My Stroke – I Have Had Better Wednesdays – Part 1

Posted by mail@phil-stuff.com on July 30, 2018 in depression, NHS, Quit Smoking, stroke, Uncategorized |

No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition, or A Stroke.


My stroke.  Wednesday 13th June 2018.  A perfectly normal day.  I was looking after Meg, a golden Labrador for her mum, Di, had gone on holiday with Jane. I had fed Meg, given her a walk, and then taken her to her house for the day.  It was 7.45 and I had half an hour before I had to start work.  Just time enough to buy food the evening meal.  I was going to have Lamb with smoked aubergine and minty broad beans.  I was looking forward to making a new recipe.  Driving away from Tesco I suddenly had double vision which cleared after 10 minutes.  Although I did not know it, my stroke had started.

I drove on to work, feeling none the worse for the double vision episode.  Was I worried? Not at all, I had experienced double vision before.  That I put it down to one of the known side effects of Sertraline, my anti depression medication.  I drove into work and parked up and the double vision started again.  Again, I waited for a few minutes and when it passed I clocked into work, 8.20 5 minutes late, BUGGER!

My Wednesday, it gets worse.

Up the stairs and into the office. “Mornings” all round.  Victoria looked up and asked me if I was OK.  I said something about me having one of my dizzy and double vision episodes and that it would pass, as it had in the past.  Then the double vision returned and I knew that I could not stand up without falling over, this was going to be a bad day.  Victoria kept looking at me, obviously a bit concerned.  By this time I was as well.

I held my arms out in front of me, no weakness there, so I knew that it wasn’t a stroke and I said as much, laughing, to Victoria.  However, the words did not come out properly.  I stopped for a few seconds and said to Victoria, ” Is my speech slurred?” She said yes and I said I think that you had better phone the first aider.  Even as I said it I knew that it was a stroke and there was nothing I could do to alter what was about to happen.

Everyone Else Looks Worried

Geoff, the first aider was with me within a couple of minutes and almost immediately said “call and ambulance”.  He knew that it was a stroke and confirmed that when I asked. He stayed with me, asking all the right questions and keeping me calm.  Although I already felt calm.  There was nothing that I could do.  Besides there were enough worried people in the office without me adding to the number.  I wanted to stay calm so that I could tell the para medics exactly what I was feling.  They needed to have the right information as quickly as possible.  It actually did not occur to me that they probably could not understand what I was saying…..

One of the many bad things about having a stoke is that your brain works (or you think that it does) but holding a conversation can be impossible.  The upshot was that I had a list of symptoms and observations in my head but could not make anyone understand.  I also thought that it was all rather unfair.  I had stopped smoking (with a couple of slip ups) 10 months previously. Very unfair!

At some point I realised that this was going to be a seriously bad Wednesday.


For more information about strokes visit http://stroke.org.uk


Be sure to check out how to recognise when someone is having a stroke and what tom do here.








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  • Victoria says:

    Well you’re still here… so it was a lucky Wednesday for you x

    • mail@phil-stuff.com says:

      Very true. I still have that feeling of being lucky everyday when I wake up! Thank you for your part in the story – Although I will be back soon to reclaim my job! – Sorry.

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