I love the show “The Big Bang Theory.” I never watched the show until I was it in the hospital after my strokes. Now it is my favorite show. I love the character of Dr. Sheldon Cooper who has no filters. He said things that I wish I could say. But, I have filters.
I went to a lunch a few days ago where a Congressman spoke. It was like old home week in some respects. I saw so many people from my different worlds: Political, medical, insurance, hospitals, lobbyists, housing, real estate, etc.
Many people said things like “you do not seem like you had any medical issues” or “you look great.” That is nice to hear.
But, in actuality, because people know that I had a stroke (or two) and I have no visible disability, those same people think I am just fine and completely recovered. Invisible brain scars....
“Thank goodness you are fine now! So, what are you doing these days?”
I smile and say, “Well, I am on some boards that keep me busy.”
“Really? So, what else do you do?”
Because a polite and a lobbyist, I grin and say, “I am raising our son. With boards and our son, this is a full time job.”
The conversation lapsed after that.
In THEIR heads, I assume they are thinking “That is it? Really. Dunham seems just fine to me.”
In MY brain damaged head, I scream silently “What that hell! Do you have any idea what I have been through? The doctor said that my stroke was so severe I would NEVER do anything at all. Lie on the couch and try not to think about what you have lost. Just accept your destiny. That fact that I am even here at this lunch is a miracle and you wonder what I do every day? Do you have any idea what apraxia and aphasia are? Do you have any concept of mind blowing headaches and despair that I experience a lot? Really.”
Well that might be a little extreme! Nevertheless it is hard to explain what I feel when people say that you are completely recovered.
Like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, I want to say: "That’s no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad."
However, in the Bible, Luke 23:34, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
So, I say, “ I am just fine. Thank you.”