Monday, December 10, 2012

A Stroke Story, part 1

MY STROKE by Carl D. Morris (my Dad)

About 9 years ago, I had my fourth heart attack. A Billings, MT hospital heart surgeon went up the artery from my groin area, on up to my heart, and attempted to put stents in and reopen a blockage. When I came out of surgery, I was informed that the procedure was not successful. They reported that they did put in a couple more stents, but there was too much blockage in a bad place, so they gave up.. The stents failed to restore any of the blocked blood flow. It was too late to save or help that portion of the heart that was damaged. Today, it shows up as a big dark spot on the side of my heart, when viewed via an X-ray. I was soon sent home to recover.

About 10 days later, I was asleep at home, when something began telling me, "Wake up!! Something is wrong. You have to wake up. Something is wrong and you have to wake up." So, I woke up. I looked around.. I might have felt a little funny, but nothing really seemed too wrong. I thought "Well, I don't know what the deal is, but beings I'm awake, I might as well get up and go to the bathroom." (Note: I will continue telling this story from my perspective at that time and in the way I was thinking of things. The thoughts I was thinking seem quite humorous, now.)

Well, it didn't seem as easy to sit up in bed as it should have been. For some reason, my right hand and arm didn't seem willing to help by doing their share. Oh, well. I can do it with just my left arm, anyway. As I teetered on the edge of the bed, mostly successful in my efforts to hold my head up, I reached for my glasses on the dresser. Wait!! What?? It didn't happen!! My right hand and arm didn't even move a wiggle towards obeying my command to fetch my glasses.. Hmm.. I wonder why that might be?? Oh, well. No big deal. I'll just use my left. Okay.. I've got my glasses on, now. With difficulty, I stand up beside my bed and quickly take off for the bathroom. Crash!! Down I go!! Oh, crud.. What a racket!! And, now I can tell I've woke up Sheryl.. How dumb. She turns the bedside light on. I'm trying to quickly stand up or get up... or anything... just so I won't look so stupid and feel so embarrassed. I seem to remember her fearfully asking me what was wrong. I answered something like "Nothing is wrong.. Everything is okay..".. Or, at least, I THOUGHT I'd answered. Oh, oh.. She's getting on the phone. I flop around, grab the bed with my left hand and arm and try to drag myself up onto the foot of the bed, just to show her that everything was fine. I could tell I needed to get myself up in order to reassure her. After I get my knees under me, I'm somewhat successful in pulling myself up on the foot of the bed. I get my upper half part way up. I turn my head in such a fashion that I can mostly hold my face up off the bed. I start telling her, "Don't call 9-1-1.. There's really nothing wrong... Don't call !! I'm okay!! Really!! Everything is fine!!"

The trouble was, I wasn't really saying anything. I was garbling something that was totally meaningless to anyone that might have been listening to me. Saliva was running down my chin and I was trying to get my eyes to focus. My face was making contortions. I was continually trying to lift my head up off the bed in such a manner that she'd be able to see for herself that I was okay. Why wouldn't she listen to me??? Oh, no.. She was calling for an ambulance, ANYWAY. I guess I can't stop her. Well, bummer!! Doesn't she know that calling an ambulance is a big deal?? It's probably expensive, too. Well, she actually went and did it. I hope she's satisfied. I don't know who she's going to get to ride in the ambulance. She's probably thinking it'll be me.

With Sheryl's help, I finally get to where I'm kind of sitting on the foot of the bed. I seemed to be recovering just a bit of the usage of my right leg. My right hand and arm were still totally dead and useless, just like they didn't even exist, or were just pieces of flesh hanging from my shoulder.

(to be continued....)

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