Today, I woke up like every other day from a sleep of barely two hours long. Some could classify this as insomnia of some sorts, but I knew the truth. Sleep visited me at its appointed time every other day, but my bank account could never allow me to open the door to it. It’s been a tough couple of years. The bills have been stacked up as far away from the reach of my salary as they can get. The closer I got to covering them all, the farther the finish line became. In addition to this, I have not had a balanced meal in months. I eat/binge on fast food. Meanwhile, I eat when I drive because there’s barely time for anything asides work. I do not work out. In short, the word has become extinct in my dictionary of life.
The Day it happened
I am a thirty-four years old African male and today, from what I was told by my terrified colleagues, I had slumped at work. As a result. I ended up in the emergency room. Do I remember much from my incidental impact with the cream-colored tiles of the secretary’s office? Yes. I remember parking my car in the only available space in the parking lot, alighting from it and making my way to the double swing doors. I may have said a few good mornings here and there when I began seeing Miss Kate, the company’s secretary, in two different spots at the same time. To clarify this, she was in a place but my double vision as the doctors called it, created the other spot. I felt the tremor and heard the sound of my bunch of keys hit the tiled floor. The rest, they say, is history.
Being in the emergency room, almost having a stroke, was by far the scariest happening of my adult life. The doctor’s report revealed an embolus temporarily lodged in the capillary of my brain. She said I was lucky to be alive. I had come this close to having a stroke, she said. I used to think the stroke was a condition peculiar to old people, not something that happened to thirty-four-year-olds. In my mind, I was too young for it, regardless, I almost had it.
Call it an epiphany but I became a student of this condition. I researched the topic from predisposing factors to management to genetics. Eventually, I discovered a report that said that there is a twenty-five percent chance of stroke in their lifetime. I may have been one lucky chap after all.
Stroke made me wiser. It made me realize the importance of taking care of number one. Also, it made me realize that life is a gift I ought to cherish. A healthy lifestyle is a life-long investment that everyone must make.
In conclusion, don’t be like me. Take care of number one. In other words, you are number one, take care of yourself. Stroke is a preventable condition. Physical therapy helped me recover and all I had to do was incorporate targeted physical activity into my rehabilitation.