Stroke Update 2 – Visitors

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Yesterday was a very happy day.

Do you know how many separate steps need to be done, just to get a bowl of cereal, or how many dozen tasks it takes, just to get ready for the day?

I do.

Every morning.

I did my exercises both morning and night, like raising both arms straight over my head with an 8 lb. bar, doing “snow angels” with my arms, and lifting my left leg’s knee while keeping my body straight.

In between doing all of that, my wife drove me and my walker to the homeless church, where my friends cheered for me when I walked in behind my walker.

I cried.

Then my friend Melissa brought her grandson/”son”, Mr. Peanut, who’s 4 months old now, over to see me. I’ve mentioned him before. I was afraid that he wouldn’t remember me, but he immediately gave me his biggest grin. I held him and fed him a few sips of his bottle and he fell asleep in my arms.

My wife and I talked with Melissa for awhile, and my wife met Samra and her 3-year-old son, Kaiden, who wanted me to chase him. I was also proud to hear that Joshua — Melissa’s eighteen year-old “miracle son,” who has autism — is happy and is doing well at the local COLLEGE where I had helped him register several months ago. Can you hear the bagpipes, Josh?

Then we went a few blocks away and found my friend, Chris, who is homeless and had a stroke when I did. We sat on a park bench and talked for a long time.

Then we drove to the dollar store and bought a book of hidden-word puzzles.

Then we went home, and my wife made me an excellent taco salad.

My left hand can hold things now, but I can’t “trust it” yet, because it “forgets” and then slowly dumps whatever it’s holding, onto my legs.

And my left fingers remember how to play guitar chords, but that hand has a difficult time reaching up toward the head of the guitar, and the fingers aren’t strong enough to hold the strings down against the neck.

But it turns out that any day that doesn’t begin or end with a stroke is a pretty good day.

Especially if I think about all the many people who visited me in the hospital, some of them two or more times, including excellent next-door neighbors, Mike and Annamarie, down-the-street neighbors, Don and Diane, plus Linda G., Dean R., Donna, Brandyn (and his guitar), with little Mato (pronouced “Ma-TOE” – a loving Boston Terrier), Tomato (pronouced “Toe-Ma-TOE, – a loving Boston Terrier birthday balloon), Bob and Candy C., Shaun P., Joanie, Melissa F. and Mr. Peanut, and in-laws, Jim and Linda. My wife’s brother, Neal, even made a very generous offer to fly in from the Cleveland, Ohio, area and help take care of me for several days. We didn’t take him up on it. But about 30 other friends called or wrote to me in the hospital or afterward, (thanks to my wife, I have a list of everyone’s names). 😉

P.S. I typed this, with some corrections, with both hands.

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