Thursday, 30 December 2010

Stroke Diary (17): Signing Off

I hope this will be my last Stroke Diary, since on the 23rd. December I was discharged by my consultant. There are no guarantees. The stroke was without cause and having had one, it's more likely I'll have another. But for now, it's over.
I don't have a firm diagnosis. The consultant wasn't able to commit to Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome (RCVS) but he did concede that I have a brain that 'tends toward vasoconstriction', which amounts to much the same thing.
I was taken aback by the results of my last CT Scan, which showed the area of brain damage. I thought I'd had a tiny bleed, so was shocked to see a dead, white area in the cerebellum, the size of a fifty pence coin. It's hard to accept that it will never recover; we're used to things healing. I've been left with problems with balance and fine-motor coordination, made worse when I'm tired, so I'm glad I don't work as a bomb disposal expert. The literature suggests I might also expect problems with working memory and processing information. And I thought it was just the new job!
I parted with the consultant on good terms; we shook hands, past tensions forgiven. It was Christmas and I could have some champagne. I could also be insured for overseas travel. There are two things which will never be resolved, so maybe it's enough to leave them behind here: I shouldn't have been left on an acute ward for five days without seeing a specialist and I shouldn't have experienced the confusion and delays that were attributed to the link with Queens Medical Centre. One minor thing still puzzles me, that hospital wards don't think they need to provide a hairdryer. Even if I buy one for both wards, would they offer them to patients? When I asked, it was as if I had requested a hedge trimmer.
Thank you for reading this Stroke Diary and particular thanks to Peter Levine for linking my blog to his: The Stroke Recovery Blog. For a short time I had many more readers in the USA than I could ever have expected due to this generous link. If you have recently had a stroke, or if you are still on the road to recovery, I wish you well.