Heatstroke: Coping Up with the Changes

We didn’t think that this one fine sunny Panagbenga afternoon would actually turn out to be different – and our lives had never been the same again.

Me and dad

My mom was doing some household chores while talking to our landlady. I was in the bedroom, tired from a half-day’s work and trying to get a short nap. My kid was playing with her toys and my dad was at the living room sofa, just woke up from the afternoon nap.

Suddenly my kid saw my dad fell down the floor. He asked help from my kid to get up. The floor surrounding him was all wet with his… urine?

Our neighbor, the landlady, noticed my dad’s odd behavior. He seemed sick with something, so she called her son, a nurse, to check his condition. His blood pressure was abnormally high at 220/100!

Heatstroke! We were all alarmed!

My father is not a tall person, but he has a heavy built. One male person was not enough to carry him. There were three persons who helped carry him to our family car.

Good thing my father taught me how to drive years ago and I got my driver’s license as soon as I turned 18. I was very competent enough to drive as fast as I can to the nearest hospital. Good thing there wasn’t any traffic along the way.

My father spent the first week at the ICU unit. The following week, he was transferred to one of the private rooms. Like other heatstroke victims, he ended up unable to move the left part of his body.

He had lots of visitors – friends and relatives came to offer support and encourage him. Some of them were even stroke victims and they shared their experiences during recovery. It felt good to know that there stroke victims are able to recover 99% of their bodily functions.

Dad and the physical therapist

We paid quite a huge sum of hospital bill but we were able to get huge discounts using my Philhealth benefit and my Dad’s and Mom’s senior citizen benefits.

The expenses did not end there. For my dad to be able to use his left side of the body, he had to go several weeks of physical therapy sessions. It was so difficult at the beginning: my mom and I always had difficulty moving and carrying him so we asked a male cousin to live with us until my dad is able to walk.

We realized that it was quite difficult not to have a man in the house.

The guy at the right is my cousin

It is now more than 3 months since the stroke happened. My dad is recovering well and he is able to walk with a quad cane, but the physical therapist still visits him at home for the sessions. My mom and I are slowly adjusting to the changes: we had to split errands and I have to take over the chore of driving around and fetching my kid to school.

Dad learning how to walk - assisted by the physical therapist

Because of that, I cannot stay long periods at home – I have to try working at coffee shops, malls and anywhere where I could get good internet connection with either WIFI or USB broadband.

We are all optimistic that he will recover.

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Here’s a helpful video on how to spot signs of stroke.

About Gem

Gem is a Baguio-based blogger, an electronics engineer by profession but enjoys working at home full time as both a freelance web designer and blogger.

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