one teeny, broken blood vessel
by Debra Madonna
This story begins with my stroke. I became unconscious and remained that way for the next 48 hours in a hospital. It is also the story of the people who took care of me: bystanders who called emergency services, ambulance workers, hospital workers. Each of them played an important role keeping me alive and safe. I received care from hospital personnel daily for the next month. They used their extensive training to help me to learn to eat, speak, walk, and do all the things we take for granted. Once home, I received ongoing support from medical personnel, family, and friends. I experienced little improvements every day and am still improving today. Not everyone has a positive experience in a hospital or with medical staff. When I was discharged from the hospital, I thought about the people who would become patients in a hospital. I thought about the people who don’t like hospitals or doctors. I thought about the patients and their families who were confused and scared. I wish everyone could visit a therapy room in a hospital, before they become a patient, to learn the purpose of rehabilitation therapy, and understand the purpose of all the gadgets in the room. I wanted to share my experience with day-to-day life in the hospital and articulate those things that helped me. My recovery continued long after I left the hospital, doing all I could do. Was I ever scared or depressed? You bet. I let people know I needed help and they helped me. This book is for people who we meet every day, who do the best they can for others: doctors, nurses, and the therapists who helped a woman stand up and walk again. Thank you. Is it important we celebrate little accomplishments? Yes.