Stroke Me Day 30: System Failure

Dear Darling Ones,

Thirty days after the stroke that leveled me, I finally finally FINALLY have a physical therapy appointment. It’s tomorrow at 9 a.m.

While I know I won’t oversleep, I’ll definitely under-sleep, I’m still afraid I will.

Yesterday, I had another follow-up appointment with my nurse practitioner, who I have a crush on now. She’s the first medical professional who did not treat my body like a weird problem to be solved. She did not shame me for my weight, my blood pressure, nor my diabetes. She was impressed by my astronomical height, as she should be.

She really listened to me and my health goals. She didn’t tell me all my problems would be solved if I just lost weight. I told her my goal was to be stronger, not smaller, she agreed.

I explained to her how I was put on my first diet when I was four. How I was on a new, different diet every year throughout my childhood. I took Dexatrim in 6th grade. SlimFast, the Revolution Diet, extreme low calorie diets, aerobics classes, you name it my mom made me try it. My body never shrank.

She told me she didn’t care about numbers on a scale, but how I felt.

Then, we talked about my stroke. She said she was so relieved I made it to my appointment because she didn’t think I’d come.

“I’ve thought about you a lot,” she said. “The system really failed you.”

She told me how shitty my discharge from the hospital was, and she couldn’t believe they let me go without any plan for physical or occupational therapy. She apologized repeatedly for my experience, and I was surprised by how much that acknowledgement meant to me.

In other news, she was pleasantly surprised by my blood sugar and blood pressure numbers especially because I’m one-month from the stroke and two weeks from COVID.

I feel so validated.

I cannot wait for physical therapy. I feel like my right side has gotten worse. I’m shakier than ever, plus my arm and leg feel so heavy.

Hopefully this means things are looking up. I could really use a win.


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