#11 So…Much progress

Today I started the final session of the day with Sophie who wanted me to stand on the vertical table for 20 mins. This was followed by walking down and up 3 flights of stairs with no support other than the hand rail.

Freestyle stair walking

Then we decided to go for it and we progressed to a one handed crutch and finally a single walking stick. Each time doing a full circuit of the 2 gyms. Awesome.

One stick wonder

#10 So…Flying

Laurent is a man after my own heart who has suffered an AVC on his left side and determined to get better as quickly as possible. He does everything as quickly as possible and caught me up with his own unique walking style. All I could hear was this “sloop” behind me followed by a sort of “wooshing”. I couldn’t work out what it was until Laurent overtook me. And then I was stunned by what I was seeing.

Today, Sophie, my physiotherapist, who in the nicest possible way ressembles à human rugby ball and is a great motivator for me, decided it was time to walk. So armed with a 3-pronged walking stick in my left hand, l set off walking in a measured and consistent albeit slow way. This was in total contrast to Laurent, the flying Frenchman

Laurent was moving at incredible speed. He would take a huge step with his left foot and immediately drag his right foot to be level with his left foot before taking a huge step again with his right foot. The problem was that his left foot was literally being dragged to keep with his right foot. All this at an incredible speed.

And then something amazing happened. There was no way he was going to make the corner and I imagined him hurtling into the wall and ending up in a crumpled heap on the floor

But no. Just as was about to hit the wall, he managed to make contact with the wall, almost as if he was walking up the wall. At the same time he succeeded in turning left and continued to walk towards the gym as if nothing was up. It was truly an incredible manœuvre, rebounding off the wall while maintaining his top speed. Amazing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

#9 So…Tearful

Sitting in the waiting room, following my meeting with Doctor Bach, I am full of different emotions.

Just before meeting the Doctor, I met another patient who has been operated on her nose to help her breathing and has been seen by DB for 3 years. I was so upbeat and positive in the face of my adversity, strong and confident that I would pull through, that really encouraged the lady before her appointment.

Then when I went in to see DB. I crumbled and could not stop the tears.

She explained how I was placed in a coma saying that they had taken a part of the cartilage under the skull and in doing so, the neuro surgeon could not stop the layer underneath that protects the brain from the cartilage crumbling and that caused the coma.

She said she expected me to make a full recovery but it will take aroumd a year. She wants to see me in December without a wheelchair. She said my optimism, determination and humour will pull me through.

I am so f#@*ked up. I don’t know whether to be angry or thankful, sad or euphoric. I hate being a cripple.

But i am thankful to John who explained how to deal with this in the present moment. Examine it from a distance and don’t let it consume you. It will pass and then you refind your positive way again thinking aboit getting better. Thanks John. Ypu have been a real support in many of my downtimes and i am really thankful and grateful for the inredible help, support, guidance and positive spirit.

#8 So….fat(ter)

Just had visit by the doctor Shergar (well her name is shergar but I col her doctor shergar like the Irish race horse that won the Grand National and then mysteriously disappeared. Also present was Celine the infirmière and doctor coquet, another doctor. They are concerned by my putting on 2 kilograms in weeks or maybe it was one week. Whatever, chocolate is now officially OFF THE MENU 😱😨😰🥶. Otherwise lump on arm has gone, am walking well and arm is moving. It’s just that I have choc attacks. Now have to put a plan of AA into action. Abstinence and Alternative healthy options. HOW SAD IS THAT.

Just can’t get enough

#7 So finally….

Everyday Sophie, my physio gives me 2 words to remember each day and I have to repeat them the following day. I now also give her words as well and we are both trying to out do each other. For instance, today, I was given “tourne-broche” (used to turn meat in a bbq) and “escalier.” In return she has to remember “waste paper bin” and “curtains.” Silly game but fun and it brightens up the morning. But I am concerned about my memory which used to be almost perfect before l had lumps taken out of my head.

#6 So happy. ..day out with Family

Children are amazing. It’s almost as if nothing is allowed to get deep under their skin and if it does, it certainly does not stay there long. Orlando was a total delight today and Héloïse was just her amazing self. I wish I had taken a photo of them

We ate at a Japanese restaurant recently opened up in Sceaux and we were greatly surprised by its quality. Sitting in row meant I spent most of my time talking to Orlando who surprised me on choosing a plateau of assorted sushi and went on to eat it all and even giving some to myself and Héloïse. I didn’t spend much time talking to Anne but the children were always going to be the centre of attention.

Héloïse was in her own world and chatting away with Anne. After lunch, Orlando and I drove to the centre where we spent a very happy time playing chess and a “Get of Jail” game. Although I eventually won at chess, Orlando was very good and we laughed and had a lot of fun.

A happy afternoon

Orlando played with my wheelchair and I even tried for 20 min to take a mini siesta while he played Agar.io, an iPhone game.

Finally after returning Orlando to Anne, I sent a message to Héloïse telling her how much I appreciated the time at lunch with her. She wrote back saying she was really busy with maths but sent me gros and big bisous *4. Awesome!!!!

What a great afternoon

#5 So ashamed….Who am I now?

8 weeks in a coma with no recollection of all the suffering around me in my hospital bedroom, so close to joining the other side permanently, I have awoken in every sense of the word.

I realize with absolute SHAME all the heartache I have caused my ex-wife, my children and my mother, brothers and my sister.

I am so ashamed.

There are times I want to give up, many times in fact, and pretty much every day. But the thought, desire, wish comes and eventually goes away as I realize that the best way to repay my enormous debt to my loved ones is to face up to what is the past and ensure that every moment of my new existence (post coma) is focused on being “really there” for everyone around me. I cannot change the past but I can endeavour to understand listen and hear each persons’ pain, and ensure all of my current and future experiences with each person are centered on enriching the lives of all those I have hurt especially in the last 10 years,my addiction years.

I am so sad that I have caused so much hurt

And I am so very sorry

#3 So phie…Friday afternoon in the gym

Sophie, the head physio at the centre, is such a character, she woke me up from a deep sleep after lunch and told me it was time to go the gym. Feeling completely out of it I managed to complete the work exercises using the parallel bars and steps. Then Sophie took me to one side and began to massage my left hand. Now there is massaging and there is Sophie’s massage. Moving my arm abruptly up, down, left and right, I was introduced to a new pain threshold. I tolerated it for an enormous 3 minutes but then I couldn’t bear it any more. As Sophie commented that my arm was moving more freely, I let out a very loud F&@K that was heard all over the gym. Sophie was crying out with laughter while I was crying tears of excruciating pain!

#1 So…My First Blog Post

Taken from Jeff Foster

So much of our lives are spent running – from pain, from vulnerability and from everyday struggle. Shed your resistance and step into the limitless ocean of the present moment.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

– Oscar Wilde

I used to have this idea that there was something wrong with me for not being able to accept the waves and make them go away, like I wasn’t strong enough. But it’s not about me being strong enough to accept the waves. The waves of present experience are already accepted in what l am. I don’t need to accept them. I just notice right now that they are already allowed in. I don’t have to be strong enough to accept them. I’m simply too weak to prevent them from coming in anymore.

– an unknown Dutchman