Nothing was the same anymore after the stroke, even my body felt like it was not my body. I was not home in its warmth and comfort; I was in a cold and sterile environment surrounded by strangers.
I always look forward seeing the nurses on the ward, they always went out of their way for me. In fact, all the nurses have been wonderful, male and female. When you are in a hospital for months, you need familiar friendly faces, people you can rely on. It makes such a big difference.
After seven months, you get used to everything, and everyone gets used to you. I could not appreciate more all, what the nurses have done for me. I might not remember everyone by name, but I will never forget how he or she helped me. How they spend a little time each day and night chatting to me no matter how full and busy their ward was.
The nurses on the ward were great without a doubt, but not all nurses were as nice, considerate, gentle and bright. I had here and there some experiences that were less pleasant, like when changing the cannula that was set in my throat. This nurse in a very cool matter says, “THIS IS NOT GOING TO HURT.” She starts to pull the cannula out of my throat in the same way you might pull some weeds out of the ground. After this without even looking to my face to see if all is all right, she starts pushing down the new one as if you would push a wire down the pipe. Well let me tell you something, it hurt like hell. Mom was standing by, and she said that you could see the pain in my eyes and the blood on opposite wall of the room!
I came to know by experience that this is a somehow common thing for people to assume that if you cannot move, you cannot feel either.
There is also another assumption that they make which I am sometimes a victim of, people think that because I cannot speak, I do not understand or that I am slow or stupid. They give that look and take these breaks after they say something like to see if I really understood. It can be sometimes so annoying, but I have learned to live with it and most of the time I just overlook it and smile.
Since I cannot move or speak I always have to go everywhere with my assistant, mother or husband. Ninety percent of the time you can see a bit of discomfort that the person we are meeting with feels, they do not know who to look to and who to address when they are talking.
The experience in general is not as bad as it may seem, you get used to it. If there is, one thing that we humans are good in is adapting. Once you understand it and accept it, you can go on with your life. You can choose to live an easy, peaceful life of comfort, or you can take it as a challenge and live a great adventure. On the other hand, you can do as I do, combine the two things and live a wonderful and versatile life.