Arome Ameh’s touching story of stroke and survival (READ)

by Arome Ameh

Honey, I am dizzy!

These words will always haunt me, as these where the words that would change my life forever.

In my normal fashion, I am always eager to tell a good story, as it happened, and in most cases how I would have wanted it to happen, but in this case I would rather in never happened at all, but hey if we could choose our destinies, we’d all be multi billionaires with individual islands.

It was like every other day, I went to work, the kids went to school, my wife tended to her business, and at days end we all came back home to take stock of how the day went, but the events that would follow proved this was not the average day we had all grown accustomed.

I had just switched on the generator, and was making my way back into the house from the backyard, I remember suddenly feeling tired and heavy at the same time, I managed to get into the house, but my fatigue got worse, I felt out of breath, I saw my wife and remember saying “honey, I am dizzy” and that was it, when I opened my eyes, I was trying to remember what happened.

This part is very important, it was a total out of body experience, I realized that day there was no honor in death, it is filled with regret, of things not done, words not said.

I saw my wife crying, I saw my children weeping, I saw the pain in their eyes, I saw my lifeless body as they tried to revive me, and the more I tried to reach out to them, the farther they became, it was like my struggle to reassure them, pushed them away, and then I was not alone, I saw loved ones I had lost, they stood beside me, no words were said, my whole life flashed before me, I wept, then the fear set in, was this how I was going to die?

One of those who stood by me was a colleague who had died years ago, her name was Esther, she had passed away during child birth, she was a dear friend of my wife’s, she told me this was not my time, she said you are still needed, she smiled and walked away, my uncle who had died when I was just in the university, stood by me and simply said, you still have time, and then I was alone, and everything went dark.

I saw my wife, her eyes were red and swollen from crying, but she managed a smile, I remember seeing her lips move, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying, I tried to speak, but I couldn’t move my lips, I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t move any part of my body, all I could do was blink, and suddenly I began to panic, my breathing became labored, I passed out again.

I eventually regained consciousness, but I could barely move, it was like there was a concrete slab resting on me, I could move my head, raised it a little to look down at my body, I tried to move my hands, I couldn’t, I tried to move my legs, I couldn’t either, the scary part was that in my mind, these body parts where moving, but in reality everywhere was still, I was scared out of my mind.

I had various tests carried out on me, I had an MRI, a CT scan, an ECG, an EEG, an ECHO test, it was torture, my mind raced, and my main fear was what the tests would reveal, the results began coming in, and the summary was there is only minimal damage, at least some good news.

I lay on the hospital bed for another two days without any form of movement, but I was in constant pain, at some point, I felt an itch on my left leg, the itch moved up my feet, to my ankle, and then all the way to my thighs, it kept moving up, until I felt it on my side, and then I felt it in the palm of my hands, through my fingers, I couldn’t make out words, so I grunted until my wife heard me, she asked what was wrong, I kept grunting and tried to move, while darting my eyes to my left, she followed my eyes with worry, but eventually out of instinct began rubbing my left side, from my shoulder all the way down, and suddenly she saw my toe twitch, she screamed do it again, and I was able to, I felt so relieved, at least that was a good sign.

It turns out that my whole right side was affected, from my right eye all the way down to my right leg, there was no feeling, no movement, I couldn’t see out of my right eye, I couldn’t hear anything out of my right ear, I couldn’t not move any part of my right side, I was constantly depressed and frustrated, but my family kept encouraging me, they made jokes and tried to cheer me up, I was in no mood for jokes, I got angry at my condition, the worst part was that I couldn’t speak up, I could not express myself, so I resorted to crying, yes I cried a lot, then depression set in, I saw myself as half a man, and there were nights when I considered death as an option.

Something happened one day, my daughter came to visit me in the hospital, she hadn’t seen me since I collapsed, she witnessed everything, and immediately she walked in, she came to my bedside, kissed me on my cheeks and reminded me I promised to take the training wheels off her bike and teach her to ride, my eyes filled with tears, and I nodded and smiled at her, that day I saw my wife and kids in my room, laughing and trying hard to act normal, and there I decided I was going to beat this for them and for myself, everything they had gone through and were still going through would not be in vain.

As the days went by, I started making attempts to speak, taking one word after another, my physio and speech therapists are awesome people, very patient and supportive, my 5yr old son, learned how to finish my sentences, I thank God for giving me such brilliant children.

I am out of the hospital, thank God, managing HBP and going to various sessions of physiotherapy, my motor skills are improving, the brain swelling is reducing considerably, I sleep better now and I don’t forget as often as I used to, my speech is not 100% yet, but it’s much better than how It was when my journey started.

These days I have improved movement on my left, my right side is catching up gradually, I can see better thanks to prescription lenses.

The journey has not been easy, some days are better than others, but at least I have days, days to correct lots of mistakes made, days to tell loved ones I love them, more days to be the best I can be.

I have been given a second chance; I don’t plan on misusing it.

I shared this to help, I don’t know who might be reading this, but I hope my story helps you in some way.

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Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

 

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