The Anatomy Of A Stroke [Month 3]

It’s been a difficult month. As those who’ve been following the story will know, it began with dad back in hospital with a heart scare. [In a nutshell, for those who might not have subsequently followed updates in the Comments under the previous Flickr image: in hospital for nearly two weeks, essentially awaiting continually cancelled angiogram; procedure eventually confirmed atrial fibrillation; probably the best outcome given the admission; more meds and back home on the recovery path.]

But momentum has been lost. One notable unwelcome side-effect of the hospital admission: the daily physio visits stopped and weren’t resumed when he returned home. When you have people visiting and encouraging you on a daily basis, only to suddenly have that disappear, it’s understandable to see that motivation can all too easily ebb, too.

Tiredness is certainly a factor, but potential negative feelings and associated frustrations will bring with them the next challenge in dad’s recovery. The other day his brother was helping him replace a handrail, but by refusing to acknowledge the creeping tiredness – as it was something he felt he should be able to do – it simply resulted in exhaustion and fractiousness. It’s a fine line.

And that will be the next challenge in dad’s rehabilitation. To defeat old habits, expectations and gnawing negative feelings and refocus on the momentum achieved prior to his hospital admission; all the while accepting that tiredness will be a likely running mate, but not necessarily the governing force.

Recovery isn’t just survival. Recovery isn’t just the good fortune of avoiding significant, lingering disability. Recovery is focussing on the achievable, then taking the next step.

My Fantastic Voyage… We’re going in…

On Monday… my dad was in hospital, my wife was in hospital and I was in hospital. It’s not exactly up there with a lottery win, but the odds must be about the same!!

Allow me to introduce you to my end of the bargain. If you click here you will be introduced you to my oesophagus, stomach, duodenum and small bowel… er, all as I’ve never seen them before.

I was very brave. [Uh, even if I so say so myself!] No sedative. Anaesthetic sprayed to the back of the throat until it feels like your tongue’s the size of a basketball. And the voyage begins. Followed by one of those, feels-like-the-longest-ten-minutes-of-your-life scenarios. The gag reflex is certainly a strong reflex! And the nurse is saying “Breathe… go to your favourite place… breathe… you’re doing really well… go to your favourite place…” Eyes like sprinklers! And, of course, you can’t say anything in reply. Until afterwards…

“I will never have the same relationship with my favourite place ever again!”