Dear Mr Postman - thank you for my letter: oh dear .. a cautionary tale today I see ... but so good to remind ourselves ...
In 1986 I had a nasty accident outside my house in Johannesburg .. about 30 feet away were some traffic lights, it was Friday afternoon & I was off to visit some friends .. very fortunately I'd set off slowly, as I was mentally checking if I had everything .. and the next thing I knew: wham, spin, buffet, shudder, bang, bang, bang .. & shake to a stop on one of the said traffic lights. My beautiful orange beetle, I'd travelled round South Africa in, was written off in one fell swoop.
Fortunately I hadn't hit my head .. but certainly my brain had wandered around inside & I felt pretty awful .. - after 'sorting things out' as you do with passers by and the local householders in that situation, I rang my mother back in England .. who announced that I should on no occasion go and play a game of squash (racquet ball) that night or that weekend .. I should rest in a darkened room and let my brain settled down - I did as my mother told me to & certainly didn't want to do much else!!
Today I heard of a young man, 30, who competed in triathlons .. and so was you'd think 'super fit' .. but he'd had a stroke: his fiance saw the three symptoms and acted on the 4th point: fortunately they'd both watched the BBC advert for recognising strokes and so he was in hospital pretty quicky and is on his way to near recovery - but remember the brain continues to adjust and adapt after illness. (see my post).
Sometimes as this week - a mere apparent bump can mean death - as has happened to Natasha Richardson - and just because someone can talk and seems ok .. they need to be monitored, so if there are changes an immediate response and quick medical diagnosis can be set up.
Hilary luckily you didn't hit your head in that car accident - so you're here to tell this cautionery tale and remind us all of our mortality .. we need to be aware and protect it .. - I'll bring you a happier letter tomorrow!