I Got A Stroke

Some of you who know me know that I recently suffered and survived a stroke. It happened on May 26th when I experienced what is technically called a Left Lacunar Infarct that left me absolutely paralysed on my right side. The irony of May being Stroke Awareness Month was not lost on me.

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when something blocks blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

Fortunately I survived it and with rapid treatment which included mainstream medication and physiotherapy as well as complementary therapies like acupuncture, Reiki and RTT hypnotherapy, I am on the mend although it may still be few months before I am able to resume working.

To say that the experience was extremely traumatic is an understatement. A huge part of my self worth and identity comes from my communication skills and I suddenly lost the ability to write and speak coherently overnight. And after my discharge from hospital I suddenly found myself bundled into a nursing home where I spent the next six weeks with only assisted living care but no facilities to support recovery (not even bars in the bathroom!) The only saving grace was that it was relatively cheap and a stone’s throw away from the Petaling Jaya chapter of the National Stroke Association (NASAM) where I had my physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions. I really credit their volunteers and staff for my rapid recovery (I was told when I first went that I would be walking again three weeks. They helped make it happen in two!). I also started the home exercises suggested by Rehab HQ.

There really is a dearth of user friendly information online for dealing, or even recognising the symptoms of stroke. NASAM has put together some information that is very helpful here, with some of my immediate concerns being addressed here:

I hope to be able to contribute a wee bit more in terms of collating information when I get better (this whole post was written with my left hand only with typical post-stroke brain fog). Until then the best source of information is still NASAM and Rehab HQ if you are geeky like me.