Episode 1: Saran Chamberlain

10 April 2022 (Duration: 37:24)

Host: Paul Burns

In the first episode, Paul talks with Saran Chamberlain, who has worn many different hats in her life and has always said “never say no” to taking something on. Her Stroke may have changed her course but certainly hasn’t stopped her. 

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Transcript

Announcer: This podcast was created and is hosted by a young survivor of stroke. This podcast series is part of Stroke Foundation’s Young Stroke Project. Find out more by visiting youngstrokeproject.org.au.

Paul: I won’t lie to you; I’ve been cacking myself about this for pretty much a day solid.

Saran: Oh, don’t do that.

Paul: Hi there. My name’s Paul Burns. I’m a young stroke survivor, and I am on a mission to talk to people that have suffered strokes and other traumas and have gone on to absolutely smash it in their chosen field. We’ll chat about how they approach life, manage their shortcomings and get a few tips and tricks along the way. My guest today is Saran Chamberlain.

Prior to her injury, Saran was an ambitious professional who could succeed at pretty much anything she turned a hand to in the corporate world and, at the same time, a mum of young children. Now she’s a champion for stroke survivors and is heavily involved with Stroke Foundation on the Young Stroke Project and Genyus group, just to name a couple.

So please enjoy this chat that I had with Saran.

Paul: Thank you very much for volunteering to be a part of this first podcast ever and being my guinea pig. I guess first, I really enjoyed when we had a bit of just an informal chat a couple of days ago when you started telling me a little bit about, you know, what you got up to prior to your injury.

So, I mean, can you tell us a little bit about your background, like when you started before you were injured?

Saran: Yeah. So, I’ve always just gone, ‘Yeah alright – I’ll give that a go,’ before the injury. And so, I was in admin for a long time and got bored, and then would do a bit of finance, a bit of marketing. But then I got into IT and then that just gave me the shits because it, just…you never finished anything. So I went back into admin, but then again got bored. Found myself in a very weird position, in a job that was…the company was trading insolvent. So left there fairly quickly. Applied for a whole lot of jobs and did a whole panic, like, ‘Oh my God, I’m not in a job.’ Which, you know, is so ridiculous because I was offered quite a few. But then there was a job that was just around the corner from home.

Paul: Ok.

Saran: He called, and he said, ‘Oh, you know, it’s a software company. Have you heard of a pallet?’ and I’m like, ‘Nope’. And he said, ‘Okay, it’s a pallet tracking software and there’s lots of money in it.’ ‘Okay, cool.’ So, I ended up working for him. I was just doing some finance, some part-time finance, and sorted that out fairly quickly. And was bored. And then kind of went, ‘Well, you know, how about I just give this support a go?’ because there’s only two people in the office, plus him – a salesperson and a support person.

Paul: So, you mean like technical support?

Saran: Yeah, technical support. Well, technical support in that it was a pallet tracking software, so they would ring up and say, ‘Look, I’m trying to reconcile this bill. But I’ve lost the…’ And at the time it was database background. It’s now SQL. Finally!

Paul: Okay, yeah.

Saran: It’s taken a lot of years. And so, I just sort of learnt it with talking to customers and kind of going, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what they’re talking about either.’ And so, in some ways by me admitting where I was actually at, people were a lot more accommodating, and kind of go, ‘Oh, well there’s this.’ And so, I’ve learnt by being humble, I think, which is really weird. When I used to temp, people used to say, ‘Have you seen this software before?’ and I’d wait for a beat and go, ‘Yes’ because a second ago I had seen it.

Paul: Yeah, sure.

Saran: So, I’m like, ‘But how about you teach me the way that you want me to use it?’ People would always teach me, so that’s kind of how I got into everything.

Paul: It sounds like you came from a bit of a background of both being completely open and saying yes to whatever and being quite receptive, admitting that you don’t know something, being receptive, being taught. But then you talked, when we last chatted, about the person that employed you. It basically just gave you a start without you having the background, that typically that you would. What do you think it was that you were offering to this guy that didn’t know you from Adam that he must have thought, ‘I’m giving this lady a crack because she’s obviously got something’?

Saran: Yes. They knew that I was overqualified.

Paul: Yeah.

