The regression and downs

Now the stroke came in mid November 2016 it was election time in the United States and the Readhead won(I have never deciphered how democracy places such characters in our hands but well he was announced. The greatest dog that I know of is karma it must be a lovely maltese. Today as I write this, the Redhead believes he was rigged. Away from the politics, we travelled to Kampala and I suffered motion sickness to an extent of feeding with a tube. I used to feed mostly on yoghurt and you know a syringe is used (without the needle to push the liquid down. I would feel the soft liquid in the upper part of the chest as it made its way down to the stomach.That was the first setback but we pushed on.

I came to the rehabilitation center around February 2017 and I responded well to physiotherapy

Now Facebook is like a journal entry, I do sort of microblogg and ooh I am wordy

So with those strides there was consesus that I perhaps move from the center as long as I continued getting physiotherapy and I was good to go,we went to Aunt Vicky’s at Naguru from where I would be taken for physiotherapy at mulago, at the time I could hold a walker and walk unaided but under supervision, the caretaker whom I had while walking with me for some reason didn’t watch me and next I knew, I was on the ground.I must have fallen on the left leg because the physiotherapist working on me suggested that I do a pelvic x-ray because of the way I was walking.That was the second setback. This erased all the efforts and gains I had made to perhaps square zero. The principal physiotherapist came to assess me and the pain was too much as the stretching of the muscles was too much for me.But I held on to one day at a time and now the stretching is not no longer painful.

It was a Monday 18th November,2019 the previous day Ndugu Chairman had come to see me.As I was taking breakfast to get to the rehabilitation center the convulsions began(I have no account on what happened as I had slipped into unconscious state infact an ambulance had to be called and I woke up on Wednesday and had been unconscious for three days. That was the third setback . Stroke related convulsions happen due to the scarring of the brain and this causes the electrical activity in the brain to get affected. Those who saw me knew that I was not going to make it but it’s tweny tweny one and here we are.

Now I have literally seen days but the one above is sustaining me there’s a reason I am moving on despite the setbacks the Lord has a plan for me and yes the good maltese is back as the Redhead is leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,we thank God

Physiotherapy; Securing my future.

It is rather awkward using the above title given that some political party uses the phrase as the title

This right here is a side sitting exercise meant to correct the curved back, you have to love exercises as a patient because you have to gain independence.

Now the only way out of a stroke is physiotherapy and like I have previously written,it aids neuroplasticity ( process of rewiring the damaged nerves) Actually the reason I go for it daily is to regain my independence albeit with some imperfections and to understand physiotherapy is like if you were to walk 20km,it is better to walk 2km for ten days to achieve the purpose of the intended exercise.

Upon assessment, the physiotherapist designs a range of exercises to achieve a particular objective and comparison with other patients as this is totally wrong, stroke is a case by case basis and if you look at how other patients are progressing. This is very bad as it can discourage you.After the regression which basically took me back to square zero,it was recommended to use a standing frame basically to strengthen the muscles. Now I used to ask myself questions like,’how comes there is no change?’ . There is a saying that patience pains but pays. Now I definitely know that this will be a year of perfection of the imperfections. The first blog post post stroke is titled amazing grace the reason is because the physiotherapist working on me was once asked,naye oyo anatereera?’ to which he replied,. Kija kuba kisa kyakatonda (it will be by God’s grace that he will get fine. Now I am a believer and getting through all this requires the grace of God because it’s not humanly possible. Are we there yet, not yet but we shall get there and continue Securing my future with physiotherapy.

Dear 2021

It is safe to call you a noun because you represent time many are writing to you and iam sure you are tired but will be kind enough to read from all of us, you know a resolution for the year is like a crying baby in church,it must immediately be carried out

Your brother 2016 wasn’t kind to me it’s when the stroke struck, the first months were fairly well but life hasn’t been the same , I have maintained my humor and cynical self or perhaps increased it. One can argue that it is a copying up mechanism but all in all I am not about to stop. I now live love and laugh. So I have learned that a strong support system around one in such illnesses can help one get back up, it’s not easy but the one above sustains us and strengthens us . This whole time, I expect you to be a time to perfect the imperfections .Iam cognizant of the fact that recovery comes with imperfections and I am ready to live with that.

