Friday, 15 June 2012


So, Saturday morning came.
There was a different feel to the hospital this morning. It seemed quieter, calmer, less hectic...The weekend had arrived.  There were different faces floating from room to ward, faces I didn't recognise... The weekend staff were now in charge.
I was nervous as I lay in my hospital bed that morning. Today was going to be a day of visitors, and so far I had only been in the company of my immediate family and the hospital staff. What would I talk about with my friends and family? Should I act normal? What questions would they ask? If I'm honest I was starting to go back on my decision. Did I really want to see people yet? Maybe I wasn't ready.
Mum, on the other hand, had different ideas about this situation. She would not let me change my mind, and was determined I was going to have visitors... What Mum says, goes!
First things first, though, I had to do my physio exercises. I lay on my bed, and attempted to do the thrusting exercise while Mum, Dad, Anna and Chris took it in turns to help me. I was also given an exercise where I had to lift my arm as high as possible, ten times. This exercise, like the others, did not go so well. It took me half an hour to reach the tenth arm lift, and to be honest, it was always more of a hover than a lift. It was so frustrating. I just wanted to scream at my arm and leg, 'Just work, God damn it!' I had to keep a cool head though. I could just see the looks on the faces of my loved ones as I was doing my exercises, smiles full of encouragement, eyes full of dismay. I didn't want to make things harder for them. They were all being so fantastic, so upbeat and positive while in my company, yet I know if I was in their shoes, I couldn't have been quite so courageous.
Visiting hours were looming, and there was a knot growing tighter in the pit of my stomach. I kept telling myself not to be so stupid. These were my friends, and family, people I'd known forever. So why was I scared of seeing them. Why did I feel embarrassed at the thought of having to talk about what had happened and what was going on? Come on Bec, get a grip!

I heard the bell to the ward ring... Visitors were upon us. My heart leapt, as I heard voices growing louder. Then I saw friendly, familiar faces appear from behind the nurses station. They were carrying cards, and flowers and magazines, yet I could tell I wasn't the only one who was nervous. Three of my closest friends had come to see me. They approached me with caution, not knowing what to do. They all hugged me, not really knowing how to go about it, and then sat down on chairs that Dad and Chris had gone to collect for them. At first no one knew where to start... Who should talk first? I asked them how they were and what they'd been up to, and then one of my friends let out a laugh, 'Stop asking about us, and tell us about you Bec!'. They didn't want to talk about them, they wanted to talk about me. They explained to me that they had been nervous to see me as they didn't know what to expect. They didn't know what I was going to look like, or whether I'd be able to hold a conversation properly. Like I've explained previously, a lot of my close family and friends had really been left in the dark. They'd only been engaged in snippets of conversation with Mum, Anna, Dad and Chris, and not many people knew exactly what the situation was.
So I told them exactly what happened, my story from waking up on the Tuesday morning. They didn't really know what to say or do. I didn't expect them to either, because I still didn't know what to say about it.   These friends are in their twenties, just like me, yet they got to walk out of that hospital room and get on with their every day lives. These friends are friends that I used to get glammed up with and go out partying in my heels... now they were visiting me while I was in my dressing gown and slippers.
I loved that they had come to see me, and they, just like my family kept big smiles on their faces, spoke to me as if we were just having a gossip in my front room, and made me laugh, more than I had all week, and although the feeling of nervousness had long surpassed, I now hated myself for feeling envious of my friends. They stayed for around two to three hours, and we talked about people we knew, and read through magazines, discussing different celebrity related articles. They chatted to Mum, Dad, Anna and Chris, and were filled in on the goings on of the ward, but soon enough, it was time for them to leave. They all kissed me good bye and told me they'd be back another day, as long as I was up to it, they hugged my family, and told them to keep them updated and then I watched them go. I would have given anything to have walked out of the ward with them. But I was trapped. Trapped in ward E1 and trapped in my body.
After my visit I was tired, and fed up. There had been moments when my friends had visited, where I felt happy, even content... but those moments, and those feelings didn't last long. But I had to suck it up, curve my lips in to a convincing smile, and await my next set of company.

After a couple more guest appearances from family members, of whom none came empty handed, (I had already racked up around 20 magazines, 3 new pairs of pyjamas, food packages galore, and tons of cards and well wishes.) We were five once again. Yet soon it was time for them to leave. They always stayed till around 9.30pm/10.00pm and then they left to go home, and leave me to try and sleep.
But even though I'd had a full day of family and friends coming to see me, and I was so exhausted, I did not want them to leave that night. I didn't want to say good bye. The thought of them leaving me gave me the feeling where it seems as though your heart could drop through your stomach. I didn't want to be by myself. I wanted to cling on to my Mum and Dad and plead with them not to leave me, beg them to stay and cuddle me to sleep, but I couldn't be that cruel to them.
I said good bye, and made out I was excited to see more of my friends and family the next day. I kissed the four of them, and gritted my back teeth together as I waved them off.
My brain felt as though it was drowning in emotions.
I put in the head phones, to my sisters ipod, shut my eyes, and begged for the tears not to come.
I fell asleep listening to the voice of Stephen Fry reading the story of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'd never wanted a magic wand more, than I did at that time.


  1. Hi, this is great to read! I had a stroke when I was 22 and nobody understands what is is like and it can be really hard to deal with, however it is life changing and 4 years later I am stronger than ever. It makes you realise what is important in life and what isn't. Do they know what caused the stroke? If you ever want to talk or anything I'm all ears :) xxx

  2. I second Lorriane. I had a stroke at 24 on 06/06/06. I didn't have any parallels so I was mis diagnosed at first until I went to another hospital 3 days later. It has been 6 years and I can't begin to tell you how it changed my life... I think for the better it made me so much stronger and no longer take things for granted. I just hit then 6 year mark and I can't explain the joyios feeling. I swear there should be a group for people who suffer a stroke in their 20's for no explained reason. Thank you for sharing. Lorraine what caused yours? And bec I'm anxious for answers for you.

  3. It is brave of you to share your experience with all, and I really admire how you handled yourself through this adversity. You have a great family. Becky, thanks for giving me strength.

  4. Becky, Just started to read this blog and although I had something a bit different happen to me I can still relate. I had a massive ceberal hemorrhage in 1987 and several more since then. It has been a hard road but i am still walking, talking and able to do most things I did before.

    Prayers coming your way and thank you for sharing your story with us all.

  5. Wow, you're incredibly brave and poised writing about your journey. I will continue to read and I send my very best well wishes to you from across the pond in Canada. xo