It was like something out of a film.
As I was lifted out of the ambulance there was a team of people waiting for me at the doors of A & E. I was rushed in to the assessment room while people were introducing themselves to me as doctors and nurses. I kept my eyes on my mum the whole time, but soon enough a curtain was drawn around where I lay and my mum was ushered out of sight.
I was on my own, and terrified.
Two student nurses quickly changed me from my pyjamas in to a hospital gown, and then I was spoken to by three separate consultants asking my symptoms; had I been in an accident, had I taken any drugs, was I pregnant, was I in any pain, had I bumped my head. The answer was, 'No,' to all of the questions.
Before I knew it I was being rushed down the quiet, hospital corridors, (it could have been no later than 7.00am.) I was taken in to a room with a scary looking machine, and told this is where I would be having my CT scan. I was too scared to ask any questions, so I allowed the nurse and technician to lift me on to the bed, and watched them leave the room.
I lay there in silence as I was entered in to the tunnel like machine. All I could do was close my eyes.
When the CT scan was finished I was taken back to the assessment room, where the same team of people that I was greeted with when I first entered the hospital, were waiting for me. I was attached to around four separate monitors, and a nurse began to take numerous amounts of blood samples from my arm.
Around 20 minutes or so after having the scan on my brain, a doctor came to my bed side to reassure me that they found no tumours on my brain... No tumours? No body had suggested to me that a brain tumour was even a possibility... Thank goodness they couldn't find one.
For the first hour or so of me being in the assessment room doctors came in and out of my cubicle checking the sensation, movement and reflexes of my left side. All the while repeating themselves, asking me the questions I'd already answered. There was no hiding their confusion. Then, eventually one of the consultants arrived by my side and and the words simply spilled out of his mouth, 'We believe you have had a stroke Rebecca.'
I already knew. I don't know how I knew, but I did. I didn't react to his words how I thought I would. I simply, nodded and said, 'OK.'
Finally I was reunited with my family. My dad and sister appeared from around the curtain, and not long after my mums blotchy, tear stained face was next to mine. I was told that Chris had been phoned and explained the news, and was on his way to the hospital.
My dad is the best person to be around in a horrible situation. He can so easily lighten the mood, and within minutes of his arrival he had everyone laughing including the nurses and other hospital staff. Dad even managed to get a smile out of mum, which before he got to the hospital seemed near impossible.
Finally, Chris arrived, white as a sheet, a mask of worry on his face. He ran to my side, kissed me and then didn't let go of my hand.
I felt so drained and exhausted, and kept I dropping off in to small spurts of sleep. Every time I opened my eyes the same four worried faces of my family were staring at me. Every so often I could hear the nurses talking about me, mentioning how the droop in my face was correcting itself, and every so often dropping again... Hopefully this was a good sign. Maybe my face would be OK.
It was about mid day, when a lovely nurse introduced herself to my family and I, as being from the stroke unit. She had come to test my swallowing, (which was fine,) and accompany me to the place which would be my home for the next couple of weeks; Ward E1, A ward for the elderly, The Stroke Ward.
Followed by my family, I was taken to the ward and put in my own little room.
For the rest of that day I drifted in and out of sleep.
I'd had a stroke.