My Stroke-Stories Inked for #Inktober

My main mode of transportation for the first few months after surviving Stroke, was the wheelchair. For at least 4-6 months (I am not 100% certain of the timeline) I moved around sat being pushed - from the 2 months in Changi General to outside at home ... I even visited the 2010 Singapore toycon in a wheelchair, viewing the world in a different eyeline, a different POV hahahaha! Funny thing tho, for a few good months, twice a week, I'd wait at the side of the road down my flat (along with my late Dad), to flag taxis to bring us to my rehab sessions, but only ever ONCE did someone actually let me have the cab, while everyone else who walked out and stood in front of me (further down the road) just went and grabbed the cabs, Even though they saw a dude in wheelchair (they are not THAT far up the roadside hahahaha). So much for "humanity" on the east side of Singapore, yeah? LOL #inktober Day 11 prompt: "Transport". #inktober2016 #hengdraw #toysrevilart

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I’ve been sharing a few personal stories through my Inktober-sketches*, with a select few regaling my post-Stroke tales. I’ve been thinking of drawing out my “Stroke-story” for years now, but have yet to find the right style or voice … this is just an experiment/start, of hopefully something that I’d like to be doing “soon”…

The images here are of the first 11 Days, and here’s quite a few more days to go before the month of October ends! haha

One of the main hurdles I'd faced attempting to regain my mobility post-Stroke, was "balance", where standing on one leg, was ever the challenge that took harder to conquer than "walking". In the beginning I could not even last 2 seconds without falling ... Which was tricky whenever I needed to step over a hump... Learning to not shuffle and lifting my legs to take my steps, is still a constant effort, 5 odd years after :p I have not taken to "run" but more manic fast-walking hahah but I have not ever "jumped" since Stroke. #Inktober Day 10 prompt theme is "JUMP", and I will always be reminded of my lack of physical ability, but it's okay, at least I can stand on one leg for longer time s now :) #inktober2016 #drawlife #hengdraw #toysrevilart

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Even before getting Stroke in 2010, I'd thought I was "broken". In the sense that as a grownassadult, I was still not the typical successful male Singaporean, with a stable job, with m own family Wife and kids, dressed in long pants (sometimes with tie, sometimes not) ... When instead I was "living large" working ungodly hours in the local media, ignoring m family and living selfishly like a kidult! The "normality machine" broke down somewhen for my reality hahaha THEN I had Stroke! And now I was "physically" broken too! I mustered enough to get myself in my feet walking again, but has since slide into get fatter than I have ever been, AND end up wearing Crocs (which I used to HATE, but they cover my toes from knocking into stuff, so...), and I realise I am still wearing "film crew"-clothes like years before! Still prefer Bermudas and tees (always black becoz I lie to myself it is "slimming"), and still feeling "not quite right" ... And no, it is not about "being special" - just don't want to become "special needs", ya know? But LIFE still goes on, and I can still doodle a bit here and there .... Also one thing that's NOT broken, is my lack of drawing skills! Still sucks after all these years, dammit! Hahahaha This is my #inktober2016 Day 9 prompt: "Broken" :) #henglife #hengdraw #toysrevilart #inktober

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My #inktober2016 sketch for Day 5, with the prompt theme being "SAD". "Sad" because, the fact was, when I was recovering in the hospital for Stroke back in 2010, I also had at the same time, dental problems! But due to me taking blood-thinner medication, I could not visit the Dentist. And here I laid in hospital, with half my body paralysed AND a massive toothache, which eventually led to my teeth growing out of place, to my current state of mangled teeth that I not longer smile with an open mouth for pictures. The big GAP in the drawing is for when I go take my middle bottom tooth out (This week perhaps)... Not only am I physically altered due to Stroke, now my teeth are failing me! I have made do with my eye-patch and getting fat as a hog, but my teeth? Don't be expecting me to greet the world at large too often when I pull out that damn shaking tooth... "Sad", right? #truestorybro #inktober #hengdraw #toysrevilart

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*Inktober is a drawing “challenge” where you draw a single drawing for every day in the month of October, and post it online in Instagram.


Blame Game

When we blame, we miss our opportunity to experience empathy. Brené Brown breaks it down in this video from The RSA.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Since my Stroke, I had endeavored not to blame anyone, remembering as I laid in the hospital acute stroke ward, looking up at the ceiling fan, a sight I had seen for a few days now, and thinking "WHO" I could blame for this malady I was in? I couldn't blame "God" for my misfortune, as I'd hardly believed or acted I'd believe in one single god - whomever he or she was ...

And one day, a few years after I'd regained a portion of my ability to walk, and had taken a taxi ride back home, when, while regaling my Stroke story to the driver, when he told me who it was who was to blame for my malady; "ME". And that made the most sense, to me anyways :)

What happens to us, is in our hands. "Stroke" is a man-made phenomena, and WE made it happen to OURSELVES, didn't we? At some point, post-Stroke, we stop playing the blame game, and make it good back for ourselves, and move forward with whatever our lives are able to .. but before that happnes, treat yourselves and your bodies well, yeh? :)