Tuesday 6 December 2011: Not a pile of poo...
... though that's what this clump of mushies looked like from a distance. A lot of things could be classified as such, and it reminds me of my experience yesterday.
I've been meaning to check out the Neurosupport Centre in Liverpool for a while now, but have been a bit of a wimp about going. Yesterday was the monthly coffee morning and friend R encouraged me to go, even accompanying me there on the train and for the hail-blasted walk across town. I think I expected a bunch of gibbering wrecks drooling into their coffee cups, or twitching/muttering/grimacing uncontrollably, and wondered where I'd fit in as I only do those things to a very slight degree. Instead I met a bunch of cheerful, friendly people who looked perfectly normal, although some had slight speech problems. None were a case of lights-on-but-not-at home, and in fact the life-force seemed to flow very strongly in those I spoke to. There seemed to be a general agreement that having a largely invisible condition means that you are dismissed in terms of disability.
A lady with myasthenia gravis said she had been verbally assaulted when getting out of her disabled-stickered car because she was able to walk (that day). Another lovely lady who suffered the same trauma as me 9 years ago, and had the same coiling operation, is walking with extreme difficulty and has quite pronounced speech problems.
A large spectrum of brain injury was presented in that room, with no two sufferers/survivers having the identical symptoms even if the type of disabling condition was the same. All, however, were cheerful and determined to make the best of things, a really humbling experience.
As it was the last meeting before Christmas they had laid on a raffle (I won a Wedgewood candlestick and bowl) and platesful of cakes, biscuits, chocolate and fruit to go with the tea or coffee. A rather plump lady who had been enjoying the fare asked me about my condition. I told her and said "What did you have?". She glanced at the now empty table and said "I had lots of chocolate!". Once we had established that she had a stroke 11 years ago we both had a good laugh over that one. As far as I know, overindulging in chocolate doesn't mean your brain will explode, although I could be wrong of course.
R came back for me from her shopping and we ventured back into town for more of the same, braving the icy wind and horizontal hail. There are some interesting street markets on at the moment and I especially enjoyed looking at the handmade goods on display. Got a few errands done and went for an enjoyable lunch in Debenhams before fighting the elements again to get back to the station. I was feeling pretty whacked by then and R pointed out that something had happened to my eye. I don't know if it was the cold, or the odd little headaches I've been having, but my left eye has a huge red patch on it, broken bloodvessels I expect.
Today I'm lazing around like an idle indolent sluggish slothful lazy thing.