358° February 4, 2012, my brain decided to teach me about how it works. A clot found its way to my brain stem and killed a small area of cells. The lesson was apparently meant to show how a few cells in the brain stem control the messages sent between the body and brain. It was a class I hadn’t signed up for, but I had to pass.
182° It’s hard to believe that messages for walking, swallowing, pain sensation, and vision all flow through a small area in the base of the brain, but they do. It took a week before I was allowed to eat any food. Walking without the aid of a walker or cane took over a month. Vision took six months or more to return to normal. I still have a lack of sensation on my left side of my body and the right side of my face.
201° The brain/body battle was almost comical. My brain knew I was leaning 45° to starboard, so it would tell my body to lean 45° to starboard. After about two weeks in Rehab my Physical Therapist took me for walks outside with a walker or cane, but I would sometimes struggle to stay on a sidewalk with a gentle slope.
102° The timing of the stroke was cruel. It was on our wedding anniversary and at a birthday party for a six-year-old. Birthday parties around this time of year, as well as our anniversary, serve to bring back memories of the Rehab hospital and how in a matter of hours my life came to a crashing stop for weeks.