Wednesday, 4 May 2011

My Gran.

My Gran is my idol.

I have always looked up to her and she has always, always put us first when she was looking after us.

There has never been a muttered; "Oh, this is tiring!" or "I need five minutes to myself." There was no resentment or sign of giving up. I always thought my Gran had great fun with us, even though I know the real hard work that child care involves. It's hard and I really don't know how my Gran would swoop us all under her wing and plan amazing days out; the Glasgow Transport museum, the ice cream shop in Clydebank, the little cafe up the Glen and so many others I could really list forever and ever.

When I was 15 it was discovered my Gran had asbestos on her lungs. This was devastating for me because I remember the first time she had a coughing fit. I was 9 years old. Now, 6 years later, they had discovered the asbestos on her lungs. I felt as though there must have been some red flag that should have went off for me. I felt miserable at the thought of this horrible disease.

She's also had hip replacements and the years before this were hard on her - she never let it shine through. She has always been this massive ball of energy and happiness. Of persevering on.

And not in a self-sacrificing way, either. 

So, when she suffered a severe stroke, I was in shock yet again. I know this wasn't just my burden to bear; we're a big family and it was on everyone's shoulders just as it was mine, but I feel the way I always do when something like this happens; totally and completely out of control of the whole situation.

This is why I am sometimes so angry about my own health situation - I feel out of control and it makes me angry. It upsets me. And no matter how much you scream life isn't fair, it still goes on being unfair.

This much was true for my Gran. But it was better to accept what had happened and accept this new development to her health; at least that's how I felt.

I can't begin to describe the thoughts of even thinking about my Gran's mortality. Or my parents. Or anyone in my family. I hate death, it's ugly, but it's something we all have to go through. When things like these happen I feel as though the anvil is slipping down just a little more.

My Gran seems to be making a good recovery - good being that she isn't getting worse nor has she had another stroke - and this is a positive thing I can hang onto.

She is my last living Grandparent. She is my hero.

I didn't know an awful lot about strokes before now - now I trawl forums, videos on YouTube and consume every bit of information I can find on them. I want to know what lies ahead, I suppose.

I'd seen the Stroke Awareness Ads on TV; but what did I really know? 

I didn't know children could have strokes. I didn't know that babies in the womb could also have strokes - how terrifying and horrible. I also wasn't really aware of recovery from strokes.

You can recognise a stroke using the FAST test

FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
TIME to call 999.

If a person fails any one of these tests, get help immediately by dialling 999

A speedy response can help reduce the damage to a person’s brain and improve their chances of a full recovery. A delay in getting help can result in death or long-term disabilities.

This info here.

Then I signed up for a free subscription to Stroke Connection Magazine - get yours here. I'm not saying this magazine will have all the answers, either, but at least it will contain some. 

And I am hoping that by posting about this on my blog - the only use I seem to be right now towards this whole situation - that someone will see it and be able to use it at a future date, store it away in their memory and be aware of it in future.

I am also hoping that everyone who reads this will spread the message where possible; Facebook, on your own blogs and generally throughout the whole Internet. The reason being that I want people to be more aware of the seriousness of a stroke.

Share the info on Strokes, share this blog or even share the free on-line subscription above because you just never know who you could be helping. Pray for my family, if you so wish. Everything will help.

Thank you for reading.