Saran: And it was it was a fairly open conversation from the very start where he was like, ‘Oh, can you come in for an interview?’ ‘Oh, no. You said I was part time.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I’ve just actually started doing a bit for my partner, so what days do you want?’ ‘Monday, Wednesday, Friday.’ And I went, ‘Okay, well, I can only do Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.’ And he went, ‘Okay.’ And then he said, ‘Can you come in for an interview?’ And I said, ‘Yep, what time?’ ‘9:00.’ I said, ‘Actually, I’ve got aerobics until 9:30, so can I come in after that?’ And he kind of went, ‘Okay.’ Because for me, it was kind of like, well, I’ve got nothing to lose.

Paul: Yeah, sure.

Saran: So, and then I said, ‘You know, can I just come straight in from the gym, so it’s just easy?’ And he went, ‘Yeah, okay.’ So, I rocked up in my gym gear and this girl walks out in a suit who’d just had her interview and then I just went in, and we just got along. He’s such a nice guy and he’s smart, he’s stupid smart, like out of this world smart. And we just got along, so as we grew, as we got to know each other, he trusted me with more things. Then ended up letting me run the business. He was still the CEO, and he was the brains behind it, and he had the passion and knew everything – knew the pallet, knew the transport industry. He did the software, and I basically just did everything else around it. We built it up from 15-odd people from one country to worldwide. So, it was really cool.

Paul: So, it sounds like you went from an admin role to an IT support role, to a business operations role, all by just saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll have a crack and we’ll see what happens’ and then listening to people. I mean, that’s amazing. You don’t hear too many stories like that anymore of just going in, having a crack and then seeing what happens by being open, you know?

Saran: Yeah. And I don’t have a degree at all, so it was more so like he just had the trust in me. I was lucky in that I don’t work for people – I never worked for people – who didn’t appreciate their staff. There was a big thing in, I think from fairly very early on, I wouldn’t work for people that weren’t nice.

Paul: Yeah, sure. Now, I remember you saying…I know you’ve got some, some kids. Were you a parent at this point or…?

Saran: I was. When I first started to do IT, I had two kids. Katherine was about two at the time; Hayden was four. And then I had Emma; I was pregnant with Emma at work. My pelvis was out, so – and again, I just lived up the road – they would come to my house for meetings on my bed, because I couldn’t actually move. Then when I had Emma, I actually went back in full-time, and we actually just set up the office. There were still only three of us, but there were different kinds of people. I would bring Emma in and there was a couch next to me, so I’d lay her on there or on table while she was still not moving much. And if she started crying and I was on the phone, Andrew or Glenn would grab her and just chuck her over their lap and. Yeah, it was great.

Paul: But it sounds like that even prior to your injury and the New World, you were pretty used to having a fairly full dance card.

Saran: It was ridiculous. You know, I still went to the gym three, four times a week, which included during work time, and we went out a lot. But also, I had the kids and at school and we had all these other things. You just you just do, do you don’t know what I mean? You just add on more and more things, and you don’t think about it, because…

Paul: But it sounds like you love the challenge, yeah?

Saran: Oh, yeah.

Paul: Yeah. So, right. I guess fast forward to several years later and in your late thirties. I’m being very careful about mentioning your age, Saran, because I know you know where I live. You obviously you had a stroke. Can you tell me just a little bit about some of the injuries, the permanent injuries that you that you sustained as a part of that?

Saran: Yeah, so I lost my complete left side. I had complete paralysis and sensation on my left, so if you cut a line down the middle of my body and you go to my and go from there to my left, that was all that was numb. Inside and out. I still have lack of sensation now, but I’m at least sort of moving. I can walk – I can’t walk very fast – but the main damage done was in my sensory pre-motor and motor cortex of my hand and fingers, so I can sort of move my arm, but without a hand, it doesn’t really do much. So, yeah, they were the physical deficits.

Paul: Did you suffer any, what we call invisible injuries?

Saran: Oh, yes.

Paul: Yeah?

Saran: Yeah. There was the fatigue and that was massive. It was just huge. Sensory overload. There was a massive amount of depression, and it was as though, with the injury, all the walls were broken down around my brain, so the emotions were extravagant. It was just full on. I was either really happy, or really sad, or really angry. And to this day, I still can’t lie. I joke that Emma hasn’t got a certain present or whatever and she knows that [I can’t lie]. She knows that if she says, ‘Have you bought me so and so?’ and I say no, and I have, it’s a dead giveaway away.

Paul: So, no more poker.

Saran: There is no more poker; there is no filter whatsoever…

Paul: I must admit, it’s always made for some very interesting conversations between us. You don’t have a lot of filter. I don’t have a lot of filter. It’s a good time.

Saran: Yeah.

