I read the prologue of my book to a group of writers. They felt that taking people through the experience of having a stroke was riveting. Read it below and tell me what do you think?
It was early Saturday morning, April 28, 2007, two weeks before my 46th birthday. I was a vegetarian and continued to go to the gym five times per week. I was healthy and as fit as an athlete, physically anyway. I believed I was in better shape than many thirty-year-olds.
Feeling sleep in my bones, I rolled my body to the edge of my bed, dangled my feet over and slowly sat up. I dropped my bare feet onto the hardwood floor, allowing my legs to drunkenly carry my body to the bathroom. Yet, once inside the toilet, my body wouldn’t do the functions it always did every single morning. Even after sitting for maybe five minutes, nothing happened! Pulled to the mirror by my subconscious or some other unseen force, I slowly raised my body up, shuffled a few steps forward, and gazed into the mirror. I can’t describe my reflection, but my right eye looked troubled. This could have gotten my full attention, if it weren’t for the tiredness that seemed to be weighing my body down like a heavy load.
“Go back to your bed,” said a silent voice inside me.
I instantly turned around and allowed my head to carry my increasingly droopy body back into the bedroom. As I tried to hoist myself up the 25 or so inches onto the surface of my bed, my arms, legs and every other part of me came sliding down to the ground. It was like an unstoppable avalanche!
I was suddenly like a helpless baby, totally unable to pick myself up off the floor. I thought, maybe hoped, I was dreaming.
Frightfully confused, I crawled on my belly like a senseless, headless chicken, from the bedroom to the bathroom, and then turned right towards the kitchen. It was as if some kind of horrifying madness had taken me over.
I probably would have panicked to death, if Shani, my then five-year-old daughter, had not appeared. I knew then that I didn’t just have to worry about what was erasing me, I had to take care of her.
I somehow told Shani, who I imagine must have been freaking out, to get the phone. Desperately, I tried several times to dial my mother; but each time, after the 3rd or 4th number, everything became so mixed-up in my mind that I was unable to recognize or see even a single number.
A voice inside me said “Dial 911!” It was only 3 numbers. I could do that.
Knowing the ambulance was on the way reduced the pandemonium that was itching to break loose from inside me. For a merciful moment, the reduced stress enabled my brain to somehow find itself. I correctly dialed my mother’s number, the hardest 9 digits my brain ever had to hold on to.
I did not hear my mother say hello. I have no recollection of Shani taking the phone. I can only remember her quiet fear-stricken voice. “Grandma, there’s something wrong with Mommy! Who’s going to take care of me?”
My heart felt like it crumbled into miniscule peaces as I heard those words. I could not really see Shani’s face or the frightful tears, which must have hidden behind her desperate eyes; yet I knew she was scared to death.
Soon the Paramedics rushed in, a man and a woman. Working hurriedly outside the kitchen of my two bedroom apartment, they were doing doctor things to me and asking doctor questions, which I was too senseless to know or remember.
Then two firefighters rushed in. They assessed the situation and veered toward Shani, peering silently from the adjoining living room. My eyes fixed on the two handsome firefighters as they played doll with my daughter, saying comforting little-girl things. I had no doubt they would care for and protect her until my mother came. Even for but a moment, my body relaxed with a feeling of tremendous gratitude.
I cannot recall much about leaving my apartment or travelling down the elevator. Yet I remember feeling some sort of pity for myself, as I noticed the rental agents peering through the window of their ground floor office, and as the Paramedics held adjoining ends of the stretcher and rushed me out the apartment entrance and into the ambulance.