I over thought 24/7, seven days per week and felt horrific anxiety and fear. Fear that my husband may be encouraged to switch off my life support machine in the early days. I also suffered severe boredom, sleeplessness - because you slept out of boredom during the day - and experienced graphic hallucinations, that no one warned me or my family about. I was scared shitless of dying, then at other times, I wished I could physically pull the plug on my own life support machine.
I began to recognise that in order for me to move through this stroke, I needed to let go the person I knew before it, and embrace whoever may follow. That doesn't mean there was necessarily to be drastic difference, but that I must be very wary of spending my recovery chasing someone who may not completely exist anymore.
It is only when we arrive at a time when the body, we thought we knew, may not be as reliable as we hoped that our perspective may be open to change. Hidden, darker thoughts may finally then emerge which we have kept locked away or we were never even aware of. Previously perceived security and certainty in the present moment is nakedly revealed for what it truly is; an entertaining illusion.
Technological innovation in healthcare rehabilitation could hold the key to transforming the lives of thousands of stroke survivors by helping them to get back on their feet. By using wearable 'haptic bracelet' devices, we're aiming to cultivate an innovative method to improve the walking of people after stroke.