Considering how half-assed I was in launching this blog (and all credit goes to devoted wife Suzanne for finally goading me away from the television set with the mandate that I “Fish or cut bait,” so to speak), I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the kudos and encouragement I’ve already received. I’m talking about longtime friends, new friends, former students, former classmates, former brothers and sisters of classmates, former colleagues. The word that best describes this is, YES!
As I mentioned in my previous posting, the narrative of my life, which had been progressing along in a perfectly acceptable manner (especially in hindsight!), took a startling twist. I managed somehow to tear my right carotid artery, which my body tried valiantly to repair. ( I picture legions of tiny plasterers furiously slapping on sealant, while water (blood) bullies its way through the breach.) It was only a matter of time before clots got thrown into a highway spectacularly ill-equipped to accommodate them. The resulting stroke did significant damage to my right parietal lobe, a peanut sized partition of the brain, which in tandem with its left-brain partner, controls limb movement and coordination, along with my sense of my body in space. Hence, my left foot, leg, arm, hand and fingers have been rendered moderately to severely paralyzed.
I also have been told that my stroke “nipped” my frontal lobe. According to everyone but myself, this manifests itself in short-term memory lapses, more than the usual amount of absent-mindedness, and a mild (but refreshing) lack of impulse control (I’ll own up to that one!)
Previous to my stroke, I was a tad arrogant — smug about my athleticism, my talent on the piano, my artistic flair, and my ability to conclude dining sessions in which the proportion of food delivered to my mouth greatly exceeded the proportion of food that went on the floor or in my lap.
But I had my stroke, and boy have I been humbled! I now own a genuine Dr. House cane, courtesy of my son, who picked it out of the freebie bin back when he worked at Entertainment Weekly, but that’s small consolation. Actually, it’s pretty cool!