I had a Stroke!

Not even just a mini one. On Thursday morning I woke up nearly paralysed down one side…and to cut it short, ended up in hospital surrounded by consultants, nurses and machines getting scans and tests. Must have had about 30 people attend to me. And I couldn’t speak properly, garbled nonsense came out my mouth. Faced drooped down once side, arm didn’t work properly.

I was amazed and delighted by how loving and happy all the staff were in the hospital though. Every single person was a caring kind walking joking bundle of joyfulness.

Overnight on Thursday I couldn’t sleep much and contemplated what my future might look like. No more doing psychotherapy with my clients if I can’t speak, no more driving or garden designing, having to lay off staff, no income etc etc. Weird biblical end of the world dreams too, which I discovered when I told the nurse the next day are very common. I’d still have all the good people in my life, and the beauty of nature, and Elsa…..take it one step at a time I thought.

Then at 3am I woke up and to calm myself I started listening to Tara Brach on my phone. I needed to feel reorientation with my heart that night.

Fear had crept in about the potential implications of my situation. I found myself spontaneously repeating out loud the last part of all her sentences. I did this for some time and found that the words came out perfectly fluently. Just kept doing it on and off till 6 when breakfasts starting arriving.

The next morning the nurses were astonished and delighted that I could speak again and I was too! I knew I could repeat those words but didn’t realise I could actually articulate sentences again till I spoke to them.

So more scans and tests and physiotherapy and turns out I have had a hole in the heart since birth and strokes can be a side effect. They discharged me just over 24 later home. Now I just feel pretty normal – maybe a little slow and taking it easy, and no driving allowed for a month. Tastes and smells are different.

I’ve been touched by how many people have asked after me and looked after me and shown kindness. I’m so used to living in this independent bubble of mine that I rarely allow that in. I imagine there will perhaps be some sort of changes to be made from all this, and I don’t know what that will look like just now. Feeling curious, and just very fortunate.

Feeling loved and supported ✔️

Gratitude ✔️

Self compassion ✔️

Daily nature bathing ✔️


  1. OMG! Susan, I am sorry to hear that you had a stroke. But what an amazingly fast recovery of the speech! Maybe it works like magic to repeat Tara Brach’s words to calm the fear. I find it always so inspiring how you manage to return to inner peace even n dire situations.
    I send you best wishes for your health and hope you get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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