Me nutshelled

There's nothing much to tell about me, really! My name is Draško Regul. I was born on January 07th 1961 at Zagreb (Croatia), where I also finished the majority of schools I had, more or less regularly, attended. In fact, I finally realize how very well schooled I am: I've finished the kindergarten (DC Maksimir), elemetary school (OŠ "Ivan Filipović" ), high-school ("Braća Ribar") with it's roundabouts, driving school (I don't recollect its name, but it surely included the first aid course!), a little bit of music school ("Vatroslav Lisinski", almost made it to the secondary-school-level), ha! whole lotta schools. I also managed to enroll the Zagreb university (English/Russian), even have graduated! True, only after a long break that had lasted some 15 years. During this educational break I married Lidija, changed couple of jobs, got four kids (Vedra, Juraj, Jan, Grigor). As a matter of fact, it was indeed my family that gave me strength (some certain persons have supported me as well) to round this off! dras

All in all, a common life, during which I was able to change a light bulb, fix dislocated tiles on the roof, pull a thorn out of a child's foot, or to fix a bike.

This lasted for some three years more after graduating, and then, on May 23rd 2000 I got plagued by a stroke! The whole right side of my body was paralysed. My speech was noticably slurred, as well. (It was an ischemic stroke that affected the brainstem, more precisely - it's area called pons - my mental capabilities & personality features remained the same, the only thing that was distorted was my motorics)!

Fortunately, my prestrokelife circumstances had made me to train my left hand as well - eg. I would feed my youngest son, Grigor, holding the spoon in my right hand, but I would also have to simultaneously entertain him, in order to eat at all, so that I would draw him at the same time Thomas the tank engine with my left hand (and upside-down - so that the poor kid can understand what's it all about). which led me to relatively quickly settle down as "one-armed" in the "two-armed" world! A little more difficult task - to be "one-legged" in the "two-legged" world! Nevertheless, I was able to sit by myself, turn in bed, eat, drink, even learned to use a crutch and limp this way to toilette, not depending on anyone's help! Wow - bingo! Moreover, I was bestowed with the ability to say something to others, to ask for help, tell a joke. TO SCRATCH IF IT ITCHES!.

Since I had stroked, my recovery lasted roughly three weeks - in hospital (ICU) about ten days, plus almost two weeks in a REHAB - which progressed quite well!

Suddenly - a cold shower! On June 14th 2000 yet another stroke! Again an ischemic stroke in the pons area, only a more devastating one than it's predecessor from couple of weeks before. This time it lasted some 30 hours - in fact, it seemed there were two subsequent strokes (it's hard to tell on CAT-scan or MRI - if there were two strokes, they were too close to each other to differentiate between them)! I barely survived. Sure enough, this left me a long-lasting souvenir - Locked-In Syndrome (LIS)! You can read more about it on the The LIS pages (also, how I communicate/type)! (Check also the Video page!)

3 years after the second/third stroke ("The BIG One"), I started to write haiku. It was quite spontaneously - I had corresponded to a group of stroke survivors (their strokes having been of various intensity & nature, having very different individual after effects) at that time. Once, I tried to explain them what does it feel - to be "Locked-in". Being an passionate ex-amateur photographer, I perceive the world around me in images. As I was not able to make a photo, nor even a painting or drawing, i had to conjure my world by means of words. I hadn't been capable yet to type much (and in foreign language - the group was from the United States), I had to be as concise as possible (my communication followed that direction anyway), so that it strongly ressembled haiku! I continued to depict my mental images in such fashion in English at first, later both in English & Croatian. This lasted for about a year. More about it on Japanese poetry pages.

Update, winter 2008.: Some 5 years after the haiku-phase, my photograpy come-back followed! You can read more about it on Photo page!.