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.