When is it time to hang up your Shoes?

Rhea at The Boomer Chronicles asked on Wednesday 2nd January Should Celebrities Who’ve Had Strokes Retire? She opened with this statement:

I feel bad about saying this, but was I the only one cringing as Dick Clark galumphed his way through his annual New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square? The effects of his 2004 stroke were in evidence.

I wanted to add my thoughts on the subject at the time, but a senior moment would not allow me to recall a name I needed! I have to admit that I was distracted by a phone call and forgot about my desire to comment for the remainder of the day.

On Thursday LifeTwo blogs by Wesley picked up the subject and asked the same question. He went on to say

“I do feel that the less that stroke victims (or any other disease) are stigmatised the better for all. Mr. Clark had to relearn how to walk and talk and if part of his motivation for doing so was a desire to get back to his regular life then more power to him.”

Unstable health has prevented me from working in gainful employment for the past 5-6 years. I in no way feel ready for the grave! I have my say and interact with people through my blog and various forms of modern technology. Unfortunately the modern world we live in today allows for isolationism. We work, write, speak, shop and all but sleep through computers. It is possible to go for a week or longer without seeing another living soul.

When young and healthy and in a work situation it is easier to think and make regular arrangements for social activities. I have to admit that I miss the social interaction with work colleagues: the laughter to ease a tense work situation, the support when something proves difficult and the praise and sense of achievement for a job well done, and the laughter… yes the laughter at all the little silly things we all do from time to time.

We all become distracted with day to day normal life and those, who for some reason are out of the loop become forgotten. It is not intentional, just the way life is.

If we start excluding people because they suffer the effects of a stroke we are in danger of encouraging the snowball syndrome. Stroke victims today, epileptics tomorrow! We may not agree with the ideas of Professor Stephen Hawking who has had motor neuron disease for practically all his adult life. Yet it has not prevented him from having a family, and being successful in his field of work. Thanks are due to Jane his wife, his children, and a large number of other people and organisations. The condition has progressed more slowly for Stephen than is often the case. But it shows that no one need lose hope of doing something worthwhile.

13 thoughts on “When is it time to hang up your Shoes?

  1. Nothing should stop someone being who they are or stop them from doing what they want to. For some people having a stroke might leave them needing serious rehabilitation, however when they can see people that have had similar experiences getting on with their lives once more then knowing that a close to normal life can be possible again is half the rehabilitation battle.

    I’m using a stroke as an example but the same would apply to almost every other affliction out there.

    Dick Clark should have been lauded for his appearence not derided. Just as Wesley mentioned.

  2. Hear! Hear! Grannymar

    We seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet today. I know exactly what you mean about feeling ‘out of the loop’ but… looking at it on the bright side…just look at what we’d have missed out on had we been ‘in the loop’ all these years.

    The day I fall off my perch, is the day I hang up my shoes. I presume that’s where the expression ‘pop my clogs’ comes from?

    And anyway, God loves a trier! 😀

  3. Well said, Grannymar. The best person for a job is someone who is passionate and enthusiastic about it. If someone has had to fight their way back to that yearned-for position due to ill health, I think they fit that description!

  4. Grannymar,

    Presumably, if living in Britain, Rhea would also suggest that the brilliant Patrick Moore should cease presenting ‘The Sky at Night’, the world’s longest running television series, because he is incapacitated with arthritis, and why not get rid of all the other people who make us ‘cringe’ at the same time?

  5. Sorry folks I was away for a couple of hours and unable to reply to your comments. So far you all agree with me and I am pleased to see that.

    I wish I was able to work if only for the camaraderie but days like yesterday where the extreme cold had the effect of a heavy brick on my chest do not help. Heat turned up to 70°F and Salsa music to encourage me to keep moving had little effect.

    Thankfully today is a better day.

  6. We have sanitised disability by forcing it into the background. We just don’t want to ‘see’ people with disabilities, chronic illness or recovered victims especially as TV presenters! We (and I’m not sure who ‘we’ are by the way) want white perfect smiles, handsome air-heads or pretty blondes and inane talking heads. I think of someone like Michael J Fox who is fighting the fight with Parkinson’s. Once everyone’s darling, he’s rarely seen or heard these days. Perhaps it’s his choice but I doubt it.

    I agree with the work thing too. Having been off work for five weeks, I’m ready to get back into it. Not because I love my job but I do miss the interaction with others. I’m sorry you’ve been a bit down Grannymar . . but you know where I am, happy to cheer you up whenever you’re online!

  7. I feel the pain of watching a stroke victim (or one with some other affliction) struggle with his speech, but I think it is the pain of compassion. It’s hard to watch because you tense up wanting to pull the words out of their mouths and there’s always the fear that the effort will prove to be too much for that person. But, I don’t think he or she should have to retire because of the problem.

  8. I remember a dear old friend who had a fall, staved her arm, cut her face and broke her nose. At the hospital the Doctors were looking at X-Rays and discussing whether at 75 it was worth putting her through the pain of reseting her nose. Lil overheard and said “It is my nose and if I want it reset then you reset it!” They did. A couple of weeks later she had a stroke and spent some time at the same hospital. Her speech started to come back after a couple of days and as I approached her room each day I could hear a voice speaking loudly. She was shouting out everything she could see eg. bed, blanket, cutrains, wall etc. She had great spirit and recovered. Lil picked up her life went on travelling about the globe etc until she reached 95.

  9. Oh Grannymar! You poor thing, suffering like that in all this cold. I hope tomorrow is a better day all round and finds you singing your little heart out. I’ll be listening!

    Incidentally, Lil’s grit and determination sounds very like someone else I know…Mmm… I wonder who that could be 😉

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