Today we have the third blog from the wonderful guest blogger Helen Delevingne This is very inspiring and gives hope for anyone recovering from or caring for someone who has had a major stroke. Enjoy!
I have run through the daily activities I engaged my mum in during her road to recovery and the diet she went on. I will write a further post giving more detail on the importance of diet for health and wellbeing, but for now I want to concentrate on my mum.
By now her daily routine was getting easier to accomplish and by this I mean baby steps not mammoth ones. She could lay the table, make a cup of tea and she had begun to cook light meals. Her abilities mentally had far surpassed anyone’s belief, even mine. When colouring in she was sticking within the lines and using colour in a new way. She began to draw and paint which was astonishing. While doing a jigsaw puzzle she would put together pieces which became smaller and smaller in size.
My theory was working, the part of her brain which had become damaged due to the stroke was being taken over by the other three quarters of h,er brain, similar to the practical tasks I had set myself to overcome dyslexia.
Her motor skills improved on a daily basis and she could now do up buttons on her cardigan, go to the toilet on her own and clean her teeth. She really did go from strength to strength on a daily basis.
Her speech was the only area not to come back sadly and however hard we tried she could only put a few words together which was very frustrating for her, as she had been a woman of words. Nevertheless, we used to laugh about this and when she rang my work repeating the same syllable over and over again, it was amazing how much we began to understand each other.
Safety was another big issue, as she was very vulnerable being elderly and unable to speak properly. The neighbours were excellent, with keeping an eye on her, and would tell me if she had been wandering off from the house, or kindly take her back home if they saw her. She engaged with family and friends and visitors became more of the norm again.
After approximately two years, my mum was getting a bus into town, ordering a food shop on the internet, seeing friends, cooking and living a normal life.
When she returned to see the specialist and threw the zimmer frame to one side and showed him how she could write, colour, do up buttons on her shirt and generally engage with him, the look of astonishment on his face was priceless.
I knew it and my mum knew it. Determination and not letting the situation drag you down, brought her back from the brink of death.
She smashed her goals and went on to live an independent life for the next five years.