Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Mum didn't leave my side while I was in hospital, unless it was to go home to sleep. It was as though the cord had been re-attached and I was a tiny baby again. I was completely dependant once more, and my Mum wasn't fazed by it one bit. Her role as Mother and protector was now the only job she was interested in. 

The glue that was holding everything together, stopping my Mum from falling apart, doing everything in his power to keep everything as calm and normal as possible... My Dad. 
Though Mum took the lead when it came to speaking to Dr's and nurses, and being the one to take care of my personal needs, Dad was always there, is always there, one step behind her. My Dad has this amazing power to make people smile, even in the most harrowing, and traumatic of times. From my first hour of being in hospital, he's been there to lighten the mood, and keep peoples spirits up... Keep people going.
Dad was the one who accompanied me to have my ultrasound scans. The dopplers on my leg and neck. 
As the porter pushed me down the windy hospital corridors Dad held my hand the whole time... Daddy's girl. He chatted away to the porter, just as Mum had always done, asking him about his working day, and empathising with the long hours. As I held my Dads hand a surge of pride ran through my veins and radiated my heart. He had been so wonderful, just as he has been my whole life. It wasn't until then that I had really understood and appreciated how he had been. I was his daughter too, his baby, and he had to register the information that his baby had had a stroke, just as my Mum had. Yet I hadn't even spared a thought for how he was doing, how he was processing the news. But my Dad is my superhero. He seems to be able to handle anything, taking it on the chin, and go with the flow. As he held my hand while we travelled down those haunting, hospital corridors, I don't think I have ever appreciated my father more. 
We arrived at our destination, and the Porter parked me against a wall behind another patient in a wheel chair, and left saying he'd be with us shortly. Dad laughed at where I had been positioned... I suppose me and this poor other patient did look like cattle ready for the slaughter, waiting patiently in our queue.
Dad knelt beside me, grasped my head in his had and kissed my ear. I leaned my head on his shoulder, and he asked me how I was doing. I needed my Dad. I don't think I had realised it until that morning, the morning of my ultrasounds. All I could think was, 'What would I have done this last week without my Daddy? How would we have all coped without him?'
The patient parked up in front of me was wheeled in to a room to our left, and almost immediately after she was out of sight, my name was called, and Dad wheeled me in to the room facing straight ahead of where we sat.
The room was dark. We were greeted by two women. One a short, middle aged nurse with a protruding bosom and a kind smile, the other a young, blonde woman, wearing a white jacket, who could have only been in her early thirties. The jolly nurse ushered us further in to the room and towards the bed that was situated next to a complicated looking machine. Both the nurse and technician introduced themselves and and explained what would be happening in that darkened room. I was told that they were going to scan up my calves and around my neck, with the ultra sound scanner, (this was something I had only ever seen being used on pregnant belly's before.) The nurse told me that I would have to take my trousers off, and looked at my Dad as if telepathically telling him to leave the room... I didn't want him to go. I didn't want my Daddy to leave me. I never wanted to be alone any more. 
I told the nurse my Dad could stay. I was going to be wearing knickers after all, and he's my Dad! The nurse smiled at us, as if it was a pleasure to see this 'Father/Daughter' relationship, and she proceeded to help me pull my trousers off, and Dad helped me on to the bed.
The lights where turned off completely in the room, and there was only the glow coming from the screen of the intimidating machinery. Dad looked on, arms folded, stern, interested, as the technician began to scan up and a long my leg, digging deeper in certain parts, and stopping to process images on the machine. I watched the screen, seeing only black and white. 
After thoroughly scanning my legs, the technician moved on to scan my neck. She mirrored her previous actions, digging deeper in crevices, making my tongue bulge in to the walls of my throat. I know they were looking to find some sort of sign of abnormality, but their attempts came to a conclusive fail. They couldn't find anything. My arteries were perfect... I suppose this was a good thing but still... No answers. Dad seemed happy, but mirrored my frustration in still having no answers.
I was helped back in to my trousers, and Dad secured me back in to my wheel chair, fiercely wrapping my dressing gown around me, protecting me from the cold... Protecting me from everything. 
The efficiency of the porters was always a question mark, but exiting the darkened room, our eyes battling with the light of the waiting room, there stood the porter we had been acquainted with just 20 minutes before, leaning on the wall, whistling away. The three of us made our way back to ward E1, a journey I was becoming so used to, yet still with no answers, no new information to give to my Mum, no conclusion... Dad never letting my hand go.

I love you, Daddy.


