Monday, January 14, 2008

I Had a Mini-Stroke (It didn't feel like a mini)

In February of 2004, I had a mini-stroke. It didn't feel like a mini. I had to learn to walk again. I had vertigo - extreme nauseousness, gained weight and though I could swallow -- I had a swallowing problem. No Speech Therapist would take me on as a client even though my ENT doctor said I needed it. Now I sing ( wherever i my car to the shower) to help restore the muscles of my right vocal chord.

I remember being happy that I was in a hospital that was NOT for another depression. I somehow felt I was always weak emotionally during every depression. Not this time.

So...I convinced the psychiatrists i no longer needed my anti-depressants... i had been taking -- effexor. It was raising my blood pressure and that was the concern of the doctors. I had to convince about three psychiatrists that I was fine!!! I told them I found the root of my problem and that I was using meditation instead of medication. I did suffer another depression and hadn't gotten the "root" and I wasn't meditating. I had let go of most of my support system. Everyone needs a support system.

I was okay until I returned to work and found out that i had really gained weight and also was moving a lot slower than the rest of the world. At Rusk Institute, the rehab had so many people in their 7o's, 80's and 90's.

I recently saw the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about the debilitating stroke of the former French editor of Elle Magazine. It was a beautiful film. A stroke is no joke. Paralysis is no joke. I have residual problems but no one can really tell I experienced a stroke. I have a left hand that always feels frozen. My right eye sometimes is in great pain. However, I walk without even a cane. I had great doctors and rehab.

I used to think my depressions meant i was a weak human. Now, after the stroke...I experienced another way to feel - disabled - physically.

I am now grateful for all the abilities I have and the challenges to attain those that may be attained through hard work!

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