Show Notes –
Isobel had an aneurysm and a massive stroke two and a half years ago and was critical for weeks and was not expected to survive.
Due to a medical blunder by the receiving Doctor in the emergency ward it took 18 hours to get into surgery.
Waited 6 hours in the emergency department waiting room as the doctor believed she had a migraine. Got a paramedic friend to help her. Finally got a CT Scan – and saw that there was massive bleeding on the brain. Then went to Wellington Hospital for the surgery. Had a stent put into her brain to drain the blood. Also put a coil into the brain to stop the bleeding. Spent the next month in and out of ICU fighting for her life. Having brain spasms and losing consciousness.
Spent three months in hospital in total. One month in Wellington and two months in New Plymouth.
After pushing from Lisa she was tested and diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea and put on oxygen. Lisa started studying hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Isobel finds it astounding to hear the whole story as she was unconscious and unaware of a lot of it.
She had no memory, she couldn’t speak, she couldn’t control any functions in her body.
Her first memory was inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Took her down to 1 ½ atmospheres which is ideal for brain injury. Given 100% medical grade oxygen which hyper oxygenates the body. You can take up to 7 time the normal amount of oxygen. Also permeates the blood brain barrier faster.
Isobel said that it is isn’t painful but you do have to be very patient. She is able to take her iPad in with her and she listens to podcasts.
Life is now back to complete normal most of the time. But there are still some areas where she struggles. She can do everything but it takes twice of long and there is a lot of effort required.
She can walk slowly for a 1 km now. She has had to relearn all the normal movement patterns.
Because of her age doctors were not confident she would be able to be fully rehabilitated.
One of the keys to that process of having parallel bars. They were gifted to them by a family friend. Spend a good hour on the bars per day.
Her biggest success to date is that she got her drivers licence back. Lisa felt it was important that Isobel could feel in control of own destine which driving would give her. Still working towards full independence but definitely working towards that. Her goal is to be healthier than she was before.
Goes to the gym five days a week. Lifting weights. You lose muscle mass and bone density because of the lack of movement at first. She has just had a bone density test and she is off the scales high.
It is important when you are older to face challenges. Isobel says she needed someone to help to push her. She had to be relentless in her training because that is the only way back. When you let things go it is a long way back. To take away the goals and achievements it to die. We need to feel like we are going forward. Let’s make the most out of every day. It is the discipline of today that helps us to be stronger tomorrow.
Rest and recovery is important too but in a rhythm with working out.
Never give up. You don’t know how far you can go.
A few months into her recovery she crewed with Lisa when she ran across the North Island with her husband and business partner to raise money for a friend’s charity. That friend, who has previously appeared on the podcast, died in an accident during a half marathon.
Lisa has written a book about her Mum’s recovery. - Relentless How a mother an daughter defied the odds
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