I was taken into the accident and emergency wing of the hospital on 17 March, 2015, with a life-threatening subarachnoid haemorrhage. I was only thirty-eight years old and had always been a healthy person. I was successful, career-oriented, and travelled the world while working too many hours with no time to relax and think. Then, one night, I suddenly became extremely ill, and my whole world fell apart. I was in the hospital for nearly two months, and after four intense brain surgeries, I had difficulty understanding what was happening to me and why.
I didn’t understand what had happened to me therefore I was not in the right frame of mind to be able to have any expectations , also considering that this had never happened to me before it was all a new experience. However I was given very basic detail on how my recovery would progress and didn’t find this helpful.
What was your experience of treatment and/or rehabilitation?
My journey to recovery has been challenging, my perspective has drastically changed, as I now see the important things in life I had to relearn how to do the simplest tasks, like climbing stairs, re-tuning noises due to losing some sense of hearing, severe constant headaches as a result of watching any TV, leaning how to use my mobile devices without having motion sickness. My personality changed, and I was left with short term memory loss, intense mood swings, an emotional state of mind, being very direct when talking, having the black and white thinking and losing that middle ground of understanding. This new life also had a major effect on my relationships, family, and view of work.
What has helped you in your recovery?
- Starting my own blog and youtube channel
- Writing a diary to get my emotions out and help with memory loss
- Tools on mobile device like notes and sharing calendars have helped with memory loss
- Therapy at the priory – with confidence and understanding
- Neuropsychology – which I still attend helped with other tools to adapt to give me a more normal life
- Neuropsychology for my family – this has helped my relationships as they now understand
- Talking to others – by joining health unlocked forum
- Walking – daily to help my high anxiety and keep my focus and fitness
- Diet – eating healthier to keep my fitness
- Not going to loud places – it hurts my head and ears when I’m tired.
What have been/are your fears?
That it will happen again
How did your family and friends feel and respond?
Its been very difficult for my family to understand this just as much as me and maybe even more difficult for them as they have not experienced the daily challenges. By making some of them go to talks from charities or neuropsychology with me has really helped them to understand better.My social circle has changed as a result of lack of understanding.
How and why have you got involved in stroke awareness and advocacy?
I have got involved since I came out of hospital because I felt so alone in my early days of recovery and didn’t want anyone else to feel the same which is why I started to get so involved in helping others. So I started my blog, website www.kavitabasi.com and then I wrote my book Room 23 Surviving a Brain Haemorrhage.