One of the greatest lifelessons I have learned from all this time is the difference between reaction and response to tragedy. The first years I was simply reacting and I even slipped into depression because my life was shattered, my dream was to complete a masters by 30 and to begin writing on a PhD by 35 and everything was in place or so I thought, life had other plans and the stroke struck . And in the same year the acceptance email came through but that meant nothing because I couldn’t talk or walk. But upon acceptance, I crafted a response well in my mind and things are falling in place. If I were to talk to my younger self, I would say,”life is not going to be kind to you always and you need to invest in the right people”. Indeed the Return on Investment in Friendship has been amazing I have written about how friends have stood with me and they tell me that I would have done the same if it were them in my predicament. So perhaps I am a good human or so I think.

So yes Physiotherapy is the only way out and it’s not cheap but again the one above sustains us and provides. It is supposed to aid in the neuroplasticity (rewiring the damaged nerves) and so far so good. It’s a long process infact recovery continues through life. So for the voice and speech a few elements like articulation are still lacking but with more practice we shall perfect the imperfection. Mentally one has to be ready for that as there’s no magic bullet to recovery. Patience is very key in all this. There’s a morning greeting we have at the rehabilitation center especially with patients who perhaps got a mild stroke and speech is not affected,they say, Roland olyotya? I reply, bulungi (though faintly and next is obuluma? and my faint reply is bujakuwona(meaning that I will be fine). Mushie I read your words daily and I will fight on . The Chinese flu seems to have mutated and we don’t know what you have in plans for us. My countrymen will in a few days go to the useless thing called voting, I think the EC is so prepared that even the results are ready.

Lifelessons from, When Breath becomes air

This is a memoir written by Paul karanathi at the time when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, suffice to note Paul was a man of many hats and had a Degree in literature from Stanford University so his writing was on point,

Because of the stroke making me inactive, I love reading because reading is liberating.

Many times in life we are running around, doing things but we never prepare for these times, Paul karanathi had a soaring career in Neurosurgery and at the time most universities would have loved to employ him, very few people of Paul’s age can get that type of cancer,in my case it is a few that can get stroke at a young age. Whereas I go by the moniker old man, perhaps life was being cynical and said,”welcome to old age” . In all illnesses, the patient is always the pseudo expert in the illness like Paul did, whereas he was a doctor, this time he was the patient and would be asked to look at the scans at one point he wanted a certain drug as an agent for chemotherapy despite the strong advice. I have been there and sometimes wanted to get drugs that can reduce the sparsticity (stiffness) of the body despite the Principal physiotherapist not agreeing to it. Its simple illness can lead to alot of things and you want to walk/talk the next day so any suggestions of a drug helping are not taken lightly.

Life is what you make it, upon the diagnosis and acceptance,he planned on how to live on he planned his life with Lucy and even suggested that she should remarry, this is a great takeaway sometimes you don’t have to burden the world with your life situation,no person is going to come and cry on your behalf, the least thing you need is self-pity because it has never helped anyone. Paul became aware that he had limited time and began writing his memoirs. Similarly with impaired speech, I realized that I could write and resumed blogging call it my new speak,lots of readers have praised my courage but my cynical self says, being strong is the only thing to do.

I gathered alot of courage from Paul.He even resumed neurosurgery after the illness until he was weak and couldn’t anymore. Paul even had courage up to his last breath. All lives are important but when some end it is tragic, Paul’s story is beautiful and gives meaning of life in illness.

