I had a Stroke

16 February 2019

I had a stroke and got carted off to Stoke. Not a sentence I thought I'd be writing at 28 years old but here we are, exactly a week since it happened and I'm just about getting used to being a 'stroke survivor' and being in recovery. I mentioned to the girls in the group chat how it's incredible how much my life can change in a week; last week I was getting back into the swing of things with work, taking Freddie to Rhyme Time at the library and my Mum for lunch and now I'm needing escorting everywhere, talking out of the side of my mouth with no idea when I'll be able to work again.



What happened?

I was sitting with my Mum on the sofa just chatting and I suddenly started to stutter on a word, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't speak properly and I didn't understand why. My Mum asked why I was talking funny and turned to look at me, she noticed that my whole face had collapsed on on side and my arm began to go numb. Thankfully, she had seen the F.A.S.T Campaign and called 999. An ambulance quickly arrived and that paramedics advised that they were going to treat for the worst and hope for the best - after several tests involving putting my arms in the air, balancing and trying to smile, they determined that I had a significant left side weakness and the rushed me to A&E where the stroke team awaited my arrival. I was wheeled in the resuscitation area and transferred to a bed, I was still walking and able to hop in the bed with ease. The nurses attached me to the monitor thing and put a line into my right arm. I was quickly taken down for a CT scat to to give the specialists an idea of what was going on in my head - the Dr initially thought that my Stroke-like symptoms were due to migraines which seemed really hopeful.

During this time between scans I lost all feeling in my left hand and it became completely paralysed, the staff didn't seem overly concerned about this but the fact that I was still getting symptoms was terrifying me a little bit.

The CT scan results showed that summat had happened to my brain but I'm not sure what (I didn't listen) but I was advised that I needed and MRI, at this point my family crowded around me whip my jewellery off - my Daith piercing was (carefully) yanked out by the nurse and I was carted off to have my brain looked at even more. The MRI scan wasn't too bad as experiences go, just a bit noisy and a bit...y'know shitty considering the circumstances. The results came back and showed that I had suffered a stroke on the right frontal lobe and needed to be transferred to North Staffs Hospital for treatment on the Acute Stroke Unit, my family's faces all sort of dropped (excuse the pun) at once and my Mum's face scrunched up and she cried. This was the worst case result and my future was unknown - we didn't know what level of recovery I'd make, how long it'd take or what the cause for stroke was. All we knew was that I'd developed a blood clot that had reached my brain, deprived it of oxygen and caused a stroke.

I was taken to North Staffs quite late and given a room to sleep in, I wasn't allowed food or drink incase there was a need for surgery. My Mum and Luke stayed with me for as long as possible but soon needed to go home and rest. My Mum asked the nurse if I'd be ok and make it through the night, her response was "we hope for the best" - yeah, cheers hun. Thankfully I did make it through the night, when I woke up my face and had were still paralysed but a Dr and Physiotherapist came round to assess the damage, I was told I had more movement than I should for the type of stroke I'd had and encouraged to use my hand as much as possible. I had more bloods taken and was told that I needed a CT Angiogram to see if there were any obvious heart problems causing me to throw out a clot - this scan involved running a dye through my veins that would show up on the scan, the sensation of the dye running through was really surreal and I felt like I'd wet myself as the scan ended (perfectly normal apparently). The scan came back normal and I was very soon given the go ahead to go home.

Think F.A.S.T give hope


What caused it? 

The Consultant seemed pretty confident that the Pill had caused the blood cot, there's no other reason of change in my lifestyle that could've caused something so drastic so that's something else ruled out as contraception for me, lol. I've got to have some more heart tests to ensure that there aren't any other underlying heart issues that could've caused it but the pill causing blood clots and strokes is more common than you'd think.

Treatment 

I'm currently taking Aspirin daily to thin my blood and I'll soon go onto Clopidogrel to try and bust any clots that may be floating around my body. After that, I'm not sure - I assume I'll have more tests etc. to see what to do going forward.

According to the Community Stroke Team I have made a spontaneous recovery and thankfully won't need any intensive physiotherapy - It's looking positive that I'll make a 100% recovery but need to take time and manage my side affects. The most common issue I've faced since the stroke is tiredness, I become absolutely shattered at some points in the day and need to nap or my head pounds. I'm also getting head aches and a slightly fuzzy eye sight in my left eye - this is due to my brain still being swollen and recovering from the trauma. Eating is also quite hard, with half my face being numb I can't feel food in that side of my mouth so have to be dead careful when chewing to make sure I don't suddenly choke. Aside from that, I'm physically alright and managing.



Wellbeing 

I've taken the piss out of the situation pretty much since it happened, I suppose it's my coping mechanism and it works. The hardest part of it all was when my hand was dead and I didn't know if it would work again but now I'm living with the fear of it all happening again. A week later and the reality of the severity of what happened is sinking in and having my mortality sort of shoved in my face is a but un-nerving (see what I did there) I'm trying to adjust to life being someone who has brain damage and it's a bit of a bummer but I've been showered with flowers and love so I feel very well looked after.

Fundraising 

To try and make the most out of a properly shit situation, shituation if you will. Me and the women in my family are taking part in The Stroke Association 5k run in March, if you want to help raise some money for a cause very close to my brain click here.

Going forward I'll be sharing the progress of my recovery as well as raising awareness and money for the Stroke Association.



6 comments

  1. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I had a similar life changing event eight years ago and totally get the way you are feeling - but it does get better with time.

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  2. I'm so sorry that this happened to you, Issy. Thank goodness for your Mum's quick thinking. Wishing you a very speedy recovery xx

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  3. Seeing your face in the first picture has just shown how much it has changed already, you are looking more and more yourself every day. So horrible that it happened to you, I have been thinking about you and wishing you well since! Hopefully it'll be a bad joke in no time, and you won't have any longlasting effects xx

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  6. Sending lots of love! Your such an inspiration, especially how upbeat you are! Making light of such an awful situation but also raising awareness! I found you recently on twitter and keep following your story. Keep smiling gorgeous :) xx

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