I was happily engaged, had my 2 boys, we’d just had a baby and was in the process of fostering my partners son from a previous relationship. Life was hectic but pretty good. I suffered bad with migraines for years when I was a child/teens but hadn’t had one for years, so was very surprised when out of the blue I’d got flashing lights, mad pain, nausea n vomiting. It got so bad I had to leave the kids with my partner and go to bed early.
As I opened my eyes when I woke, the headache was still there, the dread went through my mind thinking I’d have to put up with it for a few days as I’d had done in previous years. I went to get out of bed, my leg wouldn’t move, but no cramp, I tried sitting up, my arm wouldn’t move. That’s when I shouted my partner and realised I had saliva running down the side of my mouth.
I Had A Stroke At Young Age Of 25 – A Mothers Battle
That is as much as I remember until I’m surrounded by doctors in the hospital saying I’d had a mini stroke. A stroke?
I was only 25, strokes happened to old people didn’t they ? I was in denial for a while especially as I started getting feeling back in my legs and my speech wasn’t really affected, but the feeling of not being able to hold my new born son was heart wrenching, not being able to change his bum, take him for walks in his new pram, I felt a failure.
I was kept in hospital for 3 weeks with intense physio I made a good enough recovery to be discharged just in time for the caravan holiday we’d booked months before. I could walk with a stick or the pram but my arm was still very weak, even so it was so good to be back to some sort of normality and doing things with my children again.
One night after we came home I went in the bath or that’s what my intentions were, I don’t remember. I was found on my bath room floor and took to hospital again. I was given a CT scan and MRI, more tests, more doctors, no movement on my right side. I was devastated, confused and hurting more than anything I can put into words. I couldn’t even string a sentence together. All I wanted to do was go home and cuddle my babies, I couldn’t even say it never mind do it ! Everything made sense in my head but it was like my head and my mouth wasn’t connected.
I was diagnosed with having another stroke, the words from the doctors saying how lucky I was it wasn’t worse or I might not have been here. well I am sorry but I felt anything but lucky as they told me over the next few weeks what my future was likely to entail. Not being able to walk, learning to feed myself, speech therapy, cognitive therapy, physioherapy… all this for myself,what about my children?
They were as confused as anyone. They didn’t know or understand where I was or what was wrong with me or why ? God.. I couldn’t understand it myself let alone them. I felt so lost, lonely, scared and useless. ”Yep that’s me” I said to myself over and over again ”useless ! the kids don’t need you now, someone else is feeding them, washing their clothes, playing with them… you would be as well not here” That’s when the deep depression set in , by this time I had been transferred to a rehabilitation unit for me to learn ”deal” with how my life would be.
My then partner came to visit me one night, sat at my bedside and asked for my engagement ring, I gave him it thinking he was taking it home for safe keeping but no, the words that followed broke me ” It’s over fi” he said ” I cant be with someone that cant do anything for themselves never mind me, you’re in a wheelchair for Christ sake, what do I want to be with you for?” he walked out ! 6 years over in one sentence.
I wanted to die ! He was right though.. I couldn’t even bath myself or wipe my own backside let alone bath and take care of my children, it would be better for everyone if i was dead. From that day on it was all I thought about… how could I kill myself ? I couldn’t slit my wrists I wasn’t strong enough, I didn’t have any access to medication, I sank into a deep hole. I refused to eat or talk to anyone very ashamed to say even my own children and my mum.
My mum was looking after the kids after he moved out, she was 65 then and not in great health herself but every other day she would bring the kids to see me. i loved seeing them but broke my heart when they had to go or if they wanted anything or if they fell over they went to her and not me. they seemed scared and I didn’t grasp that they were confused and I took it as they didn’t need or love me any more so I stopped their visits too.
Everyday my therapists would knock on my room door to get me to do some work but they were all met with the same reply…”close the door on your way out !” I was put on medication and sent to see a psychologist, after a few weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I called my mum and poured my heart out to her. The next day she came and brought my boys. It was a gorgeous day outside and we were sat in the hospital gardens when my 2 eldest tried to get me to play football. the tears streamed down my face at the disappointment in their eyes when I said I couldn’t.
My mum tried to explain that ‘mummy couldn’t as yet because of my poorly leg’. the look on their little faces haunted me all that night and the usual thoughts of them being better off without me returned… until.. I looked at their photo that I kissed goodnight… ”Why am I not fighting for MY children? ” I asked myself.
The next morning I got myself in my wheelchair and I was outside the therapists room before they even got to work. When they arrived, I was greeted with a smile and the words ” so you wanna play football now do ya ?” For 6 hours a day I was in some sort of therapy, there was a lot of muscle wastage on my upper body and the exercises were simple for the average person but very tiring. After a few weeks I was getting signals through to my fingers, I couldn’t wait to show my babies.
Gradually my arm grew stronger and I was able to feed and wash myself, having my dignity was out of this world, it gave me hope that if my arm could work again then why not my leg ??? It was weeks before I got any feeling back, but that day in the physio room when I felt a electric shock and my foot spasm was euphoric. I cried so hardIi made myself sick haha. I rang my boys and promised them very soon mummy would be back playing football… there was hope !
My recovery of my leg was SO slow compared to my hand but it was coming back. I was sure of it. some days there was nothing and it was so disheartening but I couldn’t give up.. not now id made a promise. I had a visit from a good friend that’s said ”fi… you have always done what you set your mind to… NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE IF YOU WANT IT BAD ENOUGH !” No truer words have been said.
Finally roughly the same time the following year, my kids came to visit and was waiting in the gardens…. I WALKED out (on crutches) !I It was the first time in nearly 2 years my kids had seen me on my feet, I even managed to kick the ball…. OK , I fell over but my boys piled on me and gave me the much needed and wanted mummy cuddles we’d all been missing for so long.
Never give up, sometimes your children are the best medicine !
This post has been shared by a mum who wanted to share her own experiences, I have full premission to post this.