Page 52 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
P. 52

 truck to wait till it passed. Except it didn’t pass.
At this point I knew something was wrong but what? Mild panic set in. Something was in fact wrong with me and I didn’t know what! What’s happening? I certainly couldn’t drive, and I should have called for help. My cell phone was in my left hand, but for some reason my right hand wouldn’t dial the number. It was shaking and I couldn’t make my right hand move. It just laid there on my lap. Now I’m scared. I said out loud “what’s going on?” but the voice I heard didn’t sound like my voice. It sounded like a drunk person. It sounded like someone who can’t control their mouth properly. And my face didn’t feel right either. As crazy as it sounds, I felt like my right cheek was sagging off my face. Something was very
wrong with me. Full-blown panic was starting.
I needed help. I opened the door of my truck thinking I’d go get the flooring man for help. I took one step out of my truck with my left foot and it landed squarely on the ground, but in that split second, I knew something was wrong with my right foot. It was just kind of flopping out of the truck behind me, not really responding. I landed like a side of beef in a heap on the ground with no use of the right side of my body. I felt as though I was disconnected from my right leg. I knew it was attached, but it felt like it wasn’t. I can’t explain it. My leg wouldn’t move, my
arm wouldn’t move and I hit the ground pretty hard. I had done a “face plant” in the flower garden mulch while the rest of me hit the sidewalk. I just wished I could feel something on the right side of my body. It would have eased this fear that I felt about this...this....this...stroke! Dammit, I was having
a stroke.
I had no response at all from my right hand, my
right arm, my right leg, or my right ankle. I laid there
a moment in panicked astonishment, deliberately trying to move my right ankle, my leg, my arm... and nothing. And through the panic I thought again, “I really am having a stroke.”
I called out to the floor man and it was all I could do to form the words and have them sound intelligible. No response. He couldn’t hear me from this distance. I sounded like a drunken fool, but I was sober as could be. I then realized my cell phone was on the ground next to me, and I used my left hand to grab it. Because of that beautiful warm sunshine, and my face in the mulch, I couldn’t get the phone into a position to see the display and use my left hand to dial it. I fumbled with it for what seemed like an eternity.
I decided it would be easier to try and call out even louder to the floor man. I call out again. No response. After calling out for several minutes, he finally heard me. He came down and found me in a heap, half on the sidewalk, and my head in the flower garden. I managed to form the words “I’m having a stroke” as slowly and deliberately as I could. It sounded like some otherworldly, slow- motion intoxicated voice and not my own. He called 911 for me. He was calm for a guy who just landed in a tough situation. In what seemed like only seconds, I heard sirens and the ambulance was en route.
I had a few minutes there on the ground waiting for the ambulance to arrive, so I tried to calm down and take stock of my situation. “I cannot get up on my hands and knees. My right side won’t respond.” I tried to drag myself, but again to no avail. Then the thought hit me again... only this time it hit me a lot harder than before...”What if this is how I remain for the rest of my life? What if it’s already too late? What if this is a done-deal, that within the span of a few minutes, my life is now like this from here on out?”
Wallingford Magazine – Summer, 2019

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