Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a Difference 8 Years Makes

Eight years ago today, I woke up paralyzed on my left side and with a splitting headache. It was the stroke that changed my entire life. I was really lucky (age and fast ambulance response helped a lot). Unfortunately, I had my stroke before tPA was standardized for stroking patients. That is one might have been that I try not to dwell on.

I was in ICU at Beth Israel Hospital for a week. Almost everyone, besides one horrible doctor, was fabulous and supportive. The horrible doctor told my mother that because I was so sleepy in the first couple days, I would die. Which was BULLSHIT! Um hi, I am alive and it has been eights years. Nice diagnosis doc... Also, can I recommend treatment for your lack of bed side manner? Maybe I was sleepy because I wasn't allowed to sleep for any extended period of time because nurses woke me every couple of hours to make sure I wasn't in a coma thanks to my brain bleed.

After that week, I went to Healthsouth rehab. Overall, I had excellent treatment but there were a couple not so great incidents. I had clothing stolen from my room. In the middle of the night, my room-mate who was elderly and completely paralyzed, was left on the toilet in the bathroom. I woke up to her moaning and had to call a nurse.

The one thing I learned about being hospitalized was that there is no shame allowed. Everyone will see you naked at some point. You will have to be looked after like a baby and if you feel shitty every time, get over it. I had complete strangers wiping my ass, mopping up drool, and teaching me how to shower.

So, what has happened since June 10, 2001? Well, my entire family went into therapy (separately). We're a lot stronger now. I lost 90lbs in 3 years and gained it all back in 5. I don't have any grandmothers anymore. I'm on anti-depressants. I've had 2 apartments and 4 jobs. I've been laid off twice. I have my MBA and a gorgeous cat. I'm also Jewish. The last time I was hospitalized was March 2002 - woohoo!

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