I had a bad night.
Adam went to San Antonio for a work thing and I was home by myself. I felt fine when I crawled into bed. After a while of perusing Google about the differences between vocal ataxia and dysarthria, I set my phone on the nightstand and lay on my back to sleep. Out of nowhere my arms felt like lead and I couldn’t lift them. I couldn’t move my left leg. My head suddenly felt as though someone had taken a hammer to it. I was in trouble, again. Crap. I think I’m having another stroke.
I suddenly remembered the necklace that Adam had gotten for me; its accelerometer would detect if I fell and alert medical responders if I didn’t cancel the call or respond to an attempt to reach me via a speaker in the living room. Someone would come if I pressed the button except that I couldn’t lift my arms. I turned my head and glared at my cellphone sitting on the nightstand. Less than a foot away and I couldn’t lift my arms to reach it. I couldn’t lift either arm. This is really annoying. At least a lifeguard saved me last time. I could be lying here until Adam comes home the day after tomorrow. Gross. I considered that for a moment; a lifeguard had saved me last time. I was basically guaranteed to lie in bed until Adam’s return. This time was worse; my left side had stopped working this time, which meant that I would likely be severely disabled if I lived through this one. I can’t go through this all over again. I’d rather that it kills me this time. I thought about that for a moment.
After the first stroke, for the first few weeks, I had wished that it had killed me or at least had left me as a vegetable. I wouldn’t be able to get the clot-busting drug, a tPA, in time, again. Since I couldn’t move the left side of my body and most of my right side I would likely be left as an incomplete quadriplegic for a while, at best. My future suddenly looked very bleak. Yes, I would rather die this time. I couldn’t put my family and remaining friends through this again. I wished that I had seen my friends before this happened. I hadn’t gotten to see my family recently. I had wanted to ask Andrea, Derrick and Crystal to hang out later in the week. I really missed them. Please kill me. I can’t handle this again.
Adam had gone through far too much since he met me. I couldn’t do this to him again. We had paid thousands of dollars for the last stroke and I was tired of watching him work every minute during his prime to pay for trouble caused by me. I owed Adam and his family too much. His mother had taken a leave of absence in order to care for me and Adam was working so hard to pay for me. I kept stealing time and money from people without even trying.
It was a good thing that I hadn’t seen my family and most of my friends in months since they were already used to not seeing me. Years ago while I was preparing to enlist with the Marines I had begun to distance myself from my friends and family so that it wouldn’t hurt as much if I died while with an FET. I hoped that it would work since I hoped to die this time. I was so tired of trying not to fall apart. So, so damn tired. I had been this tired the first time too. It’s almost time to go. I forgot to check the mail today. Oops. I was starting to think of the mundane things that I hadn’t gotten to do. I was getting delirious, just like the first time. I wish Adam were here. I hadn’t gotten to stand and hug him before he left on his business trip earlier. I hadn’t gotten to recover enough to play guitar with my brother again or practice sign language with his wife, Crystal. Andrea would have a lot to learn now that she was officially into her 20’s and had had a son. In some ways she was older than me because she had earned so much wisdom from her son, but she had always been that little 8 year old kid sister with the ringlet curls. I was supposed to be around to teach her the things that big sisters teach little sisters. I thought of my friends for a fleeting moment. I was so lucky to have the friends who still talked to me after the first stroke. I hope they stay in touch with each other throughout their lives.
Then it occurred to me that stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in America. 1 out of every 3 people will have a stroke. What if Adam had one later on in life? I really wanted to get better so I could be around to take care of him if he ever had one. I needed to be around for him, regardless. I wanted to give him a hug when he got home and I really wanted to see my family and friends again. But that would have to wait. I needed to take a nap first. I looked up at the ceiling fan and then everything went dark.
I opened my eyes and glared at the ceiling fan. F—. Didn’t die. Yup. Angry with myself for not dying. Go figure. I squeezed my eyes shut while I contemplated finding out whether or not I could move my body. I started with my fingers and gasped in disbelief when I felt them move. I moved my arms, legs, toes. I sat up. No dizziness. I was bewildered. Hadn’t I just had another stroke? I sat in bed for a while, Adam’s pillow pinned in a tight hug against my chest.
After a good amount of time passed (I don’t know how long) I began to realize that I hadn’t had another stroke. It had simply been one of those lucid dreams. How irritating. I picked up my cell phone, silently elated that I could do so, and texted Adam: You awake??? I needed to hear someone’s voice. I waited a while and then realized that it was 02:00. He would be sound asleep, as would everyone else I would have texted. But Adam #2 normally wakes up at 03:00 to train. He would likely bike or swim. I shook my head. It had been a dream and there was no need to cause any alarm or text anyone at all. Period. Just a dream.
I tried to fall asleep again. It was 05:00 before I fell asleep. That was last night and it sucked. I today with Adam’s mom and felt a lot better. I should try to sleep tonight.