Sunday, June 5, 2011

One Stroky’s Journey: Day 1—The Trip Begins

Good Friday, April 22, 2011, began as a typical  relaxed day off for husband Walter and me. Neither Walter nor I can remember many details of the hours before the stroke clearly now, but I do remember accompanying hubby to Lowes. He rounded up supplies to finish some projects he was working on. I ambled around and attempted to get a decent photo of an Easter lily among the available leftovers.

Good Friday Easter lily snapshot

I also shot some orchids, because they were there, and hubby wasn’t yet. The orchids sported vibrant colors, but their shapes were strange to me, and I never did capture an image that was particularly pleasing to me.
An Easter orchid

Another Easter orchid

Later we pulled into our driveway, I disembarked from the van, and I noticed my legs felt a little different, but I just thought I was tired. Once inside I grabbed my laptop and headed for one of the two sofas that face each other on either side of our fireplace.

After some moments I realized something was wrong with my laptop. Some of the letters were not showing up on the screen. My legs also felt funny. I stood up to walk it off and headed for the opposite sofa. I didn’t make it. Walter helped me the last few steps. “You need to sit down,” he said.

“No, I need to see if I can walk.” I stood up and he had to immediately ease me down to the carpet. I think I said to call 911, but he may have said that. In hindsight the legs and computer malfunction were all evidence that a blood vessel had burst in the right side of my brain and the bleeding was already causing damage that affected the movement of my left side, including leg, and the fingers that failed to receive my brain’s command to strike the keys that would enter the words and sentences that I thought I was composing.

By the time I was on the floor, time had already ceased to be linear for me, and for the next several days . . . or weeks . . . time for me was like U.S. 90 pre-Hurricane Katrina. I could comprehend and line up days of the week and months and dates in correct order, just like I could remember the order of businesses on the north side of highway 90 east to west and the order of those on the south side east to west. I just never could remember what businesses were across the highway from each other. And I could no longer match what I was experiencing with a date or time, or even yesterday or the day before. 

Walter recalls the ambulance arriving within 10 minutes. I remember one of the emergency medical techs telling me that I was having a stroke. The EMTs were businesslike, getting their job done with speed and courtesy.

A few minutes later as the ambulance pulled away, Walter was already calling relatives, and prayer started. I didn’t know that, but I did experience the benefits. From the moment I arrived in the Ocean Springs Hospital ER, I felt surrounded by, even immersed, in love and prayer. But that is another part of the journey.

7 comments:

Lynilu said...

Oh my. It sounds so scary, but I'm guessing there was not enough time while it was happening for you to recognize many emotions. I'm glad the prayers were instantaneous; that is so important. and I'm glad you're telling this story. :)

maddie/cadesmimi said...

I can tell from your posts that you are making progress :) Thank you for sharing your experiences, and I look forward to hearing more as you recover.

It's so good to know you are easing back into life again! I am having some health issues at the moment, so I can totally relate to the necessity of those afternoon naps at the moment!

Take care of yourself,
Kathy

marciamayo said...

What a story, Linda. Keep writing.

photowannabe said...

Thank you for the updates and your journey to recovery from the stroke.
Keep the story coming. Its good for you and its good for us to read.
I'm continuing to hold you and your sweet husband up in prayer.
Sue

Sandra said...

I am so happy for you that you are now able to type this story and what a story it is. we were all concerned and your husband did a great job of letting us know. this or someting like it could happen to any of us at any time. this serves as a heads up for us to so we know the warning signs. thank you for sharing it with us

Freda said...

Thanks for the updates, Linda, what is so remarkable is that you are able to describe what happened so clearly and without panic. Every Blessing as you recover

Retired English Teacher said...

I am late in reading this. I am amazed at what happened to you. Thank heaven you were not alone and your husband had the paramedics there so quickly.