Getting all crafty with the Stroke Association...

There's never a good time to have a stroke. But for me, an ordinary 18 year old, having a Stroke in July, three weeks before Results Day, meant that I had to decide to defer University for a year to get myself fully recovered. Once I'd decided, I thought I'd cope fine when all my friends left knowing that it would be my turn next year. My final year at college went by so quickly, I thought this year was going to pass at the same pace. But I soon realised that it really wasn't.

Before the stroke I used to be really sociable and I tried to still get out and about once I left the hospital. But once my friends went to Uni, I figured that I couldn't get out and about so much, not because I didn't want to but because there was no-one to do anything with. Only a couple of friends hadn't gone and they had their own lives, I guess I didn't want to be a burden asking them to do stuff with me all the time.

I'd been in touch with the Stroke Association since before I left hospital. Once I'd got home the lovely Diane (a Stroke Association volunteer) came to see me and made me realise that there was loads I could get up to once I was ready, that didn't mean I had to be so dependent on my friends and family.

I'd got used to the fact that most people who had strokes were elderly, or at least a lot older than me. Everytime I ever told anyone I had had a stroke I got the same answer....'oh but you're so young'. Those words have become the soundtrack to my life!

I decided to join the Art and Crafts group that's run by the Stroke Association in my local area.

I've been going every week for a month now and I really enjoy it. It's only two hours at a time but its the perfect amount of time for me to enjoy it all without getting tired (for those who don't know much about strokes, being tired is one of the biggest problems...I think of it as my brain has to take the diversion route everytime it wants to do anything, which is always longer and more tiring).
It's great to sit and do something crafty at the same time as spending time with people in the same situation as me just chatting about life. The volunteers are all great - Diane, Ingrid, Sally, Sheena, Helen, Katie and Jamie (think I've got them all?!). It's also a chance to have a cuppa with some cake! I'd go just for the cake its that good!

I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've been getting up to. As I said I've only gone four times so haven't got that much done, but thinking of taking some of the crafts up as a bit of a hobby as I think they'll made great Christmas presents.

These are some decopatch Christmas tree decorations

A decopatch Giraffe and Box - this craft is seriously addictive!

It's taken me hours to colour this is in. Took me back to my childhood
Just colouring a pattern in is actually quite fun - I sound very boring!

A few weeks ago I really struggled to do things with my left hand, and even thought it's improving all the time, the art group is great therapy without it feeling like therapy and great fun as well. It's getting me back out, meeting new people, and really improving my confidence.

I know there's a lot of Halloween and Christmas things planned over the next few weeks so I might blog about them - if what I get done turns out to be any good!

Hope you've enjoyed this blog post.

Hannah x

P.S This is the first post I've done that is basically entirely stroke related. It's not meant to be a really sad post or something to get sympathy it's just about my life at the moment - I've actually really enjoyed writing it, so I hope you've enjoyed reading it! :)


  1. Hope your beautiful giraffe has settled well into her new home ;)