Stroke Me Day 22: Am I Having a Stroke?

Dear Local Twitter Dads,

Today I saw your tweets expressing incredulity at the price of family food and entertainment. The punchline of those tweets, Am I having a stroke? hurt my feelings.

Yes, I know it was just a joke. I’ve made that joke myself in the past. But damn, it sure hits different when you survived a stoke 22 days ago.

Twitter Dads, I don’t actually know what it’s like to have a stroke. I think I slept through mine. Maybe it was the tiny explosion in my brain that woke me up at 4 a.m. that Monday morning.

While I don’t know how it feels the moment you have a stroke, the aftermath is terrifying and devastating. I pronounced the word “animals” as “aminals” the other day and was sure I was having another stroke. Or my stroke was continuing. Or the aftershocks were getting worse.

I took an anxiety pill last night before bed because I had a headache and was convinced a stroke was imminent. My rational self knew it was my notoriously assholey sinuses causing pain. But, brain weasels don’t listen to reason.

Twitter Dads, I hope you never have a stroke. I hope you never go to bed one night as your able-bodied self and wake up in a body that has betrayed you and refuses to take commands.

I hope you never have to rely on people for the most mundane tasks. I hope you don’t ever cry over spilling water because it took so much energy to fill the cup and now you have to refill it AND clean up the mess AND everything is hard and frustrating.

I hope you never have to conserve your energy in hopes you’ll be able to do a load of laundry before bed. That’s my goal today. I was stupid proud of myself this morning when I was able to get the laundry basket from my bedroom to the laundry room. Wobbling from side to side on a leg I can’t really feel while carrying something was scary. But I fucking did it.

Twitter Dads, I know you did not intend to hurt my feelings with your joke. Hell, you probably don’t even know I had a stroke. Or that I even exist. Six-foot-five feminist killjoys are rarely anyone’s favorite.

I’m not mad, just disappointed.

My instinct is to blame myself for getting my feelings hurt. After all, as I’ve been told my entire life, I am “too sensitive.” My parents told me that every time my feelings got hurt. It’s not that the fat jokes or tall jokes or ugly jokes were mean, it was my fault for being too sensitive.

Sorry, Twitter Dads, it’s not my fault this time. You were too insensitive. I get it. I’ve been you. I’ve been thoughtlessly cruel too. Getting called out on it sucks. I try to do better afterwards.

I hope you do too.

Twitter Dads, I hope you’re able to take your kids bowling or out to dinner despite the exorbitant price. Times are rough. We could all use a little joy.


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