National Stroke Awareness Month: My Stroke – the Aftermath

As part of Stroke Awareness Month, I’m sharing my stroke experience. You can read about the beginning and the first three days in previous posts.

From the third day after the stroke when I could move my fingers and lift my shoulder off the bed, I knew I would become functional again. But it took several years and lots of therapy and more prayers for that to happen.

I spent five years in a wheelchair (actually I used a motorized scooter) but have been ambulatory for ten years. My speech returned to normal fairly quickly, and I have prisms in my glasses to prevent double, triple, or quadruple vision. My balance is very poor, but I have learned to compensate very well.

I still have sensation and neurological problems on my left side, and a few years ago I developed a myoclonic seizure disorder which seems to be related to the damage from the stroke. Many factors – bright lights, certain sounds or frequencies, air movement, cold temperatures, a touch on my left side … and often nothing – trigger seizures. The people in my church are very understanding and are used to my strange sounds and movements. Otherwise, I seldom go out in public, and when I do I usually have a series of seizures that exhaust me, so I have to come home and sleep for hours. Updated: See Healing Miracles: Part 3—Thanks Be to God to learn how I was healed of the seizures.

But I am so thankful that I made progress in those critical three days and am not lying in a bed unable to see, talk, or move.

I’m so thankful that I had a loving husband who cared for me when I couldn’t do anything for myself and wonderful parents and siblings who supported me throughout my recovery.

I’m so thankful that I never lost my thinking ability, my ability to communicate verbally returned quickly, and I relearned to type and regained my former level of skill.

I’m so thankful that I had dedicated employees who kept my business operating while I was recovering.

And I’m so thankful that

God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NKJV)

I had always dreamed of writing “someday” but had delayed my dream while I ran a business. After the stroke, I realized that “someday” is today, and as soon as I was physically able, I started my first novel.

Since I was so dependent on my husband, I wondered how someone who didn’t have such a support system could manage during a stroke recovery. The result of my musings was Stroke of Luck, a romance novel about a woman who goes through the same kind of stroke I did. What happens to her in the story is what really happened to me, except I already had my real-life hero, and my character has to find her hero and her romance after her stroke.

Stroke of Luck has received some nice reviews, and most of them noted that the heroine was disabled. In fact, a handicapped heroine didn’t appeal to most publishers. One editor told me, “No one wants to read about a cripple.” We were at a conference, and I was sitting in my wheelchair talking to her!

I had almost decided that writing the book had been great therapy for me, but it would never be published. Then I found an e-publisher looking for stories with disabled main characters. Although my novel didn’t become a bestseller, I am thrilled to show that handicapped characters can love, laugh, and live as successfully and joyously as anyone else.

Related Post:
National Stroke Awareness Month: My Stroke – the Beginning
National Stroke Awareness Month: My Stroke – the Next Three Days

[tags]stroke, National Stroke Awareness Month, Stroke of Luck[/tags]

Share this!