MY STROKE

On Friday at 12.30, lunch time, my right eye developed a life of its own, ‘roaming around’ as my wife called it and I was promptly seen by Dr Chadha and full Stroke team. He realised I was starting a new stroke and he instructed I was to be taken to the Acute Stroke Unit.

I remember lying on a bed and being so hot and then so cold and hot again, I rang for a nurse. Next thing I remember was being sick, seemed to last for hours and I was so wet, I remember my wife being there and then being cleaned up. I then remember being on a different bed in a dark room, so very, very, alone.

I noticed the numbness in my fingers and toes was getting worse and after a short time had spread to all my hand and all my foot. I buzzed the nurse and told her this and that I was worried. She dismissed this and told me the doctors had gone home and would not be back until Monday.

Some time later the numbness had moved up my arm to my elbow and up my leg to my knee, I could no longer feel my foot or my hand.

I called the nurse again and the same nurse came, she was obviously annoyed and most curt and informed me that she had already told me that there were no doctors until Monday and I should get some sleep.

I lost ten feeling of all my leg and my entire arm. I was honestly becoming worried as nobody seemed to understand.

Once again I buzzed the nurse. A different nurse appeared and told me that it was late and my buzzing was disturbing other patients. She turned off the light and went.

As the night progressed the numbness progressed into my tentacles, my navel, all up my right hand side back, into my shoulder blade, across to my nipple, up my neck and throat and finally the right hand side of my head.

By now I knew I was going to die. I knew the stroke would close my throat, go to my lungs or stop my heart. I resigned myself to dying and waited.

By dawn I became aware that the stroke’s progress had stopped and I was spared.

Next morning I was pulled out of bed, sat in a chair with a table. A basin of water was put in front of me and then removed. Breakfast was similarly put in front of me and then removed. I was unable to get the spoon to work with my left hand as I was originally admitted with a left side stroke.

I needed water as I was dehydrated having been so sick and desperate for the toilet. I asked for both and was told that the toilet was across the room, I explained I could not get there. The nurse just walked away.

When my wife came in at lunch time and she immediately saw the situation, she went to the nursing station and went ballistic. I got a commode and water.

I can not even start to describe the feeling of utter panic and terror I felt lying there, knowing that nobody even realised my worsening condition or cared if I lived or died. I would have been one more statistic, one more form to fill in, no more.

After all I was only in an Acute Stroke Unit, a specialist, high care, ward, staffed with highly trained and qualified caring people.

Finally, I would like to say that I found fantastic levels of care and understanding during my stay at Rowan Lodge…..Rowan Lodge would make a good working model for the dysfunctional ward 16.

I am the lucky one, Rowan Lodge is full of people less fortunate than myself and I suppose the rest are in the grave yard.

What and how did it all go so wrong ????