Friday, May 17, 2013

STROKE OF LUCK

Louise pointed me in the direction of this story from Andrew Revkin, a journalist who had a stroke in the Summer of 2011. He has a great line describing the moment it started to happen:
I realize that through my left eye, the world appears paisley — as if I were looking through a patterned curtain. Something is really wrong.
Reading it made me queasy. It reminded me too much of last May, when I collapsed on a sunny sidewalk and started my own journey through a new world. It made me remember the days leading up to the stroke, and the fury I felt at my own body's betrayal. It also reminded me of my mixed feelings about the Muse, but that's between us.

Mostly I read Revkin's story because Lou recommended it and, hey, stories about strokes pique my interest. He wrote about vows he made in the weeks after his stroke:
¶ I vow to write a hard-hitting print article about stroke care.
¶ My wife gives me a card for a personal trainer. I start working out.
¶ In the interest of not torturing my neck, I vow no more red-eye flights.
¶ I’ve played guitar since I was 17, but never with much discipline. I start doing scales.
So how am I doing? I’ve stuck with almost none of those commitments.
It made me think about my own post-stroke resolutions. One of them — quit worrying about the future — is the hardest one to keep. A few people at work gig me about being a deep thinker. Maybe that's true. Or maybe I just worry too much. The future is daunting because I don't know how much of it exists. That's one thing the stroke did to me — I spend more time worrying about a potential lack of time. Such a waste of time.

Last June I wrote: I know what I want to happen, but much of that is out of my hands, and anything I do to alter the course of events may only be counterproductive. I've learned the bitter truth of that understatement and it makes me want to build a time machine to go back and make everything alright. In lieu of that, I will simply stay silent and nurse a killer headache. Friday night, and there will be no movies. Selah.

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