Christmas cakes!

Hi, I tried to do this before, but couldn't work it out . I am Ian, Boots is an old childhood nick name, that's a whole story of its own.

09/01/2011, what a surprise that day was. I was coming up to the end of my leave after New Year, cut my hair, clean shaven, etc. 

I had a niggle in my right shoulder, just couldn't shift it, nothing to stop me, was getting dressed, (how many times do things like this happen half way through something?).

I suddenly I fell across the bed, it felt like someone had just pulled my feet away and pushed me at the same time. I lay there for a bit, thinking, well, that was a bit odd. Then I felt sick, I thought the wife won't like this, so I got up and headed to the bathroom, directly opposite the bedroom. Got to admit it, this seemed to be a little more awkward than usual.

I burst into the bathroom, nose dived towards the loo, a bit of a shock to the wife, who was in the shower. I thought I said quiet clearly, don't worry, I just feel a bit ill.

For some stupid reason, my wife was on the phone, I heard her say, he just fell through the door, and now he's just making strange noises. She laid me in the recovery position, I was quick like that, being a nurse.

Next the ambulance crew turned up, I was still a bit bemused, what the heck were they here for?

One said to me that he thought I had possibly experienced a stroke and they were going to take me to a hospital I had never heard of, and that they were going to go a lot faster than I would drive.

It was in the ambulance that I realised I was a little unwell. Boy, that driver was a lunatic, flipping heck, he was overtaking cars on the motorway.

We were met by the consultant of the stroke unit, very impressive, from ambulance to CT, to ward, thrombilised, all within twenty minutes.

The ward staff seemed to handle me with kid gloves, yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir, a bit odd.

The next morning a director of the hospital visited, she explained that her husband was my director from my Trust. She explained that he was going to visit later. That explained the V.I.P. treatment.

Eventually I did explain that although I was a Lead Nurse, I was no one to worry about. It was nice when everyone treated me as a bog standard patient.

After five days I was discharged, yep I still felt like I'd run a marathon, and I kept having to nap on and off. I thought I'd be back up and running in a couple of weeks, then it was a couple of months, eventually it came clear I wasn't going to be able to return to work.

I didn't sleep properly for nine months, I became like a caged animal, unable to sleep, unable to stop. I became extremely frustrated, angry, nothing could calm me. My wife tried to understand, but I couldn't explain, it was like having hundreds of thoughts, all at the same time. Where I couldn't sleep I started manicly baking cakes, pies, bread, anything I could do quietly, without disturbing my wife (the record was 13 Christmas cakes, blooming cakes everwhever).

Eventually I was diagnosed with a raft of neurological disorders, but at least I was recieving treatment, and I could finally slow down.

I got some brilliant support from "Headways", all in it together, no joke off limits, no offense ever taken.

I was medically retired aged 46, we lost our house, and eventually managed to buy another wreck of a house, the other end of the country.

By now the stresses of life living with a stroke survivor, became too much for my wife. Off she went, can't blame her, I would have left me if I could have.

I'm in a fairly good place in myself now. Shame there isn't the same "Headways" support here, but I can't knock life, I still have one, maybe, not what I would have chosen, but, yes I still have a life!

P.S. can't blooming cook properly these days, so please, no Christmas cake requests!

Hi Boots - feel like I've been on a roller coaster reading your story.  So sorry that the repercussions of your stroke had so many negative knock-on issues, that's desperately sad to hear.  You sound very resilient like so many other wonderful people on this site.  I wish you all the best as you continue to create your new life, and hope you find someone special to share it with you.  Keep posting - I've found it so helpful to hear about SS on this site, and it has been such a good source of support and understanding.

Have a good w/end, xx

Hi NicABella21, all of life has good and bad consequences, no good getting down about it. There are down moments, but that is all they are moments in a whole ocean of life. Thanks for reading my post.

Have a great weekend,

Ian x

Hi Boots. Thank you for a very clear and lucid account of your stroke and it’s consequences. I also had a stroke involving an instant keeling over and I,too, have felt a lot of frustration and anger. I also bake, but not to the extent of making 13 Christmas cakes. I am sorry to hear about the end of your relationship and, like NicABella, I hope you find someone in the future. My partner stuck by me and was a Godsend, but we had been together 37 years when the stroke hit me.

By and large, I now manage quite well, but I have just had a small fall on the patio while he is out. No damage done, but I will have to confess this as the bruise on my left buttock will be a dead giveaway. Fortunately, I have been taught how to get up from a fall and no bones have been broken. However, finding oneself in stranded turtle mode is slightly undignified.


Good luck to you.

Hi Boots, 

it was good to read your journey and just shows how quickly our lives can change. I loved the part about the Christmas cakes. I woke today thinking I should start to make my Christmas cakes, I used to make at least 7 but don’t think I can do that many this year. Well I couldn’t find my recipe which I thought was strange but my memory is quite poor so that didn’t help. Anyway I found it this afternoon so plan to start next week. I thought I might have to ask you for your recipe.

I’m glad you are now in a good place and wish you well. Hope you’ve started your cakes for this year.

best wishes 


Hi Ann, no Christmas cakes, my recipes are still packed from when I moved, and as I'm not particularly settled even after four years, I might be on the move again as soon as I am free to do so.

You have to have targets of some sort, so seven cakes isn't a bad one.

I wish you well, and if not too early, Happy Christmas.

Kind regards

Ian x

Hi John,

You sound like you are doing well, falls are always interesting, bit like the krypton factor. My last fall unfortunately did end with a broken bone, but also introduced me to some great people.

It's good that your wife has survived 37yrs, get less time for murder. But I can understand how difficult it is for the other person, my wife described it as one day I was me, the next I was a different me. I'm not sure things would have been any different if I hadn't had the stroke, sliding doors, what if?

Well keep well, and if you do fall, try to do it softly.

All the best


Thanks for your message. Life is a rollercoaster with or without a stroke. Life only has one direction, and that is forwards xx

You paint a pretty picture, turtle mode, I will remember that next time I end up on the floor. Hope you are keeping well.

Hi, Ann, no baking this year, I can't find any of my recipes, I know where they are, I just don't have the strength to move the flipping boxes. 

It's been some time since I logged in, so I haven't got a clue how long ago since I wrote the cake debarkle, and you replied.


I wish you well

Ian or boots, I answer to most names, and I've been called a few ?

Hi Ian,

I think it was about 2 months ago we wrote about the Christmas cakes. I ended up making 6, I’ve just iced them at the weekend. I had to follow the recipe really carefully to make sure I didn’t miss something out but I got there in the end.

How have you been keeping anyway.

I think I’m slowly improving although my short term memory is bad at times and I am still am pretty emotional. In general I feel better in myself and can tell I’m not as muddled as I was when I first had the stroke in February. I wish I had kept a fiery from then, I started to keep one about a week ago.

Let me know how you have been, it’s good that you are back on the forum.

Best wishes



Not too bad, but have just developed a heavy cold. Anything on top of managing the after effects of stroke tends to be a bit wearing.