Even more confused…

Following on briefly from the previous post, I have already mentioned my blood sugar values as I was admitted to hospital. I conveniently blame my stroke on diabetes – certainly I am far better controlled now than I was then – although my blood sugar values on admission don’t really support this. I can only assume that a prolonged high blood sugar can account for this.

The other inconsistency, and I mentioned this to the nurse when she started accusing me of not having taken care of myself, is that I had been taking tablets for several years, both for my diabetes and for high blood pressure. Yet the first thing the doctors did when I arrived in hospital was to change my meds, to both insulin and new blood pressure drugs. So I feel it is only rational to say “You changed my drugs. Fine. But does that mean I was on the wrong drugs beforehand?”
I mean, my doctor was always a lovely chap, but I have to ask the question.
I hasten to add that I know the answer to these questions is “we’ll never know”, since we understand so little about the complexities that comprise the human body, and also the NHS’s desire to look after its own. But a valid question nevertheless. One that shut this nurse up.

Confused

My memory of the time around my stroke is very confused. I chuckle when I see these FAST messages from the Stroke Association, because this certainly isn’t consistent with my own experience.

I remember first feeling that something was wrong on a Sunday morning, as I got up. But we had arranged to go to the cinema that day – Dads Army! – and, beyond asking my wife to drive  because I was unsteady, carried on as normal. At the end of the film, I found it difficult to walk, and was lurching, looking for things to steady me all the while. But there was no pain in any of this – in fact there was no pain throughout the whole experience.

The next day, a Monday, my wife convinced me to go and see my doctor. He did some preliminary tests, then sent me to the local hospital. I remember he measured my sugar, and also remember that it was around 12. Not particularly low, but not excessively high either. Anyway, my wife drove me to the hospital, I saw a guy who did some tests, handed me a couple of pills, and sent me home.

I lasted until the following Wednesday, when there had been no improvement. Back to the doctor’s surgery, back to the hospital. Along the way, mt doctor measured my sugar – still around 12, although I had hardly eaten anything in the past few days. This time, however, the hospital admitted me and it transpired that I’d had a stroke. There then followed a month or so in hospital, when for much of the time I had no use of my legs..

As regards dates, I have a memory of coming back from hospital on 11 March 2016. Backtracking, I know I was just about in hospital for Valentine’s Day, so I assume that these events happened in the week leading up to it, so I was admitted on 10 February 2016. Unfortunately, I’m no longer in contact with the stroke consultant, so I’m not sure how I can check this, although I am back on the ward regularly (in fact, I was up there yesterday), I suppose I could ask them if I feel strongly enough about it.  And, to complicate matters further, I thought I was discharged on a Wednesday, but 11 March 2016 was a Friday.

Of course, not only is the stroke itself shrouded in mystery, but so too are the events immediately preceding it. I remember one of my last pre-stroke purchases was my Sony tablet, and looking at my emails, I see that this would have been in early February 2016 – I can see the order but have no record of the delivery..  But I remember struggling to configure it – including getting a SIM card for it – while I was in hospital.

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when I received a letter saying that the 12-month subscription I took out last year had expired on 25 February 2017! I’m not disputing the subscription itself, but that date would put me firmly in a hospital bed! And this when I would have had very little technology on me, and even less desire to use it.

Murkier and murkier…

Laws of Average

Imagine you toss a coin. How much of the time would you expect it to show heads? Tails? About 50:50, right? How many times would you expect the coin to land on its side? Almost never?

Now imagine the situation with pills. Actually, you pop them out of the packet and it is surprising how often they land on their side. Especially when they’re on a surface that isn’t flat. They then proceed to roll away, sometimes right under the cushion or even under the sofa. Great fun!

Computer Woes

UPS have been and collection my laptop, after the touchpad started playing up. It was fine to move the cursor around, but wouldn’t detect clicks. The thing is only a few months old, and a faff to swap a touchpad, so I sent it back to Dell. Let’s hope they can change a touchpad without reformatting the hard drive!
So whilst I am connected to the Web, I’m struggling with my tablet and becoming a lot more familiar with Android apps than I ever thought I would.

Bipolar?

Life as a stroke survivor is full of variety.

This morning I was thinking about issues such as the sovereignty of Gibraltar. Probably the exact same issues as people like Theresa May had to work through (past, present or future tense!)

Then I have trouble getting my socks on!

Conference

I got a little ping from my computer, to tell me that the Greens were broadcasting their conference on Facebook.

So I tuned the TV on to BBC Parliament, because viewing it on my 42″ TV is a bit better than my laptop screen, to see if I could watch it there. Ha ha ha ha ha ha

I hope my Internet stays up this afternoon.

Facebook

I was lucky (well, I thought so!) enough to meet Tony Benn a few years ago, and couldn’t help but notice that he avoided getting into ideological debates with people – I suppose you can dance around fine points, but ultimately, on the big things, you have a certain view of the world and other people either share that view or they don’t. Its not really a popularity contest – you really have to be defined by a set of principles if you want people to take you seriously.

Yesterday, I saw that Billy Bragg had posted something on Facebook. Now, I obviously follow this guy, so I’m normally quite sympathetic to him. But, on this occasion, I thought he was wrong, so posted a comment saying why I thought this.
It was very interesting, as the replies started to flood in. At first, it was a case of clarifying why I thought what I did (including dealing with people who could only really offer that I was an idiot). So I did my best to explain myself. It all took a fair amount of time, though, so evertually I stopped following the post.
I happened to go back there this morning, and was quite plesantly surprised by the tone of the comments. While yesterday they were mostly full-frontal attacks, today they were generally a lot better thought out. Quite open questions, even some comments of support.There was even one woman, (I’m not sure that she was a supporter!), who said that at least my views were well-thought-out, “not like most people”. Er, that was a compliment………wasn’t it?

Renewability

I’ve touched on this elsewhere, but I think lots of resources on this planet are pretty finite, and that I should do my best to use up as few of them as possible.

To that end, I got a bank of solar arrays installed on the roof a few years ago, and I export the energy it generates to the UK grid. They pay me a few pence per unit that I generate, although it’ll take years (far longer than people told me) to recoup the initial investment. But that’s not really the point.

I couple this by buying my extra energy from a supplier who guarantees that it comes from a renewable source.

Of course, gas is a bit different. It’d be pretty hard to get gas from a renewable source! But I tried another tack with this, and that was simply, a few years ago, to replace my old boiler with something new and energy-efficient. I’ve seen my gas usage drop dramatically as a result.

Anyway, I need to read my “generation” meter a couple of times a year, and today was the day.

Remember how I mentioned a while back how I like contrast? Well, I wish someone would tell the meter designers this, save them designing meters full of LCDs!