At the end of April I suffered a Lacunar Stroke while driving home from work - no warning signs, no obvious reason. Traumatic and frightening experience, and I have posted on this forum previously - thanks to all who replied with positive messages, they help enormously to know you’re not alone in how you are feeling and coping.
Luckily I am on the recovery path now, but my stroke has left me with a Dystonic Tremor in my right arm and hand; Post-Stroke Fatigue; brain fog, difficulty concentrating and some forgetfulness - and has been a huge knock to my confidence for driving, because it happened in the car, and going out alone.
I’m still off work from my main job as it involves working out in the often rural communities and lots of lone driving, but I also freelance doing photography and creative project management so two weeks ago I set myself a goal (small steps) to voluntarily photograph the dress rehearsal for the dance school my daughter-in-law teaches and choreographs at, just a small test of stamina, in a safe environment amongst friends, at their annual show in our local theatre.
Not an easy task now with a hand/arm tremor and a DSLR camera. So some adaptations were needed. Lots of research led to a ball head rig from smallrig.global; monopod with ball joint, body strap and hand strap - for my now clumsy wobbly self! All incredibly helpful, not just physically but more importantly psychologically too, proving to myself I can get back and find my ‘new’ normal.
The amazing choreographers, dancers and singers at the Joanne Banks Dancers then decided to dedicated part of their annual dance show at Darlington Hippodrome, to an audience of over 1,500 over 3 nights, to raise awareness of Stroke and raise money for the amazing work the Stroke Association do.
I also posted some of the images, and my story, to Instagram and Facebook and the Facebook post generated £130 donations to The Stroke Association too - a lovely and totally unexpected outcome as my intention was to raise awareness rather than seek donations.
It took me days to recover from the photo shoot as my fatigue really kicked in and my tremor was really bad by the time I finished, but I’m so glad I pushed myself. My camera usually goes wherever I go, so knowing I can still follow my passion with a bit of help from the ‘extras’ is a huge positive for me. Also knowing we raised some awareness about Stroke’s gave me even more of a sense of purpose and positivity.
If you want to check out some of the images, and the info in the post, they can be found here - feel free to share, if it helps even one person it’s totally worth it!