My Activity Tracking
My target 200kms
Why do I #stride4stroke
Well I think the simple answer most of you know. I do it for Mark, my fabulous husband. He's put up with me for nearly 21 years.
Why does Mark have these strokes? The doctors aren't 100% sure but they think the most logical reason is from radiation treatment Mark had in 1979 - some 40 years ago.
From age 13 Mark's fought health issues. Seizures that couldn't be explained. At 17 (when CT technology came into existence) a brain tumour was discovered. Mark has his first brain surgery thenand told that he may not walk or talk again - not my guy! 19 - back to it again. His health has always plagued him but it's never stopped him. Fatigue was an issue and slurred speech when extremely tired.
I met Mark when he was 36 - I never knew he had these issues until he sat down and told me one day - it was more to explain the slurred speech as it was sometimes confused with people thinking he was intoxicated.
Mark never let his health stop him from doing anything. He was fit, active and by all accounts healthy.
2002, at the age of 40 Mark had his first stroke. It took a while - 3 - 4 days before he went to the Dr - his symptoms were so mild and I knew nothing of the signs of stroke. Lucky our GP did and it was off to hospital. After a few days and lots of tests we were told that Mark had a stroke. Main outcome for Mark was fatigue. He struggled for a good while to do anything more than 3days work. Our daughter was 2 and his son 12. This didn’t stop him from giving them both his all. After his weekends with his son he would often be exhausted but wouldn’t let that stop him from kicking a ball, riding a bike or having a hit or cricket or tennis. Mark never wanted illness to define him.
Life ticked along very nicely until ...
1/1/11 - well Mark had a doozy of a stroke then. A huge bleed. 5 months in hospital. What a game changer that was. Life as we knew it came to a screeching holt. A handbrake turn. I learnt what the terms ABI, TBI, Ischemic, haemorrhage, spasticity and aphasia all meant. I learnt how to use wheelchairs, lifters, hoists and all sorts of other equipment. By osmosis I became a speech therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, carer, support work and avid stroke supporter.
Two businesses stopped. There was time for nothing other than trying to function. Thank goodness for fabulous family who stepped in and did so much to help with all of this and see that Sam, our 10yo, got to school, was fed, got to after school activities and provided to her emotional support that we had been zapped of.
Over the next few years Mark worked like a warrior determined to always be the “best me I can be” - his new catch phrase. I became a project manager and Mark was the project. Co-ordinating his support, appointments, therapy work, homework, everything we could do to get Mark to achieve this goal. This was now the 3rd time Mark had been told he wouldn’t walk or talk again. Not my Mark! It took years but he was able to get to the ANZAC Memorial Walk in Newcastle and 4-6 times a week he’d walk that walk. He’d add stairs. He was kicking goals. He was certainly more cognitive as his “brain fog” cleared and we did some great stuff. Trips away, laughs and lots of great memories. He really was a bit of a medical marvel making such gains that they didn’t expect. Don’t get me wrong he had many medical deficits still but my old Mark was shining through. We could discuss a lot more together, things most married couples do everyday, more things where Mark could and would give his valued opinion. His aphasia was still moderate and most discussions were 3-5 words but he could always get his opinion across. A lot more of the old normal was creeping into our life.
Don’t get too used to that.
2/12/18 - slap! Changes occur in Mark. I’ve been living stroke for 16 years by now you’d think I’d know the signs. No. I think he has a UTI so we head to the GP. Thankfully they do and it’s back in hospital for 2 months, rehab, more equipment for home and we are back at the starting line. Again Mark is so determined and fully participates in his therapy, his homework and Team Laverick learn how to live this new normal. In May this year something else has changed and there’s been a further decline. Strokes aren’t showing up but Mark’s poor brain has been put through the wringer, it’s possible they are in areas that aren’t easily visible. Whatever is going on is doing it’s best to keep taking a piece of him. What it’ll never take though is his determination, his bravery, his beautiful positive outlook on life and his smile.
I’m one lucky lady to have been blessed with sharing life with this amazing man.
Stroke has bought with it many wonderful new friends, paths crossed that wouldn’t have been, experiences had that wouldn’t have been, character building and many life lessons.
Stroke hits the whole family it’s not just the person that suffers the stroke, it’s the family and friends too. Nobody gets it harder than the suffer but all are impacted.
So I #stride4stroke for Mark, for Sam, for me and for all the stroke families I know and don’t but are affected by stroke.
This November, I’m taking part in Stroke Foundation’s Stride4Stroke to help prevent, treat and beat stroke!
Stroke attacks the brain- the human control centre, changing lives in an instant. The impact of stroke can be devastating for the individual and the family. But stroke’s impact doesn’t need to be this great, research indicates that around 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
So, I need your help to Fight Stroke. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s nothing compared to those who are impacted by stroke. Please sponsor me today to support me and together we can Fight Stroke!
Your donation will help the Stroke Foundation support those affected right now and fund research to help prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery. Thank you.
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Fundraising goal reached
Thank you to my Sponsors
Matt & Cal
Josh And Niomi Parkinson
Peggy And Evan
Bruce And Ray