Brain scans revealed I suffered a brain stem stroke and I was immediately placed in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I can only remember briefly opening my eyes and seeing a lot of nurses and doctors standing over me. My memory about the first few days in ICU isn’t that great. I think I was on so many medicatons, that I felt indifferent and slept a lot, not realising the severity of the situation I was in. I was put in an induced coma for a day, to let my brain rest. A common procedure after suffering this type of brain injury. They decided to put me in their only private room, because of my young age. Most patients in the main room were either people that abused alcohol or drugs, that were just after sustaining some kind of serious injury, people that were in an accident and just overall people in critical condition. Most older and on life support-dying…thank God I never had to see that room. I heard that very rarely people get out from here alive!
The room was quite big, painted white, with two windows, a large chest of drawers, where nurses kept their equipment and my bed was in the middle. There was a clock on the wall in between the windows, just to my left. That clock was my only entertainment when I was alone and the radio! (How sad? I know…)📻🕰. I remember gazing at that clock so many times, counting the minutes (can’t even recall the amount of times but probably thousands, over the month I was there). I wasn’t even able to turn my head to look at it, but fortunately it was within my eyesight. There was the entrance door and a sink right outside my room, so every time I heard them opening I jumped from happiness (not literally) knowing I was about to see someone I loved entering the room. After I heard the door opening I was hoping to hear the water in the sink, that meant my dad (who just flew from Ireland) and Mr P arrived to spend the day with me..and that was getting me through the days…💑❤️.
I regret not having any photos from ICU, but I guess everyone was too worried about me. Taking photos was the last thing on their minds-seeing me there must have been so painful… I was plugged to a life supporting machines. I had a respirator breathing for me and a number of syringes pumping something into my bloodstream all day long. Until today I don’t know what was in them…🤷🏻♀️. I looked exactly the same as the patient in the example image above ☝️.
The brain stem is actually the first thing that develops in the womb, so as you can guess it’s very important-probably the most important part of our brain and the worst area for having a stroke. It’s responsible for the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, acting as the main junction for the flow of key messages (signals), that are making our bodies work.
The severity of the brain stem stroke that I sustained and all that time that passed by gave me very little chance for surviving. This was the first message my dad got from the doctor (head of the ward) upon his arrival in hospital, I must add that he came straight from the airport and didn’t even see me yet. ” I’m very sorry but your daughter’s condition is critical, her organs will probably start shutting down one by one, giving her few days to live” was the kind of message he got from doctors. He was already terrified of seeing me, but after this (as he later told me) he didn’t even know how to enter the room..how to approach me? what to say? …I am his only child and the last time he saw me I was wheeling a suitcase in the corridor of the house, heading to the airport, excited to see my loved ones and for my holiday in Poland, smiling from ear to ear..now he had to see me in a hospital bed, plugged to life support machines, not even being able to hug him nor speak a word! Some change! My mum had to stay in Ireland and work to support us financially, she couldn’t even see her daughter and was just informed about me by my dad, over the phone. The stress was immense for them both and all of my close family! However they were always strong for me and still are until this day. Their belief in me and overall positivity gives me strength to push harder everyday and just simply to keep going! 💪👊👣❤️.
Despite the dire prognosis I survived, I’m still alive and kicking (again not literally, well not yet😜!), so this was the first time (of many) that I overcame the odds and proved doctors wrong! If I could kick and punch I would do that to so many people let me tell you 😂🤛-just joking🤪. At the time I was very vurnelable and believed in everything doctors said, as you would! They have all the knowledge and experience, therefore patients listen to eveything they say and believe in everything they hear, and that’s understandable, since they are the experts. What I wasn’t aware of at the time was that doctors are taught to prepare you for that worst case scenario and can’t give you any false hope. I completely understand that, but they’re just taking the statistics into account and at the end of the day they’re just numbers, right? 🤔They are just people (like all of us) that cannot predict the future. This isn’t any type of attack towards them and yes there’s situations where we need them and they save lives…but there’s a time when you have to just block all the negativity around you and trust yourself. I’m not saying that everything doctors ever say is negative, I’m just saying that’s what I experienced and heard from other survivors (them and their loved ones agree with me on this, from what they have experienced). I don’t think professionals realise the power they have and how their words can influence people. I know that there can’t be lies told or false hope given, but why take away that only hope some people are holding onto? Hope is such a powerful thing! Everyone nowadays talks about the power of belief, placebo effect, autosuggestion, positivity… because we believe so much in doctors and their authority, perhaps changing the way they communicate with us could have outstanding effects on recovery? That’s something to think about!… Instead of hearing ”You will never walk again” wouldn’t it be so much better to hear something like ”nothing is impossible”, bacause it’s actually impossible until it’s done! And I’ve seen and read about it being done multiple times all over the world-people achieving the ”impossible”! That’s what I use to fuel myself, these type of stories! What would be the point of thinking negative thoughts? What good would it do? Hope dies last and I have hope! 👊💪👣
🦋 “Ever notice the word ”rough” in ”through”? There is truth to that! Though the way may be rough, we are still able to get through it…” 🦋