Tuesday, 19 July 2016


The next few days were both good and bad.  The good was that both children came home to see me.  They were not originally planning to come back but they both wanted to see me.  It was quite emotional for me as I was supposed to be the strong one of the family and here I was the weakest one.  I can't really describe fully how happy I was to see them but it was fantastic.  Even though Bethany could only stay a short time it was just so nice to spend time with her.

We didn't tell the children much about the stroke other than I had temporarily lost part of my eyesight and I was having a few problems with words.  Both of them had dissertations and exams to worry about so Stephanie and I agreed it was thing to do.  I took the same approach with my parents who are both in their eighties.  I didn't want to worry them too much.

My elder sister Cathy was great and phoned me regularly just to see how I was getting on.  I am sure she was worried but she is so calm and reassuring it helped me a lot.  

I was also inundated with cards and presents from all over the place, I don't think I have ever received so many cards.  It was lovely to read what people had said and it did help so much.

We are very fortunate to have so many good friends.  I regularly got messages from many people, particularly Diana and Kathy.  They were great as they always cheered me up.

The title of today's blog is realisation as during this time I started to learn about the problems I would be facing.  I had the speech therapist come to see me and she went through a number of tests around speech and working memory.  Although I did well at some tests I did very badly at others.  The one I can recall was that she read me a story and I had to explain what was going on.  I could not understand at all.  She read it again and once more it was not making any sense.  I found this very upsetting and that was the first time I appreciated there was more wrong than I thought.  Its hard to explain what was happening in my mind.  I was trying hard to think about what was happening but my head just filled up with nothing and my mind went really fuzzy.  It was just too difficult.  

There were also some mathematical problems that were quite straightforward but i struggled with them.  This was more apparent if the problem was put into more real life situations with multiple steps. ie a man has 8 apples and gives away a half of them but someone returned half of his etc.  I got them all right but it took a long time.  The frustrating thing about this was that this was recorded as good.  In fact the therapist said I had done the best that she had seen. AAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! With total respect to her she doesn't know me and the majority of her clients are a lot older than me.  I am an a Mathematics graduate and have been in accountancy and finance for 32 years, these type of questions I could do instantly before my stroke.  For doing so well there was no recognition of what I felt about my performance.

The whole experience was exhausting and I felt very low.  Although I didn't know at the time this was the first real sign of depression that I was experiencing.

The problem with not understanding stories made something I had experienced make sense.  I watched the first Hunger Games movie and I could not really understanding what was happening and I did not enjoy it at all.  I can remember things that happened but not why, nor could I set it in context to the rest of the film.  Some might say that this is a problem with the Hunger Games movies.  Interestingly I had no problem with films I had seen before and particularly Disney movies.  I guess that was my level at the moment.

I will sign off for now as I have tired myself out.


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