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Fat Mum Slim /

Brought to you by the National Stroke Foundation.

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Today, I wanted to share a really personal story with you, but an important one.

In 2008 I was heavily pregnant with Lacey and working as a nanny. I was caring for four kids and had been for six years. I loved them. I didn’t know the love one has for their own child when I was their nanny, but looking back now, I can tell you the love was so similar. It was fierce and protective and all-consuming.

A week before my due date, I was at work and got a call from the mother of the kids I nannied. Their dad had suffered a stroke. He was simply putting petrol in the car after the school drop-off, and he collapsed and was taken straight to hospital.

This man, he was brilliant, he was vibrant and full of life. You could be in a large group and you could find him easily, not because he was tall or had a physical attribute that made him stand out… but it was his laugh. You could hear it. It was contagious, funny and authentic. He thought he was the funniest person in the world too, which made it even funnier. I can picture him laughing as I type this and I’m smiling. He had a warmth that made him everyone’s friend. And oh boy, was he smart. He worked in law and he was brilliant. I never saw him in court, but I wish I’d taken the time to, apparently he was a force to be reckoned with.

However, that day when he collapsed, everything changed.

I remember being very pregnant that day and going in for a scan with one of the kids with me… trying to pretend that everything was normal. We weren’t telling the children what was going on until we knew ourselves, so it was a game of pretending all was okay with the world. Although, it wasn’t.

A stroke happens when blood traveling to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain via arteries. A stroke happens when an artery is blocked or the artery bursts. Brain cells in that area die possibly leading to brain damage and ongoing disability.

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With the New Year, a lot of us have our health on our minds {I know I do} and it’s so important to be in the driver’s seat. Wouldn’t you rather have an idea of general health, than live in the dark? There’s nothing like getting everything checked and then knowing where you stand… especially if you get a clean bill of health.

So this isn’t a light and fluffy post, but it’s an important one. The National Stroke Foundation runs a program called Know Your Numbers, which is a health prevention program run through 600 pharmacies and 150 community sites across Queensland. Know your numbers provides free blood pressure checks, and a diabetes and cardiovascular risk assessment. You can find your nearest location by clicking here, and get yourself checked.

They’ve also created these awesome free printables for download – health trackers to help you Know your numbers in 2016.

I’ll be dragging Hubby along with me to one. If you’re not in Queensland, you can visit your GP or check with your local pharmacy and ask for the same health check.. You’re absolutely worth it.

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The sad end to my story is that the man in my story survived the initial stroke, but he lost some of that beautiful spark he once had… and sadly he passed away a year ago.

Promise me that you’ll take some time to look after you and get to know your numbers this new year? For more details simply click here and get started.

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  • So sorry for your loss, Chantelle. This story is so close to my heart. My husband who is fit and healthy had a stroke at the end of 2014. I know he’s one of the lucky ones because he made a full recovery and has very few deficitis or side effects. I constantly worry about whether he’ll have another one and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I have to get a grip on the fear of the unknown, no one knows if or when a stroke will happen. What people do know and can control though are their numbers and reduce their risk. Thanks Chantelle for sharing this, it’s such an important message.

    • I think of you both often. That was one hairy ride. 🙁

      Thank goodness he’s one of the positive stories. xx

  • This is something close to our family too. My father in law passed away from a stroke, aged 57, just over 10 years ago. The impact of losing the person that was the centre of the family, our livelihood & much of our day to day happenings is something I think we all still feel daily. Our whole world changed that day. Since then my mother in law has done some remarkable things in her community to raise awareness of stroke, to raise funds for medical equipment & to hopefully save lives. We are very proud her.

    Such an important message for us all because you just never know what’s around the corner…

    • What a loved man. It’s so beautiful that your MIL is making such a difference. I’m proud of her too, and I don’t even know her. x

  • Such an important message.
    I had a Uni friend who had a stroke in the middle of our final year… she was 22! I’d seen strokes before in my grandfather, a friends father, and a mini (TSI) in my own father years earlier but this friend’s stroke really woke me up to the fact that it can happen to anyone… even me.

    • Oh wow, you’ve been affected by so many strokes. It’s frightening, isn’t it? It’s so real, and it can happen to anyone.

      Thanks for sharing your story. x

  • Cherie

    National Geographic ran a story a few years ago about the “Blue Zones” – areas of the world where people lived significantly longer than average (10 times the number of people reaching the age of 100, for instance) but also healthier. The project identified 9 factors which resulted in this increase in health and longevity. You can find out about these at http://www.bluezones.com Also, http://www.forksoverknives.com/synopsis/ is a must-read/must-see for anyone interested in minimising their risk of the lifestyle diseases that are epidemics in our society – including stroke, diabetes, heart disease.

  • Lauren Russo – Love_Live_Loz

    Such an important message to get out there. My Great Uncle (but my most influential grandfather figure) had a stroke about 9 years ago. It changed him in such horrible ways, he wasnt him anymore. He couldn’t work the farm anymore and my Aunt became his carer and lived with a man she barely recognised anymore. It really was heartbreaking. He then passed away 6 years ago, three years after his initial stroke. Your post is such a good reminder to me to take my own health more seriously. As mothers we often tend to put ourselves last, but we really do need to care for ourselves equally as much as we do for the rest of the family!

  • Ineedacoffee

    what an important message

  • Wendy Sutcliffe

    I can’t seem to get your link to work? (The nearest location one)

@Fatmumslim