I Had a Stroke

I Had a Stroke

It was a terrible morning. Get in the shower. Get dressed and fix breakfast.

The water was hot and steamy, too hot. Adding the cold water didn’t make my body feel any better. Maybe, if I lean on the shower wall, it will all go away. Where is the soap? The washrag fell out of my hand and landed by my foot. I am not sure which foot. The wall feels good. It is cool on my face. Oh well, I’ll take a shower without the soap. My, I almost fell when I reached for the washrag. Better be careful

My clothes were in the closet. I put them on and still didn’t feel any better. Maybe after breakfast I will feel better. The steps were clumsy and I almost fell. I will hold onto the railing and the wall at the same time. My hand is numb. I must have slept on it wrong.

I have to fix my husbands lunch. Where is the bread? I will put the bread in the toaster for breakfast first. Where is the bread? Here are the hot dog buns; I will put a hot dog bun in the toaster. It is bread, isn’t it? Darn, the buns won’t come out of the toaster. Where is the fork, I will dig it out.

“Honey! What are you doing? You are going to get shocked!” My husband was concerned. He unplugged the toaster. What are you doing? I tried to tell him I couldn’t find the bread, but the words didn’t come out of my mouth. I said something, but I am not sure what it was. He didn’t know what I said either.

“Go sit down, I will fix the toast.”

The mortgage was due and yesterday was payday. I had written the check out last night but needed to address the envelope and send it in today’s mail. I couldn’t write my name but wrote some scribbles. I got another envelope, concentrated very hard and wrote the first letter of my name. Then I scribbled. I concentrated hard again and wrote my first name on a new envelope. Next was the first letter of my last name. I scribbled again.

“What are you doing Sweety?” My husband brought in the coffee and toast. I tried to tell him about the envelope. No words came out of my mouth. My mouth came open, but nothing came out.

“Look at me. Your face looks funny. Your lip is drooping.” Still no words came out, so I handed him the envelope and pointed to the return address. He saw the other envelopes and took the envelope and addressed it for me. “We better call the doctor, something is wrong.”

I shook my head no. Not feeling good, I can’t speak and can’t write, and I am still stubborn. He cajoled me and I finally decided I couldn’t go to work and answer the phone if I can’t talk. He called the doctor and was told to go to the Emergency Room.

I walked to the car with my husband, not saying a word. Upon arrival to the Emergency room, I was placed in a wheel chair and taken back. After blood tests and examination, the doctor ordered a head x-ray and MRI. Later, the doctor stated that I had suffered a cerebral vascular accident, otherwise known as a stroke. The stroke was caused by a blood clot. My thoughts were not as clear as they should have been, but at that point I felt better having a diagnosis. Now, I would have a good excuse for missing work.

More tests were taken but I was so tired. Just let me sleep. Go away and leave me alone. Why do you keep asking questions, I can’t tell you anything?

I was placed in a room. My husband called the kids and my brothers and sister to let them know what was wrong. My brother, he should have known better, wanted to talk to me. I fooled him I didn’t talk. He will forgive me. My daughter called and wanted to talk. Yea! I said a word to her. I said “No.” I was so happy. I laughed. My hand is still numb. It must have been from the stroke. Let me sleep. I am so tired. I can say a few more words, but no one understands what I am talking about. I know what I mean. Why don’t they understand? I am going to sleep. No one bothers me while I am asleep.

Speech therapists have come and are teaching me new words. They talk to me as if I make sense. I like them, because they don’t make feel dumb. I talk to them, and they have that understanding, kind look in their eyes. My daughter was here today and she cried when the speech therapist left. I don’t know why she cried. No one understands me like the speech therapist.

No work for a few months the doctor said. Just go home and we will send you to the speech therapist. I am saying things a little better. My other daughter who works in the medical field corrects me when I say the wrong word or sentence or whatever.

My two brothers and their wives and my husband took me home from the hospital. I told them I would fix lunch for everyone. I was so happy to get home. But I can’t find the silverware. Where is the food? Where are the glasses? I can’t find anything.

“I am going to bed, I am tired.” So my family fixed lunch for themselves. I will wait until everyone is gone and find where the stuff is in my house. My husband will help me. I didn’t know my memory was gone too.

Time has gone by, my speech is back, I know where everything is, and my hand feels fine. I still have a hard time thinking of words occasionally, but people think that is my old age. And I let them think they are right.

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