Surviving a brain stem stroke
Message from Jeannie my wife
Its hard to believe that it’s eleven years since Eddie had his stroke. Eleven years ago, at the start of March, Eddie was seriously ill, he was completely paralysed except
for his eyelids, he could only communicate by blinking and his prognosis was not good.
On the day we all returned from Dubai I was asked by the Dr what I wanted to happen if Eddie had another
stroke or heart attack. I knew that what he was asking was do we resuscitate or not. My reply was “This is a man who walked up mountains” his consultant reply was “Well he won’t walk up mountains again”. How do you make the decision
I was being asked to make. How do you sit with one of your children beside you and condemn him, the person you love most in the world, to death. From all that had already happened I felt drained, unable to make simple decisions like having a shower or what
clothes to wear and here was this man asking me to make the hardest decision of my whole life. What went through my head was totally, totally selfish. I thought of my future caring for someone who was totally paralysed. He couldn’t stay in hospital forever.
Our tiny home would become a hospital with me as the main carer. How could I possibly do it. At that moment I couldn’t. My thoughts then turned to Eddie, action man. A man who loved adventure, camping on the snow line in winter, skiing, canoeing, climbing,
cycling, laughing, loving. And I said “he wouldn’t want to live like this” and in my head I said “and neither would I.” In the weeks that followed I was in a very dark place and we as a family even considered a trip to Dignitas.
However(my favourite word) if you have read the rest of Eddie’s blog you will know that Eddie’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. He can walk a few steps inside despite being
in pain. He has been on holidays with The Calvert Trust where he is assisted to do many of the activities he did pre -stroke. Stroke recovery is unpredictable and doctors have to work with that and manage peoples expectations but, happily, His got it wrong
because in 2013, with a team around him, Eddie walked up the last 500 metres of Mam Tor in Derbyshire. A journey that normally takes 20 minutes took him 3 hours, but he did it.
In March 2011, during a call from Eddies cousin Marcin in Poland, he told me of an old Polish saying “The last thing I will give up is HOPE”.
You may be reading this simply out of interest but
you may be reading this as someone for whom the future seems very dark. My prayer for you is that you hear the still small voice whispering hope.
Soft as the voice of an angel
a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers a comforting word
Wait, till the darkness is over
Wait, till the tempest is done
Hope, for the sunshine tomorrow
After the darkness is
Oh how welcome Thy voice
Making my heart
In its sorrow rejoice
the dusk of the twilight
Dimmed be the region afar
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glittering star?
Then, when the night is upon us
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark
midnight is over
Watch for the breaking of day
Oh how welcome Thy voice
Making my heart
In its sorrow rejoice
Jeannie Pleban 03/03/22
Ten years ago today 06.02.11 I had my stroke.
11 years ago today I had my stroke, after all the bleak outcomes the medical world gave me and my family I'm still here and fighting fit, well sort of, here is to the nex 20 years.
My latest painting.
See my art page for further photos.
As the title suggests I am a stroke survivor not a stroke victim, this blog is a story of my journey since February 6th 2011 starting with an account of my time in hospital and of my time in Rehab then my on going recovery at home, it is intended to
encourage both stroke Survivors and Carers alike.
I was planning to write a book, however,there are many out there and as I don't wish to make any money out of my story which may prevent some from experiencing Gods Glory and healing powers I have chosen
this media as the format for showing the world what its like to be a survivor relying on the Blessings of God, family and for support.
My web name comes from my friends on the 'Different Strokes' face book they nick named me Bantam Eddie because of the
three young bantam chickens that have came into my life, sadley I had to give them up but, i kept my blog name.
I dedicate this story to my wife and family who loved and supported me though the most horrifying time of our life, to my friends who prayed
for us throughout my recovery and still do, to the medical staff and flight crew who worked effortlessly to save my life and to the rehab team for the work they did and are still dedicated to my recovery and to God who intervened and rescued me from death
itself and carried me through the trauma of recovering from a brain stem stroke.
I know that many Stroke Survivors, carers and loved ones were told or were warned by consultants and other professionals in the early days of stroke that “you may never walk, talk, swallow “etc. these days I've come to
understand why, if we were told that we will fully recover when knowing that we wouldn't would be foolish and dishonest of the practitioners.
I like many others was given a bleak outlook for my future and to be prepared for a life with disabilities
which caused me to be very sad and down for a short while, eventually I began to accept my stroke and the disabilities it has left me with, however, I could not and would not accept the prognosis.
Let me try to encourage you by saying there is a new
world out there to discover, though I cannot drive any more and my walking is ver poor I see and visit more places than I would have if I driving. over the years I've climbed my mountain, carried the Olympic torch, flown back to Australia, I independently
travel in my Power chair on busses and trains, stay in hotels, visited many places in the Uk i.e. London, Newmarket, Stratford, the Lake Distric, Keilder Forres, Exmouth and many more places.
Life doesn't need to be just an existence it's an exploration
there are so many things out there that can give you something to live for and enjoy.
Try not to allow yourself to get stuck in in that “I’ll never be able to do that again” mode, it isn’t an easy journey but the World is your
Oyster so get out there and explore it.
My very first ride on a horse,ever you can tell its not going to by favourite activity.
Further photos and thoughts on Eddies the dare devil page.
A ride on the wild side, THERE IS LIFE AFTER STROKE, ITS DIFFERENT, BUT, ITS GOOD.
NEW PAGES - 'EDDIES INDEPENDENT TRAVELS 'AND 'EDDIE THE DARE DEVIL'
25. Jan, 2017
EDDIES INDEPENDENT TRAVEL
I am aware that some power or manual chair users have needs that affect their ability to travel alone, however I hope to show carers and loved ones that all the places that are accessible to me will be accessible to you as an escort.
This page is about my journeys in my power chair or scooter. I often hear that getting about in a power chair can be difficult, some times it is depending where you are i.e. town, city, country side or country.
Again this section is pictorial and shows that someone in a chair can travel where ever they like.
Rockingham beach WA
You can see our latest Trip to Australia where I took my own power chair Eddies independent travel.
SEPTEMBER 2014 at the base of Canigou, South France.
One of the best days of my life, for years now I have wanted to climb Canigou in the South of France, as you know my stroke has put pay to this kind of extreme climbing, however, I managed to get to the base in what can be still described as extreme. Watch this.
I feel rather pleased with myself, I've just cut the grass with only three rest pauses and I didn't drag my chair behind me.
I am sitting here in the conservatory enjoying the sun shine and blue sky's yes blue sky's the storm has passed, but, while thinking it came back to me the memories of lying there unable to move the seconds, minutes, hours, days months yes months six
in all, having my bum cleaned by young ladies, unable to eat, drink, talk, couldn't ring the bell when in pain, staff talking over you when cleaning you, staff not taking the time to learn to use the ETRAN communication board, being hoisted, rolled, meds stuck
up your bum, blood taken daily and from anywhere they could find a vein etc. but like I said I am now sitting enjoying the sun and life in general waiting to go to McDonalds with grand daughter.</p>
Every mans Tonka toy dream.
From being told that I may never walk, talk, swallow etc again, here I am fulfilling a dream in Australia with my grandchildren.
Sitting in the drivers seat of the truck