Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Most of the last few months I've been occupied with the work of functioning again. Doing things like learning to walk (still a bit iffy) and so on. It has been, I don't mind saying, quite hard work, mostly because my stamina went through the floor when I had those strokes. Two months ago, and I would need a sleep after half an hour's (with hindsight) light physiotherapy. 

Everything apart from the necessary pretty much went by the wayside. Of course, 'necessary' for me included hours spent painstakingly posting, but the damaged brain demands odd things of us after a stroke, and feeling connected can be as important as being able to stand unsupported for 60s.

Now, nearly four months after the "brain event" I can go to the gym and then swim and work up a sweat, be bushed, stiff and sore, but I don't usually just keel over and sleep (although it still happens). Similarly, writing this is a task measurable in minutes, not hours (or days), and won't leave me exhausted.

I figured it was about time I started to pick up some of the pieces that I left in New York, so life is a bit easier when I eventually get home. Unfortunately, less of the fun and interesting neglected friend-related pieces, and more of the AT&T and AmEx pieces. It did not go well.

My advice on the subject boils down to this: don't have a stroke, because most companies are simply not set up to understand the complete interruption to your life that a stroke entails. If you have to have a stroke, don't recover from it outside the US, because most companies--even the international ones--don't believe in addresses outside the US. Go ZIP or go home.

Despite the genuine concern and good wishes of all the human beings I spoke to, their companies' information systems seem designed to depress, threaten, distress, aggravate, and ideally kill anyone who's had a stroke.

Show me the designers, I need to work on the physical mechanics of kicking.