Farewell disability!! Have just received my marching orders!!!

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I wasn’t gonna do a blog so soon, but I only write shit down as I feel it’s important to me, and I like to share good progress stages on my recovery.

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know I’m doing a 15 k walk next Sunday, so thought I’d give my legs a practice session by walking to my sister Vicky’s home. 7 k away, I reckoned!*

As I packed my bag up with protein, water and bananas, I noticed something as I grabbed my iPod out the car.
Today my disability parking permit ran out. 

Today!!!

I never ever thought about being a regular everyday Joe Blogs driver again….Whowhooo!!! That’s the skip in my step today as set off.

Now, I hate the fact others haven’t got to my stage…….Yet!!!!! The reason I do my blogs and progress my recovery is in the hope others may be defiant and push ahead regardless. If I can do it from two blinking eyes, I’m hoping you people out there can push for more too!!

God bless all who share my passion; to push boundaries and bend the rule books!!
“We will never surrender!” As the great man himself said.

Winston Churchill.

(Respect!!!!)

*I need to practice my maths, never mind my legs!! The 7 k to my sisters turned out to be 10.5 k!! Yet I did it in 3 hours 20, so might just make it next week in the 4 hours. My feet were burning, but my foot’s lifting better, which fills me with confidence!

Yes!!!! I can do that time, I’m sure of it ! 4.5 I was aiming for – so yes ! Yes ! Yes !
Let’s do this !!!!!

Update! 5th November 2015

Here are my marching orders!

Having spoken to the PMH Foundation yesterday, the upshot is the following:

  • Registration starts as early as 7.00am on Sunday morning at the Burswood Park
  • We can begin walking from 7.00am if we want
  • Water stations open from 7.30am onwards, as do the toilets
  • The Big Walk will be clearing up between 12-12.30pm, which leaves some 5hrs – 5hrs 30mins to complete the 15km walk
  • There is a 200m-300m ‘detour’ around the Elizabeth Quay development to accommodate when we get the other side of the Narrows Bridge
  • The weather is looking like sunny with a min of 14 and max of 26 degrees

PS. I won’t be needing THIS anymore!!

disability licence

Chilled beer over Sunday lunch? Noooo!! Let’s do a 15k marathon!!

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Next Sunday, I’m doing a 15k walk in Perth with my neurologist buddy Professor David Blacker, so thought I’d better get planning. While looking at the logistics, I realised we may have a problem – 2 problems, actually!!
First, the walk must be completed in 3-4 hours!!
Second, there’s a freeway on the route!!
Sure, there’s an underpass or maybe they close a lane or two during the walk; this is yet to be confirmed!!
But, as for the time limit!! Ah well, here’s Plan B….If I go over time, then it’s a public path, I believe, so I can just do it in my own time which just means they’ll be no water points.

And another plus, the weather’s looking okay for the event…. high twenties, so I can cope with that!!
Heat was my big worry, but now my mind’s at rest and I can looking forward to giving my legs a good hammering!!

I might just surprise myself. After all, I’ve trained a lot the last few years so might do it in the 4 hours, although I highly doubt it. Still, I’m thinking positive!!  It’s got me this far damn it!!

A simple  Sunday lunch?!! Chilled beer on the verandah?!! Noooo lets do a 15 k marathon!!
What wrong with me?! Hahaha

Rocky lives in my soul!!

Rocky

OMG!! This week I have really felt like my old self, something I never thought would happen – Ever!!!

I do this thing where every morning I try to march on the spot, little baby marches while I brush my teeth. And my legs are bending a bit more every week. Surprising how little movements done regularly can build strength and flexibility. I will be Thai boxing next, hahaha!

Seriously, I’m in training right now for my 15k walk with my neurologist Professor David Blacker and Peter Kirby, Head of Education at Rehabilitation – my brothers in arms (well, on this occasion, legs!) Good to know they’ll be there ‘cos this could be a bit much for me if the sun’s angry. Sometimes it can be mid to high 30s this time of the year! “Oh please, God, give me some cloud cover!! Please!!!” I will take electrolytes and energy bars, but wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew this time. It’s getting pretty damn warm in Perth! Well, for a pom like me!

Meanwhile, I’ve been hitting the squat machine and kicking my legs like mad in the pool. Also foot lifts (as I still have a little drop foot). But I’m so keen to bust my record of 12k!! And next year, I want to be doing my first run! I’m not gonna quit. Someone said “I think you’ve come as far as you can now ey!!”

Well, that was it!!!!! They said it!! That’s just the fuel I needed ! NO ONE SAYS I CAN’T! Please God, let me show ’em. Pete hasn’t even started, dammit! Arrrrrrrrrrrrr

Rocky lives in my soul !!!

