I am … a Survivor.
It all started on first of October, I came home from work as usual and was just about to go to Joes (my boyfriend’s), when I put my dressing gown on and lost the whole sensation of my right arm, I couldn’t recognise it was my arm. I then ran down stairs to tell my dad and couldn’t get a word out of my mouth and my face had dropped. It only lasted 10 minutes or so, so i laughed it off and drove to Joes. When I got to Joes I was sat with him and his mum and it all happened again. Joe made me ring 111 who told me I needed to go to hospital straight away. I went to hospital and after a few hours was diagnosed with migraines, (I didn’t fit any criteria of a usual stroke victim, apparently)
I went back to Joes got in bed and it was happening all night, I kept loosing my speech and sight. The next morning I drove to work as normal and it happened again at work. They immediately took me to the walk in centre, who then insisted I went to the northern general, from there they blue lighted me to the royal Hallamshire.
I had ct scans and MRI scans, and was told I had suffered numerous (16 at the time) stokes. Not TIA’s but actual full blown strokes. I remained in hospital for a while and was let out a few days before my 21st birthday.
The strokes left me with numerous problems. Mobility problems, I fall an awful lot and have no balance, no sense of feeling down the whole right side of my body, and complete weakness. The fatigue is pretty hard to cope with as it completely takes over my life, and I have weak hearing and sight in the right of my body. I cannot read or write properly anymore as I once did, (pretty hard when I was in the 2nd week of my 3rd year at university). The brain damage also left me with epilepsy, which means I had to sell my car and surrender my licence, and it stops be doing loads of things I used to. The brain damage is irreversible but I am constantly doing physiotherapy and cognitive therapy to try to improve it.
I keep positive, but have had furthers stroke since, in December, February and April. They don’t have a reason as to yet, but they are trying to reach the bottom of it. I’m on enough medication to keep a chemist open and I am constantly having scans and tests.
At the moment things are hard. But the support from everyone has been great, and I even managed to complete my degree thanks to the help of disabled student allowances, who gave me special equipment to speak into etc.