I was 24 when I had a stroke (2006). It didn’t hurt, suddenly I was tired, I slept and when I woke up my world had changed. That was a Sunday, my parents thought I was unwell and getting flu. I kept saying ‘sleepy’ to them. Noises were confused, slipping into each other. That night I put the TV on, I didn’t change channel, I knew it was Air Force One as I’d seen it a million times. I couldn’t follow what the actors were saying, I really thought it’s just my concentration going and I dismissed it. Nobody had tried to talk to me.
Monday morning came. When Mum asked me something I kept saying ‘sleepy’, she thought I had a fever and called in work. I turned over and I went back to sleep. Sleep, my old friend.
Mum had come back at lunch, I heard that she was coming upstairs and now was in her room. I had put my mobile on the bed, a text message broke my silent world but I couldn’t open it, how silly. I knew something was wrong. Strangely I also knew I couldn’t talk. I went into Mum and gave her my phone. I didn’t try to talk. She knew something was wrong when your private daughter is offering her prized mobile. We got into the car.
First to the GP where mum apparently tried to convince the receptionist I should be seen, no one would see me. Then we went to the hospital where they were convinced I was on drugs, I couldn’t answer the questions, and I couldn’t explain what was wrong. It took 48 but they diagnosed a stroke. I was in hospital for five/six weeks, it took me eight months to get a LONG staggered back to work. (Read LONG as years)
So why blog now? Because I can, while others can’t. Six years of frustration and determination is paying off, so it’s about time I share some tips as to how to deal with Aphasia.
Note to self: write little of often!