We all have an expiration date. We have no idea when that date might be. It could even be today and we don't have a clue. Did you wake up this morning feeling great? Or not so good, praying that you feel better as the day goes by? Did you tell the people most important to you that you love them? It is a frightening thought that we are never promised tomorrow.
On Wednesday, August 17th, 2022; I woke up not feeling so great. My chest was a little heavy and my body felt like it weighed 1000 lbs. I felt like I should stay in bed... but as usual, I didn't listen. I am good at not listening. Anyway, I got up and slowly got ready for work, By 7am I am sitting in my desk, starting my day. I read my emails, log onto the phones, take a few calls and answer a few emails. I still don't feel all that great, but I am pushing thru it or so I think. at about 915 I just feel bad. I get up and go to the bathroom and walk to my friend's desk and tell her I don't feel good and to keep an eye out for me. She told me I didn't look the greatest and should probably go to the dr. I tried to tell her I was fine. Thankfully she argued back and I agreed.
The next 24 hours are somewhat of a blur. I remember laying my head on my desk and I remember people talking over me and around me. I remember trying so hard to respond and not being able to get my thoughts to come out. I remember waking up in the back of an ambulance, only to be out again. I remember waking up several times in the trauma unit.... just being in and out and not really feeling like I could communicate.
TPA (major clot busting medicine), headache cocktails, lots of tests and a night in the ICU later, Diagnoses: STROKE!
Thankfully not a Hemorrhagic (brain bleed) stroke. But still a stroke that puts me at an even higher risk to have a brain bleed stroke. A stroke strong enough to take away my ability to think and speak clearly. Strong enough to take away my ability to move my limbs without significant difficulty. I could not move my left side at all for hours. I had to lay flat for over 24 hours due to the clot busting medicine. Do you know how excruciatingly painful that is? Thankfully, I had the sweetest most patient nurses in the ICU. They were all so understanding and helpful and accommodating. I don't feel like I was the nicest person during that stay. I kept apologizing for needing so much help but at the same time I was angry that I had to ask for help. Not angry at them but at the situation in general. I am the one that always helps everyone else. I don't like being on the other end of the stick.
In the last 7 days, I have had a lot of time to think, especially since I don't have the energy to do much of anything else. I have thought a lot about what I have lost. My ability to think and process and rationalize with ease and without second guessing if I am thinking about it completely. The ability to move quickly and without caution. Things I have taken for granted over and over again, because even when I have lost them in the past they have always come back over time. You see this isn't the first time this has happened to me. It is the 4th. Each one having some of the same similar occurrences but being completely different in their own episode.
2015, 2017, 2020 and 2022. Any of these 4 numbers could have been my expiration date. But for some reason unbeknownst to me, my life has been spared each time. I am not sure why other than my story isn't finished yet. So I can only hope that I can remember to live my life to the fullest and make the most of the dash between the dates. Because we all have an expiration date!