Friday, November 5, 2010

My Worst Birthday Ever

My worst birthday ever---
I had a stroke two days before my 48th birthday. Just thinking about it now, makes me want to cry. I remember lying in the ICU in the hospital. My husband stayed overnight in the hospital because, I had been airlifted to a larger hospital one hundred miles from home the day before.

I was in no mood to celebrate my birthday. I couldn't talk without my mouth drooping. I felt exhausted, and seriously depressed. I was paralyzed on my left side. I couldn't move my arm, or my left leg. As the stroke was happening, I could do everything. My brain was dying from the stroke, and so was my ability to do things.

So, here I was lying in a hospital bed, in a strange town, with only my husband at my bedside. My kids were one hundred miles away at home. My in-laws were at our house taking care of everything there. And our relatives were two hundred miles from our home, in our original hometown. I just wanted to go home, and be left alone, and not have people ask me "What day is it Mrs. Johns?" I already had an MRI that morning, and about six doctors prodding and poking me everywhere they could reach.

My first meal in three days, finally arrived. I ordered a grilled cheese, with applesauce. The nurse came in behind my husband and I saw the small cake she was carrying. My husband and the nurse had found and lit two candles. My husband blew out the candles as more nurses arrived and sang Happy Birthday to me.

I actually laughed, and managed a lopsided smile. My nurse said, "I know this is the last place you want to spend your birthday, but we might as well celebrate it." I told my husband that I made it to my 48th birthday, and he managed a tired smile. He cut the cake, and we ate some. I had about two bites before I felt super full, from not having eaten in almost three days,

When we were officially alone, I started to cry. As my husband handed me Kleenex, he said that everything would be all right. I told him, he didn't have to stay married to a stroke victim. He countered with, "I'm staying, and that's that!  I mumbled this was the worst birthday of my life. He said. "It could be worse." I asked, "How could that be?" He gave me a look that said it all, and I realized, it could be worse. Even though, I thought this was the worst birthday of my life, I was still alive. Copyright 2010, (c), written by professional author Kate Johns.

1 comment:

Caroline St Clare said...

That's a very sad story Kate, and shocking that you were so young when it happened. I hope you have managed to recover.