On Monday 4th December 2017 6am I woke up suddenly from a deep sleep feeling that I was suddenly going to be sick. I sat up and got out of bed toppling slightly into the bedroom wall. I kind of staggered to the bedroom door managing to open it and through into the next bedroom which the bathroom is off.

At that point I felt very faint and disoriented and feeling that I was going to suddenly pass out. I toppled slightly into the bed in the next room and then dropped myself to the floor. A blackness feeling came all over me and I started to break into a sweat. It was that darkness closing over you feeling that you have if you are going to pass out.

As I lay on the floor I remember trying to crawl to the bathroom to reach the toilet but only managed to push my head up about half a foot which increased the heavy darkness feeling in my head. With my head feeling heavy and not being able to raise it much off the floor without feeling even more faint, I realised I could not make the bathroom let alone the toilet. I tried to stand up to go back to my bed but could not move, I thought to call my wife, but nothing seemed to come out of my mouth.

After a few short moments I managed to turn myself around on the floor and start to crawl back to the bedroom door toppling sideways to the right a few times. I managed to crawl around the door into the bedroom and raise myself enough off the floor to fall on to the edge of the bed s and then slightly sit up on the side. My wife woke asking if I was ok and I remember just saying that I needed a bucket i was going to be sick. At the time I just felt extremely strange very hot breaking into a sweat. I promptly was sick in the bucket a few times, which I did find odd at the time as it seemed to be pure bile and nothing else. I lay back in bed thinking, wow this is some nasty sickness bug.

It was not until my wife started asking me questions about how I was feeling that she realised that this could be worse than just a sickness bug as by this time my speech was recovering slightly but was slurred and I was not making complete sense. I remember thinking wow the last time I sounded like this was after a great party and even then I think I made more sense when speaking.

Well this all prompted my wife to call the doctor and 111. At this stage neither of us thought it required an ambulance so we did not call 999 immediately. This took an interesting turn as originally 111 highlighted myself as an emergency and were sending an ambulance, however the emergency services call system had collapsed the day before and doctors were calling emergency patients to try and establish priority calls which diverted my first ambulance to someone else. On speaking with the doctor they changed their mind and felt that I had a severe bout of vertigo and sickness bug and while it was not an emergency I should see my doctor at the earliest.

On putting the phone down from the 111 doctor our phone rang immediately and it was our doctor from the surgery. It was only when my doctor phoned back that our day entered a different world. I had only just registered with Ashburton Surgery being new to the area and so had not met or spoken with any of the doctors before. My wife took the call explained everything to him and then the doctor asked to speak with me.

Lying in bed I thought the same as the 111 doctor and that I had vertigo with a sickness bug and explained this to the doctor. However unaware to me, while I thought I was being quiet articulate the doctor said I was slurring my words and not making complete sense so he was going to make a quick telephone call and get straight back to me. About three minutes later the phone rang, it was the doctor, he just said an ambulance is on it’s way and he has requested a CT scan at Torbay Hospital as he is not happy with my speech and how I was not making a lot of sense.

I reached Torbay Hospital around 11am and due to the hospital being full and along with the ambulance issues, I remained with other patients in a corridor on a stretcher until around 1-2pm when I was seen by the A&E doctor, at this time my speech was not as slurred and I felt I was simply thinking more about my answers. The doctor placed me on a drip and said that he felt a Stroke was at the bottom of the list and that I was likely to have vertigo with sickness which the vertigo could cause however he was going to send me for a CT scan so that a Stroke could be ruled out. I then stayed in hospital being moved to a space in minors A&E where they kept me until they had the results and around 5pm a new A&E doctor came to see me and explained that I had had a stroke and was going to be moved to the George Earle stroke unit. Which happened around 10pm. George Earle is a dedicated Stroke Unit at Torbay Hospital and must hold around 40 Stroke patients at a time. The Unit is divided into several small rooms of six patients and I was moved into bed number one in the first room………..