Released

I ended my quarantine by… staying at home!

But I had a productive day. I started with some charity calls. Wednesday is my lighter day and, leaving five satisfied clients in my wake…

I stripped my bedding. Stripping bedding is something I can do easily one-handed. I started the washer and switched my attention to the lawn. That’s a devil of a job nowadays. The mower is about 50kg (100 lbs) and while it claims to be self-propelled, that’s useless. I started mowing again after the stroke, to try to be useful again – my first task there was to frig my way past the two-handed startup!

A cut was long overdue, in fact we had allowed the grass to grow slightly too long for the mower to collect the cuttings properly:

Finally, it was lunchtime. Our lovely chickens delivered nicely, and I enjoyed two hard-boiled eggs.

Mowing the lawn is a good barometer on how my stamina is improving. Used to be, I’d need to take several breaks just to mow what you see above. Gradually, I needed fewer breaks until, a couple of years ago I managed it all, without a break. It’s a far cry from my healthy days, but it is progress.

Yesterday I was on a roll, and in mid-afternoon I attempted our other lawn.

couldn’t resist! Don’t they look healthier than the last photos?

And that’s the reason for this post. While I don’t say much any more, the original intention of the blog was to chart my recovery.

Yesterday was the first time I managed to cut both lawns in the same day.

Does that tiny milestone maybe strike you as dumb? Well, that’s how strokes take the wind from your sails. You don’t need to understand strokes per se, but you should probably understand that this is the debris they leave behind. A guy who sees cutting grass as a big deal.

The second cut was not without incident, either.

The mower just conked out partway through. When I investigated, the cable connecting the starter to the spark plug had come undone, so there was no ignition. An easy fix, but it has never happened before in ten years, and it took time to puzzle out.

And, I had a hypo. My insulin regime is one dose in the morning, one in the evening. The morning dose is larger because it is designed to counteract both breakfast and lunch. This means that, if I skip one of these meals, I’m prone to hypos.

My lunch was the problem. The eggs are pure protein, don’t really raise my sugar level like, say, a sandwich does. So, a few hours later, I went low.

A hypo is easily recognisable. Once you’ve been there, you never forget. Extreme hunger, extreme tiredness, extreme light-headedness… With the light-headedness comes a lack of coordination, too.

There are these two competing voices in your head. One is telling you to sleep, the other to eat. You have to listen to the one which says “eat”. But it is so bad that you have food in your mouth, you feel too tired to chew it!

The answer is to eat, to raise your sugar. Carbs work for me, and we always stock some. Wheat, potatoes etc., surprisingly food doesn’t have to be sugary, just carby. Many medical people, even, don’t understand this. So yesterday afternoon I was sitting, stuffing myself with crackers! Once you’ve eaten, you have to stop. You must resist that “ravenous” urge to continue eating. All you can do is to wait for the symptoms to pass.

Incidentally, the medical advice, when you start to feel a hypo, is to test yourself. Because you can sometimes have phantom hypos. But my main priority at that moment is just to eat something. And, as it happened, yesterday’s hypo was real because when I tested myself last night (I test before every dose), I was still only just above danger levels.

I conquered the lawn, but I still had to put my bedding back on! Even though I use a single duvet these days, it is still pretty much unmanageable. But this post has gotten way too long already. Can I just summarise by saying: frustration, tears, swearing (lots!) and an hour I’ll never get back? Can we just leave it at that? At least this time, nothing got broken in the process.

Would it surprise you to learn that I was in bed by 8:30 PM?

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

34 thoughts on “Released”

  1. Congratulations on getting the lawns mowed!! I really admire your drive and your mindset. My father in law had a cycling accident and broke his neck in 2015. He was in hospital for 3 months and he worked sooo hard to get moving again. Luckily he’s very fit – like the people who found him thought he was 20 years younger than his actual age. But I’m pretty sure that after good medical help, quick action and persistence… mind set was a not insignificant contributor to his recovery. One of the first things he did when he got home was mow the lawn. But to this day, he makes sure he does a lot of walking. He says it keeps the synapses connected. If he stops using them, they go back to other jobs and he loses it. He still has a lot of “static” in the system so balance is a lot harder for him than it used to be, as are fiddly tasks that require dexterity. But he never gives up. I think you have that strength too and I applaud it. I only hope that, given such an enormous challenge, I would respond in a similar way.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Possibly true. My f.i.l was also a refugee. He spent several years in refugee camps, learned several languages, including a year away from his family hosted by a Dutch family at age tenish. He had to be pretty resilient coping with a new language, a new family, etc.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on that milestone! & your lawn is sooo green! Refreshing! Take care esp. with the hypo and all — i know how it is as both my folks are diabetics on insulin, we always have that argument about her mini snacks but i think theyve reached that kind of diabetes that it just randomly goes up and down

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Next time you’ll know to have toast with your eggs, and your accomplishments will not seem diminished by a hypo. Great milestone, and those chickens sure are cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, the reason I just had the eggs, not in a sandwich, was because we have limited bread until the next grocery delivery. It’s spooky how one thing knocks into something else.

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  4. You are so lucky to have fresh eggs!!! I guess mowing the lawn must be quite tiring!
    I enjoyed reading your post 🙂
    Have a nice day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds quite complicated but at least you can do some things you couldn’t before. Lawns look great and yes, the attitude makes all the difference and docs don’t always know what is best for you as a person. Happy to hear you are getting well💕

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carbs convert to sugar, as you know. I always keep an apple in my car for Mr Misky for hypos. I can see it on him; he turns a grey colour. Re duvet covers. In Denmark, you can buy them with button closures on three sides, which is much easier. It’s quite easy to convert existing ones if you have a sewing machine.

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        1. I think the jury is out, I just went for the cheapest design that I wouldn’t mind having on my bed! (assuming it does work out) Once it arrives I can see how much easier it is.

          It was interesting that a lot of the covers I found don’t come in single size, where I specifically changed my bedding to single duvets because they are easier to manage.

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          1. Scandinavians only use single duvets. That way no taking an unfair share of the covers; no issues if your partner sleeps too hot but you sleep cold (different tog weights); I like crisp fabric but Mr like soft fabric; etc etc

            Liked by 1 person

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