We were a typical family: we lived trying to do things right — working hard, providing for the family, following Christian values. On Gordon’s 51st birthday, out of nowhere, a terrible thing happened: he suffered a massive stroke! One might say we were dealt a dirty card, but we see it differently. The experience has been a true test of faith and perseverance.
Our journey of recovery is still in progress. Gordon is now 11 years post-stroke and we are happy to report that he is getting better all the time. We will discuss this life changing experience and the lessons that have come along with it. Our hope is to inspire people and help them see that good things can happen, even when one doesn’t think it is possible. Gordon is certainly not fully recovered from his stroke so this isn’t an “I did it and you can too” speech. I am in the middle of my recovery and so my perspective is from “the trenches.” I am now the disability guru; a true stroke to success story!
This picture was taken yesterday at OHSU. Thankfully, Gordon was in an actor in a training video, not a real patient in a hospital bed. In their effort to keep patients, nurses, and therapists safe and unharmed, the good professionals at OHSU are creating videos on assessing patient mobility. Gordon was an excellent choice as their subject.
Seeing him in that bed brought some serious flashbacks for me. Even though I knew the scene was staged, I felt that old fear and dread rise up once again. I was also able to reflect on Gordon’s wonderful progress and be thankful that we can now laugh with the staff and participate voluntarily in this scenario.
Being nearly 7 years post-stroke, I was also able to express my appreciation for the compassion and positive attitudes of the nurses and therapists.
You wake up in a hospital, unaware of what happened. Your family and friends gather around to help you any way they can. Your family can’t make sense of what happened, so they see what is available on the internet. That the problem!
You can’t find ANYTHING you need to do AFTER you had your stroke.
For me, that stroke was 7 years ago. Now, 7 years later, it is different. Now you can determine if your heart is stressing out.. You pay attention to FAST and you are aware of the stroke facts. You have the signs, and your friends and relatives noticed it..and they tell you.