A story of denial, consequences and a wake-up call

Imagine a typical morning drive to a meeting in Padua, Italy. That’s where it all started for me, just another day, or so I thought. But a strange feeling in my car’s steering wheel set off a chain of events I never saw coming. I wasn’t feeling great that morning, but I brushed it off as just a bit of flu. Even when I started feeling dizzy and my leg went numb, I kept telling myself it was nothing serious. It wasn’t until I struggled to speak during a meeting that I realised something was seriously wrong.

I let someone else drive me to my next meeting. I got home and had dinner. I was feeling worse by the minute. Despite my wife’s pleas, I refused to go to the hospital. I was convinced I could tough it out, even though deep down, I was scared that I had had a stroke. You see, my sister-in-law had a stroke a year earlier, so I knew the symptoms

I said to myself ‘I’m living a very healthy life anyway, I do sport, I haven’t smoked for years, so I certainly don’t have any problems’, but I understood, even if I didn’t want to admit it, that something ‘big’ had happened. I had stopped taking all the pills my doctor had prescribed a while ago, statins, aspirin and blood pressure pills and I had a very busy job that regularly kept me away from home, eating in restaurants.

The next day, things only got worse. Finally, I gave in and went to the hospital. That’s when everything changed. Turns out, I’d tried to ignore my stroke, thinking I was both Rambo (I was angry, but this was not going to get me) and Peter Pan (I am not even fifty – I am too young for this). From that moment on, life changed, not only for me, but also for my family.

My message to you – one thing is certain; you know when something very bad is happening to you. Recognise it, know it! You don’t have to pretend you don’t notice or that you are superior. If you don’t have time to stop for a check, fate will stop you. Ignoring warning signs and thinking you are too young or too invincible only leads to trouble. Listen to your body and take care of yourself!

By Claudio Mari