Paul: A lot of those injuries that…we talked about the physical stuff. The invisible side of things – does a lot of that persist until this day?

Saran: It does. I remember, and it was probably a couple of years, three or four years later, I went to a pain specialist, and I said to him, ‘This fatigue,’ and he went, ‘Yes, you have fatigue.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I know, but it’s getting better, so when will I get rid of it?’ And he said, ‘No, you have fatigue’ and he said, ‘You will have it for the rest of your life and if you don’t start working out how to balance it, when you start reaching older age, then you’re going to have problems.’ Right?

Paul: Right.

Saran: It was as though I’d been whacked with a stroke again. It was something that I didn’t realise was going to be with me. Like, that’s it. I now say fatigue is my little friend that walks along with me all the time. And as long as I don’t annoy it, it doesn’t annoy me. We sort of just walk hand in hand and hopefully the fatigue sort of stays quieter than usual.

Paul: That’s a tough pill to swallow for a person who, prior to injury, was used to absolutely getting after it and doing 4 million things a day and then saying, ‘Yep, sure, what’s next?’ I mean – you sort of alluded to it – but that must have been one of the things that really knocked you around.

Saran: It was, mainly because I don’t have any cognitive issues. Mine is literally all physical, except for the unseen, which is the fatigue and that kind of thing. So, my brain still works exactly the same, in that I could do my work. But if I learn something new, or if I’m sitting in meetings, or doing multiple things – it’s not as bad now, nine years post – I know that generally, if I’m doing certain things or doing newer things, I have to rest. And it’s not it’s not a sleep, I keep saying, I sort of lay there and I know I’m awake, but I also know I’m not conscious. And then my alarm goes off and I kind of think, ‘Oh, great, I still feel like crap’, but then I’m fine. I’m refreshed. I know that it does do something, but it has been a really hard pill to swallow.

And it has helped knowing that – speaking to other people like you – that we all sort of have it. It’s not like, ‘Oh my God, my body and brain are just so completely buggered that I’ve got this.’ It’s kind of like we all have it, and we just have to live with it, which is annoying. But it’s a bit like depression, you know. I don’t fight that because then I don’t come out tireder at the end; I just go with it and then ideally come out with a fresher view.

Paul: Yeah.

Saran: When I can pop my head out.

Paul: Did your medical advisers give you a heads up that depression might be a part of the package deal? Or did you find out about that the hard way?

Saran: My neuro, when I went to him at one stage, said, ‘So there’s when you have a stroke, part of the brain that’s damaged gives you depression.’ And I said, ‘So, hang on. You have depression because you have a stroke, and you have depression because you have a stroke.’ Great. Excellent. And I already had depression. I already had depression before the stroke. So, it’s just like, ‘Right, okay.’ But I was lucky that I had my psychologist in before, and I kept seeing her afterwards as well.

Paul: Yeah, it’s always something that I’ve wondered, is that the tail wagging the dog? People say, ‘Oh, well, you know, you’ve had depression because you’ve had a stroke and your brain chemistry is blah, blah, blah.’ And I’m always kind of like, ‘Well, yeah, but I’ve just had a stroke and my life is now radically different.’ That’s going to make you depressed as hell regardless of someone stirring the pot of custard between the ears. And you still deal with those sorts of issues sort of now?

Saran: Each and every day. Yep.

Paul: How would you…I mean, how do you handle [it]? Is it really a case of, you just have to plan ahead with managing your fatigue and that kind of stuff?

Saran: Yeah, I’m aware of what tires me out. So, I had a speech that I had to do on Thursday, and it was a big one. I’ve known from previous speeches how much I needed that rest in preparation, and not just the preparation but in thinking about it, putting it down on paper, editing it, and then actually practicing it and actually doing it. So, it’s not just like, ‘Okay, I’ve got a speech coming up. Cool. It’s for an hour, so I’ll make sure that I’ve had enough sleep.’ It’s a whole lot of preparation. It’s a step-by-step process. To write a three-minute part, I had to sleep for 10 minutes or rest. So, I just try and smash it out and then ideally sleep and give myself an hour. And then come back a bit later and actually give myself space. So yeah, that real. I’m nearly nine years in January, so I think I’m fairly aware of what I can and can’t do. I still push the boundaries. I mean, we’re always going to do that.

Paul: Who doesn’t?

Saran: Yeah. And that’s that whole personality trait. But my priority is that I need to make sure that I’m still good to do my therapy as well as spending time with my family. I just keep that in front of mind so that I know that…okay, well, let’s just sort of be real here, and know what we can and can’t do.

