My Stroke at 92
The problem is not the stroke; it is my being physically handicapped for the first time in my 92 years. I do believe I can handle the physical side of things, but the ‘head balance’ is really the problem.
At age 92, I had planned for the next 10 years, which included going to Medford, Oregon in my RV – just pulling in and chatting with other park visitors. Another loss is the care of my big yard. It contains about 100 geraniums, some I’ve nursed along for what must be 10 years. I am also famous for a couple hundred petunias which show their flowers all summer, and not to forget the tomatoes I grow in the green house.
I don’t think many people know that you must talk to and pamper your plants…lots of water, fertilizer and trimming off dead blossoms. All this beauty is enjoyed daily from my comfy chair in the solarium. I truly love my yard, although staggering around from the stroke may be different. But I will strive to meet the demand again this year and once again grace my plot of land with beauty.
Everyone says I will get better—I hope so. I find that two of my most valuable items are a back scratcher and a shoe horn. I have my 6-year-old standard poodle Molly and a rescue cat so full of personality that it is a joy to be inside. And my two girls are fabulous in taking care of me. I learn from my son, who happily lives in a group home (he is deaf and has cerebral palsy). He gets so much out of every facet of life.
Things do seem to have a way of falling into place and I give thanks for so many things. It is as if God prepared me for this. My husband had Parkinson’s, so I’m equipped with grab bars, a high bed and lovely hardwood floors for walkers to glide over easily.
Other blessings include having taught for 27 years in colleges, and then continuing to teach at community centers each morning until the stroke placed me into rehab for three weeks.
I intend to die in my own bed with enough money left over for the kids to enjoy. But first, the next step is starting to drive again. Then back to the yard.
This article was submitted anonymously by a Northwest Prime Time reader
SIGNS OF A STROKE: Remember FAST
F – Face drooping (look for a lopsided smile)
A – Arm weakness (raise both arms, does one drift downward?)
S – Speech difficulty (slurring, unable to speak or hard to understand). Ask them to repeat a simple phrase such as “The sky is blue.”
T – Time to call 9-1-1. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and say, “I think this is a stroke.” Time is important. Don’t delay and note the time when the first symptoms appeared. Other symptoms of stroke can be the following symptoms that come on suddenly: confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; dizziness, loss of balance and coordination or trouble walking; severe headache with no known cause.