On October 21st of 2015 I suffered a stroke. I was transferred from Miriam Hospital to the Pawtucket Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Rehabilitation Unit. At this point I was both angry for what had happened to me and scared for what would happen to me.
I was totally paralyzed on my left side which included my leg, arm and mouth. It was not a pretty picture. I preferred to not look at myself in the mirror. My left arm and hand were paralyzed to the point that I had to use my right hand to move and lift my left arm.
I started on a physical therapy regimen of three hours a day, five to six days a week. What a daunting task. My rehabilitation consisted of physical, occupational and speech therapy. The sessions were totally grueling at times.
I was improving in extremely small increments and then it all started to come together. I was scheduled to be discharged after two and half weeks. Two days beforehand, thunder struck. I suffered a second stroke and was transferred to the main hospital for five days and then returned to rehab for three more weeks. I could not even read. I saw the disappointment in my wonderful staffs’ faces. I was even more angry and scared than I was after the first stroke.
Back to my schedule of therapy and with the loving care and help from the staff I was able to return home on December 12th. I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, but was able to return home for Christmas.
I had wonderful support from all staff including the dietary, housekeeping, CNA’s, nurses, therapists and doctors. They all became my cheerleaders for my recovery.
After seven weeks of home therapy, I was able to return to Pawtucket Memorial Hospital as an outpatient in their Rehabilitation Department. With their help I was encouraged to work very hard for nine months and now I am able to walk with the assistance of a cane and the mobility has returned to my left hand.
I am proud to say that I am a volunteer visiting with stroke patients at Pawtucket Memorial Hospital.
I feel this is a win/win situation. I give the patients hope and it is very cathartic for me.