I silently yelped into my blanket crying. Mom flew back to Texas after coming to DC for the Holidays. I was already missing her presence. I was also crying with gratitude. The New Year sparked a reflection over my stroke and following recovery. I stared at my pushchair/wheelchair that I previously used to depend on because I had no energy to walk or navigate the outside world nor did I have good mobility. I cried in disbelief as I stared at the plant Mom got me to spruce up the hospital room that I spent 32 days in. I’m in shock at how much has changed in 3 months. I remember vividly how my life was the hospital. It was the end of my life as I knew it. I was swollen from the steroids, loopy from my medications, and constantly monitored. I couldn’t see past that. I remember my brain being in a dense fog that has long since cleared. I remember the despair and resignation I felt. They were aggressive and stubborn not alleviating without brute determination. I remember the day I got news of my board exam failure and how my dream dissipated in real-time. Memories of how disabled I was flooded my psyche. I became overwhelmed bursting into silent tears and sobs as I acknowledged how much progress I had made. I walk every day. I use the stairs and can study or read for sustained periods of time. I cook a lot. I’m tapering down my steroid dosage and losing weight. My thought processes are becoming more positive, comprehensive, and logical. In the back of my mind, I know the road ahead is long, but for the first time, I have a sense that I can finish what I started: medical school, therapy, etc. I also feel stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Additionally, I acknowledge how I wouldn’t have made any progress going at this recovery alone. My mother and father along with my community kept me going and helped me. This interruption is beginning to serve as an awakening. I absolutely hate how I had to be near death for my perspective to focus and my purpose/value to be revealed to myself.
I have been distracted. Distracted by medical school, distracted by expectations, distracted by me. I was, like many of us, stuck on a perpetual treadmill believing I was moving forward, but in reality, going nowhere. I wasn’t changing or growing. I was just constantly moving fooling myself into believing I was going somewhere when in reality I was in the same place I had started. Part of me wonders what life would look like had I gotten all my wishes answered and goals achieved. I wonder if I would be in a good mind space. I wonder what kind of person I would be considering I wouldn’t have gone through the difficulties. Now, I’m here for the lack of suffering before success because it has been touted that suffering must precede success sometimes, but I’m frankly tired but grateful for the hardships. I’m grateful for the detours although I hate them very much. I’m appreciative of the new perspective I have now on life and living. (They’re different it turns out)
I’m going to do this. Read about it.
For more context and content about my stroke story go here.