I’m not a stroke professional. I simply have my own personal experience of stroke, together with what I saw of others whilst I was in hospital a few weeks ago. In addition I have read a little, some of this being on this forum.
Some things have become apparent to me. Our own experience of stroke is probably very different to that of the next person. The treatment for my ‘version’ of this will necessarily be different from the next guy or gal.
…and here is the rub. In any one stroke unit is a variety of cases. From beginning to end of the process, discovering and then treating what each individual’s symptoms are is a process of elimination. It should be obvious that life-threatening issues must be addressed first. Going through this process means enduring ‘useless’ tests but they are not useless when they turn up a positive. Until the tests are performed this cannot be known. Equally at a later stage there might be issues that the person with the stroke is not aware of so more possibly ‘useless’ work must be done.
The whole process is a huge list of ‘possibilities’ that must be worked through until the stroke patient is stable and the possibility of further complication has as far as possible been eliminated.
Once the diagnosis and treatment has been settled, which can take a month of extensive work, a further period, possibly a lifetime of rehabilitation begins.
And here is another not so obvious fact. Recovery from a stroke depends very much on the form that stroke has taken, the individual that all this is happening to and what help and support they receive. Equally the time that each stage of recovery takes also depends upon many factors.
All this means that it is impossible to see into the future and predict what treatment will be best and what outcome can be expected when a stroke first occurs. In many ways each individual is on his own to deal with things, but equally there is support waiting to be recognised and used.
All of this ramble is me trying to rationalise this chaotic experience which has thrust itself upon me.
I tell myself that I have determination and optimism and I will prevail.
I wish my fellow sufferers all the best and hope we will find a way through all this.
I also feel that supporting one another is an excellent strategy for coping with what has befallen upon us. (hmm, is that correct word usage, it feels clunky, maybe I should have left the ‘upon’ out)
Many thanks, also, to the creators of this Forum and its users, who have given me a place to sound off and an audience to address.