Don’s Stroke: twenty-three years ago today

Twenty-three years ago today, March 19, 1991, Don had a stroke that changed our lives forever. We don’t celebrate the anniversary, but when it comes, we remember. That was a terrible day in our lives.

Don had two TIAs the day before so was admitted to the hospital for observation. When the boys and I left him that evening, he had no abnormal symptoms and told me to call in the morning to see what time I should pick him up.

When Don finally picked up the phone on the 19th, he spoke to me in profoundly garbled words. Minutes later when I burst into Don’s hospital room, my forty-year-old husband looked like an eighty-year-old man clinging to the edge of life. The rest is our story: shock, pain, loss, love, fear, family, friends, God, rehab, recovery, deficits, choices, compensation…

We eventually discovered there is life after stroke. It’s different than we planned, but life is still good.   The stroke was a terrible event, and yet when we look back over twenty-three years, we see countless wonderful events and relationships that have added meaning and joy to our lives.

What helps us cope and gives us hope: We acknowledge our pain and loss and then think of all we still have.

Question for our readers: When you look back at change and loss in your life, does it help to think of the good things you have also experienced?



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