It was the start of a much needed Easter break after a hectic term teaching science in a local secondary school. I had been for a short run (5km) and was looking forward to a chilled day before a week of horse riding and gearing up for a half marathon in a months time. All I remember is waking up from a nap, staggering to the bathroom and passing out – coming round some time later unable to get up.
Stroke didn’t even cross my mind as I tried to drag myself across the room to get my phone. Thought I had trapped a nerve and just got a horrible virus (labrynthitis was making the rounds at work). Even as I was on the phone to emergency services when she said I was FAST positive- didn’t mean a thing at the time. The emergency services were fab, and I was in hospital in record time, still in denial, up to the point of the ct scan and the neurologist explaining I had missed the thromolysis window. Now I was faced with left side paralysis, slight left neglect. Luckily my speech returned quite quickly, although still slur and jumble sentences when fatigued.
Rehab during my stay at Poole hospital was pleasingly full on with multiple sessions a day, both OT and Physiotherapy. Along with endless medical testing and screening, interspersed with enough cognitive test that I was beginning to feel sympathy for what the pupils go through during exam season.
Back in the real world after a month in hospital was a shock. Not able to drive it was the battle of the buses as I spent two hours getting across town to the weekly Physio where I was completely out of place-some of the patients still thought I was a member of staff all the way up to my last session.
Three month of community support, then going it alone. Lots of battle and persistent badgering required for the next stage of physio.
Within three month I was back where I belonged-on the horses again-all be it very slowly as I hadn’t gained full strength, back driving and making steps back to work -back in the classroom but not teaching yet, think I have finally learnt to slow down a little. In time I will be back jumping the horses and I may yet complete a half or full marathon, it is still early days so time will tell.
To other survivors; be kind to yourself it is a tough journey, don’t be afraid to fight/badger/pester for what you need to help your recovery. Let go of your old self and reinvent the new you.