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Personal Views

My brain stem stroke

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 06 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:917
  1. G F Grant

    I set out on the half term holiday with the family, blissfully unaware of the traumatic events that were to follow. We had borrowed a friend's weekend cottage and I went to bed early. My only medical condition was a persistent headache, but I had had headaches before as I occasionally suffered from migraine. I was aware of my wife coming to bed much later but there was nothing ominous about that. There then occurred the event that was to change my life for ever.

    I can recall what it was like going through the stroke itself. It felt like a desperate battle to regain my balance. I remember thinking that if only I could get things on an even keel then I would be all right. There was also a constant babble of voices all speaking different languages. I was admitted to the first hospital with only my eyelids moving. According to the admissions register I was in a deep state of unconsciousness—nothing could be further from the truth. I floated in and out of consciousness. I can recall the interminable discussion the ambulancemen had about how they would get me down the stairs. I was aware of the ambulance stopping while the men tried to make me more comfortable and decide which hospital to go to. It was difficult to make me more comfortable as I was curled in a fetal position. I recall the ambulance stopping in a layby on the outskirts of the town.

    I recall …

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