I’m back from a family trip to Nigeria, a journey to meet family as well as one that could have been seen as more a journey for personal belief that I didn’t even knew that I had. Nigeria has always been a place told about coming from but I was born and am growing up in England so I never took in the information when told about uncles, aunts, cousins, and my grandparents – I had enough on my plate trying to fit in to the English culture let alone a Nigerian culture that was no immediate issue for me. I went on a separate family trip back in 2010, so coupled with this 2013 trip it worked somewhat like my own ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘ as I have have now become somewhat curious of my upbringing. I’m not going to lie that though never too curious growing up but I have to thank my parents for actually bothering with my stubborn nature as it was somewhat agreed that we were going in January 2013 to see the progress of my father’s mission to make a house and a nice little retirement for the parents, the immediate and extended family. The on-going question I’m having to wrestle with due to the aftermath of a stroke is is it the result of a stroke, or is this just Alex-being-Alex for this certain problem or outcome? though I have a strong feeling that my friends will say it’s always been like me to be a bit absent-minded. One realisation I voiced to a fellow stroke survivor is that everything in a life can be seen as somewhat bigger than the norm for survivors as the mission to tackle the life-changing issue in the first place but then secondly to tackle whatever issue life throws in the path with whatever tools remaining post-incident – It could bog someone down as the automatic feeling is I’m useless. I try not to think that I’m alone in this way of thinking as I’m sure millions of students feel the same way or adults about going to work, it’s simply one of those things that people need to find purpose and reason to get up in the morning, something small so it doesn’t derail the rehabilitation process.
In my case I’ve luckily found enough motivation both personally – as well as having family & friends as they have helped immensely – though there are bad days (everyone has bad days) the big picture is a colourful one. Having the opportunity to even get on a plane at 40,000 feet in the air for seven hours is something taken for granted, every step in my rehab has been a case of double-checking the situation. It really helped that the doctor said there was no adverse reaction to flying so I took the chance anyway and I’m happy I did so as though the extended family on my dad’s side is massive and names were always a bit problematic for me, I’m still happy I went to Nigeria as each and every member was a delight. The heat may have been an issue as I believe is common place for most travelling from a country with 10°C weather to one boasting 35°C, though I prefer colder weather and I’ve been known to forget an Amlodipine but in Nigeria it meant for a couple of nose bleeds and I’ve already commented about those. In a different country there is a different culture – So to travel to a different continent means for some sort of square root symbol to that statement, it must be the culture shock and the heat that brought on the nose bleeds, manageable but still an unfortunate issue.
My sister and I came back a week earlier than our parents and I suggested that with as little supervision as possible she pop by to check up on me as I questioned if I was capable of living on my own. I’m over the moon that it worked out fine but then that’s just a new personal trait about me, I don’t want to be dependent all of my life. I’m always pushing my capabilities as though there is a constant feeling of wanting to replicate how life was before the incident, I’ve realised that a better tactic is to take things day-by-day and try to simply get as close as possible and if the result is not exact it’s not the end of the world – Use the tools capable today, not yesterday. Coping with myself in this house was reminiscent of my day’s stay at The Rehab Flat at The Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre, that experience gave me the confidence – This stroke isn’t the end of the world, merely the end of life as I knew it, still another day.
Well thank you for reading my scribbles, I simply don’t want anyone in the same boat to ever feel useless. A horrible feeling but it’s one of those situations that people should never allow it to consume them, try limiting that feeling to a day and not allowing it to manifest into a life-span. The Paralympics, though it may be quickly fading in society’s memory still planted one constant for me, the buzz-term to bottle that good feeling. I have to agree as there’s more reasons to look up than down when living day-by-day but the trick is to find them, day-by-day.