Or, how he stroked out and came back from the dead
I’ve had quite a few experiences in the 60 odd years I’ve been on this planet. None quite so life affirming as my stroke of luck back in November 2018.
- My brain : image courtesy of Marcus Winkler on Unsplash
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There I was, one Wednesday evening in Early November. Just going about my business, when I did an Elvis and stroked out on the bathroom floor, but not before twisting myself into all sorts of shapes. Staggered to the bedroom. Got the wife to bring me a couple of aspirin and promptly passed out. Woke up a few hours later to the wife asking if I was okay. I said, “fine”, which prompted her to immediately phone for an ambulance. I thought I was perfectly intelligible. Apparently not. There ensued a night of high jinks at the local hospital. I say local: it’s over an hour away. I was discharged at 3 in the morning with a packet of aspirin and a cheery wave from the staff at the Accident and Emergency dept. After puking my way home, the doctor was summoned; then an another ambulance. Finally I was admitted onto the ward around 11am. Good job everyone responded so quickly, just think how things might have turned out if things had been slower….
I had experienced a cerebellar stroke. A thing that was confirmed the following Tuesday when I finally saw a consultant. My whole left side had been compromised. It’s a good thing they took six days to let me know, as by that time I was dragging myself about the ward on various forays to the loo. I didn’t pee for the first 36 hours. I survived on Porridge and Apple juice. My arms and hands were used several times for target practice. I had also had a smiley face shaved into my chest and belly hair to stick the sticky things for the ECG machine that kept falling off, seeing as I was bathed in a slimy cold sweat that only added to the allure of my pale green grey pallor. When finally I saw the Consultant he kindly let me know how lucky I had been, for usually two out of three folk who experience a stroke in the cerebellum wake up dead and the other is usually broccoli; or cauliflower, take your pick. Once again the Grim Reaper had failed to collect me. It not being the first time that I had come within a whisker of the eternal sleep.
I had a few sessions with the physio-terrorist, a nice chat and cup of tea with the trick-cyclist and by Friday I was climbing up and down the stairs. Well, I like to say that. It was more a case of being rescued from the staircase when I had wandered off, bored, to find a cup of coffee.
By the following Wednesday they really needed the bed and I was invited to go home. I was weak and useless. I had hurt my left ankle/knee/hip when I had fallen, re-aggravating; if there is such a word, several previous injuries re-sustained whilst mountaineering a couple of seasons before. I sat on my arse for 21 days. Binge watching War Movies and Peaky Blinders on Netflix. I felt like a gently warmed turd. Everything was upside down and inside out and my mind felt like a Swiss Cheese, you know, the one with holes in.
Eventually I manage the Herculean task of walking from one end of the Kitchen to the other and back; a whole ten paces. Over the weeks that followed came the 1km mark. Then the 5km. Eventually 19k in a day. My mind was still a mess but my body was on the mend. Where the body goes the mind is sure to follow. Slowly I began to piece my life back together. And so it was until my first vaccination for you know what. Then the work really began.
Thus, I leave you hanging. In future posts the full story will reveal itself until we reach the present day.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti