The early days
The first three months following the stroke were spent in hospital. I worked my way from the Intensive Care Unit to the High Dependency Unit, and from there to the main ward. I felt dire during my time in Intensive Care. I still had terrible tinnitus, and this nearly drove me mad. Actually, it was not so much ringing in my ears as hissing or whooshing – it got louder and softer, reminiscent of breakers crashing onto rocks. But it bore no resemblance to the gentle lapping of waves against the shore, a sound so often associated with relaxation. This relentless noise intruded on every waking moment. I couldn’t escape.