The day I had a stroke

Been on here a while and not shared my story yet, so here goes!

June 13th 2023. It was a very hot day. As I was getting out of bed, I offered up a genuine prayer to God, asking Him to please do something so that I could stop working. Financially, it was necessary for me to work and although I was due to retire in December, I was struggling with the physical demands of my job.
I went to work that day as usual and was about to get a drink because I was feeling very dehydrated. But then I felt a weakness in the left shin and maybe a little lightheaded. I found myself hanging onto a door because I felt like I was going to fall. I managed to move to the bottom of a staircase where I sat on the stairs and closed my eyes for about 5mins, initially thinking it was just a funny turn because of the heat. I decided the moment had passed but soon after standing up, it happened again so I shouted out for someone to call an ambulance because I was pretty sure by then that I was having a stroke. I was hanging on to the bannister and let myself fall gently to the floor. I was laying face down with my left hand trapped beneath me but didn’t know this because it was numb and paralysed, as was the rest of the left side of my body. At one point, I must have moved my right arm because I remember touching my left hand and wondering what it was because it didn’t feel like it belonged to me.
The paramedics were there within 15min or so. I was told my lips were slightly drooping on the left side which wasn’t noticeable when I smiled. And some slight slurring of speech of which I was aware - it didn’t hang around too long. I remember feeling very, very peaceful and saying to the lady paramedic that maybe this was my time to go. I wasn’t afraid at all because I knew God would never do anything to harm me which helped a lot when I was being pumped full of drugs later on, and even after that when I knew I was going to need antihypertensives and who knew what else possibly forever (I have an aversion to pharmaceuticals!!). The fire brigade were called to lift me into the stairwell on a stretcher because there was a bend on the staircase and whilst waiting for them to arrive, I was laying on the floor texting a friend to get everyone praying for me. It was a 30min trip to the nearest hospital with a stroke unit where I was found to be in hypertensive crisis. The doc said what he was seeing wasn’t normal stroke behaviour because I was switching between paralysis and recovery (probably a clot that was moving around?). It actually happened 10 times!! I was quickly whisked off for a CT scan which revealed nothing so it was then a race to get my BP down enough to be thrombolysed. After that, I was moved to another part of the ward and the physio/OT started work on me straight away. Had me out of bed to see if I could touch my toes ( I could, just about, with them supporting me). My NIHSS score was 12/42 (moderate stroke) at that time. By the next morning, I’d been paralysed continuously for about 12hours with no further episodes of recovery. A follow up CT scan confirmed I’d had a right MCA stroke.
And I know this sounds really, really sad, but uppermost in my mind was absolute relief that I wouldn’t have to go back to work. No kidding.

7 Likes

I truly am sorry you have joined our group, at least for that reason. I laughed at your thought about not going to work. I get it, though. I would never have been able to retire, so I got retired…I loved my job but was tired a lot. I had already had a hemorraghic stoke that had stopped bleeding on it’s own. No idea how long I had it, so maybe explains the fatigue I was experiencing. Anyway, that really explains why I no longer care about trying to get back to work. But the funny thing is, I would not have gotten up to call in to work, on my day off, after sleeping through a 20 hour shift the day before (I was asleep for over 48 hours). If I had not called, my boss would not have told me to call a doctor. Depends on what day it is, if I am happy she prompted me, or mad at her. JK, kind of. Still don’t expect I will ever work again.

How have you been coping?

3 Likes

Thanx for sharing
:slight_smile:

What is the pattern of your days & outlook etc now?

What attraction are ahead on the current path?

3 Likes

Thank you for sharing your story. That’s probably not the way most of us would want to head into retirement.

Hope you are getting on ok now & able to enjoy your retirement as you would have wanted to.

Best wishes

Ann

3 Likes

@Trace57
Sometimes it is a great help to write it all down. It helps to put it all in order. This is a good place to do that.
Your experience shared can help another put their struggles and successes into perspective.
I think stroke is a long game, a long journey, so having a record helps pick out where you are and where you might go.
At first it isn’t clear where this leads but you will begin to put it all together.
You are not in any way alone, there are more than a million of us in the UK and another joins us about every 5 minutes.
This Forum is here for you and can help provide encouragement and support, a listening ear and somewhere to record what you see and how you see it.
Be kind. take care and don’t forget how to smile.

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smile: :+1:

3 Likes

@DeAnn , @SimonInEdinburgh , @Mrs5K , @Bobbi
Thanks to all for replying to my post and apologies for the tardy response. I have to be in the mood to write - it’s not a new thing, I was like this pre-stroke🙈
@DeAnn Well, we never know what life is going to throw at us, do we🤷🏻‍♀️ I have to ask - did it occur to you at the time that it’s not normal to sleep 48hours straight through, I mean, would you have called the doc if your boss hadn’t told you to? I can’t help wondering what would have happened to you if you’d had no need to call in to work…….I’m guessing it’s on the bad days that you get mad at her🤔. Good that you’ve accepted you probably won’t work again - one less thing to worry about.

I’m coping ok. I feel physically worse now than I did when I first came home although I’m functioning pretty well and generally improving. I don’t have what I would call ‘pain’ but I do have uncomfortable sensations mostly in the stroke arm - numbness, tightness, a bit of burning now and then, nothing major, tingling (sometimes it rages in the hand, other times, it’s not too bad. Activity seems to calm it). Face and neck are also affected with tingling/numbness and it always feels like I’m wearing my glasses even when I’m not!!
I can use the stroke hand pretty much normally even though it doesn’t feel normal. I decided to ditch the walking stick 4 weeks ago because I felt it was hindering the stroke leg from becoming stronger. Some days I walk better than others, mostly when I’m not tired.
I woke up 3 weeks ago and decided I was going to take my first post stroke drive into town, just to see if I could do it. Apart from having to take extra care with the stroke arm, I was fine and did it again the following week and went a bit further. That was in the automatic car that my husband drives. My car is manual and I’ve yet to see how I get on with it. If I’m feeling ok this weekend, I might give it a go. I think I’ll probably be fine just doing short trips.
I do try to keep busy but also need short rests in between. Been taking advantage of the few sunny days we’ve had and been potting up and planting in the garden.
I also have days, and sometimes a run of days, where I feel apathetic and fed-up but I seem to remember that this used to happen pre stroke as well. It just seems worse because now I’m disabled and feel generally rubbish physically so it’s harder and more tiring to find distractions. But hey-ho. As everyone keeps saying, this is a marathon, not a sprint. I keep telling myself, ‘It will get better, it will get better, it will get better……’ and one day, it just might!

5 Likes

None of that sounds unusual or surprising :slight_smile:

I guess with coming up to a year post then you’re beginning to worked through most acclimatizations. It certainly is true that it’s a new “learning curve” - I think those that accept that early on make more comfortable progress…

Good luck in your journey

Caio
Simon

3 Likes