This poem was one of the first I wrote during my recovery and I emailed it to the Stroke Foundation, who have been tremendously supportive since my stroke. People often ask me “How did it happen?”, “What did you do?” and I find that this poem acts as an explanation of what happened to me on the day of my stroke.
You will find more poems in A Stroke of Poetry.
Not me – I’m only 49!
‘Twas a sunny day in Queensland, the day that changed my life.
How was I to know a little gardening was would cause us all such strife?
The day before I’d been with friends, and really feeling great.
49 and fit as can be, and I’d even lost some weight.
The last day of the holidays, I cherished with my son.
We weeded, seeded, trimmed and chopped, until it all was done.
“Please can I now go inside?” he asked with a frown.
So that left me in the garden, lawn mowing on my own.
The day was hot, I’d done a lot, and I should have taken a break.
So I went inside to have a rest, perhaps a meal to make.
I suddenly came over all dizzy, hot and a little squiffy.
My head into the toilet, I thought would sort it in a jiffy.
That’s the last thing I remember, before I clearly fell.
When I awoke I saw my son and didn’t feel too well.
His name that I first shouted, I could say no more.
I could not move a muscle, from that cold, hard bathroom floor.
My mouth it moved, but no words came, I thought I had gone dumb.
My right leg couldn’t move at all, my right side had gone numb.
Oh his little face, I see it still every day.
Such calm, then panic looking at me, slumped in disarray.
A friend, thank goodness, came around and knew just what to do.
The next thing I remember was the marvellous ambulance crew.
“A stroke,” they muttered to themselves, I thought it could not be
In three months’ time I would be only half a century.
“I’m far too young, you’ve got it wrong,” I thought and tried to say.
I couldn’t be a stroke victim, on that lovely sunny day.
The words, the tubes, the tests and things they had to do.
Scared, confused and helpless, but that crew, they got me through.
The flashing lights at every stop, the sirens and the rush.
Could this be really happening to me, a 49 year old lush?
The hospital, now that was fun, the chaos and the mayhem.
Those doctors they worked tirelessly, I could never be one of them.
The days that followed had good news, the stroke team did their bit.
A clot had caused this sorry mess and soon I would be fit.
My voice came back quite easily, and soon my walking too.
I knew I was a lucky girl, despite the hullabaloo.
So now this brings me three months on and wow have I improved,
Though fatigue still racks my head and my body too.
“Don’t rush back to your old life,” advice it came in droves.
Since I’ve been well I seem to have a brain so full of odes.
These poems are the strangest thing; they swirl around in my head.
Quite often, I just cannot sleep and must get out of bed.
My social worker, what a lady, Judy was so great.
She said the brain does wondrous things; don’t fight them, celebrate.
I’m 50 now, I got there quick, with friends to roust me on.
A husband, sister close at hand and of course my loving son.
The recovery months are still to come, so rest is still a key.
Who knows what lies ahead for us, life is a mystery.
So please take note of my young age, for this tale it is so true.
Just be aware of your own limits, or it can happen to you.