posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 06:55 AM
So some may have noticed I have not been on these boards for the last 4 months. I have spent the last 4 months in what to me felt like a metaphorical
Hell. In MayI had a rather large stroke one afternoon. I have to say it was the most terrifying experience of my life. Considering I've been
diagnosed with terminal brain tumour in the past, believe me,that news came nowhere near the experience of a stroke. I had been having an afternoon
sleep, when I got up to go to the loo. Once I got to the loo, my legs litterally gave way. I tried to walk back to my room, but kept falling over. I
could no longer stand. The whole of my left side had gone. No feeling whatsoever. I was vomiting heavily and couldn't even sit down on my bed without
falling over onto my side. I was rushed to the hospital, suspecting I had had a large seizure from my brain tumour. I was put on morphine and a large
dosage of steroids to stop the swelling in the brain. It was only after ct scan, that revealed that it was not connected to my tumour, but was a fresh
bleed, from another site in my brain. An extremely rare condition. The first night was one of the scariest experiences. The morphine and steroids were
making me hallucinate and I was also getting steroid phychosis, which turned me into a raging lunatic. I was shouting at nurses and cursing my family.
I was tripping big time too. I thought I was in the cantina in Mos Isley, from Star Wars, seeing aliens and all sorts of weird things. I was also
vomiting a lot and really had no idea where I was. The 2nd night was no better. My dad stayed in the room with me, but I was hallucinating that I was
in a bomb shelter in the Ukraine. I was asking my dad, when the police or army was coming to get us out. I was trying to organise able bodied men to
help get the wounded out. It was so scary because it felt so real. This actually went on for a few nights. Once it had been confirmed that the bleed
was not part of my tumour, I was sent to rehab. I was still unable to hold my weight through my core so had to sit in a large wheel chair for hours in
the day. I had to be hoisted in and out of the chair as I was completely paralysed and couldn't stand or walk. The plan was to get me to the Oxford
centre for enablement OCE, as soon as possible. The OCE is one of the best rehab centres in the UK, so I was very lucky to get a bed there as soon as
one was available. It took about a week to get the bed. In the meantime I started rehab in the hospital. The most important thing was spending time in
the wheelchair to strengthen my core. I was in the same hospital as Harrison ford, who had been rushed in after damaging his leg on the set of the new
Star Wars film. My god son, was very impressed that I was in the same hospital as Han Solo.
The OCE was a whole new experience. It was like a cross between an old people's home and a mental institution. stokes are normally an old people
illness and they effect people in many different ways, depending on where the bleed occurred. The nurses at first were just a bit too nice, they kept
calling me by my full name which really bugged me. It just sounded patronising. They talked to everyone like a child. I understood they had to do this
due to the varied severity of the patients illness. Some people were a proper mess. Very confused without the ability to communicate. Still I felt I
wasn't as bad as most of the patients in there so found it difficult to get used to.
In my first weeks at the OCE I was desperate to come home. I had reached levels of depression I never knew possible. I looked up Dignitas in
Switzerland as I was ready to end it all. I didn't care if I ever walked again. I just wanted out. I couldn't sleep at night. The wards were noisy
and bright. I had to listen to patients shouting out in confusion all night from 6pm to 6am. I tried ear plugs , but the sounds would still creep in.
I had to eat with other patients in the dining room. Very old people who would be dribbling there food down their mouths or people with MS
Uncontrollably flailing in their seats. I would make my excuses to go back to my room as soon as possible. I got my parents to bring in food so I
didn't have to go to the dining room. Yet the care staff all encouraged you to go the dining room which got annoying.
I ended up taking anti depressants and sleeping tablets to help me cope with it all. I have to say taking the anti depressants really helped. They put
me in a better frame of mind to get on with the physio, which is what I was there for. I was also very lucky that a couple of my nurses were extremely
attractive Spanish girls, who brightened my mood no end. Flirting became my new past time and it was a great distraction. Even left with a few phone
numbers and Facebook contacts. I actually fell in love with one of my Spanish nurses. Without her I don't know what I would have done. She was giving
me constant encouragement and attention, it was like having my own private nurse. I hope we stay good friends.
The physio was extremely tiring, learning to stand and walk again is harder than you think. Amazing how we take these things for granted. At first I
could not sit without being propped up, but soon enough I was standing and taking my first steps. I made some amazing progress in the first month. I
was having hydro therapy every week, basically walking in a hot swimming pool for 45 minutes. I had a powered wheelchair which was fun. It allowed me
to get to all my therapy appointments and get away from some of the more annoying patients. Occupational therapy taught me to shower again and learn
to tie my shoe laces again. I had to attend Workshop and the kitchens to practice my standing and cooking skills. I resented going to these sessions
but they all had a purpose. Even made a picture frame in woodwork. These sessions were all designed to improve the function go my left arm, which has
come on amazingly well. From being a dead weight to a functioning limb. I was at the centre for 3 and a half months. It is the hardest thing I've
ever had to do. I'm just glad I stayed my time. I could have stayed longer. Maybe I should, but there were fewer and fewer people there capable of
speaking.less people of my generation and I was suffering from a lack of sleep, which made everything harder.
When my discharge date arrived yesterday, I was ready to go home. I needed to get back for some peace and quiet and home comforts. I walked out of the
OCE yesterday ( with the help of a frame).I still have much work to do, but I know I will soon be walking without any walking aid to assist me. This
is a condensed version of the last 4 months. My life has changed dramatically, but I'm determined to get back to normal as soon as possible.