May is Stroke Awareness Month!

"Having a stroke is easy, there's nothing you need to do, lay back and enjoy it, as much as you can.

I  was mildly amused when my legs wouldn't obey me. Less so when those same legs couldn't even keep me upright!

So it was that my flatmate found me on the floor, and I was on my way to hospital, where I had what I believe to be my third and most severe stroke. And, if you're going to have a bad one, hospital is the place to be. From my viewpoint, one minute I was joking with nurses in a ward, next, I'm in ITU with zero control over my limbs. And, let me tell you, that's a scary transition.

I'm told it's not the same for everyone, but nothing is fast about stroke recovery. It was almost two months before I was able to stand. Your muscles are fine, but all control is damaged. It's not just your limbs either. Limbs are left and right, damage is not equal, in my case left leg is slowest to recover. But along the centreline, my tongue also took a hit.

To this day, my speech doesn't feel right, nor do I walk without a frame or sticks, ten months later. There is no quick fix. None. I consider myself lucky. I was aware enough of strokes, and their effects, to be fairly sure that a stroke was happening, so I wasn't panicking.

I wasn't aware enough of F. A. S. T. though, I might have been able to get help sooner. The immediate effect is bad enough, but the pace of recovery is daunting, I kid you not. My advice? Avoid a stroke if you can, change your lifestyle, even a little. The contributing factors are well known."

 

Mr Tony Mersey

Stroke Survivor, 2020

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