In March 2015, I had two strokes. It was not supposed to happen to me, but it did. I, like many of my friends, family, and doctors, see myself as the picture of health. I do not have any risk factors for a stroke. I live by all the healthy-living rules. I eat well; I don’t have high blood pressure, my cholesterol is less than 100 and I exercise 3 – 4 times a week. I was hospitalized for four days having suffered two strokes. I was released only with a prescription for a blood thinner and the need for intense speech therapy. My strokes penetrated the part of my brain that controls the muscles in the tongue. I was fortunate not to have suffered any physical impairments. I was able to walk into the hospital and walk out of the hospital. After the strokes, my speech was slurred, and I was unable to pronounce many words that were prominent my daily vocabulary prior, but I survived! The brain is a miraculous organ, it heals. I am blessed.
No matter how well you live your life, all can be going well, and life can be cut short. I know it is cliché to utter, but “tomorrow is not guaranteed.” We must live life to the fullest daily and also strike a balance with our long-term goals; I survived.
Goals are important. I keep in the forefront of my mind the goals that I want to accomplish. I no longer allow the small things that are not part of a more significant objective take my attention emotionally or financially. I have created a vision of what I want my life to look like now and in the future. I visualize those images and remain focused.
Others will never understand the extent of my desires. Every person in my life is consumed with creating their happiness and walking their path. Others can assist and be a catalyst for change, but it is up to me to plant and nurture the seed of change in my life. Every moment of my life is precious and should be cherished. Life is a journey, and I want to enjoy every minute of the ride. I have goals, and I make them happen.
The Strokes: What Happened?
The two strokes occurred while I was sleeping, which I later learned is relatively normal. My only symptoms were that of a headache and my inability to pronounce all of my words; when speaking, the words were in my head, I knew what I wanted to say, but the words would not come out. I knew something was wrong but did not seek medical attention until the following day. My doctor’s findings were inconclusive, and so he instructed me to go to the emergency room for a CT scan. Again, the CT scan did not reveal anything abnormal. An MRI finally confirmed that I had suffered two strokes. The prognosis is good; the brain heals. I was in intensive speech therapy for 6 six weeks, after being released from the hospital. The strokes erased many words from my spoken vocabulary. I am still recovering. I still stumble over words and cannot speak quickly, but I am blessed and try to live every moment of my life without regrets.