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back from the dark side.

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posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 06:55 AM
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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.




posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr

Wow what a terrible experience. I applaud your INCREDIBLE bravery and determination.

I wish you a speedy recovery, and I hope the experience makes you a stronger person. The best thing you can do in times like that is find light where there appears to be none. Which you have clearly done.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:00 AM
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Good to see you back Woody mate after such an ordeal, you were missed.

Oi... leave one of those Spanish nurses for me...

Kindest respects

Rodinus



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:04 AM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr



You've been through a lot; my heart goes out to you. I am glad you are on the mend. It is good to have you back!



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:05 AM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr

welcome back!


good to see your posting again and are recovering.


hugs



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:31 AM
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Bloody hell mate,that sound horrific.
I hope you recover fully,and maybe end up getting married to that Spanish nurse.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:48 AM
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Few people know the horrors behind the doors of places like that. I saw it for over a year while visiting my grandmother who had fallen in her home and went down hill from there.

I experienced it again too many times over the last year. It's heartbreaking to see it and I know that my father had the same problems as you as far as depression and insomnia. It's like living in a nightmare.

I am glad you were able to stick with it and use the time there to make progress. It's easy to give up in those situations.

I am sorry that you have had to struggle so much. I've been here long enough to know your story and to notice your name had been missing. It's times like those that I wish the mods allowed threads asking about other members when they suddenly disappear. As it stands all we could do was wonder.

Keep up your PT even at home. It's so easy to have set backs after returning home from something so regimented, but doing that after something like this could likely leave you in a place like that for much longer than a few months. My dad could never keep it up so he just continuously went downhill. It happens faster than most realize I think. One day of not doing it because you are tired or hurting quickly leads to another then another, etc.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers (if you don't mind that is). You have lived traveling such a rocky road for years, you deserve a break for sure and I hope you can get one soon.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:50 AM
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Wow! First of all welcome back from the brink! It certainly doesn't sound like you attended a fun fest at all, however if rehab made you able to return to ATS, well to them and to you!

Are you able to type with both hands now? Because if so, that's amazingly positive.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 08:28 AM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr

And people say there is a hell worse than some places here on earth. I disagree. This is hell.

The freedom from this (rib)cage is heaven.

And those nurses are the angels that saved you.

How does it feel to have survived your time in hell?

Must be sweet. Just think of all those poor people stuck back there without any hope of leaving?

To conquering Hell



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 08:57 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: woodwardjnr



Must be sweet. Just think of all those poor people stuck back there without any hope of leaving?

To conquering Hell


I realise I was damn lucky not to be in the state some of the people were in. One guy was 28, suffering with MS and Parkinson's. I still have my ability to talk and comprehend. Some were not so lucky. I also found out, that after my stroke, the region had healed itself so my chances of having another are now the same as the rest of the general population. I didn't realise how lucky I was until I left.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 09:03 AM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr


I also found out, that after my stroke, the region had healed itself so my chances of having another are now the same as the rest of the general population. I didn't realize how lucky I was until I left.

Wow, not only did you get 'saved by angels' and return from Hell, but you were "healed"?

Was it luck? Or miraculous?

Thanks for sharing that vision, so many of us have no clue what that must be like.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 09:12 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


originally posted by: woodwardjnr
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.


Yep. I've been there. I had Dignitas bookmarked on my computer for a while .. just in case I wanted to use it. And I too had a misdiagnosis and meds that made me hallucinate for the three weeks that I was on them (that on top of the general miserable feeling of being chronically ill .. ugh). Aug 2009 - Jan 2011 was awful.

No one expects that it could happen to them, but it can and it does. It makes you question everything, doesn't it? I'm still kinda pissed off at God for putting me through all that and because it's happening to many others ... like yourself. And It's scary thinking it could all come back again at any time.

I'm glad you are recovering and feeling better. I hope you have continued success in this!!

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


edit on 9/11/2014 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 10:48 AM
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Wow what an experience, I'm so glad you are home and feeling better.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

You know the whole experience has given me a different outlook on things like dignitas. I think if there was one here in the UK I might not be here today. Its a tough one, because I think I would still like the option available. It's an interesting debate and is never going to be an easy discussion, so many different sides to each argument. Still a worthy discussion topic for those who want to explore the option. I certainly know I would never want to reach the state some people were in. Trapped in their own bodies, unable to move, communicate or comprehend. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemies. Cruel beyond words.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 12:44 PM
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Wow God bless you sir..your a hero for you and of course your family and people who love you..



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr

Your story serves as a reminder to us all than none of us know what's around the next corner.
Here's wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery woodwardjnr.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr

Thats a story.

I hope you continue to improve. I am glad you have come out on top. I am sorry you had to go through that but suffering has its rewards as well, I hope you discover them. I hope your spanish nurse stays friends or even better falls in love with you. Its good to hear that you will be around here more. May the force be with you.



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: woodwardjnr Teddy bear hugs and angel kisses to you! So good to hear you are progressing nicely. I wish so many Blessings and good things for you! Hubby was in a coma for 3 months and when he woke up, he had to have extensive rehab too. It was a long and stressful journey with good days and bad days and triumphs and set backs but in the end, it was all worth it and he was able to come home. Unfortunately, his rehab hospital was not too swift so I ended up taking him home and nursing him back to health myself as I'm a retired nurse so that helped.

Much love to you and I hope you have a wonderful and full recovery and get on with the fun things in life. Make everyday count, live life to the fullest and know that you have many people that care about you and are pulling for you. Have at least 100 more years ahead,
of health, happiness, and love!



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 07:48 PM
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I gotta believe you are here for a huge purpose to have endured just so damn much...


I'm at once both appalled that someone should have to deal with so much and also so in awe and inspired that you've always managed to handle it with such grace and aplomb.

Welcome back. (((HUG)))



posted on Sep, 11 2014 @ 09:16 PM
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I got all teary eyed reading your post. I am so happy to see you back! My heart just breaks for you having to endure so much. HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!



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