My name is Laura Q.. I live at the foot of the beautiful Ochil Hills in the Forth Valley area of Central Scotland.
In August of 1997, when I was seventeen years old , I suffered a massive stroke which left roughly half my brain as useless scar tissue.
In the immediate aftermath the left-hand side of my body was completely paralysed and I could barely sit up in bed without becoming unbearably dizzy never mind standing or walking.
One of my first thoughts on becoming aware that I could no longer move my left arm was: “How will I play guitar now?”. Somehow, in that traumatic time it never crossed my mind that much more mundane tasks like eating and getting dressed would be much greater obstacles.
Over the following months and years I gradually regained some function with the help of some wonderfully dedicated physiotherapists and occupational therapists to the point where I walk unaided and can move my left arm at the shoulder and elbow enough to dress myself but the hand and wrist have remained stubbornly uncooperative for over two decades now.
While the world can be grateful that I never have found a way to massacre “Wish You Were Here” on the guitar, I have developed myriad techniques for accomplishing various tasks with one hand which is what I will be sharing with you here.
While I have not been in employment for many years I have never been one for doing nothing and in the years since the stroke I have:
Met and married a truly wonderful man who is unerringly patient and supportive, and even agreed to marrying on the eighth anniversary of my stroke to turn that date from being the anniversary of the worst day of my life into being the anniversary of the best;
Completed an H.N.D. in Computing (Support);
Volunteered as an administrative assistant for a national charity;
Worked in I.T. Support for a university;
Worked as a secretary for a charity;
Volunteered in a charity book and music shop;
Volunteered with a hospital radio station, including presenting my own show;
Designed and set up a Website for a local charity;
Completed several courses with The Open University;
Gained a Foundation Amateur Radio Licence
and travelled extensively both within the U.K. and internationally.
This blog is part of my latest attempt to live as full and productive a life as possible despite my limitations.