A stroke of luck it most certainly wasn’t…
In fact, was a stroke of a much more debilitating nature. It came this morning, F.A.S.T – just as the tv advert warns it can.
I had been fine up until that moment. Well, blood pressure was too high, but that’s a given, right? I was a bit stressed, but it was nothing to do with work or anything, right? Sometimes my head appeared to be full of stuff that needed sorting but I couldn’t/or wouldn’t pin it all down, but hell, everyone’s like that, right?
Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.
Laying in a hospital bed fighting to get back what I had lost in mere seconds and minutes wasn’t what I had planned for my Sunday. I had been looking forward to my morning coffee and cereal, perhaps a read of my work emails, a check of my phone for signs of conference calls with work colleagues, preparation for another big work week ahead, maybe a late lunch to squeeze in.
But then. It came F.A.S.T.
A quickening numbness all down one side of my body, feeling one part of my face droop, sudden confusion, slurring my words, dizziness, disorientation.
The first thought I had was: “Jesus Christ, is this it? The end of my time?”
A second thought quickly followed: “What am I going to do about my Monday morning zoom meetings?”
And just before my mind became chaos and I entered what seemed a very dark tunnel up popped a third thought: “Why the bloody hell am I worrying about work when, the crunch time arrives, and I can suddenly see that there are things far more important to me, like my family?!”
Two days later firm decisions had been made.
Fortunately, one of them wasn’t what songs I was going to have played at my funeral service!
I had, in fact, made a blessed recovery. Things I had lost, particularly physically, had slowly returned. And God, I was so grateful for that! Yes, I had to admit my life would never be the same, and my stroke, caused by a blood clot, had undoubtedly damaged a part of my brain. I was facing up to a future of tablet taking, but I was alive. Oh, and that protection policy I had decided to take out…despite me constantly grumbling about the monthly cost, well, thank goodness for that!
I’ve since made the following decisions:
- I’m putting my family at the front and centre of my life.
- I want to be happy, smile more, make my loved ones laugh
- I have written a list of what my future goals are, and the top five don’t have the word ‘work’ in them.
- I am going to put my finances in order, so that I can realise those goals I’ve written down.
- I am not spending hours and hours of my day on zoom anymore.
- My work life has changed – and I want it to count for something. Quality not quantity is now the mantra.
- I’m going to try and lose some weight, get reasonably fit, walk more.
That, so far, is what my life-threatening experience has taught me. My list will certainly be extended, but it will be made up of my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations. All the things that had laid dormant in me until something unexpected and dangerous had brought surging to the surface.
I’m sure that there’s more learning and insight to come….
Different strokes for different folks. Mine has opened my eyes to what really matters.
And I’m now planning accordingly….
Thanks for reading. I’m now going back to reading a book of my own, with no phone or laptop in sight….