One year ago today it happened. I was sitting watching TV and having a cup of tea. I don’t recall the exact moment when it occurred ie when the clot hit my brain and my arm/hand stopped working as there was no pain or any sensation that I felt, I simply noticed the tea was all over me and the couch.
I realised my right arm/hand wasn’t working when I couldn’t pick up a cloth to wipe up the mess, when I passed the mirror and saw my face, (dropped on one side) I realised I’d had a stroke.
What I do recall is a calm, serene feeling, I’ve never felt so peaceful and at ease. With hindsight, I think the logical side of my brain had ‘switched off’ and I was left with the free thinking, imaginative side. It was quite a euphoric experience.
At first I just revelled in the peaceful feeling I was experiencing, I was looking at my limp hand trying to get it to work but not feeling too concerned that it wasn’t responding, I was detached from my analytical thinking.
After a little while I went to find my husband upstairs and that’s when I discovered I couldn’t speak.
I could understand him speaking and still had my inner dialogue, but I couldn’t verbalise my thoughts, no words would come out of my mouth.
As I was receiving the Alteplase (clot busting treatment) in hospital my arm and hand felt ‘fat’ as though I’d been sleeping on it, the pins and needles were intense, I suppose something must’ve been working as movement returned to my arm and I regained some ability to speak, well sort of, I had big holes in my vocabulary, I couldn’t find the right words to use. My hand was weak, fingers didn’t move but a huge improvement.
As time progressed, anxiety began, I’d always been a calm, get things done sort of person, the panic and anxiety were a new experience for me. Fatigue is a big factor too, again not something I am used to.
I’m learning to cope with all these new aspects to my life.
In some ways, it doesn’t feel like a year has gone by and in another way it feels longer, time is strange that way.
Onwards and upwards, I’m here, I’m moving forward.
I could write so much about my experience of my first year post stroke but it will turn into a book if I do lol
Stay strong and be kind to yourself. Best wishes to all you wonderful people.