You may be aware of stroke either as a result of the impact on someone you know, a loved one who has suffered, what you have seen on TV, or you may know nothing at all.
As a stroke survivor myself I wanted to talk about not so much the stroke and the immediate aftermath but what many people do not realise, and what is of great concern to recent survivors – what the longer future involves.
I can scarcely believe that 2020 sees the 26th anniversary of my stroke. Many of those who know me as an acqaintance will find it difficult to believe that I have had a stroke at all and many will consider me fully recovered as physically there a little visable signs as I recovered around 99% physically I would guess . Unfortunately that is far from the truth as I will go on to explain in later editions.
So where did it all begin ? I was in my early thirties, living in York, but London based doing internal consultancy work for the Home Office which involved travelling around the country. The work was hard but enjoyable and rewarding. I was married with a young family. Was living a reasonably healthy lifestyle, I didn’t drink excessively and had always enjoyed a sporty lifestyle.
We were enjoying a nice standard of living as a young family in one of the nicest cities in the country.
It was a Saturday in late October 1994, I can’t remember the exact date or specifics about the immediate aftermath. I was home with my young son just playing around on our lounge floor. My wife had gone away for the weekend to see friends.
As is common at that time of year the sun was low and bright. I became aware that I was getting a headache and put it down to the brightness of the sun shining through the window so closed the curtains and continued to play.
The next thing I was aware of was my parents and two paramedics standing over me. I had arranged to take my son over to my parents and they became concerned when I hadn’t arrived and wasn’t returning calls so had come over and found me on the floor. Thank goodness as I don’t know how long I would have been there otherwise and what condition I would have been in.
I have no idea how long I was unconscious for but was lucky that my parents had come over to see if there was a problem. I was admitted to York General Hospital where it was found that I had experienced an hemorrhagic stroke the result of a blood vessel rupture in my brain. I was left side paralysed and could not talk . I was not really aware of what was going on around me but was alive
Stroke care now is very different to what it was then and it is hard not to be critical. Life was going to be a battle I was going to have toregain my ability to walk and talk again and what had been the mental impact of the stroke.
My stroke journey had begun.
anyone dealing with the effects of stroke (personally, as a carer, or someone just wanting to know more) please visit www.stroke.org.uk for help and guidance from the Stroke Association.