight. We find which bed each patient is in, and visit them at their bedside. The advantage of doing things this way mean that the therapists don’t need to be present at the time we visit. Whilst I am a volunteer and just happy to spend some time up there for free, the therapists are paid by the hospital and need to justify that talking to patients is the best use of their time.


  2. I would love to give support to people who met the same faith as I did but for me it feels like it’s too soon yet. I think it’s normal that you need to process what has happened to you, then finding a way to overcome the hurdles and then you’re ready.
    Being inspired to have hurdles and approach them in a more positive way (I want to overcome them) gives you a reason to find solutions. It seems like a two-way street but a good one. You ought to be proud of yourself of what you are doing every week. I’m sure you mean the world to some people and that you really make a difference. It may sometimes not seem so but people need people.

    Liked by 1 person

      • In the first place I do write for me, to get my ducks in a row 🙂 but I find also a great deal of comfort in blogs/stories of others so I think people can be helped by my story too. I would love to reach out to people in person, like you do. To make that connection is very strong. I think time will tell where I’m going to end up but ’till then I’ll keep on blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It took a while for me too, but with me it was a case of getting myself strong enough physically. You’ve just got to get your head strong enough, but it’ll come.
          The internet was about the first place I madecontact with people in the same boat, you ended up blogging on here, so it is only natural thatsomebody else will come too and find your blog. You said just yesterday how you already had 200 followers, why do you think that is?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you for your nice words! The blogging community is so nice, I’ve found something like that online nor somewhere else. Everyone is so accepting and it does me so good to be a part of it.
            Totally different but I thought about an expression that means the same as one 6 and two 3’s. Here we say: ‘No fish, nor meat’. It means, that it is nothing 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

              • Great question, will tell you a lot about the history of a place. I really don’t know, someone more skilled in languages could maybe provide an answer. I only know that those expressions are very old as some of them were depicted on old paintings. (around the 15 or 16th century maybe).
                When they deal with food or animals, I would guess a farmer 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                • Actually, you made me think. There is also a phrase in English similar “neither fish nor fowl”, which we use as neither one thing nor another. In English, this is different from “a six and two threes” which means both options are the same. You reminded me, I learned a lot about English when I learned French – little things which we never normally thing twice about.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • For example, a phrase in English (which we know well 🙂) is “raining cats and dogs”. In French, il pleut des cordes. No chiens or chats to be seen! In fact, a corde is arope. Two phrases, therefore, which have evolved totally separately, but which mean exactly the same thing. Fascinating.


                    • I’m going to top that with the Flemish expression: It’s raining old women!
                      But the word ‘women’ needs to be replaced by a little meaner word, which I don’t know in English.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That is something that is also true of a foreign language – we miss out on many of the swear-words. Certainly I did. But you have an advantage there because you have probably heard these swear-words in English on tv!

                      Liked by 1 person

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