Star Wars

Oops, I appear to have upset some other stroke survivors.

I was looking at Facebook, at my news feed, and I saw a post by a charity that I follow. Their post highlighted a stroke survivor’s blog entry, comparing the effects of a stroke to some of the subplots from Star Wars. It make me chuckle, I thought this (to make the comparison) was quite an amusing thing to do, a kind of pointless exercise, so I posted a “laugh” reaction, and made a comment to the effect that maybe the blog’s author had too much time on their hands.

By this I meant that, way back all those years ago, there was absolutely no way George Lucas could have realised that his film franchise would become such a behemoth, it was just A.N. Other film, so for us to now interpret pieces of its script as deep and meaningful mantras is probably somewhat misplaced. I think there’s a danger of attaching far too much significance to these things…. But of course this is lighthearted stuff, both the comparison itself and my comment – none of this is going to change the world.

However, a couple of people seized on the “time on their hands” phrase and said that yes, a disabled person would have a lot of time on their hands. Clearly my remark had been received by some as far more serious than it was intended. I wasn’t really concerned that some of the commenters hadn’t understood my attempt at a joke (it falls kind of flat now in any case as I sit here and dissect it), but one person who commented was the author of the blog, who said that the post had taken some considerable effort, given how his stroke had left him, and so I felt obliged to explain my remark and apologise.

But that small incident has consequences. First, it highlights how there is a fine line between ribbing someone about something, and causing them offence. Second, I think I need to stop commenting on such posts and keep my thoughts to myself, especially with the posts of a stroke charity, where other followers might get upset. The last thing I’d want to do is to upset someone over something this trivial. And if I feel if I shouldn’t comment, it’s probably safer just not to subscribe to the content in the first place, just to keep out of temptation’s way.

If my reaction seems a bit irrational, maybe it was brought on by the stroke? Or, maybe I’d have had the same reaction even if I hadn’t had one? Who’s to say?

Friends

Was really pleased this morning to open my browser (one of the tabs goes to Facebook) and see a friend request from a guy I only ever met once, who also does (or did, at the time) drop-ins at the hospital. I never knew he was there. although I must admit I never  particularly go looking. I’m generally quite happy with a small bunch of friends, people I already know anyway, so I never really feel the need to look for new people.

I only met this guy once and he too is a survivor. I remember him saying that he’d had his strokes (there were 3 of them, poor guy) 7 years ago. I remember being impressed because from his manners etc. it wasn’t at all obvious to me that he’d even had a stroke! I remember that one of his milestones was to ride motorbikes again, something which I believe he achieved. Certainly his profile on Facebook is a lovely shiny red bike. It kind of reminds me about my own miestone, to get back on a pushbike.

I think I met him just before christmas, so it’ll be good to catch up.

On a more serious note, it does kind of highlight how useful social media can be for people like me to find like-minded souls, which would be very difficult otherwise. I chat to a few survivors on FB. Meaning no disrespect to any of my other friends, who are very understanding, I can talk to them about strokey-type things, and the context is already there. No explanations necessary, because we already grasp the problem. It is very different from when I first left hospital, and felt very alone.

On more mundane matters, my wife was out all day yesterday, so I took advantage of the good weather to mow the front lawn. I got about 3/4 of the way around, before the mower decided it didn’t want to start. So it all looks a bit of a pig’s ear, although my wife says it looks ok (although she says it probably wasn’t too bright to have started hitting the mower with a spade!). Anyway, will try to finish it today – whenever this happens I always smell petrol so presumably I’d flooded the engine somehow.