Our Vacation Interruption. A Stroke. Surely Not Me.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado…photo by kindergartenknowledge.com

At least the scenery was spectacular when I had a stroke last week…no warning! One moment fine. One moment not at all fine!

 

Driving through the winding mountain roads near Winter Park in Colorado, the views were beautiful. Hairpin curves were prevalent…way too prevalent for the speeds of some of the other drivers! I’ve been to Colorado many times…on much more curvy roads at much higher elevations, but this drive through the mountains was particularly nerve-racking!

I had no idea how nerve-racking the drive would get. I suddenly realized that I could not bend my pointer finger when I tried to pick up my cell phone after I dropped it on the floor of our car. Within a minute or two, the entirety of my right hand was numb. Strange feeling. Odd feeling. Frightening feeling. My husband and I had no idea what was causing the problem, but we knew that it occurred just as we were entering the higher elevation.

 

Pat

Before we received the stroke news…I was just enjoying the wonders of the Rocky Mountains! Evidently, I needed a hat to cover up my windblown hair!

 

We thought that surely the elevation was the culprit. Or was it? What had been unfurled upon us? I could not grip anything with my right hand. My cell phone felt like I was picking up a heavily weighted dumbbell. I would immediately drop my phone onto the floor of the car.

 

Mike

My husband appears much closer to the edge than me…no way would I stand that close! He had the sense to wear a hat in the windy weather!

 

I could not pick up my purse at all. I could not pick up a small bottle of water. I could not open the glove compartment with my right hand. I could not even begin to retrieve a single sheet of folded paper from a side pocket of my purse. My entire right hand had unfortunately been rendered virtually useless in a matter of less than four minutes. I had no warning at all.

After we finally arrived at our condo, I found that I could not walk without help from my husband. As we walked into the building, I could not seem to lift my right foot and found myself sliding my right foot the entire way inside. So scared. This was real. This was an event that came about like a quiet wind that turns into a hurricane overnight.

 

I most definitely had a stroke. Thank goodness…I had a mild stroke. The result could have been so much more complicated. It has been one week and I still have difficulty with my right hand.

 

Currently, there is no way that I can write or even begin to hold a pen. I can type with one hand, but working the mouse is almost impossible. My hand gets very tired and it does not even seem like a real hand. I look st my hand and I am certain that it belongs to someone else.

 

My walking seems to be getting worse, but should improve quickly after I begin physical therapy. I will have occupational therapy for my hand. In May, I completed a six month stint of physical therapy as a result of my back injury from a car accident.

 

If I am sent to the same physical therapy facility, I might as well be given a public relations position! For sure… I should get a parking place with my name on it!!

 

The good news is that we are back in Texas and had a wonderful time in Colorado despite the stroke! After we returned home, I spent one night in the hospital for a litany of tests. The MRI showed a very small blood clot on the left side of my brain which can most likely be resolved without surgery. All of the other tests turned out very normal!

 

So…that is our vacation story for this year! I am so sorry for my absence from writing my blog…I will try to catch up. I have stories to tell and lots of pictures to share! Besides…I miss everyone of you…my special friends from around the world!!

 

rainbow

A double rainbow that happened to appear on our way back through West Texas…a happy and promising sign in the midst of our worry!

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unfurl/

 

 

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Fog in Shenandoah…peaceful.

 

fog one

Photo by kindergartenknowledge.com at Shenandoah National Park.

 

I became mesmerized by the peaceful grace of the Blue Ridge Mountains when I was just a child. I will never forget the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the hiking trails that seemed so mysterious to me. The almost constant fog…or so it seemed…was indeed a vision of mystery to me.¬†

 

I feel the same way today…even after visiting other mountain areas…much taller mountains…even more stunning and more magnificent vistas. The Blue Ridge Mountains, Smoky Mountain National Park and the Shenandoah National Park hold a special place in my heart. When I visit Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia…I remember my relatives who most likely walked in some of these same beautiful places. Places that offer an envelope of calm feelings for me.

 

A stopping point along Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park became the location for the  photograph at the top of this post. Closing my eyes, I can still feel the quiet atmosphere, the peace of the lightly blowing wind and the past intertwined with the present. 

 

The foggy weather will eventually disappear, but the memories remain intact. I remember the laughter of visiting Shenandoah with our daughter and close friends…hardly anything better on a summer day!

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/foggy/

 

 

And the thunder rolls again in Texas.

 

storm clouds

Photo by kindergartenknowledge.com…Dallas, Texas…Summer, 2017

 

The thunder, the lightning, the clouds, the howling dogs, the cats hiding under the bushes, the rush of the wind, the bending trees, the falling limb on the roof… plus the brightest sunset…just another evening thunderstorm in Texas. Like the people we meet each day…every storm is different. Some loud. Some quiet. Some needed. Some not needed. And yet…amid the noise from the sky…we know tomorrow will be brighter because we surely learned something from the storm we encountered.

 

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umbrella