I never expected this

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It is now eleven months since my life changed completely because I had a stroke. I was in hospital for 11 weeks. I thought my recovery would be a lot faster.

Nothing can prepare you for a stroke. You don’t think about it until it happens to you. I thought that because I had a good diet, always been vegetarian, and exercised regularly I would continue to be fit until my 90s.

Then one day you wake up and wham!

Several months later I am still in a wheelchair and my left arm is fairly useless.

I want to thank first of all my partner who takes good care of me, which is a miracle in itself, and the team of domiciliary carers who work for Carmarthenshire Council and help me to get dressed and have a shower every morning.

Let’s also hear it for the NHS nurses in Glangwili hospital, the occupational therapists and physiotherapists, counsellors, my personal assistants who I’m able to employ because of the direct payments from Carmarthenshire Council and because I receive attendance allowance, the government support.

Nurses and social care staff are underappreciated and underpaid and there aren’t enough of them but they are amazing people doing wonderful work and we need more of them.

Meanwhile my recovery is very slow but at least it is going in the right direction. And I am coming to terms with a whole different kind of lifestyle than what I had imagined for myself at this time of life.

Coming on top of my cerebral palsy makes it more difficult. I’m trying to sort out which symptoms are due to this since they are lingering after the others clear up.

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