Monday, March 9, 2009

October 2, 2006

Today, I learned about Mike’s stroke experience. We were having a group session: Mike, Linda and me. Everyone was trying to tell their war stories. Mike’s was so funny I almost fell out of my chair laughing. This is how the story goes:
Although Mike is only 49, he has a 19 year old son. One beautiful spring day Mike, Mike Jr, and Mike’s father go golfing. They golf for three hours, they complete the 18 holes, they go to the parking lot and say good bye to each other. Just as Mike is waving bye to his son, he notices that he cannot lower his hand. The hand is stuck in a permanent waving motion, and he is saying good bye over and over again…
Thank god his son notices that something is not quite right with dad, and they bring him to the hospital.
I imagine Mike still stuck in the waving motion, as they carry him like statue into the ambulance, like they would in slapstick comedies. I have never heard of stroke leading to one not being able to stop doing something. What a funny way to go. Mike also laughs at this.
Of course, not everyone’s story is amusing. Some patients are bitter. Take Linda for example. She is an outstanding ob/gyn, or rather she was, before the stroke. She was always fit, busy, determined, on target, on time… One day while she is on the treadmill, running and then “Bamm!” it happens. The peculiar thing about us patients is that nobody among us is overweight, on the contrary, quite slim, relatively in good health… It seems that somebody has thrown us a curveball out of nowhere. About Linda, the most amazing thing is that after her stroke her friends shunned her. Let alone helping her, they gave her the cold shoulder. I wonder why this happened. What leads a person not to help another person in need. I simply cannot grasp this notion.
Ruth among us is the most colorful character. She is 84, as I said. But if you look at her from behind she looks 18; she has a ballet dancer’s posture; she moves easily and with grace. She is vivacious, ready to smile all the time. Ruth tells me she has three sons, all living in different parts of the country, she herself lives in a retirement community in Sarasota Florida. One of her sons flies to Michigan every weekend, not to leave their mom alone. Too bad she doesn’t live in our hotel, it would be fun to have her every day. She is so talkative, although of course she doesn’t understand much of what’s being said to her, and doesn’t know what is coming out of her mouth. But aren’t we all having tangential conversations most of the time.

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