Sunday, October 11, 2015

Who I was: Part 4

I have really not been looking forward to this part of my story. It could be said that I have been procrastinating, even. But here goes. On March 11, 2012, I woke up like it was any other Sunday. I cleaned the winter debris from the backyard with Chris. I remember thinking how I never wanted to do that again. Not this way, though. I went inside, ate lunch and tried to nap. When I was unsuccessful, we decided to go shopping. Then we went to church that evening. I started feeling weird during the service and needed to leave early.

I stayed sick that night, though I don’t remember much. I do recall a lot of Googling (yes, I am aware that doctors prefer that patients don’t self-diagnose) and physically restraining my sweet husband who just wanted to call 911. Delaying a hospital visit is never a good idea for stroke patients. That’s why the letter “T” is in the acronym F.A.S.T. It stands for face, arms, speech and time. Time. That’s why I had Chris call 911 when my tongue went numb and my eyes became misaligned. If only the ambulance people and the emergency department staff would’ve picked up on what was happening to me. Note: I didn’t have meningitis. That’s what was suspected at first. There is a medication that can be given to stroke patients to prevent death or severe disability. The key is early intervention. I know I have said this before, but if you or someone you care about has a stroke, you want TPA—the clot-busting drug.

More stalling… Life was never the same. I know people say that, but it literally was different from that point forward. After I spent about a month in intensive care in Kansas City, I went to a rehab hospital in Nebraska for about three months. It was there we decided to sell our house. I wasn’t even finished decorating yet. 

Chris, like always, was my advocate in Nebraska; there was a steady stream of visitors. He also cold-emailed a lady about technology with my limited movement. At the time, by the way, I could only move my left foot. Now, I can move both feet and hands. In other words, every improvement has taken a long time. Now that I am back from my rabbit trail, the lady in Nebraska connected me with Be Extraordinary. I am really glad they have been willing and able to work with me.

After I left Nebraska, I lived in a nursing home in Johnson County, Kan., for seven long months. I have never had a more difficult time in my life. I will leave it at that.

I went home to a tiny apartment, also in Johnson County. I had never lived there, but it was home because Chris and Piper were there. Piper is our now blind geriatric Boston Terrier dog-daughter. We were happy there.

Then we moved back to Springfield to be closer to family. I am working on getting established with doctors. My first occupational and physical therapy appointments are this week. I met some nice neighbors this afternoon at the annual neighborhood picnic.

I guess what I’m saying is I am gradually settling in. I have nowhere to go but up.

This concludes my partial autobiography. Thanks for reading.

Here I am with my mother in Hawaii.

Here I am with my little brother in Mountain Grove.

Here I am in my sophomore yearbook from the Catholic high school.

Here I am at our wedding in 2004.



Here I am on the porch of our Kansas City home, Thanksgiving 2011.