Monday, 24 November 2014

Getting back to Life

My puppy that was bought to help in my recovery. 

Enjoyed hanging out together.

Giving my dirt bike a clean as I have started to really improve.

Happy times with dad at Christmas time.

Finally out of the wheel chair and back at a mainstream school. Kicking Goals.
Brayden's First Season at Hotham.

 Chillin in the snow.

B loving a toboggan ride.

My boy was always going to be a ski bum.

Brayden ripping it at Hotham before he could walk.

Brayden ripping it up and having a ball as a baby ski bum.

Getting through Hospital.

At Physio with a student helping me on my feet.

This is Nicole Gun from a lot of radio news reports. She was always great fun chasing me around with a syringe full of water. Always loved our water fights.

Hanging out with a family friend's baby always with a smile on my face but always in pain. 

Another fun day of physio to get my feet working again.

On a weekend for me had two NBL players come visit

Out of Hospital for a weekend and got to visit my Cousin who broke her leg snow skiing, made me feel a little better that I had to miss out.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The beginning of my new life.

Happy days on my first trip to Disneyland before my Brain Haemorrhage hit me. 

To This after a few months in a coma.

On the floor in the Children's Hospital as my seizures kept throwing me from my bed.

As I was on the floor if any nurses need a break they would come and chill on my bed. Smooth Right????

Every few days I was put in new plasters on both feet to stop the intense foot drop. My physios had to work hard to straighten my foot. This is the lady I challenged to a ski race. At at this time I was learning how to talk again. 

After another surgery on my left arm they started to straighten it out. Like my feet it took a lot of plasters to get it working again.

This little kid had terminal Brain Cancer and refused to be fed by anyone but me in his final weeks.

Hanging out with a student physio in the physio Room. Every day was like ground hog day.

This was my friend over the ward. Nice kid but slept all the time I just thought???

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

My Stroke Experience, But I haven't even touched the surface as yet!!!!!

        Hi, my name is Adam Mate, and next April I will be 40 years old,  that might seem like a reasonably insignificant statement but for Me it has been a challenge. Life is full of challenges, each of us face challenges in our lives everyday, it is how we respond to these challenges that makes a difference. Each response can provide us with a sense of achievement or failure – to Me the achievement of being able to do up a button on my shirt might be as fulfilling as James Packer making another one million dollars is to him – who knows ?? We have no prior warning of our next challenging situation and we certainly have no guarantee of the outcome, all we can do is to face the challenge with a positive approach and give it our best effort.
        My biggest challenge occurred when I was 11 years old – I suffered a severe stroke. From being the grade 6 popular sport playing blue eyed blonde “hero” to a comatose brain damaged quadriplegic with a less than 50 per.cent chance of survival, all within twenty hours. The prognosis for a future fulfilling life was not good. After ten days in a coma is when My new life of challenges began.-------- With no memory, no speech and no movement in my arms or legs, it was a new beginning – with speech therapy (no Rebecca Judd at that time) – physiotherapy to learn to stand and walk – occupational therapy to retrain memory and all sorts of other testing for vision, hearing, reaction, stimulation etc. Challenges like drinking a glass of water without spilling or dribbling or getting a spoon to my mouth became major achievements. Prior to My stroke, from the age of two I had snow skied with my family (parents and two younger brothers) and during My rehab. when I was first able to stand (before I could walk) I challenged my physiotherapist to a ski race down “Bourke Street” at Mount Buller --- 5 months later we had that race (which I won) and the “Medical Profession” were and still are amazed that I can snow ski without any impediment or disability ! The brain and the human body can do some amazing things – as a result of my stroke I suffer from “dystonia”, a neurological movement disorder which causes muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. At this point in time this condition is incurable, although I have tried every known treatment --- including deep brain stimulation surgery (where they implant a brain pacemaker to send electrical impulses to the muscles). The ongoing challenge for medical research is to find cures for this and other conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s etc.
        The other big challenge we stroke survivors face is depression – the challenge over depression is possibly more difficult than the physical challenge – the constant pain and frustration of having a reduced capability is always present – but then there is the society inflicted pain and frustration. The teasing and abuse, the lack of patience while you are trying to do or say something, the push and shove and speed of the public all contribute towards people with disabilities suffering from depression. This is our big challenge – we must constantly be satisfied with our own achievements and maintain our effort to convince people that a person with a disability has the same rights as anyone else. I have just came back from two weeks skiing at Mount Hotham, skiing with my 8 year old son Brayden (no wife, she divorced me after 8 years of marriage when Brayden was 2 – another challenge!) where I spend time with the disable and adaptive skiers, and try to promote disability awareness. My present challenge is trying to educate the responsible serving of alcohol employees and the  venue security employees who regularly refuse service or entry to people with a disability because they ASSUME they are intoxicated. Another challenge is to persuade Councils to provide adequate disable car parking spaces and improve the training of their parking inspectors knowledge for their dealings with people with a disability. However, the single most important challenge for everyone is to recognise that people with a disability need to be given the same opportunities as every one else – they need employment.
        The most positive message I can give to people is to have regular medical check ups, be aware of all the warning signals of a possible stroke and seek the earliest possible medical attention. Face all challenges one by one, step by step – regard any achievement as a win and don’t give in to depression. All sounds easy, but is a huge CHALLENGE !!
Best of luck,
Adam Mate