Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

This Forum invites a number of experts to be a guest for one week and control discussions on specific topics. The public can gain a great deal of free information from reading the posts, but only members may write posts, add to discussions and ask and answer questions. I hope that everyone enjoys the forums and topics that will be featured.
Barbara Gabogrecan
President

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:38 pm

Hi Debra, thanks for taking the time to read and write a comment.

Yes, I am reading, but it is slow and a struggle. Today it took me ages trying to understand that the word I was trying to read was not 'astonized' as I was pronouncing it, but was 'Astonished'...my brain does play tricks on me, dropping out some letters and putting in wrong ones too!

This Forum is the first time I have tried to communicate with the public by reading and writing...I have been lucky as I have been able to write all the time - I just could not read what I had written at first and now I stilo get my husband to read some stuff for me, especially if it is long.

Cheers Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:58 am

5. The struggle

The first three days I was home, Pete struggled to help me with his back pain giving him curry. Finally he was bed ridden again; this time for four days. I was sleeping downstairs and my Mum had her room and an on suite downstairs too, so I could shower etc without going up the stairs.

But now Peter could not get out of bed I had to get his food and drink upstairs to him. I would get him toast for breakfast and make a thermos of tea. Then I would make a sandwich for lunch and put fruit and biscuits together. All of this I would put in a carry bag and head for the stairs.

I had 17 stairs to go up and found that I would have to do 3 at a time and then rest. If my pulse raised, then my head hurt. My balance was not good, so it was important for me to hold onto the rail. But I made it; I then had to lie on the bed for half an hour to get my strength back. I would then shower and rest again before going back down stairs. This ritual took well over an hour and I was then exhausted for most of the day.

I had taught my two dogs never to pass us when we went down stairs in case they made us trip and fall, but they would zoom past us when going up the stairs. While I was struggling going up the stairs, my little dog never went past me. Each time I stopped, so did he. When I was moving so slowly, so did he. I am sure he knew that I was struggling.

I still had to look after my 90 year old Mum too. She always got her wheatbix for breakfast, but I made her lunch and dinner. Ven (my son) also lived with us and he would get up to go to work at 5am and get home around 7.30pm. He was always exhausted and could not do much to help at all. Though he would empty the bins, stack and unpack the dishwasher and empty the cat’s litter tray etc; all jobs that had to be done and I was grateful that he was there to do it,

When I first went into hospital I suggested that the men get frozen dinners that they could heat up at the different times that they wanted dinner. This worked quite well for a couple of weeks. But Mum would not eat them, so we always had to get her something different. Mum was nearly blind (she had macular degeneration); she was on a walker and quite unstable (she had a hip replacement); she had survived bowel cancer the year before but still had problems with her bowells; and her memory was fast going form a form of dimensia (old age!) So it was difficult to look after her, especially as she was so cantankerus.

We had also asked Mum to go into respite care for a couple of days while I was being operated on, as I knew that Peter would want to spend as much time in hospital with me and as it was over an hours drive to the hospital he could stay for a night or two with a friend who lived much closer. But she would not go, which put even more stress on Peter.
I spent my days sitting in my easy chair or trying to prepare food for my family. The rest of the time was spent looking at TV – I was amazed at some of the ‘good old shows’ that were on daytime paid TV! But how I wished I could read!

There was help from unexpected sources coming and I will let you know from where tomorrow.
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:38 am

6. Support

There was no way I could do housework and in a large two story home, there was plenty to do. The Council already supplied me with a cleaner for one hour per week for Mum, now they got me another lady for ¾ of an hour. It was what I call ‘rough and ready’ cleaning. Really basic stuff of vacuum and a quick clean of the bathroom.

However I also had an assessment and they decided that I was eligible for ‘top up’ assistance from a Federal Government department. This allowed me another cleaner for two hours a week. She did the heavier cleaning e.g. the stove and dusting of furniture etc.

One of the real problems we faced was that now neither of us could drive. I had to get to the local Doctors each week for blood tests to check if the Warfarim drug dosage was correct. Unfortunately for me it still has not settled after five months and I still have to have a weekly blood test. So it meant getting someone to drive me. A council worker helped, a lady I knew in Drouin also helped.

