I woke up in unchartered skies
It was May 26th, and I blacked out. I woke up on May 27th, wondering where I was. What I recall at the time was myself on the wooden lawn chair and not being able to answer my husband. I was in a cringe and could not move or talk. Finally, the ambulance arrived, and I blacked out. I tried hard to say something, but the words did not come.
On May 27th, I looked around saw a force of elitists. I asked one of them what happened, and she said, “You are here because you had a stroke. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t talk.” I realized that I sounded like a baby babbling. Can you imagine how I felt? Maybe like a three month- old baby?
The challenge of speaking was too much to bear. I was 54 and had a very robust way of speaking and writing. It came to me all at once. I am starting new again, like a baby. I was crushed and felt a deep pain cut into me. There was a lot that I did not understand about what had happened to me, but I knew I was not myself. But I was determined.
Before my stroke, I remember being very cranky and not feeling a part of my family. I remember going to the urgent care center and having them send me to the hospital to get some signs of what seemed to be provoking it. But, they had no answers. At that point, I learned that I had COPD stage one, but that did not explain how I felt and the other annoyances I was experiencing.
I also said to my husband, to whom I’ve been married for 20 years, “Do you even like me?”. My question crushed him, but he did not want to let me know how it hurt him and add to what I was experiencing.
I stayed in the hospital for a total of 10 days. It did seem like a very long time. During that time, I was in a series of therapies. They included Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech therapy. It was just like starting over and learning the fundamental steps of speaking and communicating. I was devestated and discouraged, but none of this was going to stop me. I had it in my mind that I would tackle each and every one of these therapies with vigor.
Upon being discharged, I came home, and it was not the warm welcome I had in mind. My nephew was there and ended up staying for months. Having him with us was very helpful, but it changed the family dynamic. My daughter, who was scared that I would not make it home…