Hello, I just learned this week that my outlook is exceptionally good. My neurologist said I should have nearly a 100% recovery. That said, I have to pace myself and not rush headlong into life, as I am prone to do.
There are not enough words in any language to say ‘thank you’ to a remarkable woman: Marsha who was my health care COO; ran interference for me when I could not; was my voice when I was voiceless. Nor are there enough words of thanks to so many other friends—Sandy, an MD who started early e-mail updates; Gene and Liz who were thrown suddenly into the mess of my life and helped in immeasurable ways. And especially my friend Karen who literally saved my life by calling a friend who called the manager who found me. I am still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together of what happened. I may never know. I do know I would be dead if I were not social and engaged in the community.
A stroke changes your life. I won’t go back to the health care policy arena fight. I am not one to fiddle with policy minutiae—it upsets me, which is not good for a healing brain. I am going back, however, to my real passion—the consumer, the patient.
I have been given many gifts I would never have suspected. I want to return those gifts with a new book. It will be called: Gifts From A Stroke: Finding the Nub of Life©. I can be an interpreter and voice for patients and share lessons I would never have learned otherwise.
I cannot help recalling what I thought after my son died: “When the worst thing that can happen to you has happened, it changes how you calculate risk.” That remains true. The target on my back now will just be a little bigger. More stories to come.
Thank you for your encouragement and support.
Please, if you want to reach me, please do so by e-mail so I can pace myself.
Kathleen O’Connor © May 2, 2014
Coming Up: License to Lie and License to Prey