If you would like to read part 1 click here
The First Two Weeks
I don’t really remember the first week in hospital, just a slight glimpse – a doctor here, a catscan there. My brain was quite scrambled at the time. I had millions of fragmented thoughts running through my head all the time. This made it difficult to tell the difference between dreaming and being awake, day or night. My brain became this remarkable entity working to piece the puzzle back together while I witnessed it.
As it turns out, I had a brain hemorrhage. I would later find out that more specifically, I had an intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke. It’s still difficult for me to say, or even to admit, which is why I wanted to put it all out there to begin with.
The worst part was the headaches. The headaches were constant, every second of the day for months. In the beginning I was on morphine to cope with them, eventually graduating to Tylenol 3 with codeine and then to regular Tylenol. Secondly, the paralysis was difficult to deal with. I was paralyzed on the entire right side of my body. It didn’t bother me that much at first because I was so out of it, but eventually it got to me. I had a catheter put in, to help me pee (I called it my pee bag). I hated it. Who would have thought I’d miss peeing on my own? When I did have to go to the bathroom it took 3 nurses to keep me seated on the toilet. If they let go I would fall in. Every morning the nurses bathed me and all I could do was lay there weak. I even got my period, which I could do nothing about. I also became extremely sensitive to light. I wouldn’t be able to turn on any lights or open the blinds. This contributed to not knowing when it was day or night.
I never lost the ability to talk but it was extremely difficult for me. I severed the connection between the location of where my vocabulary is and the ability to speak. I was only able to speak in short simple sentences. I had developed word finding difficulties which I’m still working on. I lost the ability to read during the early stages. It was disheartening to lose something that was so important to me. Especially after I dedicated this year to reading 25 books. It was strange as well trying to read the cards that were given to me and not understanding the language. I began to feel like everything that I worked hard for and everything that was important to me was for nothing. Yet, oddly enough, I never got depressed. I cried a lot, but I accepted the challenge. I was curious as to what this all meant.
* On a side note, I haven’t given up reading as many books as I can before January. I’ve read two since the hospital and hope to read two more. That will bring me to lucky 13.