"Follow my finger. Don't move your head, just your eyes."
"How many fingers am I holding up?"
"Wiggle your toes for me."
"Show me a big smile."
"Now stick your tongue out."
"Touch your finger to your nose, then to my finger. As fast as you can."
"Hold out your hands flat, like you're carring a pizza. Close your eyes and count to ten."
Look into the brimming eyes of your adult child and try your best to say something witty, so later she can remember a moment of laughter instead of a moment of terror. " IIIIIII'm sooooooo soooorry I made all you come down here to eat this hospital foooooood," Or bargaining with the doctor who has just scratched the bottom of my foot to make sure I can feel it, and who now informs me I need an MRI: "I'll do the MRI as long As you stand there And scratch my foot, because your'e the one who made it itch!"
The prayers I prayed in the CT tube--first, that I would regain the use of my left side. I'm no expert, but I know the Lord's prayer--Jesus insgtructed us to pray that God's will be done, not our own. Then the miracle in this instance must be that God's will and mine were the same, because within minutes I was moving my left hand and pointing to it with my right: "It's a miracle!" I was so thrilled with my newfound ability to movc my left foot that I nearly kicked the doctor in the nose when he instructed me to hold it up.
The next time I found myself praying in the IV tube, something had gone wrong. Days of testing had reasulted in a recurrrence of symptoms, so I prayed that this time the problem would show on the CT scan. God was way ahead of me again, but I got bad news before I got the good news. The neurology resident told me they woulxd be sending me home without any more invezgtigaion becuase I'd had such a recent hospital stay, and anothing had turned up the first time. I asked, "Did you look at the recent CT scan yet? He said he hadn't, and went to speak to the attending physician. He came back looking thoughful And puzzled.
"They found it," he said. It's a stroke in a very unusual location, a place where we don't usually find them."
I had a lot to be grateful for. If the clot had remIned undiscovered, I could easily have died without the correct treatment.
I found myself giddy with graitude fo the prayers of friends and family and, so I clowned relentlessly in the ICU.
About the frightening electrode-Yoda hairstyle I was awarded for the EEG test for seizure activity. Then the nurse in ICU nearly took me seriously when I joked I was training for a marathon as the three of us--the nurse, my IV pole And I-- strolled down the hall. The tap dance routine I never did complete before I was discharged, "Me And my Shadow," to the tune of my squeaking of IV pole and he rythym of bonging alarms. I still look forward to the ultimate discharge and complete and permanent healing, but for now