Paul: Yeah. And I guess, I’ve had sort of similar experiences we chatted about in the past. And when we talk about managing our issues and managing our fatigue, and the energy, we’re managing our energy. But the mad thing is, and I don’t know if you find the same thing is, it takes energy to manage your energy.

Saran: I know. Yep.

Paul: Which is like, come on, man!

Saran: I know. And people don’t get it. It’s difficult for people who don’t have that lived experience to understand that it takes energy to use energy and to think about things, to consider, to do it, afterwards, all of that kind of stuff. And even emotions like stress – I was nervous so my whole body seized up. So, then I had pain. And then that sort of tired me out. Yeah, it’s just that whole… it’s just constant. It’s just making sure that you’re keeping everything in check.

Paul: So, so how do you – I don’t know if you have been able to, but – have you been able to explain to someone that doesn’t have the lived experience, what it’s like in ways that they understand? Or is it that’s a never-ending battle as well?

Saran: I mean, I do to probably close friends and family. You know, though, I was trying to explain to David how I move my wrist, for example. I need to move my wrist by moving my forearm and tricep and I can’t feel it on my left, so I have to work out how to do it on my right and then sort of try and mirror it. But I only know that I’m doing it correctly when my left side starts warming up. And, and if say, for example, my scapula is out of joint, I know that it’s out of joint because it hurts. But I only know when it’s back in there. So, it’s like a blind jigsaw puzzle, because I can’t see it or feel it, but I know when it’s back in. So that’s easier to explain, to say, ‘Okay, students.’ But it’s quite difficult to explain to family and friends.

Paul: But I guess even the physical stuff is, to a certain point, kind of demonstrable, right? I mean, people get, ‘I’ve got issues with left or right’, and they get the concepts, but getting this invisible component over it, which plays such a massive part. I mean, I found it extremely challenging. It’s one of the reasons why I’m starting to talk to people in this kind of forum. Because I’m like, ‘Give me your tips and tricks, man. Seriously.’ And sharing that with everybody!

So, would you say that early in your recovery, the doctors must have sat there…did they sit down and have a chat and set your expectations for what life was going to be like going forward?

Saran: No.

Paul: They didn’t?

Saran: No.

Paul: It was just, ‘Here it is. We treat you and we’ve released you into the wild. Have fun and work it out.’

Saran: Yeah, and I didn’t realise honestly until probably a couple of years ago that stroke is a brain injury. And, you know, there’s that part of my brain that’s dead and that the rest of my brain has to try and work that little bit harder, but also having to work around it, so it’s not like you can kind of remove that part. Not in my case anyway. It’s just constant. It’s there forever and it’s an injury. And so, the brain and the body are just constantly working harder all the time.

Paul: With all that, with all that mixed in and all of these things that you’re discovering having to work out, find out the hard way or with limited energy when you’re trying to manage this and make it up as you go along, you’ve got three kids.

Saran: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah. How did that go?

Saran: Look, they’re really good. My partner sort of taught them that they needed to look after me as well. And, you know, that was a hard pill to swallow in that, my kids shouldn’t be looking after me. But the way David has done it, is that it just is, you know? It’s just like how, in partnership, husband and wife do different things. As long as someone’s doing it, as long as the job’s being done, it doesn’t really matter who does it. That’s kind of what we’ve taken up as a family unit. And Emma, my youngest, was three at the time when I had the stroke. She’s now 12.

Paul: Yeah.

Saran: That’s all she knows so. They know that they have to make dinner on a night that Dave is not home. And generally, they have to dish it up and pass it to me and stuff like that. Yeah, it just sort of is. And so, it’s been…It’s probably been harder for me to deal with. Even my 19-year-old, who was ten, said, ‘I don’t remember.’ That’s good, do you know what I mean? I’m happier that they don’t remember it, because I know Emma gets really [upset] if I do crack it at her, which should be more often than it is. She reacts quite excessively, and I think it’s because she still has that trauma of me just completely losing it at her.

Paul: Yeah. So I guess, you’ve gone from this person that was really not saying no to anything – as we sort of say, more front than Myers, wander into a situation, put your hand up and go, ‘Yeah, I’ll have a go, come on,’ you know, really back yourself – to having these challenges on all fronts, not just physical, mental, family – the whole shooting match – everything that gets to you when you have an injury like this. I mean, I can only speak for myself in this, it must have knocked your confidence something terrible. I mean, did you find that as part of it?

