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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.