When I woke up in the hospital, I was paralyzed on my right side and had lost sensation on my left side. My balance center was destroyed, and my eyes were damaged so I had quadruple vision. I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow because I had no balance, I couldn’t move my right side because of the paralysis, and I couldn’t talk. The only thing I could do – and I did it well and often – was vomit.
The inability to communicate was the worst. My father was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s at the time, and I dreaded losing my mental capacities.
The neurologist said if there wasn’t significant improvement in three days, I might be that way for the rest of my life. I decided there was going to be significant improvement in those first critical days. If I could move the fingers of my right hand, grasp the bed rail with my left hand, and raise my head and right shoulder off the bed, I would be all right.
For two days and nights I tried to move my fingers. “Move, move, move!” And I prayed and prayed and prayed. In the wee hours of the third morning, I moved the fingers of my right hand. I reached out with left hand, grabbed the rail, and raised my head and right shoulder off the bed. Then I knew I would be fine.
I wanted to shout and tell the world. I wanted to call my husband and parents and siblings. But the phone was out of reach, and I couldn’t have made myself understood anyway.
From that point on, I never doubted that I would become functional again. I spent more than a week in the hospital and a month in a rehab hospital followed by six months of outpatient therapy several times a week.
Continued in My Stroke: The Aftermath.
[tags]stroke, National Stroke Awareness Month, Stroke of Luck[/tags]