‘Not just for a month’

The Stroke Awareness month of May 2014 has drawn to a close for another year, but our contact with the general public with messages creating greater awareness of stroke should continue to be broadcast and shared.

The message of what stroke is, how it can be prevented and the changes people can make to their lifestyles should be kept alive. Why should it sit on the back burner for 11 months?

I believe if greater awareness continues and the general public make small changes to their life styles, the long-term result would be fewer strokes. The knock on effect would be fewer families’ lives being turned upside down overnight from being hit by the devastation of stroke.

The realisation that the survivor may, as a result no longer be able to work, when they still long to, no longer able to be the parent they have been and still long to be. Instead of the stroke survivor looking after the family, the family now has to look after the survivor or become carers.

Outside the family unit, stroke drains resources within the NHS, increases the cost of benefits, removes skilled people from the workforce, the list continues.

What this month has highlighted to me is how Stroke Survivors are incredibly passionate about getting messages ‘out there’ to try to prevent further strokes where at all possible.

The mission and desire must be to help prevent families having to experience what we and our families have and acting quickly when someone has a TIA would be a great start. Helping each other deal with the many challenges we are presented with following stroke, particularly, sadly the silent and emotional ones which are often the most difficult to address, especially for survivors without paralysis. Those survivors who have no visual signs of disability and whose appearance is very much as it always was, often have the most pressure to behave and carry out tasks as normal. As a fellow survivor I know that this is impossible and upsetting.

I have mild aphasia, it affects my speech, reading and writing, understanding money and numbers. I’m still the same inside, but expressing myself is difficult at times. I also suffer with extreme fatigue which means I need to plan ahead in order to ensure I get sufficient rest so that I am able to carry out simple everyday tasks, failure to do so results in me being unwell. This was misunderstood by someone once who suggested that I was heavily depressed and needed to get myself to the doctors for antidepressants, I was not allowed to give an explanation as to why – ‘What would I know, it’s only my brain’!

Stroke and its effects on our bodies and our lives are often misunderstood, sadly, too often by people assessing us for things like personal budgets and benefits, but this is a story in itself.

Let the messages of support from the voice of Stroke continue.

Keeping awareness alive, one of the events the Stroke Association is promoting is highlighted below.

Join us for this run in beautiful Hyde Park, London on 21st September 2014.

3 Responses to “‘Not just for a month’

  • As a carer for a stroke survivor I whole heartedly agree with Sas that stroke awareness should be remembered all the year round.

  • As a stroke survivor of two stroke now 21 years since my first stroke totally agree with Nick and Sas stroke awareness is a 365 day job.

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