Almost exactly one year ago right now (5:25 p.m.) Dr. Reeves sat in my hospital room and said, "Well, you've had a stroke". I began to cry - not because I'd had a stroke - I'd been telling hospital personnel that all day. No one would agree with me. I cried because finally someone acknowledged what I already knew.
My stroke was in the left internal capsule of the middle cerebral artery branch. It did cause some loss of use in my right arm and right leg. How lucky I was that what paralysis there was went away after a few days.
A month after the stroke I attended granddaughter Deise's high school graduation reception. I thought I was doing pretty well.
But now when I look at this picture taken that day, I can see how tired and wan I looked. I was still having problems with dizziness and lack of energy.
Compare that with this picture of me with great-granddaughter Lily taken about eight months before my stroke and you can see what I mean.
There's nothing like holding a baby to make one feel wonderful regardless of age.
I had another little transient ischemic attack (TIA) about four months after my stroke. (I'd also had one about six months before.) The TIA set me back some, but there was no loss of use of hand, arm or leg that time. Just more problems with balance and light-headedness. Enough so that my Dr. referred me to a neurologist who specializes in stroke patients.
He was the one to show me the scans of my brain that were taken the day I had the stroke. He also told me there was nothing I could do to 'cause' another one. The best indicator for another stroke is having already had one. I know the first few days I was home from the hospital I found myself just sitting in my recliner 'waiting' for the next one. I finally got over that and learned to go on with my life....if it happens, it happens.
This is a picture of me last month on vacation atop a fifty-five foot mound at Winterville, MS historical site. It was the second Mississippian Culture mound I had made it to the top of on our trip. I felt good the whole time we were on the road.
I think I still walk a little gimpy but that could be as much about my arthritic knees as it is from residual stroke problems. Probably the biggest change during the year was an exact 20-lb weight gain. And if that's the worst, I'll deal with it. In fact I've already begun losing some of those pounds.
So, on this one-year anniversary I will once again reiterate how very lucky I was. I'm grateful. I thank my personal angel for being with me that day - just as she has always been.