But on three occasions I had to go back into the city to Monash hospital and there was no help available from the Council. In desperation Peter asked his 70+ year old brother if he could take me. He did, but it meant a four hour drive for him each time as he lived an hour away from us and then another hour to the hospital. Thank goodness he was able to take me, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done.

Three months went by and I began to show improvement. I could now read, but it was a struggle and very slow. I had to read one word at a time and would get ‘b’ and ‘p’ confused as well as ‘g’ and ‘k’. Knowing that some combination of letters sounded differently was also a challenge (e.g. ‘ch’ was not ‘k’ ‘h’); my brain would also play tricks on me by ‘guessing’ a word incorrectly.

I remember sitting at the Doctors office and asking Peter why they were giving ‘Free Margarine’ away – the sign actually said ‘Free Magazines’. This happens quite frequently and I would have to go back and re-read the sentence to work out what the word actually was, to make sense.

Remembering names, dates, months and anything with numbers remains a problem; though I am told that I am improving. I remember having to write a cheque and saying to the recipient “I hope this is correct” (Peter was still bedbound at this stage). In less than an hour the bank had rung me to confirm it as I had written things wrong all over the place!

One of the most thoughtful supports I received was when friend and member, Robyn O’Connell, came out and spent the day clearing over 300 emails for me. She got rid of the junk ones and sorted the others into groups e.g. action, of interest etc. to make it easier for me to cope with. That helped so much. At this stage I still did not know if I could use the computer or not.

But things were getting back to normal and I will tell you how tomorrow in my last post.
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Claire McFee » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:59 pm

Thanks Barb,
Congratulations on all you have achieved as President. I don't know where you get all your enregy from!
Claire McFee
Creator Organize Your Life Organizers
http://www.organizeyourlife.com.au
Claire McFee
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Daniel Lizurek » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:15 pm

Hello Barbara! WOW - you're an amazing woman and a gifted writer. Your sense of humour makes me smile. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us, it is truly inspirational. It certainly puts things into perspective. Suddenly, that tummy pain I had in the morning...well, doesn't seem like a big deal now! The title for your new book is so disarmingly simple yet profoundly captivating. Touching. At a first glance it sends chills down your spine but then you realise that there is a happy ending. Have an awesome rainy weekend! Daniel
Daniel Lizurek is a linguistic sales strategist, business owner, entrepreneur and an advertising copywriter who uses Words That Sell to help clients attract more business with less effort - for more information please visit www.FastProfits.com.au. Daniel is also the author of the Australia’s #1 Copywriting Blog. Click here to connect with Daniel on LinkedIn!
Daniel Lizurek
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:46 pm

Hi Claire - you know, I feel sad having to resign as President of MCEI after 9 years. But it had to be. I am now spending my time with Peter building up HBBA that was neglected somewhat because of how busy I was kept with MCEI - especially with the Awards. I am pleased to see that you are a member of HBBA and I do hope that some of the other MCEI members will join also. It allows me to keep in touch with everytone that I have built such a good repourt with.
Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:55 pm

Daniel - what lovely comments you have made. You make me feel so positive with what I am doing now. Knowing your background with 'catchy' headings, titles etc. I am indeed delighted to read your comments re the book title. I must admit I have had some pretty good responses, even from the nursing staff at Monash who asked me to let them know when they could get a copy.

Even though I am an artist, writing has always been something I love to do. That is why it was such a shock when I found I could not read. I actually thought that meant that I would not be able to write either. And aparently that is usually the case. But thank God, I happened to be 'different'! I can write much faster than I can read and when I try to read my own writing back, I often think I have written a sentence incorrectly as I am reading it incorrectly (of course sometimes, I do write with incorrect grammer as I have forgotten what I started with). But as long as experts like yourself tell me it reads well, then you give me that extra confidence boost I need!

So, thank you so much. I do hope you will join HBBA now, as I would love to continue having you as an 'expert' for members who may need what you have to offer.

Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:36 am

7. Back to Work

One of the fears I had to face was that I would not be able to work again. Work has always been a vocation for me. Whether it was teaching secondary students, or assisting Micro business operators. I never saw it as a ‘job’ and I didn’t do it for money (much to the dismay of many, including Peter) - I did it because I loved it and wanted to help those I worked with achieve the very best they could.