  1. You are so lucky to have the support of your family round you. I went through the same as you on my own although I was 58 years old and male, so was assumed to have no feelings or emotions. My partner of 14 years visited me once during my 4 month hospital stay simply to tell me that she was leaving me for another man. She was the only visitor I had during my hospitalisation.
    I saw in your twitter post yesterday that you had a headache. If you are anything like me, you will find all sorts of minor aches, pains and discomforts afflicting you. I have come to the conclusion that this is because you are now much more aware of your body and what it is doing - what it is trying to tell you, plus the fact that you are not as active in your normal day to day pursuits and so do not have those distractions from your own (minor)problems.
    Now, 4 years after my stroke, my main problem is lack of mental stimulation, intelligent conversation, and the frustration of not being able to do the silly little things - tying shoelaces, putting on a shirt and tie, carrying things (I need my one functioning hand to hold my walking stick).
    I always found it difficult to ask for help, and still do. I have a few good neighbours but you have a close family and a circle of good friends. Don't be afraid to shout for help when you think you need it.

    Good luck. Tomorrow is another day and whether it's better than today is largely up to your mental attitude.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to your blog.


  2. If there IS one good thing to come out of illness it is that you get to see how much your family and true friends really love you. I never doubted it before I got ill but it really is something else to see it in action isn't it!

    Another beautiful blog post! xx

  3. Beautiful post again Becky, my Dad is looking after my 79 year old Mum full time as she had a stroke 4 years ago, she can't speak to us - she speaks in a foreign language however she understands everything that is going around her. Dad is just brilliant with her and understands everything she is looking for. I hope you are doing well and keep the chin up. You have a career writing so get well so you can concentrate on that. Sonia

  4. Have caught up on your story after seeing your link retweeted by Ricky Gervais today. It's truly wonderful writing and if you didn't have aspirations to be a writer before, you should have now. The experiences you've gone through at such a young age are one thing but to be able to convey them to an audience is another. You're conquering both magnificently. You're managing to have us, as strangers, with you in the safe cocoon of your hospital room, watching intently what is going on and feeling we know you and your family and friends better with every post.

    Wishing you every success in your journey of recovery. I'll follow your post here and on Twitter.

  5. Just caughtup with the story and can only echo what eveyone else has been saying. Your strength and the support you have is incredible.

  6. Caught up with your story thanks to Ricky Gervais. You are an eloquent writer and obviously a very strong girl. Your love for your family is palpable.. you really are a lucky girl in that regard. I will continue to follow your blog and I wish you strength in your journey .
    Tanya xx

  7. Just read the entirety of your blog thanks to a mention from Ricky Gervais. It is brilliantly written and so heartfelt. I will admit i shed a tear or two for you.Wishing you & your family all the love in the world. I will continue to follow your blog and your recovery.

  8. You have a wonderful parents that love you no matter what. Parents will do just about anything but trade places with their child. We don't want our children going through any distress. I have a son that was diagnosed with Testicular cancer in 2010. My mother instincts kicked in once again. I wanted to know everything that was happening and what treatments they were going to do. It did not hit me until months down the road. having a support system is what keeps you going and the outcome will be recovery and the love that grows with something like this. God Bless you and I hope you continue with recovery to have all those beautiful babies.

  9. I love how you write about your family, it is beautiful. your writing style is so nice to read I think that it gives the reader a real presence into your life. I wish you all the best and will continue following your wonderful blog. All the best to you and your family and friends.

    Lucy xx

    Sydney Australia

  10. I am so very sorry that you are going through this, but I am very very glad that you have such a strong support system. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I pray that they find some answers for you soon.

  11. Dear Becky, Damian McGinty retweeted your tweet...so here I am. I read this episode of your blog and will read more. You are an amazing person if you can call your blog "Such a Lucky Girl...", but I do understand what you mean. Having parents like yours is one of the best things in the world. Growing up I didn't have that and but I can appreciate how much it would mean. I want to wish you the very best in your awesome journey to recovery and I'll keep reading!!

  12. Becky, I just want to wish you all the best on the road for recovery and thank you for sharing your story. A friend of mine suffered a stroke when she was 18 and whilst we all try to be there and support her its difficult not knowing what she is going through. Through you sharing your experiences and emotions it has opened my eyes a lot and hopefully I can be a better friend for it.

    Looking forward to hearing about your road to recovery.

    All the best


  13. Becky, It is scary reading your story...I know what you are feeling, I had a stroke at 37 when I was being brought out of an induced coma. Nobody actually told me it was suspected I'd had a stroke until I 'got up' early on morning on the Stroke ward and found myslef on teh floor as my legs wouldn't hold me. In fact I didn't even know I'd been in a coma for 3 weeks.I have blocked alot of the recovery process out...but I am now back at work and have a 2 year old son and know it is beatable if you are bloodyminded enough!

    Good luck as you go on