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Life before and after the stroke

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Foreigners in Finland
Photo by Natu Pemo

Natu is not only a gorgeous woman, a tender and gentle mother, a loving wife, and a responsible boss. She is also my dear sister, who has suddenly had a stroke. She has always had a good life, ate healthily, jogged, swam in the ice. If there were any groups at risk for stroke, she certainly wasn't there.

In this post, you get to know Natu, and you will find out what changes in a person after such a severe condition, and the courageous discovery as a stroke survivor.

E: Tell our readers about your background, please.

N: I moved to Finland with my family at 17; I had just graduated from high school.

 I loved that time just after moving, and summer just started, no obligations, that first summer in Finland felt like a long vacation. Of course, I miss old friends, but I spent a lot of time with my family, it was new and wonderful.

E: How did the stroke happen?

N: I got sick last year, one September morning I woke up from the tent, had been 0 degrees at night and it was wonderful to get in and hot shower. My daughter had a sleepover-friend, and in the evening we went to another friend to sing karaoke.

At some point, I started to feel like I didn't see the lyrics properly and the microphone didn't stay right. I moved it to my left hand and continued singing. I didn't think it was something serious. I went to the bathroom, where I noticed that the right hand did not hit the light switch. I just no longer controlled the movement of the hand, and strength just disappeared from the hand. I still didn't think it was serious.

 I called in health counseling, where I was advised to go to the Jorvi Emergency Hospital. Then I started my three-week hospital trip, which included staying in three different hospitals, examinations, brain surgery, more examinations, rehabilitation.

E: What happened after the stroke, and how does it change you?

N: For a moment, I have not stopped trying to survive and believe in tomorrow. When the right arm was completely paralyzed, I did everything with my left hand. I became really skilled at doing things with my left hand and as a rehabilitation therapist had to forbid me to do things with my left hand and focus on my right hand. And after a week after surgery. It little by little, began to work. It is still not perfect, but I didn't mourn about failure at any point, but to try to come up with ways to cope.

I'm calmer now, and I do not hurry, I stop to enjoy the small things in life and boast about myself and people around me. I realized how short life is and that it can break at any moment.

E: What would you say to people who just had a stroke?

N: I would say that whatever tragedy you face, focus on survival, and look ahead. Find things to enjoy in the hospital bed. The world is full of wonderful moments and people. Keep your eyes open for those moments and people. Don't mourn what's lost, and don't stress tomorrow.

E: What are your main plans and dreams for the future?

N: The goal today is to live, be happy, and see my children grow and become independent. That's why I take care of myself now: I exercise, I eat healthily, I try to sleep enough, I pay attention to positive things, I spend time in nature, I read a lot, I spend time with people who make me happy.

Interviewed by: Elena Popova



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