Sometimes looking at this website which I have been running now since December 2008, I wonder if it is really the wild ramblings of a hypochondriac because so much of it, though less recently, has been to do with illness.
The site was born quite soon after I had a a serious, well, life-threatening, brain haemorrhage in my left frontal lobe which carried with it a number of side-effects too such as a fractured spine, some elements of double vision, a speech impediment, bouts of dizziness, a partially paralysed left vocal chord and, I suspect, a touch of sudden illness trauma.
Forgive me if you have heard all this before but today, I am feeling different about things and I am in celebratory spirits.
Over the last 19 months, I rebelled and challenged the constant advice of my doctors to “take care” and not to “over-do” things and I was told not to do any exercise that would raise my heart rate significantly and to “listen” to my body and do what it told me.
Well my body told me, mostly, that I felt crap, that I was tired most of the time, that talking and using my eyes were troublesome experiences, that my back hurt and that my head felt, well, weird.
First of all, my back began to feel better largely thanks to my persistence in practising my Taichi exercises and Kungfu patterns, under the tutelage of my instructor Neil Johnson, so much so that I have recovered without any physiotherapy and now, my back feels almost one hundred percent recovered.
Then I was sent to something called The Dizzy Clinic where doctors tackled the cause: small particles dislodged during the violent epileptic fits that accompanied my brain haemorrhage. This was an amazing piece of therapy where I was pushed around for a bit and left the surgery completely cured.
I spent a year on anti-seizure tablets which made me feel ill and supplied me with a whole load of extra symptoms that I could have done without out but I have now been off them for eight months and have done tests which have confirmed that I will not be permanently epileptic.
I have been visiting consultants at the Eye hospital and the Ear Nose and Throat department at my local hospital where I have been receiving treatment for my eye and vocal chord damage. My double vision has been retreating recently since I started doing a series of eye exercises every day which may indicate that I can be cured without eye surgery and next week I go to the throat consultant who will see if my vocal chords are getting better or whether I will need surgery there too.
I have also seen a speech therapist and a singing teacher who have been working on my stammer and my damaged vocal chords which not only effected my voice but which left me liable to unexpected choking attacks.
My stammer is, maybe, more under control now but I suspect I have got it for life. As some people say it makes me sound as if I think before I speak, maybe I should just buckle down and get used to it.
My neurologist had been worried of late that I may have had a slight stroke at the time of my haemorrhage because a significant number of my symptoms effected the left side of my body so I have had my blood pressure monitored and have just taken a cholesterol blood test so see how much I am still at risk from heart disease or stroke.
In January I was told that I could start to get fit again with aerobic exercises so I was signed up to a gym with a therapeutic personal trainer on the advice of my doctor and I have begun the slow journey back to full fitness.
I have had a number of brain scans during this time and, on each occasion, it has been clear that the blood is gradually draining from the haemorrhage site but it is still there and I will have to wait until my next scan at the end of this year to find out if it has finally gone all together.
I have been tested and checked for so many complications now that a whole range of doctors have looked most of my body, internally and externally, and come to the conclusion that, with the above exceptions, I am in remarkably good nick!
Last week, I saw my GP for some of these results and he was very upbeat about it all. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal, and he thinks I am making a total recovery.
I have listed all this because, maybe for the first time since that haemorrhage in October 2008, I am beginning to feel really well again – almost normal in fact and definitely optimistic about the future.
As the sun is shining here in England on this May morning and the temperature is rising after a disappointingly chill Spring, I want to celebrate my recovery and to thank all those National Health Service teams that have patiently guided me through this traumatic period.
I hope that this is not premature but, sitting here today I feel that a dark cloud has passed with the help of a lot of professional and some very good friends.
Thanks to you too, my readers, for sticking with me, it has been good knowing that I have been talking to so many of you in 90 countries world-wide even if I still have no readers in Vermont.