Once upon a time, there was a little boy who had a little stroke…
OK, technically I was neither little nor a boy, but on May 26, 2011, I had a minor stroke, or to be a little less oxymoronic, a very small part of my brain starved to death one morning. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I ended up spending 3 weeks in the hospital learning how to stand and walk again.
During that time, I kept my friends updated via Facebook. I did this for a number of reasons, the most important of which was to stay ahead of the rumor mill. But I also wrote about my experiences for my benefit, to make sure I was still me, and that the damage was purely physical and not mental.
But something odd happened. What started as data points slowly turned into a story. A story about a man trying to mock his way through the worst thing that had ever happened to him. And largely succeeding. After 45 years of watching TV, I was suddenly living in a poorly scripted House/Scrubs crossover episode. And since I seemed to be the only one aware of it, I took it upon myself to make the experience as entertaining for everyone else as I could.
A lot of people laughed, both in and out of the hospital. That made the whole experience livable. Once I started to write that the whole experience would have been fascinating if it were happening to someone else. I never wrote that, because if this had happened to someone I cared about, I would have been basically useless. I can laugh at things happening to me that I couldn’t if they happened to someone else. Because I believe that the good Lord is looking out for me. Laying in the hospital the first night, I found myself faced with two possibilities: either God had forgotten to keep me from having a stroke, or God knew and let it happen for a reason. And once I got down to that question, the answer was easy. And my response was surprisingly easy, too. “OK, let’s see what you have planned this time.”
Apparently, what God had planned was a near-complete recovery (except for some minor sensory weirdness), and a bunch of people who found my exploits funny and/or inspiring. I expected funny. Inspiring was a complete shock, but I’m not the one who decides what inspires. I’m just a guy with brain damage and a keyboard. And that was before the stroke.
So, by popular demand (actually, the demand was that I write a book, but I said no), I’ve gathered all the Facebook notes and status updates I wrote from May through September of 2011 into one place. By my count, the whole thing is about 24 pages long. If you are reading this and don’t know me, it might be too in-jokey, but it wasn’t meant to live as long as it has.