Strange how life can change. Two weeks before the stroke, I was in Maui with my son, Stephen. Less than one week before the stroke, I had a birthday party at my house, being 53 years old.
Pictured is me in Hawaii right before my stroke. As you can tell, I was not too overweight, and I didn’t smoke or use drugs. Thankfully, I didn’t have my stroke on vacation!
Then, the stroke hit. It was January 24, 2012. It was an ischemic stroke caused by high cholesterol and high blood pressure. What happened was that piece of plaque broke off my left carotid artery and traveled to my brain, causing parts of my left brain to die.
I was relegated to a wheelchair, unable to speak, and my right side had “fallen” asleep, to list a couple of things as a result of of stroke. I had to retire from a job that I loved, and had to stop playing my electric bass due to my uncooperative right fingers.
Because I had nothing else to do, I threw my myself into rehab. There were times that a fleeting though came into my head: “Just give up. Just accept that you are broken.” Thankfully, I refused even when I could not see progress. And people that I knew would not let give up. Two months after my stroke, I took a picture of my hand opened as wide as I could. I was so pleased. It was progress! Strange what little things are cause for celebration!
I kept this picture of me to reminded myself of how far I’ve come. Sadly, that is the only picture I have through the dark time of my stroke.
Through exercising my hand, I can now open it fully. Finger control is mostly missing, but who knows? I will continue to do finger and hand exercises, and perhaps playing the bass is in my future. I know my bass will like that!
I know you have to story to be told, as well! From taking your first walk, to learning to speak again, dressing yourself, etc. Tell the world about it! Others are waiting for your story to be told. Stroke survivors can inspire hope in other stroke survivors!
If this blogs touches you, won’t to please consider to make a donation to Stroke Survivors CAN!, a nonprofit devoted to helping stroke survivors find hope and empowerment. Your contribution helps this site possible and sponsors other stroke survivors who wish to pursue non-contact athletics!
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Stroke Survivors CAN
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Meridian, ID 83642
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