Early morning hours of 29 August 2009, I suffered a massive stroke when I was asleep! Now after 7yrs post stroke, I admit to it. Saturday morning I wanted to go the toilet at about 3am and got up and Wham! I collapsed and didn’t know were I was! I was right-sided lame and I couldn’t even grabbed my cellphone. I urinated there, I know! Then I passed out. I heard my phone ringing at 7.30am and it was my sister, but I couldn’t answer it. Then I passes out and 2-ish my phone starting to ring again and I answered it but in gibberish and my friend thought that something was wrong. It was a clot in the blood which resulted in a massive stroke! No blood pressure, no cholesterol, my blood was fine (2.5 -3.5 INR). It was fine. Dealing with the emotional and psychological aspect of stroke can sometimes be just as challenging as dealing with the physical recovery. Changes in my emotions or behavior can be caused by the physical damage to my brain or from the effects of coping with the trauma and its aftermath. It’s not unusual to be frustrated or angry that I can’t do all the things I could do before. I was grieving the life and my identity before my stroke! I was depressed, sad and I lacked the motivation or not caring what happens. My stroke presented many hurdles – walking, loss of all sensation on right side, no balance of any kind, spasticity, aphasia, not speech difficulty, understood little of what people said, difficulty reading, writing and language, I can’t do numbers, maths and computers has no meaning to me, trouble swallowing and drooled alot – and most all, not driving and my weight is an issue! Yup, I’m an adult – don’t speak to me as a child and don’t shout, I’m not deaf! Simply never give up! You will hit roadblocks. Fatigue can really play games with you, and there will be people who will tell you that you can’t or will never do something. Every time they say I can’t do something, I am required to add the word ”yet” to the end of that statement. Be realistic, while never giving up HOPE. Thanks to my family for the support that they have given me, work, Doctors, my friends, Hope Group therapy and most of all, my Facebook stroke friends – without you I wouldn’t be here! Here is the 4 Musketeers, Hope Stroke Survivors Talk in South Africa. I’m standing to the left: Lillian Muller, Paul Byrnes, Ronel Kolesky and seated, Debra Branford.
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