Page 51 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
P. 51

When I
 Suffered a
Stroke
by Darrell Prue man and let him in to apply a coat of floor finish to the new floor. What I intend with this When he finished his coat of floor story, is to educate you about finish, he loaded up his van and how a stroke can change your we made plans to meet back at life without warning. Literally, the job later. That was fine with minutes count. The choices you me, I had another project to do. make about whether or when I locked up the job site, hopped to call 911 have long-term life- in my truck, and made my way
 changing consequences. For across town.
many of us, perhaps even you, it All at once I got a very sudden, IS going to happen, and the only strong headache, not the usual hope is to recognize the reality type. This headache came on of it when it is happening and full force like someone flipped a take the appropriate actions switch and it was full-on, full blast. right away. I was that person... Unbeknownst to me at the time, the person it happened to. And this sudden, severe headache it came out of nowhere. was a clot lodging itself in the
You’ve heard the horror back of my head. It was beginning
stories I’m sure. So often it to restrict the blood flow into
happens to other people and Darrell Prue part of my brain. I decided to go
they choose to wait, or they think it will pass and everything will return to normal. Or, worse yet, maybe it happens while sleeping, or when there simply is no one around to call for help. Its numbing grip barges into the otherwise beautiful day you’re having, completely unannounced. You lose precious minutes. Minutes in which your brain cells die. Minutes that cause you to lose the use of your arms, hands, fingers, legs and precious speech. I had taken for granted the simple use of my limbs and the use of my speech, and then I lost them. Here’s my story about the day it happened...
It was a beautiful day in early March, a nice day that has ‘warm spring day’ written all over it. This beautiful day was worth waiting all winter long to enjoy. I got up at about 5:30 a.m. I stopped at the diner for a coffee and an egg sandwich, saw a few acquaintances, and we chatted about whatever. I drove to the job site to meet the hardwood flooring
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home and take some ibuprofen. Somewhere in this little bit of driving, it occurred to me, “this is a peculiar headache, I hope this isn’t a stroke.” By chance, I looked at my cell phone clock to check the time: 10:37 a.m. After stopping for the ibuprofen, I decided to carry on and hoped the headache would go away. I drove back across town to the job site to meet the flooring man. Let me interject here, if you even remotely think you may be having a stroke, do not drive! By driving I unknowingly put myself and everyone else on the road in danger. You’ll soon understand why. I arrived back at the job and we each went about our tasks. All at once, I was overtaken with severe vertigo. It had never happened to me before and I hope it never happens again. It was so intense, I felt as though I was moving when I wasn’t and wasn’t moving when I was. One moment I didn’t have it, the next it was so severe. I stumbled back to the driver’s seat of my
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