A stroke, especially a massive stroke like the one I had, can be a living death sentence (but only if you let it).
One day you are on holidays driving along in your new car, then GOD decides that’s it, you are having too much fun. As I was driving the car, I saw a flash inside my head and I started to vomit. The strange thing was I felt no pain. The power went from my left arm and my left leg, my face went numb and I started to panic.
Lorrie drove me to Wexford Hospital where I was later admitted and had another stroke later that night. I woke up with every part of my left side paralysed, this was the most horrible feeling you could ever imagine. I went into a deep depression straight away. The doctors prescribed Prozac, (the happy pill), which made me even more depressed. I started to panic having hallucinations about children dying in fires and in famines. These painful images visited me at night when my visitors had left and I was alone with myself. It was like a movie screen had come down in front of my eyes and these devastating images appeared on it. Also I began to believe that the man in the next bed was Elvis Presley.
When my family came to visit me I was not sure who they were. They were going through their own Hell. They were told that I was not going to make it and to look for a home for me.
Anyway, I DID MAKE IT!! This just reaffirmed my opinion of doctors and experts in general. But I am not complaining. I’m, doing very well now, thanks to my wife and children, grandchild, my good friend Des, Physio and staff of Roslyn Park College, Billy Connolly, Alex Ferguson and the Man UTD team. Also there was my own desire to walk and work again. Mind you it hasn’t been an easy time. It has been a terrible time for myself and my family. It is hard to lose your whole life in just five minutes. The experts should try it sometime!
Depression and strokes seem to go hand in hand. Depression comes from nowhere, you are ok one minute, and then it hits you. Suddenly you’re crying like a baby. Why?
The realisation of your situation hits home.You can’t walk. You need help from somebody to do everything. You have lost your job. It seemed to me at first that I had lost everything.
But this was far from the truth. The people that mean the most to me, Lorrie, Nicola, Darren and Georgia all stood with me as I tried to walk. With their help and love I will walk again and very soon. Depression still hits me now and again; small stupid things could start it off like not being able to reach something. This brings it all back. Even hearing a particular song would do it. I hate the song “Yesterday” by The Beatles, but love the song “Starting Over” by John Lennon.
When your mood is down you have to kick yourself in the arse and that is not easy when you are sitting in a wheelchair. Luckily enough I have a great family supporting me, even my little granddaughter Georgia, she makes me laugh just when I need it.