Stroke survivor stories - Kasia Siewruk, Poland

The stories of stroke survivors are what drives our fight at the World Stroke Organization to achieve our goal of a world free from stroke. Welcome to our stroke survivor stories series, which we'll pop up on the blog every Thursday, you may wish to contribute to this poignant narrative of stroke globally. Please contact Sarah.Belson@stroke.org.uk

Where were you when you had your stroke? 
In spring 2012, I had a TIA, which scared me to death, because it happened behind the wheel of a car. Back then I didn't know that it was a TIA, so I wasn't that concerned about it. My first stroke happened in December 2014 in a toilet. I did everything to prevent a second one, but it happened in August 2016 while riding a bike with my mom on vacation. I was lucky. All three times I was with someone – the TIA with a panicked friend, the first stroke my flatmate was at home and she reacted pretty fast (my boyfriend wouldn't wake up). Last time I was with my mom.

Could you access hospital?
Both times I was taken by ambulance. With the TIA no-one recognized a stroke and in the end I refused to go to hospital. I'm not sure whether my flatmate recognized the stroke. But she knew that something was seriously bad, so called for an ambulance very fast. The second stroke (a mild one) I recognized myself.

What expectations did you have for your treatment, rehabilitation, recovery?
At the beginning I expected that within a few months I would be back to my 'old life'. After these few months I found out that it won't be that easy.

What was your experience of treatment and/or rehabilitation?
The immediate treatment was ok, I guess. In the end I'm alive and 'almost' healthy. I think that the experience with long term treatment and rehabilitation has been worse. It all depends on the specialist, luck and access to friends in hospitals, hard work and research by me and my family, and money to pay for private visits.

About rehabilitation - it depends on the place. I had rehabilitation on four hospital wards, one excellent, one very good, one ok and one very poor. My private physiotherapist is great and seems to be well-qualified.

What has helped you in your recovery?
Good physiotherapists and also internet sources. My family has helped me very much, they gave me comfort. And last but not least, my hard work.

What have been/are your fears?
My biggest fear is that I will never have a peaceful, comfortable life, even if I would work for it very much. And I'm afraid of the third stroke. Before the second one I thought that the cause of stroke was found and eliminated. The second one is a mystery which I need to be solved, and that makes me feel troubled and scared.

How did your family and friends feel and respond?
At the beginning all my loved ones were just lovely. My family were a bit overprotective, but everyone gave me full support and didn't leave me by myself. I found most of my friends were great supportive people and if, as we say in Polish, we find our true friends when we become poor or unwell, I'm certain that I have plenty of true friends. However, I regret the loneliness that I am left with. 

To hear more about Kasia's experiences please visit her blogs:
Polish blog, lewaczka.pl and English version of her blog stroketales.com


Stroke survivor stories - Kasia Siewruk, Poland Reviewed by Sarah Belson on Friday, March 17, 2017 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I had a TIA back in 2001. I quit smoking. But the real cause was a congenital heart defect that I had been unaware of.This was corrected with outpatient surgery and I have been fine since

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