Saran: It did. And again, I only really honestly reached this true realisation probably about a year ago. But I thought I’d reached it two years ago in that, I kept trying to work because that was my identity. And I kept failing. But I kept going and I kept going. And so seven years, I kept going. And then I actually found myself out of work and kind of went, ‘Oh, my God. Here I’ve been thinking that I’ve got a better life post stroke. I’m spending time with my family.’ And I wasn’t. I was spending time with them because I wasn’t going out, but I was asleep. They would either go out without me or I’d go with them, and then I’d go to sleep in the car and then get out and go and find them a bit later. And so, it whacked me in that, two years ago, I was suddenly like, ‘So what am I? Who am I? Where is my place in the family unit? Where’s my place in life?’ You know, that was hard. So I hit a pretty big low at that point.

I came out the other side, but I say that I was talking the talk, but I wasn’t walking the walk until about a year ago, when my right hand started playing up. I thought I was going to have to have an operation and therefore be out of action for six to eight weeks without hands. And luckily, it’s arthritis of sorts. But at that point, it was like another trauma, and it was like, ‘Hang on a minute, here are the things that I’ve learned from stroke. Don’t sweat the small stuff and look at what’s actually important.’ And I thought I did those things back then and then also a year ago. And then I thought, ‘Hang on a minute, let’s actually learn properly from this.’ And yes, now I honestly have gone, right, this is what I want to do, without needing to have to…so workwise, this is what I want to do without having to constantly fight and justify my place in the world. And this is what I want to do with my family and, and my therapy.

Paul: Okay. Which brings a great segway, I guess, into what life is like now. Both professionally, family and that kind of stuff. We’ve known each other for a little while. I know you have many fingers in many different pies, and obviously advocacy is a massive part of something you feel a real drive about. Can you talk a little bit about what you’ve got going on at the moment?

Saran: Yep. So, I think I worked out that I had to fight hard for working out exactly what I wanted with my therapy, with the therapists themselves. And I met a few other people who didn’t have that voice, who didn’t either, have the confidence or have the actual ability, cognitively, and that kind of thing.

I was already involved with the Stroke Foundation in the Consumer Council, and then they brought on the Young Stroke Project. And so, I was involved in the Lived Experience Working Group on a voluntary role, and then they wanted an actual project coordinator. I’ve always been really passionate about Young Stroke anyway, so I found myself honestly not having an agenda, but actually wanting to speak to other people and to actually show those voices in the project and really show that, when I spoke, it was based on all the other people that I’ve spoken with, whether or not it be part of the project or part of the Genyus Network and that kind of thing. And I suppose I got involved in that and then kind of fell into a support coordination role with people who’ve been fighting NDIS from a stroke perspective. And again, because I’d done that and then also being in South Australia, being asked to be part of research and that kind of thing as a lived experience.

Paul: So, with Consumer Council involvement, Young Stroke Project, Lived Experience Working Group, being employed by Stroke Foundation, involvement in Genyus, all of these things combined with the fatigue, the physical issues, the demands that family have on us all and our reduced capacity to deal with that due to our injury. All of this stuff going on. I mean, nobody would blame anybody with all of that going on just going, ‘I just need to put my feet up for a bit.’ How do you maintain the rage, Saran? How do you actually – I mean, I know how to debilitating fatigue can be – how do you do it? How do you stay so fired up to be involved?

Saran: Because, for example, I’m not doing processes, procedures where I have to justify my place. I’ve had a stroke. I have that lived experience. I’m involved in engagement in the project. I’m doing the stuff that I want to do.

Paul: Find value in.

Saran: Yeah. And people find value in me that way. So, I don’t feel as though I have to keep on sort of going, ‘Oh, you know, here I’ve done this and I’ve done this,’ to try and actually go, ‘Look this is, this is why I’m here.’ It’s just very much, I know that I’m a good advocate. I know that I speak for people. I know that when I do bits and pieces with support, coordination will be part of the Consumer Council. I’m showing up, I’m putting everything in. But everything in a stroke capacity, in the stroke survivor capacity. I don’t have to try and work 40 hours a week doing that. I find it funny because a lot of my Stroke Project is talking to people like you, having a chat, you’re seeing how everyone is, getting them involved in the Project. It’s very…it’s not a tick-the-box kind of thing. It’s not smashing out reports. It’s not doing anything like that. So, it’s just a…

Paul: Yes, sure. But I guess, I mean, there’s obviously, you know, irrespective of any financial stuff that’s going on, but there’s probably parts of those engagements and involvements that, you know, you don’t have to do that you choose to do.

