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A little bit more about the stroke…

It’s coming up to six months since I had a strange argument with my right side that turned out to be a stroke – a haemorrhagic stroke, not ischaemic.

Things I really like about the stroke: I have got my weight and waist measurement down to what they have always wanted to be. This has been effortless because I no longer feel hunger the way I used to – as a constantly nagging child tweaking my skirts and wanting me to eat more. In fact, thanks to the weird thing that happened to my tastebuds (see below), I find it very difficult to decide what to eat. So I am now a normal size for my height and I love the fact that I can see my collarbones and cross my legs comfortably. Today I ran (very slowly) for 15 minutes and feel fine, no pains in my knees either.
This is such a big thing that I actually think having a stroke was worth it for the result of being a normal size. I’m a little paranoid about getting fat again but I don’t think I will because I normally feel full before I finish more than half of a portion.
I’m sorry if this sounds smug – but I AM smug.
Things I don’t like very much: my right arm and leg feel peculiar most of the time, both burning hot and freezing cold. Sometimes my right hand goes funny and shakes or clenches itself into a strange shape and I have to shake it out. My right leg drags a little if I don’t pay attention when I walk – but not when I run.
My tastebuds seem to have gone bonkers. Everything tastes too salty and anything sweet tastes ok for thirty seconds and then goes horribly bitter. I ate some chocolate raisins earlier – I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from three hours ago. I don’t like this at all and can’t taste if the food I cook is good. I can smell it though!
I still seem to need ridiculous amounts of sleep – though not the 12-14 hours a day I needed immediately afterwards. Nine hours is now about what I need – but I resent the waste of time.
I realise I’ve been very lucky and I hope the things I don’t like will go away eventually. Just so long as I stay the size and shape I’ve always, since I was 13, felt myself to be – despite being actually many pounds heavier. I even like the shape of my face now. I used to think it was round, now I realise it’s actually quite square, which is fine.
It’s both odd and lovely to look in the mirror and see there the body I always felt I really was, under the fat.


  1. I am just finishing reading all your wonderful Robert Carey books on my Kindle and began to read your blog. I’m fascinated. My husband and his family left Hungary when he was 11 after the Hungarian Revolution and when we first married he took a job in Germany (we were from the US) so we could travel to Budapest where he had many relatives. Then when he was a professor we had several sabbatical years there when we put our kids in the local schools and I began to know more and more Hungarian.
    We were there many times in the early ’70s, in ’84, ’92, ’98 and 2005. I love Budapest and am fascinated to read that your mother was Hungarian and you are there now. I hope you have a wonderful time when you son is there! I’m telling all my friends about your books. Keep writing!

    1. patricia says:

      Fascinating story – my mother’s oldest friend from her nursery school was a student organiser in 1956 and also left Hungary then. My mother left earlier, in 1947 and didn’t go back for 50 years. I’m trying to learn Hungarian at the moment because she didn’t teach it to me (I don’t know why). I did have a wonderful time while my son was over here – he’s going to Madrid next. I’m really trying to crack Hungarian now despite speaking English all day when I’m teaching. I’m now trying to get the Carey books published in Hungarian so my friends here can read them.

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