Stroke, my story

When I was a child and my uncle had a stroke in his forties, I thought that it was an isolated case; as stroke usually only happens to older people, doesn’t it?

Little did I know what was in store for me.

One morning I woke with the mother of all headaches, as I have always suffered from headaches I wasn’t overly concerned. I walked my dog after taking some pain killers, then still with the headache went into town with my husband. I wanted to walk in hoping that another walk may shift the headache (it didn’t), my husband suggested driving in as I wasn’t looking so good.

After lunch and more pain killers I drove to collect my son from a friend’s house where he had stayed for a sleep over. I then drove him and two of his mates back to town.

That evening after having a shower, I was drying my hair when I really began to feel unwell. I called to my son in the next room to get my husband as I was dizzy.

In The Hospital

The next thing I knew was a few days later when I came round in hospital. I had suffered a massive stroke aged 43, this has left me without the use of my left arm and leg. At first we all thought that I would make a full recovery. I had my stroke on a Saturday evening when the A&E department at the hospital was particularly busy, so I was kept waiting to be seen, my husband and I think that this contributed to the severity of the stroke, although we don’t know this for sure.

Much to my husband’s disappointment I am still able and very good at talking! I require a wheelchair when going out. I am able to walk short distances at home, to the downstairs toilet, with the aid of a leg splint and heavy duty walking stick.

My stroke has meant a complete change of lifestyle, I had to give up my career as a registered child minder, which I loved and had been doing for 14 years.

I started writing a blog as a way to share the knowledge that I gained during this time .

I also used to ride a friend’s horse at the weekends. I have been riding for the disabled at the Calvert Trust, Exmoor for just over a year, which I enjoy but it is nothing like I used to be able to do.

Recently I have been brave enough to start going out in my electric wheelchair alone without my husband or sister as an escort. I have used the services of Driving miss Daisy, Barnstaple on 2 occasions to take me into town and home again, so I feel that after 11 years I am slowly getting back a little independence.

My husband has been amazing, giving up his work as a self employed painter and decorator to become my carer, which I am really grateful for.

I am lucky to have some wonderful friends, meaning that I still have a social life and a few laughs along the way.

I must point out that I never had any of the symptoms of stroke given in the F.A.S.T. television advert.

By sharing my story I hope to inspire others.

I am still fighting, still talking and will never give up, although some days trying to stay positive can be difficult.

I have a lot to be grateful for; my stroke happened while I was at home and not while I was driving my son and his friend,. or while I had the child minded children in my care, also my own children were grown when it happened, had I not been able tp look after them when they wre babies would have been unbearable.

There is life after stroke, just a different life than I was expecting.

Thank you for reading my story.

I have written about my disabled riding and going out with Driving miss Daisy, Barnstaple on my blog