I had a stroke.
Left partial anterior circulation stroke. May 2010.
It meant that the right side of my body was affected – I veered to the right when walking. My mouth didn’t work right on the right side. My right arm didn’t have strength it used to. I couldn’t lift my right leg far enough to get my trousers on.
But you wouldn’t know it to look at me.
That’s where the big difference lies. Aphasia – it sounds like a C S Lewis character in The Chronicles of Narnia – but it means a condition where the stroke has affected the person’s ability to speak, read or write. You can’t see it.
A stroke is a designer affliction: every person is affected differently. I’ve got two of the three. I can read, but speaking and writing I’ve got to work on. Then there’s memory: I forget words. I like to refer to my life now as a crossword puzzle: some answers are apparent, some you have to search for.
This is ironic because I’ve spent my life talking and writing as a television news reporter, teacher of journalism and in public relations. I have some things left to do: finish my novel and resume my photography career.
I’ll detail the stroke experience, and the redoable effort in writing in this blog because I have now trained my right arm to do reasonable service on the keyboard and I know where to search.
This for Amoret, without whom I would be rudderless in a stormy sea. She has always loved me.