Perfect Imperfection… continued

Sometimes we are created by being destroyed, now about four years ago, I was destroyed by a severe stroke that took away the speech and movement, the first months I was in self denial because I couldn’t believe it, I literally saw all my dreams being shattered. At the time I had been waiting for an acceptable for a masters from the University of Pretoria and indeed it came fully sponsored as had been assured so I was literally walking on a boulevard of broken dreams

The stroke affected the left side which also controls speech so even as you read this, I type with the right hand as the left hand is paralyzed and weak

But upon acceptance, I learnt that the only way out of this was physiotherapy and so far so good. Most readers applaud my strength but I guess we have to dare to live and forget about the past and we can brave on . Now recovery is slow but sure. One thing that has stood out are the friends who have walked with me in this journey and that gets me thinking, I must have done the right thing to deserve such love and indeed love lifts us up at our lowest and it continues to lift me, messages by friends of encouragement and support always push me to keep braving on

This was written by a young friend of mine because the mum is a great friend, she wrote,Dear Mwene, I think coming to visit you has made you happy.I also hope you learn how to talk and get better

To tell you the truth, the writing made me sob a little and I decided to frame it. Such love can’t fail to lift one up.

So yes being strong and braving on is the only option I have and Iam not about to let you down
Today morning, I called Gelax like I do to most of my friends and she said she heard me clearly. Happy Sunday y’all and by God’s grace, this year shall end and we will manage 2021

The Book without a Face

So the greatest therapy in all this has been friendtherapy and most of the friends I have met has been on Facebook, when you search deeper, you are likely to find gems in them(I know Mwagale will read this the other way round)

The first time I met Mwagale was in December of 2014or there about. Fwaza Bright came and picked me up and off we were to solent avenue Bugolobi where I met the awesome Jade( I found out that she is married, wabula mwene has split firewood at people’s wedding but we serve a living God and will be fine.

So Mwagale has a Charity event she organizes and partners with facebook friends to support children at the Cancer ward of Mulago to put a smile on their faces and make their Christmas memorable and this year even with the Chinese flu they had to do it following the SOPs.

So today the girl child visited the old man and it was a great visit, Finally I met Faith, for Paula we have met before (Maureen don’t read mate). Good friends see you in their free time but great friends free their time to come and check on you, I am loved and won’t let you down, thanks for the love

The girl child movement checking on me

Perfect imperfection

We have seen the phrase or perhaps used it in lines but it means having a flaw that we actually view as perfect and that’s with stroke recovery, actually the truth is that recovery continues through life and comes with some flaws on the human body. This was inspired by a beautiful and sassy lady from Naija,we shall call her Gelax for now. She is a fellow blogger and reader too, Recently I joined Afrobloggers a platform for emerging digital voices in Africa and oh its amazing reading from them sometimes I hide in shame being with these writers whose prose is nothing but platinum. The universe has a way of placing people who have similar preference and ideals together so I guess it gave me Gelax as a friend.

So recovery in stroke is slow but sure, to borrow some phrase of NRM,it is steady progress.What is required is holding on one day at a time.Now given that physiotherapy is the only way out, you gotta go for it. I go 5 days a week and in simple speak,it is speaking to the nerves.

That right there is a cockup splint which keeps the fingers and joints in a functional position to enable them do the things it did earlier (regaining independence)

Now recovery surely comes with the body having the imperfections but the only way to make them perfect is the acceptance that it is going to be like that. For example with walking if one recovers it is going to be with a slight limp basically stroke alters God’s creation but upon knowledge of the fact things fall in place.

Now this has been a very hard year, the Chinese flu has had the best of us,taken our loved ones and changed our lifestyle, I think saying merry Christmas won’t suffice let me safely say Happy Holidays

Tweny Tweny; We are in the struggle

The resolutions

Now when you are starting a new year, you have resolutions; they are diverse depending on the person. Now when you have been stroking for the last four years, the only struggle is to be fine, and when you have had speech impairment, only you can get out of it now to the reader, I was literally dumb for about three years, the only comfort was that I was communicating by phone.I realized that the brain was getting used to the phone and that was sad because then rewiring the damaged nerves could forever take long, I thus made efforts on top of the speech therapy to begin saying out words with the hope that the more practice the better.

