This morning, I realized that a year has passed since that scary day. I checked my calendar to verify that today was, indeed, the anniversary. Nope. I missed it. It was last Saturday. The day before my 12th Blogiversary. (Just thought I'd throw that in there. I've nurtured this blog for 12 years.)
So, now it's one year and one week since that scary day. The day I experienced a mild stroke. I remember lying on the uncomfortable black plastic mattress in the ER wondering if my symptoms would worsen over the coming hours. My right hand was numb and uncooperative. My right leg had forgotten how to walk. The right side of my face was blooming with numbness. My brain called to mind the scariest of scary scenarios. Possible paralysis on my right side exploded into technicolor visions of being paralyzed from the neck down. Then, the thought of never seeing my family again brought fresh tears to my eyes. Apparently, despite the clot on the right side of my brain, my imagination was very much alive and well.
Three hundred and seventy-two days later, life is much, much brighter. My days are back to normal with a couple of mild telltale reminders of the summer of 2021. The thumb on my right hand is numb all the time. Most days it feels the way my mouth does about two hours after dental work. Just a whisper of buzziness. The day I made a balloon garland in preparation for Camp Carolyn for my adorable nieces, my thumb sent out a red alert to three of my fingers (my pinkie never gets involved with the drama). Deep numbness spread across my right hand. I actually call my right thumb "the barometer." It signals oncoming fatigue with pinpoint accuracy.
Then, there's my lovely right leg. It's like a toddler in Ikea. At first, it hops, skips and jumps along the way. Then, it starts to get whiny, tripping on the least little bump in its path. Soon, a constant shhhh....shhhh....shhhh, begins to whisper as my foot begins to drag just a bit with every step. Alan sometimes alerts me to the fact that I'm dragging my foot. Like Progressive's Dr. Rick I say, "We all hear it."
My lovely handwriting is slowly coming around. If I write much more than "Happy Birthday, I hope you have the very best day! Love CEL" it starts getting erratic and small. I sent short video thanks for my birthday gifts instead of written thanks. I guess it was an issue of pride. If any of you took that Elementary Reading class at Baylor taught by the professor with the black mustache during the late seventies, you well remember having to pass the test of writing on a chalkboard with Zaner-Bloser perfection. Wow. Everything about that last sentence ages me.
I need to give a much-deserved shout-out to my Pilates instructors at Club Pilates here in Lubbock. Evan and Chandra have helped me strengthen my core and improve my shaky balance. I still have a way to go in strengthening my right side. Those two beautiful ladies will be with me every plank along the way. And, I will continue to grimace every time one of them says, "Now, let's a little something to that."
These niggling symptoms are simply temporary inconveniences. God has allowed me to live and thrive and enjoy all the things. In June, I visited a friend in Paris for a few days. I then moved to a hotel and spent a few days feasting upon the beauty of my favorite city on my own. I drug my little right foot all through the Louvre like a boss. I stayed mostly balanced on a bicycle tour of the gardens of Versailles. (If you were there that day picnicking on the grassy bank of the Grand Canal, I was the lady wobbling by on a red bike calling "Look out!" to the people strolling in front of me on the gravel path.)
The entire Parisian adventure served as a sort of victory lap. I am woman, hear my roar. I've got this. God's got me. The red bike? Not so much.