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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Lori K.
Lori K.
Survivor

Liane W.
Liane W.
Survivor

Richard H.
Richard H.
Family

Thomas Y.


Survivor

Be Present and Love

Learning about life as I went through a stroke. I am not done; so more love and opportunities to come

"Unlock the front door and lie down on the bed, an ambulance is coming," my finance, Sylvia, instructed me on the phone. As a registered nurse, she realized I was having a stroke and had called 911. That was in December 2009.

For the next four days, the only image I recall seeing is a nurse at a computer in the hospital NTICU. Sylvia and my ministers visited me. The ministers initiated our church prayer groups for me. This meant dozens of people prayed that I was healthy and whole now. Unbeknownst to me, the doctor had told Sylvia that I would either die or live in the next 24 hours.

The stroke paralyzed the right side of my body. I couldn't walk, use my right arm, talk, taste, see as well, think clearly and more. I realized the opportunity to unconditionally love life is here now.

I began working with the mental, speech and physical exercises, I knew totally, "I am whole and healthy." I didn't have to repeat it. I just knew this was the truth. I used positive prayer to refocus health in mind and body. Divine love and peace were melded with the executive functions of everyday activities.

I did TaeBo to exercise all my muscles, walked and did regular rehabilitation exercises at home. Eventually I stopped the rehab exercises, because I could do them all. Also, for healing I do Qigong.

Of course, it wasn't just my physical body that was affected by the stroke. I was affected mentally in a dramatic way. I wasn't able to speak initially. When I came home from rehab, I was given a book called Therapy Guide for Language and Speech Disorders Volume 1. I worked through the whole volume. It covered many subjects including listening and reading comprehension, speech and language, writing, number skills, and more. Now I am using a web based program called Lumosity to work with my mind.

I opened to and embraced three states of being. The first one was to be in the present moment. Given my outer condition, it would have been easy to focus in the past or the future, where fear and doubt can reside. I just focused in the now on whatever I was doing or thinking. There is an innate joy in the present. It allows wholeness on all levels to move more easily and freely. There are challenges that arise. I deal with them and move forward.

The second quality I embraced was divine love. I loved whatever I was doing, whether I was doing mental or physical exercises, exchanging with others or eating or sleeping. Love was there. Love what is, no matter what. Love is always present as consciousness. Relax and enjoy.

One day I talked to Sylvia in the kitchen, I felt the challenge of going through the stroke. I began crying and said, "This is hard." The emotion of agony moved through me. It lasted for a minute or so and was done. I smiled and thought, "This is interesting." No judgment. We can just love life as it flows through us.

And last, the truth is we are one. Separateness is an illusion; Oneness is our natural state. I realized that the stroke I experienced wasn't just about me and those close. Frequently I felt love for all in my church, those around me or God. We need the help of others. And we get to help others too. A number of people shared I was an inspiration to them. It is always an eternal give and take process. Everything we experience is an opportunity to be present, to love and to know who we are. We are one.

Today I'm back at work, serving in church, enjoying many of life's wonderful activities including the remaining healing actions. I give thanks for Life.

 

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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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Faces of Stroke

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