 

Stroke Foundation Awards 2015 – I made the final!!!

Improving Life After Stroke Award

This award celebrates those who voluntarily dedicate their time to improving the care and support of stroke survivors in the community. This category is open to stroke survivors, carers, and volunteers who are making a big difference to the lives of survivors and raising awareness of their needs.

Kaddie Alcock (NSW)
Pete Coghlan (WA)
Gudju Gudju (Seith) Fourmile (QLD)
Emma Gee (VIC)
Graeme Hilson (VIC)
Lewis Hoffman (QLD)
Neville Kerr (QLD)
Wendy Lyons (VIC)

Peter Coghlan Improving Life After Stroke finalist 

Man in wheel chair joined by health care workers in front of banner reading no longer locked in

Looking at Alexander Heights resident Peter Coghlan now, it is hard to believe that just four years ago he was told the only body part he would ever be able to move again was his eyelids.

A catastrophic brain stem stroke had rendered the fit and healthy 33 year old trapped in his own body. In spite of the horrifying situation he had found himself in, Peter didn’t give up and put all his energy into getting out of hospital on his own two feet.

A combination of excellent medical care, Peter’s physical fitness, and a healthy dose of courage and determination meant the young stroke survivor was able to walk out of hospital six months after his stroke – something he was told he would never be able to do.

After achieving the impossible, Peter now uses his own harrowing experience to raise awareness of stroke and give hope to other survivors. Peter regularly gives talks in the community, visits new stroke survivors at his local hospital and has written a book in an effort to help others doing it tough after stroke.

“I didn’t understand stroke before I had one and my experience shows just how very real and common strokes are in younger people. I will continue to tell my story because no should have to walk my road ever.” – Peter Coghlan

Find out more and read about my brilliant co-finalists here:  https://strokefoundation.com.au/what-we-do/national-stroke-foundation-awards/improving-life-after-stroke-award#sthash.xK6FkggF.dpuf

Reborn yet totally, 100% Pete!!

phoenix

Before today I have always bothered about how my stroke has affected me and how people see me. Today I finally realised something….

I am totally, 100% Pete!

Sure, I’m damaged a bit for now, but I’m proud!! I’m a coffin nail of what life has made me, yet I’m totally comfortable with the man I am – actually, I like the new me even more!!!

It’s taken the depth of hell to find out who I am and I have none of the same insecurities or fears that the old me had. I know my purpose too!! I’m certain of it!! Still scratching around the same old hole, living week to week, but with a deeper understanding of life and not as focused on looking ahead but on what I did today!! On what I can do tomorrow!!

I hated myself for a long, long time and felt like a broken toaster, but my damage has also been the healing for me, for my soul, and for others!!! I really do value everything in a new light, and now I look to the side or behind me to help others….not forward all the time with blinkers on like Red Rum facing the finishing post! I don’t care if I’m not as strong or as fast as others anymore or whether will girls still like me….I am Peter Coghlan, a proud survivor of one of the toughest  hands of Continue reading

Struggling with depression? Take to the water!

 

pete swimming

Somehow I have kept my mind together over these past years. I have wrestled with my brain day after day, wrestling with depression, rejection, vulnerability. I have sobbed every day for years until only a short time ago.

These days I know when it’s coming over me, when the blood begins to boil, and it’s very tempting to curl up in a little ball and lie there and think deep thoughts about the future or the past! You start telling yourself this will never end. You’re never sure!

All I do when the devil starts whispering negative things in my ear is grab my towel and go to the water, sometimes for hours! I take banana and a protein bar, go to the water and hide until I start thinking better. Just making that move there n then can stop you sliding, can stop the negativity.

Keeping positive is one of the biggest battles I’ve had (besides moving again!) People who follow me on this website must think, ‘Oh he’s been lucky.’

Yes, I have!! I’m lucky to be alive, like you. But, my God, I have struggled – financially, mentally, emotionally. Yet I keep fighting, ‘cos what’s the alternative? No thanks, I don’t fancy giving in!!

You must find that inner strength. You must learn when you’re slipping, and right there n then eat great power foods, put them tunes on or, if you can, take to the water, like me. (I’m a cancer, a crab – that’s maybe why.)

The point I’m trying to make is – I really feel it’s my positivity and my ability to keep it topped up which has helped me beat my stroke. It’s still a fight at times but mostly I have got ME back, or the new me!

Please stay strong, stay in a positive mind-frame and watch for the potholes. They will try and knock it out of you.

Remember you were chosen because you are strong enough!!

God bless all you fighters!!