After sharing my health sorry so far and while I am awaiting diagnosis I am very honoured to be hosting blog posts from other bloggers about heath conditions they or their loved ones face everyday
Today on my Health Story Series is the lovely Karen who writes about the knowledge she has gained working as Registered childminder for 14 years on her blog The Next Best Thing To Mummy.
You can also find Karen here:
Living With A Stroke
I have suffered with headaches, of one form, or another, ever since I can remember, from a mild ache to severe migraines, which made my vision distorted and made me physically sick. So, I wasn’t unduly concerned, when I woke on Saturday February 10th 2007, with the mother of all headaches.
I took some pain killers and walked into town, with my husband, hoping the walk would ease my pain. After buying a few bits and pieces and having a coffee, we headed home.
My 14-year-old son, who had been for a sleepover at a friend’s house, rang and asked if one of us would come and collect him. I wanted to go, as I hoped it might take my mind off of the headache. I drove approximately 6 miles to collect him and dropped two other lads to their homes on the way back.
I still had a banging headache, so later that evening, I took more painkillers and had a shower. I was drying my hair, when I started to think that something really wasn’t right. I called to my eldest son, who was in the next room and he ran to get my husband.
The next thing I knew it was two weeks later and I was in hospital. I had suffered a massive stroke aged 43 and had lost the use of my left hand side. I had been kept under sedation to speed my recovery.
When I was more coherent, I was offered some food, but didn’t feel like eating, several days later a kind doctor made me a jam sandwich hoping to tempt me, but I don’t like jam! My husband was told that I needed to eat to start any sort of recovery, so he lovingly made me a fresh fruit salad and kept spoon feeding me bits of fruit, I really didn’t feel like eating and I remember calling him a food bully!
As the days went on and I regained full consciousness, but was still on a cocktail of drugs, I recall my sister coming to visit one afternoon, I was telling her, a bit too loudly that I was going to kill one of the other patients, because she had kept me awake all night snoring, my poor sister was embarrassed and kept asking me to be quiet. I also remember my sister sitting with me and I thought a train was going over the roof, it was, in fact, just a toilet being flushed, it was the medication having a weird effect on my mind.
Next I started to suffer with constipation, but kept thinking that I needed to go, the bed pan was made of white plastic and reminded me of a paddling pool I had, as a child, for my Cindy doll. I kept shouting for the Cindy swimming pool, much to the amusement of the nurses.
After a week, or so, I was transferred to another hospital where they had an acute stroke unit. My husband, who is a geordie, has a typical northern sense of humor and gave a lot of staff nicknames. There was a cleaner, whom he called Quick lick, because he said she gave the room a quick lick of a clean. I got on well with this woman and one day, when I hadn’t seen her, I asked a nurse, “Where’s quick lick, today?,” ( she was a foreign lady, so I presumed that was her actual name!) the nurse laughed and told me she was called Blue.
I was in hospital, for 9 weeks in all, when I got home, my husband became my carer and because I couldn’t get upstairs to use the bath, he came up with the idea of using a child’s paddling pool in our utility room, he would take off his shoes and socks and stand in the water before lifting me out of my wheelchair and into the pool, with our German Shepherd dog, looking on, wondering what earth he was doing.
I am now 9 years past stroke, I have also had an unrelated benign brain tumor ( you could say I am greedy). I have a long journey ahead to make a full recovery, but am slowly making progress and am grateful to still be alive, I am also grateful that the stroke happened when it did, while I was at home and not while I was driving my son and his friend’s home, or while I was child minding other people’s children. Also not while my own children were small, as I could not have enjoyed looking after them.
Between us, my husband and I try to make the best of a bad situation and his sense of humor still arises, recently, he asked my physio, ” Why did he get the short straw, and get a stroke survivor, who can still talk?”
I also have some wonderful friends who have stuck with me, it’s true what they say, about finding out who your true friends are in times of need.
Thank you Karen for sharing your story with us.
Why not pop over and see what else Karen is writing about over on her blog The Next Best Thing To Mummy.