Diary of a Teenage Stroke Survivor (an autobiography in progress)
IMPORTANT NOTES: This is dedicated to Clive, who has been badgering me to publish this for many years! I need to write it now, because there is evidence emerging that Novel Coronavirus, Covid-19 causes internal blood-clots to form in the lungs, which then work their way up to the brain to block vessels and therefore starve areas of it of oxygen.
I was thirteen years old. My great passions were rock music (particularly Guns 'n' Roses, Led Zeppelin, and the White Stripes, but I had been to see The Darkness tour their disappointing- NOTHING like 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'- second album at Birminham NEC a couple of months earlier), playing bass guitar, and creating and looking at artwork (I seem to recall being into Andy Warhol at that time). My family (six of us, a puppy, and a kitten) lived on a narrowboat, and had done so for years.
It's weird writing this, it feels factual rather than engaged and interesting. I suppose the important things to note are that I had a perfect record of health and no family history of stroke or any other blood- or organ- related disorders, so when my brother insisted that our mum came to see how much I was "snoring" and she realised I was having some kind of fit, she assumed that a paramedic would come and inject me with an epipen to alleviate what she thought must be an allergic reaction, perhaps to my kitten, who slept in a shoebox next to my bed.
We had lived on a narrowboat for years, so an air-ambulance was sent for me. This is still the only time I've been in a helicopter, yet I have absolutely no memory of it! I know that the nearest Intensive Care Unit bed was in London, so I must have flown about 100 miles. According to my family, I was initially tested for recreational drug-use, and I know that I was put into an induced coma in order to stop my brain from becoming more damaged while the doctors worked out what was wrong with me. Eventually - after I don't know how long- a neurologist insisted that they scanned my brain, and it was at that point that they realised that there was a blood clot blocking a vessel in there: I'd had a stroke.