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Life After a Stroke ...

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Six years ago, I wrote the words that are quoted below. They were written exactly one month after a stroke that caused me to have paralysis on one side of my body, Living life with that deficit and having to use a walker before the age of 40 scared me. I live with the thought that there is a real possibility of having another.

A friend of mine brought these words to my attention. I figured I would share them with a new audience.

Here are my words:

"Exhausted. Fatigued.

Words I knew of, utilized even but never thought I would be as familiar with them as I have become. There are moments I want to scream out in frustration due to the fact that these two words are such a presence in my life.

It’s not something I ever believed I’d have to personally deal with. It’s an ache in my heart knowing I don’t have the energy I had just a few short weeks ago. What a difference a few days make?

My life and partial livelihood rests in my hands. What do you do, how do you react when one part of your body doesn’t want to work for you?

I am fortunate because I will be able to work to regain my strength. This I know. It doesn’t stop me from feeling the pain and frustration of not having full use of the left side of my body.

Writing is a process. I feel how much more the right side of my body is working. I am also grateful this happened to the left side of my body and not my right dominant side.

Everything in time. You have to be patient.

Those are statements I’ve heard a great deal over the last few weeks. It doesn’t stop the tears from falling when I strain to lift my left hand. It also doesn’t ease the silent scream that wants to tear from my throat when I am unable to lift my left foot a few inches from the ground.

A simple quarter-mile loop feels like I’ve run five miles. I tire much faster than I can ever remember doing so. I believe that scares me the most. I’m supposed to be a functional adult human being in the prime of my life. Feeling as fatigued as I have been has negated that previous statement. The little things are kicking my tail and it frightens the crap out of me.

I’ve studied strokes and traumatic brain injuries for my degree. It’s a totally different situation when you are on the other side of it all.

I’m a fighter. I do battle daily. I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t afraid. The thing about me is I’m not allowing that fear to rule me and keep me down.

Thank you for reading."

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