December 7, 2017

My Stroke: It Begins With "C"

"I came for the colonoscopy shot," I said to the person at Pain Management registration. I knew the word wasn't right. I knew it began with a "c" but it just wasn't coming. "Wait, don't tell me," I said. "It's, um, um ... the Cortisone shot."

Words are sometimes trippy. While an in-patient at Phelps Hospital last summer, my speech therapist said, "The words are there. You just need to get them out of the file cabinets in your brain."

The Cortisone shot is for my right upper arm. The pain was excruciating for months until my mother piped in, "Maybe it's from me grabbing the wheel so hard." I was clenching it like there was no tomorrow when she leaned over from the passenger seat to veer the car into a guardrail on I-95.

After MRIs, xrays, etc., what we had all thought was neurological damage was actually bone and muscular.

"If you could sign this," said the assisting nurse after the Cortisone treatment. "It's for instructions on what you can't do and tells us you understand what was done."

"My handwriting sucks post-stroke," I said. "I used to have beautiful handwriting."

I moaned to myself and longed for the day I didn't have a stroke. When people told me (as egotistical as it sounds now), "Wow, you've got beautiful handwriting." And I did. You could actually read what I wrote!

AND THEN I THOUGHT ...

What if there was a shot to improve handwriting? You look at the monitor and watch as the Cortisone serum seeps into your upper arm. Afterwards, you're handed a pen and a piece of paper. You shake your arm a few times. You begin to write. What started as scratchy, illegible scrawl is now beautiful handwriting with flourishes and distinction. You did it!!


(Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.)





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