“Now, you’re going to have to dig deep, relive some of your most painful memories”, the psychiatrist said as she handed me a sheet of paper. She had given some ‘homework’ throughout my compulsory psychology sessions.
Her hands sat lightly in her lap, everything about her pose denoted grace (fitting, given her name – Grace). She had a calm and unaffected position as reflected by her gentle eyes as she looked at me. “This is a safe space, Camille,” she said. “Ok, I’ll do it”, I said. That was months ago, and now as I sit on my laptop to do my ‘homework’ that has now evolved into this book. I hope you can learn something along my journey. Whether it’s for yourself, or a loved one, know that you too are not alone…
Hi, my name’s Camille. I’m now 30 and last year I had a bilateral pontine stroke when I was 27 (a few months before I turned 28) and another few at 30 (last month actually). Yep, you read that right. People of all ages can get a stroke. It just happened to me at this age. I am the definition of a young stroke survivor. But that’s not the only thing ‘interesting’ about my story you’ll soon find out.
When I was younger, I like to think that I would’ve loved to have a book like this. When you grow up with a chronic illness (a rare autoimmune disease to be a little specific) called Polyarteritis Nodosa, can make you feel very lonely, and misunderstood – and you have puberty to worry about on top of that. This is my memoir and I hope it will inspire you to live your best life now. There are a lot of stories and tips packed-in here and if you are a patient or a carer, some may say ‘learn from my lessons’ (I won’t say mistakes, as every decision I made helped me to learn something new).
Will you be a reader?
Personally, I find the best stories are the ones that make you think; question who you are; change you for the better; and, encourage you to improve on the experience of others before you. So that’s my highly ambitious expectation of the book that I hope that you will get to hold in your hands and even better, take into your heart…
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