I know that you are not a person and cannot understand all that I have to say to you, but this isn't really for you, it is for me.
And because I have some things I want to say to you, I am going to personify you a little bit; I hope you don't mind, but even if you do, I don't really care. So here goes...
Four years years ago this morning, you attacked me and tried your very best to kill me. I have news for you: you lost! I am still here, alive and living my life. True, you did take me out of the picture for weeks. I do not remember much at all about those days and weeks of being in a medically induced coma while the doctors did worked to bring down the pressure in my brain. I only know what people have told me about those days.
To tell you the truth, I don't really want to remember. From what I've been told, it wasn't all that terrific or very much fun.
My memories don't really begin until I had moved out of the ICU at Littleton Adventist Hospital and into long-term acute care at Kindred Hospital further north in Denver.
The only thing I really remember about that January morning is forgetting to open the flue when I lit the fireplace and filled the house with smoke. It was a freezing morning and I had to open all the doors and windows to clear the smoke from the housewhile the fire alarm wailed at full volume. It was icy outside and so I decided to run indoors on the treadmill in the basement, rather than to slip and slide along the neighborhood streets. My kidswere busy playing while I ran and everything was going well until my head started to hurt. It felt as though there was a huge metal zipper on my skull that someone was unzipping from my neck to my forehead. It was cold and felt like icewater was dripping down my head from my crown toward my neck. I remember thinking that something was wrong – very wrong. And that is the last thing I remember for more than a month.
The next thing I remember is Mom holding my hand one morning and telling me a story about someone who had had a stroke,brain surgery, and was very, very sick. As she told me the story of this poor person, it slowly dawned on me that she was talking about me! Again, I remember thinking that something was very wrong.
Despite all that was wrong and the things that had been lost, you didn't kill me, I was alive and conscious and my memory was starting afresh at that very moment.
True, I could no longer sit upright, breathe on my own,get out of bed, talk, or even eat, but as the weeks and months passed I worked hard to learn to sit up, to breathe for myself, to talk, to swallow, to stand, and eventually to get out of bed, to walk, to eat, to speak again – even in French with my nurse, Jean-Marc from the Ivory Coast, who refused to listen to me if I spoke in English once he learned that I had studied French in college. So French it was...
True, there are still things I cannot do. I can't drive or move my left arm; I can only walk short distances without a cane.
But each and every day I get out of bed and face the day and so I am taking back more and more of what you took from me; the war is not over!
All in all, you tried to kill me, you tried to destroy my life and my family. Her's the deal--YOU LOST! I won! And I am still winning, I will not give up and I will keep taking back my life and my health one day at a time.Yes, you were powerful and strong, but you've got nothing on the power of God for those--like me and those who pray for me--who believe.
So there, Stroke! Take that!
With great loathing for you and victory dance/hobble for me,