What Having a Stroke Taught Me – Part 1

Grateful to be here with these goofballs

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. The COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront of the world’s concerns at this moment, rightly so, and all the more reason to highlight how important it is to listen to your body when you are not feeling well or right.

As they say, life is what happens when you are making other plans.

It was Saturday, August 10, 2019 and my plan was training for my half marathon in October. I had just finished a 10-mile run at my favorite trail. I had been traveling a lot for work domestically and internationally. I had a million things to catch up on now that I was home for a whole week before I had to fly out again. I was elated to be home with my kids and my dog, out running on a beautiful sunny day, surrounded by trees and blue skies.

It was the bestest day. 🙂

I sat in my truck afterwards, like I always do. I drank the right amount of water, consumed my favorite gluten- and dairy-free Evolve chocolate protein shake, ate my banana. I was doing all the right things. I was happy with my run. I even posted this on Instagram:

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W4D6 Fall half marathon training. Slow, easy, intentional miles today. Observations from the trail: keep your 👀 peeled for horse 💩. Don’t breathe in when the pack of sweaty, stinky, shirtless high school boys run by. Hold your Intended pace even when everyone else is running faster than you (which for me is almost always😊). Needed these miles in this place today. I’m traveling a lot for work. It’s crazy busy. I’m stuck in rooms with no windows. I’m worried about two of my dearest people. My house is a mess and we are out of groceries. Again. I miss my friends and dancing and being out on my bike and summer is winding down and I’m not ready, dammit!! So I went for a run. I let my mind focus only on the mile at hand. I walked when I needed to and ran fast when I wanted to. Later I’m going to take my best girl shopping for cute back-to-school clothes and out for a nice dinner. Maybe we’ll even see a movie. The rest can wait. But first, an ice soak for my feet. 😏 Happy Saturday everybody!! Do what you love most today. ❤️

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Twenty minutes later, I drove to Whole Foods as I always do after a Saturday long run. It’s my reward – once a month I splurge on my favorite organic vegetables, fruit, salsa, and pre-prepared meals like grilled rosemary chicken. It’s nice to have someone else cook for me. 🙂  I had a craving for organic oranges that day.

I parked, put my glasses on, got out, and began walking toward the store entrance. The sun was so bright it hurt my eyes. I felt like I was standing in a lava lamp. The world shifted and morphed in goo. If you’ve ever had vertigo, it felt kinda like that. But different. Worse. Sickeningly worse.

I thought – oh. Maybe I put my glasses on too fast and the change in perception is making me nauseous. I went to take my glasses off. But nothing happened.

“My arm won’t move. That’s weird.”

Continue reading “What Having a Stroke Taught Me – Part 1”