You see, on November 17, 2004, at 4:07 p.m. I had a stroke. So, those of you who are quick with math might be asking, why haven't you and your friends been celebrating November 17th for the last three years instead of the last two? Because on November 17, 2005, I was in the operating room undergoing emergency surgery.
Now, I'll be honest with you, on November 17, 2006, I thought about staying in bed when the alarm went off. But I got up...and took the day off work - and made sure I had 911 on my speed dial. But then I realized that November 17th had to be the luckiest day of the year for me. First of all, sure I'd had a stroke on that day, but I'd survived it and recovered almost 100%! And, yeah, I'd had emergency surgery on that day - but the results were excellent and two and a half weeks later, I was back on my feet and ready to take on the world again. Both November 17ths could have ended in disastrous results - instead, things turned out pretty good. So, I consider myself lucky. And blessed.
So, I'm celebrating. I'm celebrating movement. I'm celebrating family and friends. I'm celebrating life.
I've learned to do that not just on November 17th but on EVERY day...because any day can be a November 17th. And maybe that day won't be as lucky.
So celebrate today with me. And if you happen to glance at the clock at 4:07 p.m. smile as wide as you can - because you can. And know that I will be, too - because I can now.
PS Thanks, Tama, you were my hero four years ago. You were the one who recognized what was happening and called for help. And you stayed by my side at the hospital until my parents arrived. You are the best!
PPS Thanks Carol and Val for following the ambulance to the hospital and staying by my side until my parents arrived, too.
Signs of a stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause