Metanoia:A Stroke of Luck

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So one night Saturday night after not drinking anything that didn’t have alcohol in it for around five days, I went to bed with Ange. A few hours later she left, telling Trent and Ryan that I was acting weird. Oh well, I was really drunk. Fair enough. I arose from sleeping thru the day. I came out of my room, still feeling tired at around 3PM, and promptly fell asleep. Woke up again sometime after that and put myself back to bed. As I had quit my job around a week before this day, I didn’t have work to go to on Monday, but Trendy did. Sucker.

So I woke up Monday at about lunchtime.. I think it was lunchtime anyways, and I was on a mission to smoke my first cigarette since Saturday night. Ryan and Sir Richard Molst were still at our place after the weekend of bending (getting messed up). They seemed worried about me, but I was fine in my mind. Just a standard big weekend. I did however notice that my speech was a little slurred still after hours of sleeping sobering up. However I did not care, I wanted a ciggie.

So we go out to the balcony for a smoke, and I noticed my balance was a bit off too. Ryan and Molsty we’re insistent that I went to hospital. I declined their offer, and said if it would make them happy I’d go see my family doctor, but they knew everything wasn’t as alright as I believed it to be. After all, they could see my face, I could not. So we got in the car and headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital, were luckily for me, Ange’s mother worked in the emergency department. It was pretty clear to them that I’d had a stroke. So they put me in a hospital bed stuck some drip thingos into my arm, did some tests with their big machines that went ping and shoved me in a private room. Thanks to Ange’s mum for that!

In hospital you get given three meals a day, and they wake you up for each of them. Or they just wake you up for tests and whatnot, anyway they don’t agree with my sleeping patterns. Which are wake up at about 3pm and go thru the night till 4-5am then go to bed. A completely normal sleeping pattern for people living in the days of electric lighting.

Also that reminds me, I hate the sun. I know that the sun, and the stars that were before this one are giving us heavy elements and also gives us all the current sources of energy. I know that without the sun we’d be fucked. Really, really fucked. Yet I still hate it. Us humans are not lizards. Why the fuck do you people like the sun?! I know my climate controlled apartment that I currently live in is the best. Why fight nature, when you can evolve with it? Grrr the sun is bad and causes cancer. Bad, bad sun.

So anyway the stroke took away the right side of my body’s movement. Right arm was completely out of order, and having balance issues. They didn’t let me climb stairs for a little while cos they were sure I’d fall and break my arse. My face was also looking a little weird because I lost control of the right side of it. Also I think I lost a massive part of my speaking abilities, finding words was hard and communication with me just resulted in small short answers.

Just like my Granny did when I interviewed her for a English assignment in year seven. ‘How was the war for you?’, ‘Alright.’ Shit. Impossible to get more than a one word answer. Come to think about it, she might have already had a stroke so that would explain that.

So the moral of that story is that I had to do a lot of work to get myself back in working order. So they had me transferred to a rehab clinic after spending a week in the hospital. And for the next six weeks I spent learning to do simple shit again. Picking up little wooden pegs and putting them in holes. You know, kids stuff. Yet you should know by now that I’m just a kid, so kids games work for me. As long as there is a challenge there (which moving my hands to pick them up and move them provided me with).

As most of my rehab was done with older folk than little 21 year old me. Except a few people there that had car crashes or motorbike accidents or whatever; but 21 is young for a stroke. So anyway after spending a month at the rehab centre, I got to go home. All this time I thought ‘This is the best thing that’s happened to me’. I received money from the helpful Australian government who thought it was better that I rest rather than work. This lasted a for just over a year. Also I’m about to give volunteering a plug.

So about three months went by and my dad said “You’ve got to work, son.” and off he went got me a volunteer job at the Melbourne museum (my dad worked for them, but at scienceworks, the science museum here in Melbourne). My job was doing programming for them one day per week. Because I had no formal qualifications they originally started me up with something really simple, can’t remember what it was, but it was really easy. So slowly they advanced me onto harder and harder things.

I also started doing some contract work for School Research and Evaluation Measurement Services, which was run by a father of my good friend Rowan Smith. Anyway, he had some table written in excel, my job was to make it a program so the schools could upload their data to the software and then the software would analyse it. I don’t really know what all the values ‘mean’. Like I know how I figure them out, but their use in schools I have no idea. Pretty much, it grabs raw data and outputs pretty colours and graphs and stuff. I didn’t know it then, but this would become my fulltime job.

So eventually I would start working for the museum a couple of days a week, still of course volunteering, as I was getting money from the government during all this. Time to relax, I could see how a life of stress could bring you down now. I would never find out why I had the stroke, but I can tell you this with utter certainty: I’m so fucking glad I had it. It has made me a much more a ‘meh whatever’ person, rather than a ‘your fucking kidding me’ kind of person… and it gave me a year off, what a bloody champ that clot in my brain was. Well I really liked it anyways.

So eventually the government was pushing for me to get a full-time job again, probably because they want to receive money in the form of tax, rather than give it all to lazy me. As you can tell, I really enjoyed my time off and didn’t want to start working again. But if that is what had to be done, so be it. I went to quite a few (two) interviews, and fucked up my words of explaining what I did exactly. This was the first time my English skills where holding me back. I think that is ridiculous, going for a job in ‘information technology’ and not getting the job because your English skills aren’t the best after a stroke. I even told them that I had a stroke at the start of the interview, come to think about it, that’s probably the reason.

Anyways so lucky for me, a contract came along. A nine month full-time, paid, government contract. The reason the ‘government’ in that last sentence was underlined was because, that meant you did nothing. Well, I suppose you were there 8 hours a day, which I managed to slice it down to about 6 hours… and a lot of that was spent not doing work. Alright, the contract I got was for probably, two, maybe three, full working weeks- and about nine months to do it in, real tough gig doing that. Coffee and morning smoke-o would take us till 11 before we started pretending to do work. My dad always wanted me to have a good government job, and here it was, although it wasn’t permanent it was still a paying fulltime job.

So with that I was no longer receiving free money from the government, and thus ending the best year of my life. Pity that, my free year of bludging and taking some of the tax dollars paid back (yes, I have paid all that money plus a whole heap more in tax, and that was before I had my stroke). I wish I could have a stroke every year, that would get me out of work without feeling guilty that I was taking other peoples tax dollars. I also want to get on with this journey based on my time. It’s really quite boring, but that as you’ll see is not the point of all this. I just want to get my point across, and that’s just that it’s all just time. Hopefully I’ll get off this topic because it’s really boring me, I hate to think what it’s doing to you.

So then about a year went by, I don’t really remember what happened in that year. I suppose there are heaps of things did actually happen, but I’d be fucked if I can remember any of it, but on the plus side we’re just about to get interesting. Well much more interesting, we’ll cover my unscientific theories and whatnot about cats and stuff. So if you have got this far well done.