I'm Alive

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I was a farmer, a carpenter, a mechanic, a school teacher, and now I’m an engineer.

I worked as Senior Transportation Manager for Toshiba Logistics America, Inc. in Charlotte NC – I am 56. I have 3 children, 2 Grandchildren. I am single and I had a stroke. I’m alive.

My children and my grandchildren are my life now. I didn’t know what stroke was.
Working was easy. I traveled, and I was happy. All of these United States, China, Venezuela, Hong Kong. It was fun. Life was good. Then it happened.

I was working and I was tired. I went home. And then I couldn’t move. I tried to move and nobody was here to help. I knew something was wrong. Really wrong. Then it was night. I said to myself, I have to get to the hospital. I couldn’t find my wallet or my keys, so I crawled into the street without any ID. Finally the police found me. I couldn’t talk. The police took me to the hospital. At the hospital I wasn’t conscious. I was a John Doe in a hospital in North Carolina.

It was my son’s last ball game and I was always here-I never missed a game. My son said something is wrong with my dad. My daughter says let’s go to North Carolina to find out what’s wrong. It was three days before they found me. They thought I was dead. All my kids, my brother and my sister were there. When I finally woke up I couldn’t move or talk. I thought “what the hell is happening to me”

I was in the hospital in North Carolina for a week. My children lived in Pennsylvania so I was moved to Bethlehem PA for a month. Finally I could walk but I couldn’t drive. My apartment was in Doylestown. My hospital was there and finally I was trying to learn to speak again.

It is been 2 ½ years and I still can’t write. I use Dragon Dictate. That’s the only way I can do it. I can read like a little kid–I use a screen reader to help. My speech is still hard. But I’m here.

I really don’t have any friends anymore, all my friends are gone. They mostly live out of town and travel a lot too but also they don’t know what to say to me. I guess I have my friends in the hospital–at the MossRehab Aphasia Center-at least that’s something.

I am mad most of the time but nobody knows that- I keep it to myself. I can’t work and work was my life. Now my grandsons are my life. They have games and I watch- football, baseball basketball. I still go to speech therapy at Hunterdon Healthcare with Ann DeMarco. I also participate in activities and research at the MossRehab Aphasia Center with Karen Cohen and Ruth Fink and Adelyn Brecher. I can drive and nobody knows that I had a stroke but, am I’m alive??????

Well, I am here. Learning again writing, reading, talking. It hurts all the time. The pills help the physical pain but it’s not enough. I’m alive?? For now.

A stroke is awful and Heart attack is not. You’re okay or you die. This is different and I don’t like it. When my kids were little I would say all the time, you are a winner. A quitter, it’s not me. For now. I am alive. Just wait.

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2 comments

  1. Posted by Jodie Smith, at Reply

    So proud of you my big brother, keep up the fight!!!!!

  2. Posted by jonathan nicol, at Reply

    Congration!