Then the Chinese flu had other plans,in March, a lockdown was announced and transport stopped, I said to myself,’you gotta keep moving’ I decided that I could do some simple stretching of the body joints and muscles because I am now used to them and I know the objective the physiotherapists want to achieve with each exercise.That kept the body active such that Contractures don’t happen.

Then that done I knew that the struggle was halfway through, the speech was next now to the reader the speech is developing and I can say a few words and working on sentences and so far so good.I now call a few people and say hello, now you have to be keen to listen and get the word audibly.I have called a few friends on their birthdays to wish them well and my satisfaction is getting a thank you at the end iam certain I go like ‘aaapi baade’ but now I am working on getting the words heard you see practice makes perfect so the more practice the more the words will come out,Are we there yet, not yet but we will get there and the struggle shall be over.I use Facebook as a journal entry for my life which is why I have inserted the screenshot to give a background.

Covid; the political virus

When the novel Coronavirus broke out last year in Wuhan,none knew the implications therein, first the outgoing American Leopard called it the Chinese flu reasoning that it was manufactured in China,he even threatened to cut the government funding to the WHO

Here in Uganda our first case was in March and then subsequent measures were activated including a total lockdown,the president has in the past had over 15 addresses over covid and being in the people’s faces every time portrays him as one in charge.

First there was food distribution by the LDUs and local council chairmen again entrenching the patronage, suffice to note any other distribution would amount to attempted murder.

The key points of government communication have been on observing the SOPs to prevent the mass deaths, in some addresses,a video of the situation in other countries would be shown. So the emphasis would be made that we are at war.The president gave a proverb in the local dialect that it is a fool that looks at a burning house and says, Prepare for me to sleep. So in our minds this was the President in charge and the international media praised him.

Now the irony began When Ephraim Kamuntu was pictured addressing crowds in a church and when,”mama corona” was pictured clearly ignoring the SOPs that her Ministry had set.The president came out and defended her reasoning that she was overwhelmed, another was the gatekeeper of koboko who reasoned that she is the only way to development of Koboko, she was pictured with large crowds but as Usual the explanation was that the crowds are organic and controlling them is hard. Infact the president for once pointed out that why were the opposition MPs being arrested yet the NRM MPs were not being arrested. In an interview with NBS he said that those calling for elections were enemies of the people still emphasizing that we are in a war

Fast forward the Electoral Commission releases an electoral roadmap saying that campaigns will be Scientific without crowds, this reasoning is because the government loves us so much that it can’t afford to lose the citizens to the deadly virus.Then at the beginning of November were the presidential nominations and Robert Kyagulanyi is arrested and detained for violation of the guidelines as if he was the only candidate and later he is arrested.

I dare say that covid is the best thing that has happened to the NRM government and the pretence of wanting to save lives is a joke because the lives lost in the past days haven’t died of covid-19, but rather politicizing the virus to score political goals. We are truly the peril of Africa.

We are the peril of Africa.

Uganda is always referred to as a pearl of Africa but given that the quote is attributed to Churchill ,it is safe to say that we are the peril of Africa judging by the latest government action in halting the development partners scheme of give directly fund by the USAID, the reasoning might be that we are arrogant and can’t be seen begging for survival therefore we look at this as being reduced to a nanny state. Another theory being fronted is that the funds are actually going to assist the Duke of Gomba and given that Joel is retiring into presidency,chances can’t be taken.

To understand the aidonomics, actually a give directly fund benefits and empowers more households,if 120,000 is given to a household, it means that a shopkeeper gains and so does the farmer. Therefore those advancing the trickle down effect argument is out of place.

The Junta cannot come to terms with the fact that the economy is down and it needs a stimulus, the world Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2020, the World Food Program is no longer in the habit of giving out food but rather money. The regime should accept that it has failed its citizens,

To understand the priority of the regime, one needs to look at the adverts that run on the TVs, the covid 19 guidelines have stopped and all we have is the advert of Joel in a pineapple farm as the advert is saying that we are totally fine so the foreigners can’t burst our bubble with the timely interventions.We are that predictable the people would rather starve as we keep our pride.