Thank You, Brain

My Horners Syndrome look, particularly the unevenly dilated pupils, was an early sign of carotid trouble — and stroke risk.

Between Heaven and Hell: Tales From the Stroke Ward

Before my ocean of feelings about my stroke — and the five weeks I spent in a stroke ward — — begin to evaporate (as even the most overwhelming experiences can and do), I want to record some observations about my sojourn at San Francisco’s Davies Hospital and the care I received there from its staff. My hospitalization still haunts me and terrifies me — and makes me believe in people’s depthless capacity for love and compassion. When I tell stories about my weird and wonderful ordeal to friends and family, my heart begins to race, and I even worry about having another stroke. But I need to convey some sense of the experience, and how it changed my life forever — and to pay tribute to the circle of complete strangers who for five intense weeks became my family.

Btw, I’ll return to this subject now and then in future posts — sorry, it’s going to take some time to process and I’m never just going to “move on.” I don’t want to. I want to always hold on to what I went though, and what I’ve become. Of course, you keep changing after a stroke, and who knows who I’ll be in another five months? But for now, I still have a strange sense of floating outside myself. I’m in my wounded, slowly healing body, but I’m not. I’m alive, but not fully.

This hybrid existence gives me a different perspective on my life — and all my life-long passions (love, family, friendship, politics, journalism, music, film, food, the grand human parade, this mortal coil and whatever looms beyond, if anything). Everything is less intense these days, I see things in more proportion and with greater balance. And everything is MORE intense. My emotions can be as volatile and unpredictable as a high-mountain summer storm. [READ THE REST]

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