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‘Treating the most feared and devastating strokes.’
‘Patients with acute basilar artery occlusion have a mortality rate of greater than 85%.’
‘Acute occlusion of the basilar artery is a neurological emergency that has a high risk of severe disability and mortality.’
Hmmm, Google was not pretty regarding the type of stroke I suffered 2 months ago. There has been so much time to sit and reflect about my stroke and how very close I came to not being here to watch my kids grow up.
3 minutes prior I had been driving.
3 minutes later I would have been driving.
I often joke about how unlucky then lucky I was that day. I, unlike many others that Google is talking about, received amazing, prompt care. So much so that once the clot was removed I spent 3 nights in hospital and had no residual deficits to speak of. I still have my lisp, I still get annoyed when my kids won’t listen to me and I still dislike bananas.
But there has been a change. I experienced something most will never go through in their 30’s, something we hope is kept for old age when our weariness catches up with us. Some, like my mum and friends, experienced the devastating torment of taking their last breath far too young. They didn’t get their 2nd chance at life but I did so I feel the need to pass on thoughts that run through my brain each day.
- Treating each person with respect and lack of judgement goes a long way in our world. Yes people are going to piss you off but it’s amazing how quickly an attitude can change when they realise what you have been through or struggled with. Treat everyone with respect, you never know what shoes they have had to walk in.
- Play more with your kids. Every day. When I was laying in the helicopter willing myself to keep breathing, I did not think about if I had done the washing, was the house clean or how did I look. I only cared for my loved ones and what a devastating impact it would have on them if I didn’t survive. Play more.
- Tell your loved ones you love them more often. I am notoriously bad for this. They all know it but Type A personality here feels the need not to say it. Tell them.
- Be kind to yourself. Oh this can be the hardest of all. I need to lose weight, I need to stop yelling, I need to be more on time, I need to make an impact with my life, I need to look good, I need to blah blah blah. I need to start looking after myself and start remembering it’s not a race, busy never got anyone anywhere, slow down and smell the roses.
My story need not scare the living hell out of you, rather give you hope that miracles do happen.
That sometimes we need to rely on others to save us.
For others to be there when we need support or just a big old hug.
That sometimes, this insight is the biggest gift of all in this crazy thing we call life.