On November 14th 2008 I woke up as I did every other morning. Early. I am an early riser. That is if you consider 5:30 to 6:00 a.m. early. I have always woke early to have a bit of time and coffee for myself before I cook breakfast for my children. I have done this for the past 32 years.
Something that I am still doing today only now I do allow myself an occasional Pop Tart morning, something that always went against my grain. But there comes a time when the energy just isn't always available.
I had not been feeling well for several weeks before this particular morning. But it wasn't anything that I could pin point. I didn't want to go to the doctor only to say "I don't feel like myself". Thinking back on this now, I should have.
On this morning I woke with my arm feeling tingly. I went to bed the night before with it feeling tingly too but just thought that my carpel tunnel was acting up again. The more I do, the worse it gets.
I was cooking some bacon for my daughter Kate. She was 13 at the time. She was still asleep. I picked up the tongs to turn the bacon over and I aimed towards the pan. But my arm didn't go where I wanted it to go. It started to do a sort of circular motion and I couldn't get it to the pan. I did manage to put down the tongs and pick up my phone with my left hand to call my husband who was in some other state at the time. I knew that I would be waking him and felt horrible about it but I was scared. I don't get scared easily.
When I got him on the phone and told him what was going on he very FIRMLY told me to go to the hospital now! I remember saying to him, "Don't you think I should wait for the doctors office to open and call the doctor?". I hate going to the hospital but my husband insisted that I go. I woke Katie and told her I was going to the hospital. That's all I said. And I got in my car, numb arm and all to drive the five blocks there.
In the mean time my husband had called my son who was already at work just a couple of miles away. I don't think it took him 15 minutes before he was by my side in the emergency room. I was grateful to see him. And he didn't leave my side until my husband made it back home.
Anyone who's been to the hospital for a possible stroke or heart attack knows that they pretty much attack you with questions and tests. It all happens very quickly. It was determined that I was having a stroke and was admitted to the hospital for three days. My husband made it home that evening and my daughter flew in from North Carolina the next morning. At least I think it was North Carolina, she also lived in South Carolina for a time and I really don't remember!
It was all so odd at the time. I felt very strange and very tired. The doctors never really did figure out why I had the stroke. The neurologist said I had thick blood. Whatever that meant. My doctor thought that I was just too stressed out. So after a few days rest and some new medications I was sent home. My speech was slurred for a while. But I had perfect use of my arms and legs. I lost a bit of my memory, especially of the time of the stroke. I am pretty sure that I have left some things out because of this. I was also feeling quite depressed. That lasted for several months.
I was lucky and blessed, although I would go on to have a second "Mini" stroke three months later. This past Sunday I passed the two year mark since that first stroke. The more time that passes the luckier and more blessed I feel. Which is why I try to enjoy life as much as I can. I love to laugh and will use many excuses to do so.
At 50 years old, this was a very scary time for me. And my family. Most people think that only older folks have strokes. Not true. It is a fact that the age for strokes has changed considerably over the years.
Even babies can have them.
Today, November 20th, marks two years since I started blogging. And it was all because of the stroke. While I was home recuperating from the stroke, my daughter Ginny stayed about a week with me to help out. I was exhausted.
Ginny is one of those "Computer" people. I wish I knew half of what she does. While she was here she said "You know what you should do mom?". "You should start a blog, I think you would like it and it would give you something to do while you sit."
I answered her by saying, "Whats a Blog?". Yup, I hadn't a clue! She went on to tell me that it was sort of an online journal in which you could write about whatever you wanted to. This was a bit scary for me as the only thing that I had done on the computer up until this was bookkeeping at church. Really, I never went on the computer. I thought it was sort of silly!
So while she was here she set up a blog for me. And here we are two years later. I hadn't a clue what to write about. And even today when I feel unsure, I just write whats on my mind. Interesting or not, it is my life. The one that I am so grateful for.
Through Blogging I have met so many wonderful, warm, caring, funny, supportive, interesting, helpful and loving people. It just brings to my mind the song title "It's a Small World".
I never dreamed that I could care about people that I haven't met in person, face to face. But I was wrong. Not the first time!
So I am choosing today to celebrate. Celebrate life. Celebrate friends and Celebrate family. Oh, and I suppose that I should Celebrate blogging too!
I know that Ginny was so worried about me back than. I think she was scared. And I really think that she wanted me to just sit and relax so that I wouldn't die. I can't tell you how many calls I received from my son and daughter, for several weeks after that. It was really nice!
I am grateful to Ginny for showing me this form of self expression and communication, Thank you Ginger Peach!
I am also grateful to all of you who take the time to come by and visit my humble little blog. I thank God that I have been given the special privilege to get to know YOU! I will Celebrate all of you as well!
Thank you for stopping by and may God bless you all!