Well, that was unexpected! Quite out of the blue, I have had a stroke. Although I have multiple health issues, no-one has ever said that I was in danger of having one. In fact, I have always had low-normal blood pressure. Anyway, I will try to tell my story as best I can.
Please note that I am heavily relying on autocorrect as I write as my vision is poor.
Holiday Lights Migraine Aura by Joana Roja
It all started on Monday 2nd September, in the morning. I got out of bed quite late and went into the bathroom. Once there, I noticed that the bath mat needed straightening, so I got down on my knees and started to pull it in line. Now, this is when things became rather confusing and stayed that way for a few days…
What I can remember is that everything began to slide. I found myself on the bathroom floor with my vision slipping. That’s the only way I can describe it. I think I must have called out, because Elder Son dashed in and I told him to call an ambulance quickly. Then my speech started to go. Somehow, even though my leg and arm on the right side were not working properly, I was able to drag myself into the bedroom. I tried to get onto the bed, but was unable to do so and collapsed onto the floor. Lovely Husband arrived at this point, I think, and he called an ambulance with a lot of explanation as to what was happening.
Now my memory begins to slip. Two paramedics arrived, made me more comfortable on the floor and did a lot of tests. I remember being carried downstairs and outside the house and was then strapped into an ambulance. We didn’t go to the usual A & E but straight to the Stroke Ward at a nearby hospital (one I have never been to before). I can’t remeber any details but I know that I had further tests once we arrived and I was then put in a single room on my own. I was terrified and totally disorientated.
LH was kept away from me by mistake, but we were eventually reunited. He couldn’t stay very long because of his own serious health issues and our son having ASD. A lot of this is all very vague memories now. On the Tuesday, I think, I was moved to a side-ward with three other female patients. It was very noisy (as was the whole ward) and became unbearable with the number of visitors at another woman’s bedside. LH came to visit in the afternoon and realised that I had almost fully regained the use of my right leg, arm and hand. I could now get to the toilet on my own and feed myself, although I couldn’t eat very much and I was still extremely weak and confused.
After LH left, I was again moved to another, quieter single room and by Wednesday was beginning to regain a little strength. The staff kept an eye on me but encouraged me towards independence: feeding, dressing, washing myself etc., although LH had forgotten to bring in my reading glasses! LH visited me on the Wednesday afternoon and then there came a mix-up about getting me home again. The doctors had examined me several times and were pleased by my progress, saying that I would be able to continue my recovery at home. But I couldn’t get there! LH was worried about managing me on his own in a car, for good reason, and it became too late for an ambulance.
Anyway, to shorten this tale, I didn’t arrive back home until quite late on Thursday evening! There was a dispute as to which service was responsible for me, as we live close to several borders. But at least I did get home in the end.
So, now it is two weeks since I arrived home, although I find it hard to believe that. Here is the present situation:
- Most of my physical symptoms have returned to my “normal”, i.e. my various health conditions are the same as before the stroke. In addition, I am extremely tired and cannot eat very much, and I am not as steady on my feet.
- My main problem resulting from the stroke is that I now have impaired vision, like a migraine aura, but it is fixed and not moving. It has improved slightly or maybe I am adapting to it.
- But – I cant read properly! I CANNOT READ PROPERLY!!!!!!! Aargh!!!!! All right, I can read some things on my iPad, but not books!!!! And I had some wonderful ones lined up. Friends have given me lots of tips so I am now sorted with audiobooks and various gadgets which help to keep me entertained. I can watch TV with LH, which is a relief, even if he has to remind me of the plot at times.
- I think that I have some memory issues and I keep thinking that my dreams are real! My short-term memory is poor and I have moments where daydreams blur into reality. My longer-term memory appears to be OK.
- My emotions are all over the place. I am trying to be cheerful and optimistic, but I find myself crying suddenly with no trigger that I can find.
- I am too afraid to leave the house. The weather is so lovely and I can see the sunshine from my window, but cannot bring myself to go outside. LH is trying to persuade me to let him drive us both to a local garden centre for a cup of tea. Perhaps I will be brave enough soon.
Well, I will stop for now. I think I have written enough and it will take me ages to check this over! I would like to give a massive thanks to those of you who have sent me such lovely messages and advice. You have really helped me such a lot. I will try to write a more normal post next week – I think that I deserve a new scarf, perhaps?
Until then, very best wishes to you all,
Holiday Lights Migraine Aura by Joana Roja via Flickr