My first blog from my own website. This feels unreal.
3 years ago, in October 2017,I lay in a hospital bed on life support. When I had a massive stroke at the age of 31, I thought my life was done! I lived and enjoyed life all these years and now I'm either going to die or going to live a meaningless life. I had always been lauded for being brave and strong. But as I lay in the hospital, all I could think of was, 'what next?'. I didn't know if I could walk again. I didn't know if I could be the doting mother I was, ever again. Who will take care of my son after I'm gone? He has a great dad but he's a child with special needs. He needs his mom too. I even thought my husband would leave me! One night, at the hospital, heavily sedated with medicines, one of the nurses came to the room and looked puzzled that I was awake despite those medicines and plus I was cognitively able to feel and cry! She asked me why I was crying and when I told her the reason, something she said is why I am sitting in the comfort of my home and writing this blog today. I can't remember her name. I know everyone called her "Z". I have a blurred image of her in my mind. She said, "you're not God! If something has to happen, it will happen! No matter how much you think or cry. But if you had to die, you would have died immediately with the stroke. Many do. But God chose for you to live. You're the only one young patient on this floor. Every other patient on this floor is above 60. If they can't accept defeat, how can you? And who gives you the right to do that? God gave you a child with special needs because he trusted you would take care of him. Not everyone is chosen. You are. You may now think you have a disastrous life, but you must know my dear, you're one of God's favorites. He loves to see you conquer and win every time." and then she quoted "You're not what happened to you. It's what you choose to become." And she left.
I lay in that hospital bed at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, staring at the ceiling and thinking about how she's absolutely right. I'm not over the top religious. But those words filled me with immense strength. I didn't give up when my son was born premature. I did not agree when doctors told me he would never talk. I didn't budge when they told me he wouldn't walk. Today, he sings, talks up a storm and walks with a crutch. I wouldn't say it's all because of my husband and me. But the attitude of not wallowing in self pity and not ready to play the victim card got us here. Endless therapies and 7 surgeries got us here. But if my husband and I, even for a second, had thought that there is nothing we can do and let's see how life unfolds for him, then today he wouldn't be doing any of this. Even after thinking of all this, pepped up about how I'm going to survive all this, when I came home, I went into depression. I felt like an alien in my own body. I couldn't recognize this girl in the mirror. One eye turned, a stooping figure holding onto a walking stick. No matter how many motivational videos I watched I couldn't console myself. I did exactly the opposite of what I did for my son. I cried, told every random person I met, my sob story. I slept, cried and ate all day for almost two years. I stopped going out and meeting friends. I would make an excuse and hide when we met any of my husband's colleagues and friends so as to not embarrass him. But I've a great family who reciprocated my love, believed in me and gave me strength. Both my husband and my son never made me feel that I'm unwanted. 2020 February we took a family vacation to Mexico and when I couldn't participate in many of the adventure and thrill activities my family was participating in, and saw my son willingly trying sea diving and zip lines, I thought to myself, "what example am I setting for my son?" If I'm worried about who will take care of him after I'm gone, shouldn't I be working hard to ensure that I stay alive and tend to his needs? That is when I decided it's time for a change.
From February I started working hard on myself and I realized, it's only when we trust ourselves, things start falling into place. I had my third eye surgery at Mass Eye and Ear, Boston and it corrected my Diplopia. I worked out every day to strengthen myself and continue to shed all the extra pounds that had piled on. I continue to dance. I'm nowhere near what I could do before the stroke but it gives me happiness. I revisited my writing and today am sharing my first blog from my own website. Today when I look at the mirror, I see strength, I see a never dying spirit, I see love, for myself and my family. I decided to write my story as my first post to inspire at least one person who is struggling out there and to let them know "You're doing good, you're a warrior and this too shall pass!"