Speed Saves

I experienced my first stroke six years ago in National Stroke Week! Six weeks ago I experienced my second stroke.

I was with Jill, my partner, at our house down in Mollymook. Jill was wondering why on earth I was taking so long to have my shower so came to check on me. When Jill found me I was out of the shower but was having extreme difficulty dressing and had slurred speech.

At the time I couldn’t understand why Jill was ringing for the Ambulance. I had no idea anything was wrong. I thought she was over-reacting. Jill suspected I had experienced another stroke so fortunately followed the “FAST Guide”:

F for face          Checked my face to see if my mouth had dropped—Jill asked me to smile.

A for arms        Checked if I could lift both my arms

S for speech     Checked my speech to see if it was slurred/impaired and whether I could understand what she was saying

T for time         Time is critical so due to Jill seeing the above symptoms she dialled 000

Due to Jill’s swift action the ambulance soon arrived and they administered me a reversal injection, a fast-acting, clot-busting injection that reverses the effects of stroke. The Ambulance then took me to Shoalhaven Hospital Emergency Department. I was later transferred to Longueville Hospital, which is a transitional hospital, as I wasn’t quite ready for rehabilitation. Longueville Hospital suggested a couple of rehabilitation facilities to me, one of them being Royal Rehab Private. Jill visited Royal Rehab Private to check out its facilities and services and was suitably impressed so I arrived here a fortnight ago.

One of the main reasons Jill chose Royal Rehab Private was due to its modern facilities, including its internal hydrotherapy pool. I’ve always been a water baby as we love to bodysurf and go to the beach. When I first received my timetable I kept asking when could I start hydrotherapy. Firstly, I had to be in control of my bladder before I could participate. I had a hip replacement seven years ago and attended 2-hour hydrotherapy sessions which I truly believe helped me so much. I enjoy hydro much more than land-based physiotherapy.

Since my arrival at Royal Rehab Private I have improved out of sight and all are very happy with my progress. Physically I am able to do a lot more things now. I still have to think about how I do things and have had to learn a new way of doing things but my mind is gradually improving. Apparently when I first arrived when I was trying to have a conversation I would stare for 2-3 minutes whilst processing before I answered. I have done significant speech pathology at Royal Rehab Private and will continue to do so to improve my voice projection.

As the National Stroke Week slogan says, “Speed saves”.

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