Sunday, February 17, 2013

Did it hurt?

My parents, Karl and Faye Brown, and me in April after my stroke in January. 
13 months ago, I had two strokes. Since then, not many people have asked "did it hurt?" That seems to be a logical question, but most people to not ask. Why? Maybe because the do not want to pry.

But, I know people want to know.

Did it hurt?

Was I conscious?

Well, I can answer those questions.

About September, 2011, I was so tired. People told me that I was drawn, pale, and gray.

On December 23, 2011, I had a unusual headache. My vision on the left side was odd...almost fuzzy. And, on my right temple, I noticed array of colors. I kinda hurt, but not too bad. I have had normal headaches, so, other than the "aura" on December 23, 2011, that pain was not much. The headache was gone in less than 10 minutes.

I thought, "wow. That was weird. Maybe a migraine? Oh well."

But, those unusual headaches continued, and the duration was got longer.

I went to my doctor, and he ordered an MRI. That was January 6, 2012. They could not figure out what was wrong. The next step was to order a EKG.

January 9, 2012: I had another episode during a breakfast at the College of Western Idaho where I am a Trustee. Later that day, I attended a legislative social. I left early because I was so tired.

On January 10, 2012, I got up early about 5:00. Our son decided to sleep with us, so I did not sleep well. But, I got my newspaper, my routine Mountain Dew, and I got ready to turn on the TV.

But I could not.

I could not figure out how to turn on the TV. How odd. So, I thought I was too tired so should go back to sleep for a bit. When that did not work -- getting the TV to work -- I realized something was really wrong. I stood up, and I collapsed. My right side was paralyzed. Oh my God!

In my head, I was calling out saying "Help me!" and I was struggling to get to our bedroom door. Also, I was so concerned about my son. I did not want my son to see what was happening to me.

Again, in my head, I was coherent. For my wife and son, I was babbling. My son shouted "call 911!" My wife had the presence of mind to realize I has having a stroke.

I was conscious and there was no pain at all. I remember the ambulance ride. I remember the room in the ER. I remember my wife and son, and my friend that took my son to school.

I was just relieved that I might be OK.

Fast forward, I was making a remarkable recovery. The doctors said "you'll need some speech therapy and take some time off." I was moved out of intensive care.

On January 13, 2012, the nurse (she was from Russia...I remembered) check on me. I was fine and my vitals were fine. I asked her to turn on the TV and she did. She shut off the lights and shut the door.

Then something happened. I could not move. I was so scared. I could not reach my call button because I was paralyzed. I remembered that I was saying "help me" in my head, but I could not speak.

But, there was no pain at all.

It seems like hours before the found me, but I assumed it was just a few minutes. I was crying. Though I was conscious the whole time, the concept of time was foreign to me.

Then there was so much activity. Nurses galore. I realized there were getting me ready to do another CT scan. I remember the long almost dark hallway. They were was so urgent.

That hallway seemed so long, and remembered my dad telling me that I will be OK. I am not a really spiritual, but I have a vivid memory about my dad saying "you will be fine." My dad died on December 28, 1993.

The rest of the morning was a blur. I remember crying a lot. I remembered that my wife kept telling me that "I will be fine." I was so confused and I was so upset that my Mom, stepdad, and my oldest brother, Dan, were coming. They lived out of town? Why are they coming to see me?

At that point, I realized they were coming to say goodbye. To me!

I was convinced that I was going to die.

It took some time for me to realize that I would not die. But, for several hours, I was convinced I was dying.

So, when people ask me about my stroke and the "pain," I did not really experience physical. Emotional pain? My emotional pain was worse that the physical pain.

No pain? Oh yes.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

A blog post for the modern age

Usually I type my blog posts. But because of technology I can "speak" my blog posts!

This new technology helps me in so many ways. If I can speak rather than type, It seems like I can do everything.

My previous blog post about tools and not cheating made me realize that talking is not cheating. Rather I have a whole new world of things I can say because this is not cheating. This is just a new extension of my thought process.

When my mother was dying, Mom said that I should write a book about my stroke and experiences. She said my new calling might be helping with stroke recovery in the aftermath.

Mom was very focused about that thought, and I have really been thinking about it.

I do think I have a compelling story to tell but I wonder if it is not too compelling to other people. It's just me. I guess I'm kind of a modest guy so I wonder if my story is compelling or not.

Anyway with that goal in mind, fulfilling my mother's dying wish, and with my family's support, maybe I might try it.