From this point on, these are the words I wrote on Facebook while I faced my days with the knowledge that I didn’t suffer a “mini-stroke”, but a full blown stroke. I’ve added details to finish off the thoughts I had started, or details I left out that actually made me think. I will also be adding in “posts” that give more details so that the posts are connected. The new details and the additional posts will just be woven in. So without further ado…

September 16th

I just want to fill you in on what happened today. The day included a trip to the neurologist to find out more about my situation so I could get proper help with recovery. Instead I got a shocked doc who wondered why I had been sent home. Instead of getting immediate answers to things, he admitted me to the hospital for a billion tests in order to find out more. There is still hope for decent recovery, but there are many questions to answer. 

So here I am, incarcerated in room 606a being served puréed food because my tongue looked a little crooked when I stuck it out. (For those who don’t know, I am significantly tongue tied and my tongue has always looked gobbled). So not to complain, but I don’t do docs and hospitals well. I know they are all here to help so I harbor no ill will. I know this will shed light on what will make me better. But it feels like prison, especially because I was at home eating real food, walking around my own house and showering by myself in my own shower up until this morning. Now they don’t even want me to walk down the hall without help let alone eat solid food.

For those looking for inspirational sound bites, this is as close as you’ll get: I know this is the path set before me, and easy or hard I will have to walk it. There is no escape and I see that. I want quick recovery, and you may pray for that, please. For all the pain and discomfort of this life,I know it’s more important to know God as the sustainer in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. I will ask to get out of this brokenness, yes. More important is God walking with me through it. I know He heals, but I also know He understands my affliction.

Tomorrow I start with the tests to find out exactly why a 52 year old had a stroke and what it will take to keep it from happening again. Plus all the hard work of gaining back what I lost.

Goodnight everyone.

September 17

(MRI at 11:30 this morning. YAHOO!!!! That means “relaxing” drugs while they nuke me.) Earlier today the nurse came in and more or less out of the blue asked if I was claustrophobic. I told her no without thinking, but it turns out they ask because the MRI machine requires that you are moved into a really tight tube. For those that don’t like tight spaces, they give drugs to relax the person and make the process easier. Once I realized that they were offering me drugs that would chill me out and relax me in a way that was 1) legal, 2)supervised and 3) in a place where if anything went wrong, I would be well taken care of. So I told the nurse the next time that I saw her that I felt I needed the drugs. They ended up giving me the drugs. And it was awesome!

The hospital is lots of waiting. I know that I’m not the only person that they are taking care of. It doesn’t make it any easier to wait. Since they are playing catch up and trying to figure out how I happened to have a stroke, I go from one test to another. Constant drawing of blood, Kidney tests, tests for sleep apnia (even if you aren’t sleeping well at night you can develop heart problems and high blood pressure), carotid arteries, and anything else they could think of which could have contributed to my stroke. The day was a series of trips, being shuttled by hospital staff to different labs and test spaces in the bowels of the hospital, down hallways that only staff knew. If I would have had to try to get to all my appointments and tests, it would have been exhausting. Instead I would have people come in, I would lumber into a wheelchair and they would take me off to my next meeting. Sometimes I would be parked in hallways with no one visible or audible, and they would just leave me there, telling me that someone would be along shortly. And sure enough, all of a sudden a person would come out of some doorway, or appear at the end of the hallway and walk all the way over to where I was.

It’s a surreal experience, being the focus of all that’s going on around you but feeling like it’s happening in some sort of weird movie! Ir’s really not a movie you want to watch. It’s more like a dull horror film.