It’s a challenge so I try to take it as a challenge
It was a normal day at my broadcaster job, an on-air shift, some meetings, a networking thing to go to in downtown Grand Rapids a walk back to my office and drive home to Kalamazoo. That morning around 11 a.m. I could tell there was something not quite right. I tried to button the little buttons on my sleeve and couldn’t get it to button and I had a little trouble texting on my phone with my right hand. I kept working all through the day and I didn’t make the connection but on my way home, I noticed something wasn’t right. I got home and walked into the door right away my wife walked up to me and said that my face was drooping and I was having a stroke. We went to the hospital right away the stroke had progressed all day. The stroke paralyzed my leg, arm, face, the entire right side of my body for the next several days. When I had my stroke I was overwhelmed. I didn’t really know what a stroke was, I’d heard PSAs on the radio and had probably programmed in on my own station but I didn’t really pay attention to the content. I didn’t really know what to think other than listen to what the doctors say and take my health seriously. Since then, it’s just been a constant effort to push back against the disease. Stroke is much more devastating than I had ever imagined it would be. I thought I’d be home in a couple of hours and I didn’t come home for months. It’s a challenge so I try to take it as a challenge. When I came home, I learned about the stroke support group at Bronson with Jamie Warner. For about a year and a half or so, we met in person. They had very detailed presentations on stroke-related topics, everyone in the group is at different stages and had varying degrees of success. These meetings have been so valuable to me. Now we meet online and it’s still very, very good. In addition to the fellowship – seeing people who are coping and trying to make the best of their circumstance has been a huge encouragement to me.