Forward Stroke
 
 

Connect.

This forum seeks to connect stroke care-givers with one another and provides tales and tidbits from the perspective of a normal Bombay girl, whose life was turned upside down when her dad suffered a stroke.

 
 
 

My father had a stroke and I didn’t know what to do.

As a 26 year old girl living the ideal young professional life in Boston (by far my favourite city), the one thing I missed about home - Bombay (yes, I still call it Bombay) was my father. Raised by him in my childhood home, there was nothing that could replace coming home to the “Hello my baby” and he still does it! I left for the United States with a lot of trepidation when I was 16 years old and never planned to return home - in fact, I was plotting ways of getting my dad to move there soon enough but i know he’s secretly always had Switzerland in his mind.

And then, everything changed.

On February 15th, 2015 I woke up to 18 missed calls from my Dad’s cell. Panicked, I called him back and my cousin picked up. I knew something was wrong, “Richika, your Dad’s in the hospital…he’s had a stroke”. There was silence. I began to cry. Simultaneously, I took my phone and started researching what it means to have a stroke, I had no idea. Then my cousin said, “wait talk to dad.” I was scared. He handed over the phone, there was no “Hello, my baby!” but a stutter in his voice with words I just couldn’t understand. I was devastated. My cousin took the phone back and said “I think you should come back.”

I got my shit together. Literally and figuratively. I started looking for flights (But of course, there was a blizzard in Boston - surprise surprise). I drove four hours in the blizzard to New York to get the next possible flight. I kept my phone on my lap the whole time but by then I had to stop researching - it was driving me crazy.

Fast forward two weeks - my dad had suffered an acute right basal ganglia nonhemorrhagic infarct and was completely paralyzed on his left side. In the two weeks, I aged 15 years. I kept aside all emotions and started to figure out what needed to be done. Luckily, I have the support of the best family and friends. We started from scratch. We rented wheelchairs, hired nurses, checked blood pressure, hired helpers, altered diets, created a pharmacy at home, found physical therapists, sought out speech therapists, called occupational therapists, took a gazillion medical tests, visited doctors almost everyday, filed insurance papers, and lots more. Long story short, there was a big job in front of me that I was very unqualified for.

What this is and what this is not.

I have a few things in mind for this blog:

  • Create a space where I can share my experience with anyone in the same shoes and provide valuable insight into “how to begin” (I realized both my dad and I have a lot of information to offer and would love to help - specifically for those in India)

  • Show you updates on my dad’s progress and the methods to get there

  • Create a forum/community of stroke care-takers to interact with another

  • To create awareness about strokes in order to help prevent it

I also have a few disclaimers:

  • I am NOT a writer - I will be adding information to this blog during my commute to work, while having dinner with dad, and maybe even right before sleeping. Please excuse any errors.

  • I am NOT a doctor/nurse/medical specialist or anything of the sort - I am here to help you with overcoming the daily challenges that I faced and provide tips that I thought were helpful. I am not here to provide any professional help - each victim is different.

1.8M

people suffer from strokes in india every year

The stroke incidence rate in India is much higher than other developing countries.

 

32K

brain cells damaged every second UNTIL TREATMENT

Early detection of a stroke is extremely crucial because of how quickly the cells are damaged.

 
 

63Yrs

mean age of stroke patients in india

This is a much lower mean age than other countries showing that we need to take important measures to overcome this problem.

FEBRUARY 2019

"I hope we can help make someone else’s life a little easier after overcoming this tragedy ourselves.” - Ashok Bhawnani (dad)