A Stroke of Luck

A Stroke of Luck

I woke up not feeling very well. My body was stiff and my whole right side was numb. I guess I had slept on if funny and of course it would go away I rationed with myself. It didn’t go away and so I went to the doctors the next day.

That day would change my life forever.

I was greeted by a young nurse who took my height and weight. I told her I get nervous around doctors and that my blood pressure may be a little elevated. She placed the cuff on my right arm and started pumping. And pumped some more. And then some more. I thought my arm was going to pop right off.

She apologized and pumped some more. She didn’t say anything at first and then asked if she could take my blood pressure on the other arm. Again she pumped, pumped and pumped. I asked her if everything was all right and she said my pressure was elevated. She scurried off to fetch the Doctor.

Moments later he arrived and yet again my pressure was taken. The result..220/190. The fact of the matter I was about to explode and the damage had already been done.

I was instructed to admit myself into the ER. Moments before I did, I smoked my last cigarette as I paced outside of the hospital telling myself everything was fine. At 51 years old, I had a stroke and to this day my right side is still slightly numb.

I was lucky, it could have been worse. A whole lot worse though I probably would have never known since it happened while I was asleep. I could have never woken up, but I did and that was my proverbial “wake up call”.

I had been smoking for over 30 years and had tried to quit before. These were half attempts, I wasn’t really motivated. Heck, I wasn’t really motivated to do a lot of things. I figured that I had lots of time and later was good enough. Well, I guessed wrong. Time wasn’t on my side as the universe slapped me upside the head blood clot and all.

My perspectives have now changed. I quit smoking and doing things that I don’t enjoy. Instead I pursued activities and a career filled with joy and happiness opposed to stress and dread. I have become more focused on giving than taking, enjoying versus stressing and living in the moment opposed to the past or future. I think I am on the right path, it feels a whole lot better than before.

I still have some weight to lose and need to exercise more, but we are getting there day by day. When you live in the moment the decisions today are really the only ones that matter. So as I always told my daughters, “make wise choices”. I try to live this lesson each and every day; no one knows how many we have left.