Jan 20, 2013 9:45pm
It was Boxing day. I was Just getting out of the shower when I felt a little twinge in my right leg, and went to lay down a little. Three hours later I was face down on the floor, paralyzed and in no pants, trying to make myself understood over my iPhone.
Struggling for my life, I was having a stroke.
Thankfully, Julia was on her way home and when she saw the mess I was in she called the ambulance. The next thing I knew I was whisked into a van and off to intensive care. For the next week, I sometimes spoke sense and, I learned later, sometimes spoke utter gibberish, to a small circle of friends and loved ones, as meanwhile the blood pressure numbers soared and fell and soared again.
One week later, My condition stabilized, and I moved into the acute rehab unit where I am now. I am paralyzed on my right side but with signs of querulous life that are seized upon with great zeal by an enthusiastic army of physical therapists. Every tremor is cause for more celebration and even more strange calisthenics; I am sometimes a mere plaything in the hands of my therapists, kneaded this way and that.
I am aware of what a near miss it has been, and how far I have to go to recover my full range of movement. No one can say for sure if the range of motion in my right hand will ever be enough to draw the way I once did, but I plan to teach myself to draw with my left hand while we wait to see the outcome of my right. The first drawing samples in this experiment are absolutely hilarious but I hope they will improve.
I am told that these early weeks are where the most gains are made, so I am pushing myself as hard as I can. My brother Jo and Julia have been my only companions as I submit to mirror therapy, electro therapy and being strapped into a harness straight out of the ThunderDome.
But I must say that although I am in lock down, hearing from each of you is a big part of my day. As I fall asleep Julia reads me your comments, encouragements, jokes, stories and asides and it gives me a lot pleasure. I get cards, notes and presents that cheer me up and make me feel connected, even though I am in a sort of therapy limbo.
So thank you, all of you. I am very much looking forward to the day when I can hobble out of here and see you all again!