During the first six months when mum came home, it was tough. She could not communicate with me as her speech had been destroyed from the stroke.
At the time of writing we are in a serious Coronavirus pandemic and sadly people are losing their lives to this indiscriminate silent killer.
I have always been in to looking after my health and now more than ever, ‘health is wealth’. We know from experience a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and this moves me on to the next section of caring for someone after they have suffered a stroke, diet and exercise.
My mum’s diet had become particularly bad over the years; the occasional treat had turned into a habit, something which we can all do. When she looked after my dad for seventeen years after he suffered a stroke, eating was her comfort. She put on quite a bit of weight around the tummy area and her BMI was high. It isn’t surprising considering the strain she was put under, bringing up three children and caring for my father. Sadly this was one of the main reasons for her stroke, the arteries clogged up around the heart causing a blood clot which eventually went to her brain.
She lost five and a half stone in hospital and for a long time she was being fed through a straw. When she came home she was so thin and gaunt, it was time to help her recover physically as well as mentally.
I cleared out the cupboards of the naughty treats she lived on and I bought fresh fruit and vegetables. Bread was thrown out as well, as this is no longer the healthy staple it used to be (reference ‘Wheat Belly’, by Dr. William Davis). I got rid of fruit juice and instead I replaced this with coconut water and healthy drinks, without the loaded sugar. We would consume fresh fish, white meat and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I spoke to a nutritionist who came to see mum and she was given a supplement plan to help her body and mind recover.
This was also a time when my mum started to walk, which I encouraged, with friends mainly, to help her brain open up new fields of recovery. Nature has so many healing properties and is our natural habitat and particularly after going through a traumatic experience, seeing the beauty of nature can really help one to heal. We are seeing this in our current situation.
Slowly, my mum became fitter and stronger and she began to put on weight. You could see the difference in her skin, her hair and general wellbeing, she was getting the sparkle back in her eyes.
The combination of repeating the basics I gave on a daily basis and adding in a good diet and exercise helped my mum on the road to recovery.
In my next blog I will share with you how my mother began to smash her goals and how on her last visit to the doctors he stared in amazement and said ‘no one ever recovers in the way your mum has after suffering a major stroke, it is unheard of’.