Aussie stroke survivor
Christmas Day, 2009 seems so far away...
My stroke followed a heart attack I had on Christmas Day, 2009, at the family home in Adelaide, South Australia. I went to the nearest hospital where doctors determined that I needed a triple bypass.
I knew there was a chance that things could go wrong, as the cadiologist and surgeon both warned, but I never considered it could happen to me.
I had the triple bypass operation on or about December 28, but it was so messy the surgeons had to do what they called "a redo". I hovered between life and death for about a 10 days before making my recovery.
I was eventually told the stroke happened during one of the two bypass operations. There were further complications that saw me in four hospitals for almost four months. I had a further operation to drain blood and gunk from my left lung, and this has caused further long term complications. Nerve endings have not knitted correctly, so that I have constant nerve pain around my chest and waist, with a frozen right shoulder also adding to my tale of woe!.
I was a sole public relations practitioner and photo journalist prior to the stroke, and by the time I returned home my businesses had totally collapsed. I was assisted by an South Australian federal politician, who offered me part time work as his speech writer, and that played a major role in my wife and I staying solvent.
The stroke has affected the right side of my body, and left me extremely weak physically. Since the stroke we have sold our house in Adelaide and moved to Kyneton, an hour's drive NW of Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria, where our two children live plus two wonderful grandchildren.
Life remains tough, but my wonderful wife, Julie, has been my tower of strength throughout my ordeal. She is simply amazing and deserves a medal!
My greatest thrill was persuading my federal politician colleague to give a speech in Parliament about stroke. I wrote the speech in conjunction with the NSF. It was given in the Senate on September 12 and can be viewed here: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2Ff502bfd4-d8d6-47d0-9876-bc76488b1b81%2F0203%22
I have a blog which is located at http://www.strokefoundation.com.au/strokeconnect/viewtopic.php?f=216&t=1668- on the Australian National Stroke Foundation's website, and which I started at the request of the NSF to try to encourage increased reader/viewer participation which it has been successful at doing. In fact, it has been read by almost 20,000 people during the past 18 months.
I hope that by joining this outstanding website, other Australians - and Americans - can learn from one another.....