Saran: Yeah.

Paul: Again, you must have a very, very strong ‘why’ in order to get you over those challenges that you’re suffering yourself, to get you fully into those sorts of things. Is that what keeps you engaged? It’s that big ‘why’. Is that why you do what you do?

Saran: It is, and I can actually go, ‘You know, I’m just going to shelve that for a minute, because I know that this is…’ I tried at one stage. I thought I could do this, this, this and this and you can’t. First of all, I can’t physically; I can’t mentally. But also, to raise awareness, isn’t a two-day job. Do you know what I mean? It’s not. This is a long-term kind of project.

Paul: Yes. It’s a slow burner.

Saran: Yeah. And, and for me, I think that’s been the biggest thing, to actually go, ‘Okay, hang on a minute.’ This isn’t a ‘right, smashed that out and then go to the next one.’ This is a ‘I need to work on this.’ It’s a slow kind of raising awareness, speaking to this person, networking with this person.

Paul: When you’re having those moments like we all do, irrespective of injury and you’ve got these things that are literally…you choose to do them or you choose not to do them, but you’re having a bad day. You know, you’re a basket case. Your fatigue is off the charts because, A, B and C, so what gets you up, what gets you out of your chair and doing it? Do you feel that empty or do you just go, ‘You know what, I’ll call time on that? I’ll come back to it later. But as long as I keep the ball, the can been kicked down the road, that’s enough.’ Is that how you manage it?

Saran: I think the biggest thing is that we have expectations of ourselves, and we keep striving for more and more. And, really, that’s ridiculous. Who’s actually doing that? We’re doing it to ourselves. And so, it doesn’t matter if I don’t do this today; it doesn’t matter. We make sure that there’s bits and pieces that need to be done, but it’s not life or death. And I know that if, if I don’t have the energy to do it, I’ll do it crappy and then I’ll feel even crappier, and then I’ll feel crappy that I feel crappy. Whereas I can just go, ‘You know what? No. It’s going to sit there. I’m going to rest and I’m going and it’s okay. It’s okay to do it because it’ll be there. It’ll always be there. And when I get back to it, I’ll have the energy and the real want to do it.’

Paul: Yeah. Okay. So, knowing what you know now about your experience, where you started, what happened, where you’ve got to now – particularly in that area of recovery, or even getting back into finding out what makes you tick and where you want to play in the world – knowing what you know now, what would you do differently, if anything?

Saran: Well. Oh no, God, there’s so much! I certainly think I would have reached out to someone earlier. I was so isolated, and I didn’t realise how sad and alone I was. And you know, speaking to other people with lived experience, being involved with the Genyus Network is cathartic. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, I’m okay. I’m not a complete, absolute, lost case.’ And I think, I didn’t have a great identity of myself beforehand, before the stroke. And then after the stroke, my own identity in general was always trying to seek approval and trying to do my work because that’s what I’ve succeeded in. If someone had sort of said, ‘You really can’t do this; come on now, let’s actually look at it.’ – and again, that speaking to somebody else with a bit of experience beyond my one day, one year kind of thing – if someone could have done that, I think I would have certainly not taken seven or eight years to get where I am today. But then, you know, part of me thinks if I hadn’t gone through all the crap, then I wouldn’t be where I was today as well.

Paul: Yeah.

Saran: But just actually going, ‘It’s okay. It’s okay.’ That’s the biggest thing, I think.

Paul: Okay, Saran, thank you so much for your time. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people that appreciate your insights. It’s something you certainly don’t hear a lot about, so thanks so much for chatting to me on this first podcast.

Saran: No worries. It’s a pleasure. Thank you.

Paul: Cool.

Announcer: This episode is part of the Young Stroke Podcast Series, created by Stroke Foundation’s Young Stroke Project. Find out more by visiting youngstrokeproject.org.au. You can listen to dozens of other podcasts on our Stroke Recovery website, enableme.org.au. StrokeLine’s allied health professionals can help you manage your health and live well.

StrokeLine is a practical, free and confidential service. Call 1800 787 653, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time or email strokeline@strokefoundation.org.au. The advice given here is general in nature. Discuss your situation and needs with your health care professionals. The Young Stroke Podcast Series is presented by Australia’s Stroke Foundation and funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.