I am … a Survivor.
Hope After Stroke
My name is Curtis Parker. On September 21, 2013 I had a stroke. I was 59 years old in excellent health. I was playing basketball three days per week and jogging twice a week. I had been doing some form of exercise 5 plus days per week since the age of 16 so all of a sudden having my left side completely paralyzed was a shock.
As a person who had been active all of my life it was very different having to depend on others to do simple things; like needing assistance just to go to the bathroom. I have to give a huge shout out to my wife Pamela for being my advocate and constant caregiver during this journey back to wholeness.
I am a man of faith but on the first day of my stroke my faith was shaken as I felt an overwhelming sense of depression, despair and hopelessness. However on the next day after getting over the initial shock, God and I had a discussion about what had happen and why. It became clear to me that God was empowering me to minister to others who were dealing with stroke or other catastrophic illness. My hope returned when I was told that I would live and not die, that I would receive my healing to the point that all the things that I did before, I would do again but better and that my latter days would be better than my former days. It was revealed that my healing would be accomplished through the use of medicine, time and physical therapy. It is important to note that the use of physical therapy was so that I would have the privilege of participating in the miracle of my healing. God made it clear that He did not need any of this to heal my body as He could (with just a thought) heal me immediately, but this was not my journey. It was also important that I experience the recovery process because as I witness to others, this would make me sensitive to their feelings and would provide confirmation to them that I could empathize with their journey.
All of the things that God told me restored my hope for recovery. Today I am getting my life back. I exercise 5 days per week working on strength, range of motion and flexibility. I watch what I eat and take my prescribed medication daily. I am working toward a complete recovery that will put me in the place of being better than I was before the stroke. More importantly I am spreading a message of hope to other stroke victims to let them know that God is a healer and what He did and is doing for me He can also do for them. I encourage them to embrace their faith and use it as the backdrop and hope for their recovery.
There is indeed hope after stroke!