Twenty years ago today …

… I walked into the chiropractor’s office at the end of a long and busy day. My head throbbed from one of my frequent migraines, and I was hoping for relief. The chiropractor directed me to sit on a stool, then he took my head in his hands and twisted. Instantly, I felt like I was hanging upside down from the ceiling. The world was spinning below me, and I was hot and cold at the same time.

The chiropractor told me to step over to the table in front of me. He helped me up, but I just fell face-down on the table.

“My body is heavy,” I said. “I can’t turn over.” Of course my body was heavy. I had always been overweight, but that wasn’t what I was feeling. I just didn’t know how to describe the sensation, but I knew I couldn’t move.

The chiropractor helped me get all the way onto the table, then he started massaging the back of my neck with an electric instrument. I started throwing up over and over and over again. I begged him for help, but he ignored me.

He said, “You have a bad case of the flu. I’m going to call your husband to come get you. I don’t think it’s safe for you to drive.”

“Not safe?” I screamed. “I can’t even move, much less drive.”

He just walked away and reached for the telephone.

For the rest of the story, read My Stroke: The Beginning. That post links to two others continuing the story of my stroke. Through the years I have written a number of posts on stroke, including risk factors and symptoms.

Now, twenty years later, I still have what doctors call “deficits” as a result of the stroke, but the good that has come from it has far outweighed the bad.

My wonderful loving husband cared for me throughout my recovery, but he always pushed me to do as much as I could on my own. His faith that I would recover, his confidence in my abilities, and his constant support meant more than I can say. We are closer and more in love today than ever.

I learned valuable lessons from the limits imposed by the stroke. I realized that what I can do is far more important than what I can’t do, and that I can do far more than I imagined.

As a result of the stroke, I finally realized my dream of becoming a full-time writer. I always planned to write “someday,” but after the stroke I decided “someday” is today.

If you had told me twenty years ago when I stepped through the door of the chiropractor’s office that I would be carried out after having a stroke, I would have turned around and run the other direction. But today, I know that I am a stronger person and I am living my dream with my soulmate because of the experiences I have gone through.

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