The 2020 Stroke
On September 17th, 2020, I had a stroke. I didn't know that you could have a stroke without feeling it, but you can. But, I learned that the hard way.
When the left side of my body went numb...
I was putting together some furniture, as a single mom and that's what single moms do. This shelving organizer was really stressing me out. The instructions were terrible from the beginning. While I was reaching to grab a hammer, the entire left side of my body went completely numb. At the moment I thought it was fainting. Although I was fully self-aware of my surroundings.
When the left side of my body went numb, I was sitting on my knees. This caused me to fall backward and in an awkward position. I was having a stroke. The blood in my head cut off somewhere in my brain. The fear was that this was going to be permanent.
I was able to maneuver my right side and scoot my way to my cell phone. Once reaching my cell phone, I was able to shout “Hey, Siri”. From there I was able to call my daughter's father to come to get me and take me to the hospital. Technology these days is so amazing.
Determined to get to the hospital in Jacksonville
I know that many of you are questioning how I ended up in Jacksonville when I live in Georgia. I do not trust the hospital that is close to me, so if I was going to die, it would be God's will.
But I knew if I had any chance, it would be to get to a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. I know time is of the essence. But there are some things that are worse than death. I always told myself I would never be a burden on anyone. That hasn't wavered.
I was carried out to the car
When John arrived, I was lying on my back with my left arm stretched out from my side, unable to move it. Although I shouldn't have found this comical, he reminded me of the day that I went into labor with Karley. I didn't want him to be frightened, but I could tell he was. He was racing across the house gathering up things I would need for an extended stay. We both knew the kind of condition that I was in and I would not be leaving the hospital anytime soon.
Since I couldn't feel my legs, I couldn't walk. Therefore, John had to pick me up and carry me to his truck. I regained some feeling in my left arm so was able to hold on around his neck.
I went to the restroom before getting on the road. Neither of us knew how out of control my body was until I fell into the bathtub because I couldn’t balance myself. It is beyond terrifying to not be able to control or feel parts of your own body.
Rushing to the hospital
You never appreciate the little things you have done your whole life until they are gone. I was cold in the car but able to lift my left leg and place it on my right to warm it up. It felt like someone else's leg. I thought for sure it couldn’t be mine. I slapped it. Nothing.
John drove like a worthy NASCAR opponent to Jacksonville. I tried to joke around with him on the way, crickets. He lifted me out of the truck upon arrival and began shouting, “She’s having a stroke!” to anyone in the emergency room who was listening.
Suddenly, I was pulled from his arms and placed on a stretcher. So many nurses surrounded me. I didn’t see John again because they were taking me for a battery of tests.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?