When I could not read, I listed what I could do that I loved doing. I could still paint; I could train my dogs (they didn’t know if I could read or not!); I could still write; and could still speak (though I presumed that my presentation skills would not be as good as they used to be).

It was important for me to know that I could still help others and share my story with them. I remembered meeting a young lass who was pregnant and had to stay in hospital for the duration of the pregnancy.

She was able to get up. Get dressed and get her own breakfast; but still had to spend most of the time in bed. I asked her what she did to fill in the time.
“Oh, read some magazines” was her response.

I then asked her what hobbies she had at home.
“I just do the housework, watch TV and read magazines.”

I found it hard to believe that this young, lovely girl had nothing to do to excite her or make her think and grow her mind. It seemed like such a waste of time to me.

That was not going to be me. It was not until I had been home for four weeks that I went to the computer for the first time. I wondered if I would be able to use it. Can you imagine my sense of well being when I realised that I could!

The first thing Peter and I planned to do was to re-vamp the Home Based Business website. I wanted to build on the benefits for members by offering them a ton of marketing and promotional support. Could I think out the procedures, write the content and read it to ensure it made sense? I figured that I just had to start and see what I could do.

With Pete’s help, we moved forward…more slowly than what I would have liked, but in three weeks we had the basic changes made. I had even developed a different type of newsletter that would share ‘low cost’ and ‘no cost’ support for the business operators. I began to get a higher page ranking for both the websites (http://www.HomeBasedBusinesAaustralia.org/blog and http://www.HomeBusinessStartupNow.com/blog)

I also got the book ‘Thank God I Had a Stroke’ well under way. Now the challenge was would I be able to get speaking engagements so that I could share my story and perhaps help others who suffered from a similar problem to cope better? I wanted people to better understand what it is like to manage an illness and how important it is to have the support of your loved ones.

But it is equally important to feel as though you can still do something worthwhile and that others appreciate what you can do. I am hoping that my contacts will be able to recommend me as a speaker for a variety of organisations, so that next year I will have another challenge to meet and conqueror.

I have literally ‘come out of a valley of death’ and beaten the odds. I was so fortunate to have such great medical support and to have the love, thoughts and prayers of so many people. I still intend reading the 400 emails that people sent to Peter and he read to me in those early days. They will always be a reminder to me that having the support of everyone played such an important role to me mentally and emotionally. It allowed me to cope with a sense of confidence and a belief that everything would work out OK.

Have I changed? Yes, but not too much. But I hope it is for the better. I now have to be strong for Peter as he tries to manage his back pain while waiting months just for the appointment with the specialist who may organise for him to have an operation.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and write your comments.
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Elizabeth Gore-Jones » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:09 pm

Barbara, you are obviously a strong woman and many people will benefit from your ordeal and what you have learnt.
Elizabeth Gore-Jones
Bywaters Timms
An essential part of your team.
egore-jones@btlaw.com.au
P: (07) 3229 5977
F: (07) 3229 0799
M: 0433 033 341
A: GPO Box 466, Brisbane 4001
http://www.bywaterstimms.com.au
Elizabeth Gore-Jones
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:40 am

Re: Thank God I Had a Stroke by Barbara Gabogrecan 26.9.11

Postby Barbara Gabogrecan » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:46 pm

Thanks Elizabeth. I must admit I do not feel 'strong' or 'brave' just able to accept what is happening and be determined to put the effort in to getting back to some normality. I learned last week that both my 92 year old Aunty and 66 year old brother have had mild stokes....makes me wonder if it runs in the family!
Cheers
Barb
Barbara Gabogrecan assists HBB's to market their business online
http://www.HomeBasedBusinessAustralia.org

Barbara is an artist specialising in silk painting; her video is on page one of You Tube http://youtu.be/1ZA9HObN_Go
http://www.SilkPaintingByGabogrecan.com/

Having survived a stroke and a brain tumour, Barbara wrote a book titled 'Thank God I Had a Stroke' to motivate and inspire others suffering from similar afflictions.
http://GabogrecanStrokeRecovery.com/
Barbara Gabogrecan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 12:57 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Guest Experts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron