In my bubble I can see a lot going on but I am not always able to participate; like playing football with my grandson Brody. I appreciate now what it takes for him to walk and run. Nine years ago after my stroke, I had to relearn to walk myself.
My biggest difficulty since my stroke is only being able to use one arm. People take for granted how tough it is to do up a shirt button with one arm, zip up a jumper or tie up my shoe lace. Now, I have learnt to sit in front of a mirror to co-ordinate my actions. It is the physical and mental challenge that is most difficult. This can cause me frustration. The only thing that can heal this frustration is time… and my determination to keep on trying.
I am still the same person I was before but I think my outlook on life is a lot different. I am still the same bolshie big mouth that I always was but I can’t argue back anymore! I can appreciate there is always someone worse off.
Headway has helped bring me out of my bubble. Meeting people in the same position as me has been a great help. You understand what people are going through, having been through similar experiences.
Paul suffered a stroke in 2004. He now acts as a support for new members who attend Headway’s services.