Yep, you read that right! And it’s something I often don’t tell people. I like to freak them out when I do eventually them. But I feel like it is something I should open up about, and where better than on a blog where all the students who are studying my course and my lecturers can see. Please understand that this all happened to me, none of it is fiction, I am making myself vulnerable by posting this!!
But honestly, I feel like I should make everyone aware that I have been ill but besides that, I have survived, and it has made me stronger as an individual. Sort of like that Kelly Clarkson song.
I won’t go into what exactly a stroke is/what it feels like because I’d rather not relive those dark moments of my life. I’d like to tell you the process I went through between ages 12-16, and how I go through it all plus how it's made me stronger than ever before. You're in for a treat lol.
My first stroke (feels weird typing that out) was when I was 12. I was a relatively healthy child apart from some complications at birth, I was fine. After the stroke, I also recovered pretty quickly and was back to my old self in no time. Life pretty much went to the way it was before the stroke with the addition of a lot more hospital visits.
I am going to leave out some information about my health between the ages of 12 and 16 because it’s a recurring thing and the doctors aren’t completely sure what it is, so I don’t want to say the wrong thing, unfortunately.
My second stroke (feels even weirder typing that out) was when I was 15. Yep, I had two strokes before I was 16, not a lot of teenagers can say that! It’s pretty cool when you think about it, I had gained A LOT of life experience before I was 18, there’s no denying that.
But the second stroke was a lot more detrimental to my health. And you know what, I don’t even know why the doctors didn’t catch it before it happened. But they didn’t and c'est la vie.
After the second stroke, my life changed. Dramatically.
My voice changed a lot and I absolutely hate it now (hence why I’m shy if I don’t know you that well), it’s very different from my voice before I had any strokes (people who’ve known me for a long time say it’s a lot posher and I despise it, I want my Leicester accent back).
I wasn’t able to write for a long time. Both the strokes affected different sides of my brain, and to put that into context there are only two sides of your brain (L and R). This was devastating to a teenage girl who’s so old fashioned that she hated writing on computers. Now, however, I’m writing shorthand at a relatively good speed, which my dad is very proud of.
And my face. A stroke can leave your face asymmetrical, as it has mine, but I am learning and trying very hard to just deal with it, because I have learnt so much from these events that I shouldn’t care what I look like because my brain is my beauty and people should like me for my wisdom because the least I can say is that I am wise (cheesy, but it helps me sleep at night).
But like I said before, it has taught me a lot about life and has shaped me into the person I am today. Rather than letting it define I let it be another part of my life, because I have experienced many happy moments along the way, and I’d rather focus on that then letting my health get in the way of my life.
In fact, I have never let my health get in the way of anything. I did my GCSE’s the same time as everyone else as well as my A-Levels. I made it Kent at 18 as most people did. And I do what regular 18-year-olds do. I travel, I’ve recently been offered an internship in London, I go to concerts and I love what I am studying.
I am building my confidence day by day, and yes occasionally it does get knocked and I have a little cry, but the next day I get up and start a brand new day with mindset of ‘you do you boo’ because if I worried about what every single person thought of me or my voice or my writing or whatever then I’d live a pretty ‘down in the dumps’ life. And I don’t want that.
I look back at what I went through, and I often think ‘Wow I made it, I lived through all that and I made it out the other side,’ and I can honestly say I am at a point where I am happy now.
But I wouldn’t be where I am today with the unconditional love and support of my family and friends back home and at Kent. The doctors who looked after me and acted so very fast at both events and essentially kept me alive. The support of my teachers at school and at university is forever appreciated. Thank you to everyone who has cared.
A lot of people have helped me to get where I am today, and I am eternally grateful to each and every one.
P.S if you can’t brag about having a stroke(s) then what can you brag about?!
On a serious note remember if you think someone is having a stroke act FAST.
F – face
A – arms
S – speech
T – time to call 999
For more information on strokes click here