One year on

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.

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@Mahoney this is the most important year as you’ve come along way.

Well done on everything you have achieved and lots of luck with more recovery my bestest wishes Loraine :hugs:

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Thank you Mahoney. I lay in bed this morning and reminded myself I am six and a half years post stroke. Mine was a bleed and happened on holiday in a hotel. I went up to our room in the lift (alone) the door opened and I literally fell out. I managed to knock the bottom of a room door and asked the person there to get my partner from room 39. What followed is blur until I was transferred to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, from Exeter A & E.

Like you my brain went into a weird calmness. I thought I might be dying but wasn’t afraid. T was like an out of body experience. I spent four days there and was transferred to Worcester Royal on what seemed a surreal journey. Four days there rhenbsix weeks in rehab in Bromsgrove. Support and rehab in Worcester was second to none, once home, fatigue hit me and then hard work of recovery began……endless exercises, the struggle to walk, falls etc but never depression, I never said why me, but took the line that s…t happens and I’d best get on with it. I have made a reasonable recovery and strive for more but, at nearly 79, that may not happen. But I did survive, many don’t.

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Dear Mahoney. It was good to hear from you and such a positive feeling. I wish you well with your progress in future. I am coming to the third year anniversary of my first stroke and in spite of a few setbacks I continue to make progress and feel positive. Always look forward. Remain cheerful and positive. Love Lilian xx

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@Mahoney , You sound like you’re doing really well one year on, well done for the positive attitude.
I can totally relate to the calm feeling as that’s exactly how it was for me when I was lying on the floor trying to get back on the sofa. I knew something was wrong but I was so calm. It’s quite nice that it happened that way as you don’t fight it and just let the whole process of getting you to hospital go with as little fuss as possible. Then when it does start to sink in at least you are in the right place to be looked after and monitored.

Great to hear from you and here’s to many more years of improvement. :crossed_fingers::+1:

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Morning @Mahoney. Big hugs :hugs::heart:. You’ve come along way, you should be proud of where your determination and persistence have got you. Julia x

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@Mahoney you’ve come such a long way in that year. You should be very proud. It sounds like it’s been a journey & it’s good to read your story. So many people on this forum have learnt so much from you & you’ve always given excellent advice.
Heres to many more improvements for you over the next 12 months.
Best wishes.

Ann xxx

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Thanks Lorraine, I feel it’s a big milestone and I’m very pleased to have reached it, best wishes to you too

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@John_Jeff_Maynard yes the recovery road is definitely a tough one and I agree there’s absolutely no point in ‘why me’ in the long run, though I’ll confess to a little bewilderment in the first few weeks as I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle, but stroke doesn’t discriminate when it strikes.

Don’t let your age stop you from reaching your goal, keep striving for more, each day could bring that extra step forward.

Best wishes and thanks for sharing your experience too.

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Hi Lilian I’m pleased you’re making progress despite your setbacks, it must have been heartbreaking for you to have the 2nd stroke.

It’s good to know you’re feeling positive and cheerful, life is what we make it.

Best wishes and big hugs :hugs::hugs:

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@Ingo66 that calm feeling is a positive to the situation as it unfolds, I was watching my family reactions of shock and horror whilst sitting calmly in my little bubble.

Thanks for sharing your experience too, best wishes

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Thanks Julia, it’s been tough but in a strange way rewarding as progress is being made, best wishes to you too

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Thanks Ann it’s good to have this community with all our lovely friends to share the highs and lows of our progress with.

Best wishes

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@Mahoney, lovely to read your reflection on your experience, and the progress you have made. Panic and anxiety just throw repeated spanners in already well-spannered works. You have achieved a lot though, you have returned to work, and balanced life and work post-stroke, no mean feat. Your participation on the forum has always been welcomed and you have made a positive impact on all our lives post-stroke. Here’s to many more years of steady recovery. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I will be writing my two year anniversary post soon, looks like we are among the September strokees.

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Thanks Rups and I shall look forward to reading your 2 year anniversary post :+1:

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I send my good wishes to you and say well done for staying strong. Must be something about September, although I had mine the 31st of August…didn’t get into hospital until the 1st of September!!! Will always remember the day as it was my daughters wedding anniversary, so can’t ever forget!!!
Best wishes, Jane.

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Thanks Jane, I don’t think we’ll forget no matter what the date :grin: best wishes

Mine was a September stroke too, but later in September last year. I haven’t had to return to work (worked Bank Shifts so doing part-time might be difficult to organise and we are living off husband’s OK pension and my meagre one.

I too remember a feeling of calm when I had my stroke. I think it must be one of the usual side effects. One year on and I’ve recently spent a night in hospital with a chest infection but am otherwise doing OK. I watch a lot of rubbish TV and haven’t yet plucked up the courage to drive, but managed to look after our 5 year old grand daughter for much of the weekend. She asked me why she is so much better at “Pick Up Sticks” than I am. There are two answers to that, one of which is complex and involves post stroke loss of hand-eye coordination and the second of which is simple, she cheats.

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Hi Fiona, hope you’re over the chest infection and feeling much better now,

Grandchildren are precious m I’m pleased you’re able to look after your granddaughter again, even if she cheats whilst playing games :joy::joy:

@FionaB1 im with @Mahoney on grandchildren mine are little cheats too.

Sorry to hear you had a night in hospital with a chest infection I hope your ok now.

Coming up to that 1 year anniversary dies have an impact doesn’t it.

Best wishes loraine