I have had a long road to recovery. Debbie was one of my first nurses just after I had the stroke–or should I say strokes. It was one incident took me to the hospital. On the morning sometime in my sleep. I got up nauseous and was vomiting and it turned out I had small bleeds inside my brain in my cerebellum and brainstem and I had an old clot in my basilar artery–one of the main arteries feeding the body and brain. Because of the bleeds they could not give me tPA as it makes the bleeding worse although if you just have a clot it can be beneficial for that. With bleeds it potentially can kill. I spent about one week in hospital.

After one week I was moved to the rehab hospital to where Debbie worked as a nurse. I stayed there for 2 and 1/2 months before I was shipped back to the main hospital again for reasons that I will explain. Oh–did I forget to mention including the strokes I had a tear in my neck maybe from a bad fall I had months previously? This probably clotted up as it healed and then the clot moved to my basilar artery. When I was in the main hospital Before I went to the rehab hospital I was diagnosed with slightly high blood pressure, diabetes 2 and slightly high cholesterol. I was a real mess!

I always felt much better when Debbie was there in the rehab hospital. She didn’t know this until much later. But she was a really excellent nurse and stood out from all the others. Just her being there made me feel so much calmer. I honestly thought that this was it. I would be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. As any stroke patient can attest to this rehab is really slow and very boring. Coupled with the fact that I was in a wheelchair and could not speak clearly and had double vision for about 3 months my world was not very nice. This is why having Debbie there was such a inspiring thing. She is very positive and a real angel.

When I was in rehab I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and was sent back to the main hospital. On examination they found a mass causing the DVT’s. The DVT’s were really huge in the left leg and smaller in the right leg. When I was there for a week I was diagnosed on top of all my ailments with cancer. It was followed by surgery and 6 rounds of chemo, which hopefully have ended now, and a filter in my body for the blood cots which has since been removed. With the treatment for blood clots and the earlier week for the strokes I was in hospital for another month. I left the hospital in a wheelchair and one week later I was walking with a three-pronged cane. I later switched to an ordinary cane. Now I tend to walk without one. So after six months after my stroke I was walking and could see again. It was about a year later after my old physio went on leave that I met Debbie in the gym and she has been with me ever since to deal with my residual stroke problems. I also have health counselling from her and breathing and calming exercises. She not only has given me encouragement and specially designed exercise for neurological problems. She has done and keeps on doing a full appraisal of my blood pressure, my eating habits, my posture, my body measurements and my breathing pattern. She is also trained in diabetes control. Since I have been with her my blood sugar has come way down as well as my cholesterol and blood pressure and my weight is slowly coming done! I am much much better physically than when I have had her and am getting better much faster than I was before.

Stroke patients will know that exercise is everything to your recovery. Debbie knows this but she also emphasises holistic medicine, too, which nobody else has paid attention to with me before. The exercises she does with me are very efficient and designed to get at all the muscles that are not working, working again. There sure are a lot of them that need work! What happens when you have a stroke is that the brain mainly forgets how to work the muscles because the connection between brain and muscle is damaged from the brain injury or stroke. You have to repeat these muscle movements over and over again so the brain re-learns them.

So I am still in my recovery. I recently had an x-Ray of my arm and the physician asked me about who was doing my physio because it was ‘brilliant’. I told him it wasn’t a physio but Debbie Miller my Personal Trainer who is also a Corrective Exercise Specialist. There is always the fear that I will have another stroke but thanks to Debbie I am really controlling the risk factors–diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stress well through her holistic approach.

I want to say to Debbie many, many thanks for everything; she is getting me so much better than I was before.

Anonymous  – September 2015

*Please bare in mind that results can vary from person to person

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