I had a stroke last Friday.
It’s pretty surreal to type those words and part of me would prefer to just move on as though nothing happened. But even as I type, the loss of sensation in my left hand makes it all too clear something did.
It was a baby stroke, but still.
I suspect this is the sort of life event that will continue to echo its lessons for a long, long time. I’m not going to try to sort all that out today.
But here’s one thing I do know. Love goes a long, long way.
First, there were the first responders. I didn’t get the fireman’s name, but Teri came in the ambulance and a gentleman who’s name started with S made me laugh on the way to the hospital. Then there were David, Anne, and Dr. Phyllis in the ER. They smiled and laughed and put me at ease. I tried to use big words and share complex thoughts to prove just how fine I was. David allowed as how he knew what I was up to 😉
When I went for my MRI and CT scan, I was a little nervous–mostly about all that dye they were about to shoot through me. Anne stayed with me a moment and asked if I was a woman of faith. I assured her I was and she prayed with me.
Whit and John got me through my first two tests. Whit asked me why I had come to the hospital and, still hoping it wasn’t a stroke, I laughed and said, “I just fell out.” He laughed, too, and said he’d write, “Done fell out” on the form.
Then I got shifted to a new cubicle where Keith was the man who kept us posted about what was going on. Dr. Seth, the neurologist, came by and confirmed that I did, indeed, have a stroke (two actually). But small. There was a second CT scan with the two sweet girls whose names started with K.
Finally in a room, I met my nurse Leah and CNA Kim. Leah didn’t know exactly what would happen, but she was SO patient to sit down and go over possibilities and questions with us. In the morning, I met the day shift–nurse Renee and CNA Jake. Renee called me “love,” and Jake showed me pictures of his beautiful children.
More tests on Saturday. Chrissy did my EEG and gave me a rocking new hairstyle. She said I have great Alpha waves, thank you very much. I hate that I didn’t get the name of the echocardiogram lady, but she was lovely, too. Finally, Vickie checked my legs for blood clots. Lois tidied my room, chatting about the weather and spring flowers the whole time.
There were others, too.
All this to say . . . from the moment I first “fell out” until I got to go home on Sunday afternoon I was surrounded by people who probably thought they were just doing their jobs. But they did them with love, good humor, compassion, and kindness.
I know some are Christians. The rest may or may not be, but I have the feeling none of them would have needed to ask Jesus who he meant when he said, “Love your neighbor.”
A good example for us all.
P.S. Except for the numbness in my left hand, I don’t seem to have an lasting ill effects. We’re calling this escapade a blessing disguised as a medical emergency.