May 10, 2015

A Life Interrupted and Then Somehow Regained

While I am finishing the post  "Falls and Stroke Survivors: Sooner or Later, Don't Be Surprised If You Tumble," I had to write something in the meantime because...well, I had to. 

Brain post stroke

I am still in the hospital for one more day. Blood clots in my leg. And lung. I have been here for what seems like a long time. Truth is, 2 weeks is all. I have seen some things that you don't want to see. Ever. It was a reminder, how I reacted to therapy, hospitals. I met all of them in therapy, and they were stroke survivors. Confused, unhappy, filter-less, poor judgment stroke survivors.
The man who didn't know where he was in space and time. He was fixed on looking to his right and the therapist put the plastic cones on his left. He saw the box that used to contain the cones on his right. But the therapist had to gently push his face to the left in order for the task of replacing the cones in the box to be accomplished. The patient therapist and the man who only saw to his right. It was me. 

The woman who was crying. Her mouth always in a frown. The therapist tried to make her laugh, something about if she touched her feet, she would giggle. The patient managed to give a half smile and then cried again. A family member talked to her in a hushed tone. More crying. It was me.

Another woman who wanted to share in my therapy. She was churning on the Nu-Step. "Do the cones falling down mean that it's bad for Joyce?" "Uh oh, you missed getting it on the ring." I knew what it was. No filters. But the therapist told her to keep pedaling on the Nu-Step. That it didn't concern her. It was me.

Still another woman who always wanted to get up from her wheelchair. She was belted in but still, she wanted to go. Anywhere. The therapist threatened her, that if she was trying to stand up, the nurse would put a buzzer beneath her wheelchair cushion and bed that would bring everybody come running. It was me.

Fact is, you can see yourself as you are now--clear-minded, joyous, level-headed, sensical--how much progress you made, only by looking back to where you were. It is me.

8 comments:

DavKan said...

I happened upon your blog a few weeks back. My hubby had a stroke on January 29th. Among a myriad of other health issues, he also has MS.
After finding your blog, I've also purchased and read your book. It's one of the best books I've read. On any subject. Ever.
Your latest post is so honest and moving. I found myself crying part way through, though not all are tears of sadness.
I hope the blood clots continue to resolve and you're out of the hospital and home soon.
You're honesty, perseverance, and courage are truly inspiring.
Regards,
Kan

Cindi said...

This brought a tear to my eye. I so admire you and all the others who have proven they are stronger than the hand life dealt them.
It's good that you can look back and see how far you've come. The sky's the limit.
I hope you are home soon and able to continue your quest.

Rebecca Dutton said...

As an OT, I saw what stroke survivors go through before I had a stroke. This has made me grateful for every gain I've made.

Lou Fitzsimmons said...

I did not know I had to sign up, I commented but I guess it did not post on this blog, New to blog, loved talking with you, I will update you, love to you, may God bless you for starting this site, Lou

Lou Fitzsimmons said...

I have a family history of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. My sister at age 50 had ischemic due to what we think we're protein infusions prescribed by a Rheumatologist and she also was taking similar meds from different doctors and she smokes as well. But the infusions were experimental for fibromyalgia and stroke was a side effect. This may help others to beware and make sure that when something new comes out to read if it has been tested on people who are at risk should reconsider or get second opinions, Lou

Lou Fitzsimmons said...

I have a family history of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. My sister at age 50 had ischemic due to what we think we're protein infusions prescribed by a Rheumatologist and she also was taking similar meds from different doctors and she smokes as well. But the infusions were experimental for fibromyalgia and stroke was a side effect. This may help others to beware and make sure that when something new comes out to read if it has been tested on people who are at risk should reconsider or get second opinions, Lou

Lou Fitzsimmons said...

I have a family history of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. My sister at age 50 had ischemic due to what we think we're protein infusions prescribed by a Rheumatologist and she also was taking similar meds from different doctors and she smokes as well. But the infusions were experimental for fibromyalgia and stroke was a side effect. This may help others to beware and make sure that when something new comes out to read if it has been tested on people who are at risk should reconsider or get second opinions, Lou

Joyce Hoffman said...

OTs and PTs and SLT do amazing things with stroke survivors. Thanks for your comment.