I was lying in bed after the neuropsychology test. My head was thumping and I couldn’t think. I was back on the drip again with pain killers and other medication. I then fell asleep for a while. I was woken up for dinner. My head was still hurting that bad. I guess maybe the weakness on the right side of the body was insignificant to me and I didn’t realise that it was weak. I wasn’t aware that my mum and the nurses were putting pillows on the right hand side of me to support me to stay upright and stop me from falling on that side. I still didn’t know my name and couldn’t say my name when I was asked to repeat it. I still didn’t know where I was. I couldn’t remember my past and it was like my memory was wiped all out and I was starting again like a young child. I ate anything for dinner my mum gave me no matter what the quantity was. I wasn’t aware that things were bad. I looked around me most of the day trying to figure out why I was the only young person sitting in a ward full of old people.
My cousin came to sit next to me and tried to help me do a simple word search my mum got for me. I couldn’t read or write or even recognise the letters but she thought maybe seeing the words, finding the words and saying them out would help me. I couldn’t follow the letters or find them so my cousin found the letters and make me feel like I was participating. She would hold the pen with me and circle the letters to form a word and she would say the word and I would try to repeat it. It helped my fine motor skills as well as I wasn’t able to grip a pen and draw long lines with my dominant but weak right hand.
After 8pm my family had left after I was given my fragmin injections. I tried to stay awake till I was given my medication and a new drip but I kept dosing off to sleep. After I was given the medication I went to sleep so fast. I woke up in the middle of the night as I need to go to the toilet as my bladder was full. I tried to move my right leg but it was too stiff to move. I tried to turn my upper body round and put my right hand down onto the bed to help me get up but I didn’t have the strength to get up and fell flat with my face down into the pillow. I didn’t give up, I just kept moving and got myself upright. I shifted my body slowly towards the end of the bed. The nurse saw me awake. She came towards my bed and told me that it was still early in the night and that I should go to sleep. I said no, and pointed in the direction of the toilet. I didn’t know what it was called or where I had to go but in that direction. The nurse said there isn’t anything there and I can’t get out of the bed as I might fall. I didn’t know how to explain my situation so I didn’t say anything. I stayed awake all night, holding it until in the early morning when the nurse shifts changed and came to see me.
After breakfast, the doctors came round and asked me how I was. I nodded my head suggesting that I was ok. The explained about the tests they had done and the medication to my mum but I didn’t know what they were saying. They pointed at objects around me and asked me what they were. I couldn’t answer them. It was a table, pillow, drawer, window and a pen. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t know what they were. Sometimes I felt that I knew what it was but I didn’t know what it was called. Other times it was like it was the first time I was hearing the name of the object. Once the doctors went I kept pointing at things and asking my mum to say it and I tried to repeat the words after her. My speech was slow and slurred.
The speech therapist came to see me and asked me what my name was. I didn’t know so she asked me to repeat my name and I couldn’t say it. She then took me into a room and told me to sit next to her. She had pages and pages full of pictures of objects. She was point at one picture at a time and asked me if I knew what it was and I didn’t know. Then she would try sounding the words out and ask me to say it with her. It was tough but I just tried my hardest. Every picture looked like I had not even seen it before even though some were easy like cat, dog and ball. I was exhausted after the session but then told the speech therapist that I wanted to do it next to my bed. I wouldn’t let go of it. It was like it was some homework and all I wanted to do was to complete it so that hopefully all my words came back so I could go home. Not being able to speak or even have a proper conversation was the most frustrating things. It was like that the dictionary vocabulary stored in my brain was wiped out and what was worse that I struggled sounding them out. Also if you asked me what it was after a few seconds I couldn’t remember although I did remember that I was asked that.
The speech therapist also showed me a clock and taught me how to read a clock. That was very hard and I struggled with the concept. I didn’t understand the numbers on the clock and the concept of a 12hr and a 24hr clock. I was given a few sheets to practice drawing the long hand and the short hand on empty clocks for each hour. Till this I still struggle reading the clock and I get around it by using a digital clock on my mobile or a watch which is in the 12hr format.
Once the session was over I had lunch and then went to sleep as my head was still thumping with pain. I was given pain killers still in the drip and the doctors came to me and said to me that I need to drink loads and loads of water because I was on lots of medication. I was very dehydrated after all that vomiting after the stroke and if I wanted to get off the drip I would have to drink so much water. Also my blood pressure was very low so I needed to drink loads of water. I had to drink at least three of the big water bottles it was boring and I was fed up as I had to keep going to the toilet and someone had to take me and the drip stand as well. I suppose I did get exercise doing all that slow walking.
When I woke up I wanted cookies but I couldn’t say the name and drove my family crazy. I said the word home and the word there. Then I said there. They said what’s there. I showed them an action of eating. We went round and round till we established that it was a biscuit. Then they named every time of biscuit we had in our house including cookies and I just said no and this conversation was more than two hours now. Finally when my dad and uncle came in the evening we determined that what I wanted was a Subway cookie. I even tried to show the size of the biscuit using my hands. It was the most frustrating day I went through which I know laugh about. Not being able to speak was extremely tough and emotionally draining. At times you know what you want to say but you can’t get the words out and other times word finding can make it difficult. I would say random words if they were in my head and was not able to speak in sentences and sometimes just say errr and try communicate with actions. I wasn’t going to be defeated in life, if you want something you have to work hard. For some people it will come easier and for other we have to fight till we can overcome these obstacles we are facing. Giving up wasn’t an option I chose. I had to work so hard and repeat saying things over and over again till I could say it.