After a long day at work, I got home and threw myself on the bed as I was very tired. After few minutes of battling to sleep I realised that my right hand side was numb.
I was shocked when I realized my right hand side including my eye, hand and leg were not functioning. I tried screaming for help but I couldn’t shout. Fortunately my cousin walked into the room and called for assistance. After a few minutes I saw myself in the hospital, a doctor in front of me telling me that I had been hit by a stroke.
This encounter change my entire life; from that day I had a permanent disability: hemiplegia. I couldn’t use my right hand side and I had to start relying on crutches to help me walk. It has been hard because I can’t do things the way I used too. I sometimes become anxious not knowing why, and I have to eat slowly because swallowing can be hard. At times I tend to forget things easily. It has affected a lot of other things in my life, however I am grateful that I am still alive.
I had symptoms which included a strong headache, dizziness, weakness of the right hand side and sometimes I couldn’t speak properly. I did not speak to anyone about this neither did I go see the doctor. My first advice would be for one to be aware of the symptoms, they must go and see a doctor and not ignore the signs as I did. Secondly I would advise people to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes exercising regularly and eating healthily (a diet filled with fruits and vegetables avoiding cholesterol and saturated fat). To maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking and to limit the intake of alcohol. Thirdly one should research as much as they can about stroke in general as there are different types of strokes.
Having a stroke does not mean it’s the end of the world. One must take the treatment as advised and for those who haven’t been affected by it – remember that prevention is better than cure. Rehab has also helped me a lot in terms of finding myself. However nothing replaces a loving family, friends and supportive facilitators at I Can! Hence I wish my learnership would never end.
Written by Anonymous