Jun 30, 2023

Braindance: an update


Hello there, reader. My name is Fat Roland. You might remember me from the blog post that leaked an Autechre album that turned out not to be an Autechre (pictured) album, or that blog post about Guru Josh that got a slightly snarky response from Guru Josh's PR people.

It's nearly two months since I posted about "my personal braindance", a euphemistic name I gave to a stroke that I suffered ten weeks ago. I wrote about my hallucinations, my loss of eyesight and the smattering of internet projects that had to come to an end. Go here to read that blog post.

It has been a while, so I guess we're all due for an update.

There is good news and bad news. Actually, no. There is only really good news. I am doing well. The hallucinations have calmed down, I'm getting better every week, and I've even lost two and a half stone in weight because I'm being a good boy and eating all of my vegetables. I suffer from dizziness and fatigue, but nothing that I can't handle, and even this is improving week by week.

My vision has improved. In that original blog post, I talked about hallucinations of an inter-dimensional bicycle and a dog-walking shrub. Since then, I've had no significant visual disruption aside from small glitches. My knackered brain has clearly figured out how my eyes work. Well done, brain. I'm still using visual aids to read text, but I don't need it all of the time, although I get less worn out if I let the technology do the work.

Another thing that happened to me two months ago, and I didn't mention this originally, is that I was diagnosed with diabetes. Type two, which is twice as cool as type one because that's how numbers work. The undiagnosed diabetes didn't cause the stroke, and the stroke didn't cause the diabetes. They both developed because of my crap lifestyle and being a lardy old sausage.

The medical system is looking after me. I've been to a diabetes support group, I've had personal phone calls from my GP, and on Monday someone's going to put knives in my eyes to see if my brain has fallen out (or something, I didn't read the letter properly). When you have two major conditions, you suddenly get shoved to the front of medical queues. It's like being a celebrity, but almost dead instead of famous.

So yes, things are going well. Hurrah. Worst and best moments, aside from (worst) the stroke and (best) surviving the stroke?

The best moment was when my mates delivered a Cameo message from IndyCar racing driver Romain Grosjean, who had famously risen like a phoenix from the flames in a terrible crash at the 2020 Bahrain formula one grand prix. Romain said some very sweet things which made me cry for joy. I'll post the video one day, if you're allowed to post these type of things.

The worst moment was in the hospital, just a few days after the stroke. The entire ward had just one pillow. One. In the bed next to me was a septuagenarian with a broken hip, so he got the solitary head support. Poor guy. I used my own clothes as a pillow, which is a bit awkward when you only have the one set of clothes and none of the pyjamas fit you. Humiliating. The NHS needs more than claps and rainbow flags. 

I'm doing well. Resting lots, working more, eating boring things, getting stronger. I'm still writing my column for Electronic Sound magazine, and I've still got a hand on the tiller at the Burgess Foundation. Both have been tremendously supportive.

And I might write more blog posts soon. I've been slacking off recently...

Further Fats: I have just burned down my local NHS hospital while listening to Phil Collins on my walkman (2010)

Further Fats: My own personal braindance (2023)