Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Stroky’s Journey: More On Day One of My Stroke

I remember nothing of my ambulance ride during my April 22 stroke, and only a meager collection of disconnected moments of my time in the emergency room of the Ocean Springs Hospital that day. What I do remember is feeling surrounded by prayer. What amazed me was the total absence of any sense of fear or even anxiety. “Surrounded by prayer” was my first attempt at articulating what I was experiencing.

As that state became the major part of my on-going reality, I plugged away mentally, engaged in a search that fascinated me--trying to find words to describe my experience. “Immersion” is one word that worked. I felt submerged in an amniotic sea and at the same time I WAS the sea.

It was a place of total physical, mental and spiritual safety, completeness, peace. There were no spoken words from a higher power or any momentous sense of being one with the universe. But it was totally personal and infused with the unarticulated certainty that God was in control and already had everything planned for my ultimate benefit.

One clue that this state of consciousness was a sea is that I would periodically surface into the physical world around me. Invariably, my “surfacing” was almost always for interesting, entertaining and life-affirming experiences: Seeing and talking with family members and friends; enjoying a meal in the Ocean Springs Hospital ICU, an intense and delightful taste sensation of bowtie pasta and fresh-tasting snow peas in some kind of garlic sauce; savoring the sensory smorgasbord of colorful cards, plants and cut flowers that arrived with messages of prayers on my behalf.

Memories of all these "material world" experiences include no context of time or physical surroundings. Memories of the meal, for example don't include utensils, who, if anyone helped me, or details of where the meal occurred. The only memory is of how the food looked and tasted. Oh, and some recall of my difficulty in corraling snow peas that had escaped their jackets.

Then there were the “angels,” the nurses and techs in Ocean Springs and Singing River hospitals who materialized when physical needs or treatment forced me to surface into the material world once again. They treated me as a sentient being capable of appreciating conversation, humor and simple tips on dealing with my immediate physical needs and challenges. All blessings of the journey!

On about Day Seven of my stroke trip, I was transferred out of ICU to Singing River Hospital Comprehensive Rehab Center in Pascagoula. My sea of tranquility stayed with me well into that new stage of recovery.


  1. thanks for sharing your feelings, it is a great thing to know that something like this can be felt that way, so as not to be so scared of the word stroke.
    sunday AM my bp shot to 190/160 with pulse at 160 and i got an ambulance ride to the ER, my first thought was stroke and it scared me to death. i am fine now, it was a bad reaction to new meds i had been on for 3 days. again thanks for sharing this

  2. I felt this sense of calm too. However, I was giving everyone directions when they carted me out of the building even tho my speech was slurred and not one could understand a word I said. Someone said, 'my she's bossy!!' Dianne

  3. what an encouraging description of something so scary.

  4. Your story is a fascinating glimpse of your journey, inspiring and interesting. Perhaps one day you will write a book to encourage and enlighten others about this. I am so glad that you felt the prayers, and at peace!

  5. Sandra-glad you are OK!
    Dianne-That determination to have things done well probably contributed greatly to your recovery and your multiple degrees and beautiful garden!

    Marcia -Thanks, but it wasn't scary. I think the brin cells for that reaction were temporarily shrt circuited!

  6. Thanks for continuing to share your experiences. It's fascinating reading.

    I've always found it interesting that my MIL never realizes when she's had a pin stroke. She knows something isn't right, but doesn't understand why.

    We recently found out that MIL lost her hearing--all at once, most likely due to another stroke. She now has hearing aids, and is doing well.

    Still praying for your continued recovery. If your blogging is any indication, and I think maybe it is, you're getting better and better :)

    Take care!

  7. Submerged in an amniotic sea. You have such a wonderful way with words. I liked the way you explained the intimate safe feeling that the Lord gave you. Thanks for this and I pray your life walk will be steady and ongoing.