Stroke survivor determined to walk - then ride
Roger Pauling was driving when he heard a ringing in his right ear.
He pulled over near Westgate. Then his body started going "numb".
So the 55-year-old moved to the passenger seat to let his wife drive. By the time the Huapai man reached the Waimauku doctors he was paralysed.
In March 2013 he had a stroke which affected both sides of his body.
He was paralysed and couldn't walk, talk or see properly.
The worst thing about his stroke was not having independence.
The husband, father and grandfather of two owned an engineering business, which his wife was now running.
Pauling said he used to ride motorbikes, and owned a $28,000 Harley-Davidson he bought three months before the stroke that he can no longer ride - because of his balance.
A year ago he went to the Integrated Neurological Rehabilitation Foundation (INRF) in Henderson.
When he first came to the centre he couldn't walk, even with a walker. Now he can walk more with a walking stick, Pauling said, and he could see "a little light in the tunnel".
"Now I've got a slim chance that I'm going to beat it," he said.
Pauling said at the centre he does repetition and low impact exercises, which helped to make his brain work again.
It's a slow road but progress depended on how much effort he put in, he said.
Pauling had noticed a few other changes too.
He used his left hand more now, he said. He had become more patient.
At INRF he had an opportunity to meet different people, he said.
"A lot of people talk over you ... but here everybody is on the same level and treat each other the same," he said.
He now goes in to work for a couple of days a week for half days.
And he wants to get back on his Harley-Davidson again.
The best thing about riding it would be the wind blowing in his face - and the freedom, he said.
INRF is having an open day at its Henderson premises on March 23 from 9am to midday.
Go to inrf.org.nz for more information.
- Western Leader