Empowerment

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Let me tell you a story. She had a fire in her heart that made her do everything fast. She talked fast, she ate fast, she ran when necessary and she wrote faster than any one she knows. During a session she had planed to have women tested for Hypertension, She consulted a Doctor friend of hers randomly and he diagnosed her as having high blood pressure. “High blood pressure” She said, you’re kidding. “No”, the doctor said. I’m serious. Let me see if there’s something in my bag that I can give you. You should be in a hospital. She was busy doing her work. It’s what she does best. She forgot about the diagnosis, about high blood pressure. She went on about her fast paced life for a good five years until she woke up one day and she was disabled. Lying in a hospital bed thinking of all the things that will be done by someone else. She had a heart attack.

She had a mild headache that would not go away. She took some baby aspirin but nothing else. In the morning she woke up and she could not get out of bed to empty her bladder. She thought it was weird. One of her side would not move. She woke her husband and told him. In the confusion, she could no longer hold her bladder she pied on herself. In that time an ambulance was called. They took her to the hospital. She was once again diagnosed with high blood pressure. Why is this happening to her? She’s a good person. She helped others, gave to those in need, But she was not taking care of herself.

At the hospital she had a battery of test they looked at the inner lining of her large intestine or colon Colonoscopy, they did Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), to see if blood was going to all the vessels of the Brain. CT Scan or Computed Tomography Scan (Cat Scan) 360 degree X-ray pictures of the spine and vertebrae to check if there was blood going to any parts of the body. Blood work became a priority. She was given a brace for her leg and one for he hand. She hated them never wore them out. Telephone calls from family or friends were not allowed. She cried herself to sleep every night and cried again every day whenever she thought about her predicament. This is where she thought about dying. “Oh God why didn’t you take me.” She said. Why didn’t you end it all?

Sitting in a wheelchair feeling sorry for herself, She thought her life was over. She could not work any more she could not plan anything that would result in her showing up in public. You see she was a publicist. Everything she did involved being seen out in public. She needed to get off her butt. Often we do something that empowers us without knowing. She went back home to New York where she surrounded herself with family. They wanted to take care of her. They felt sorry for her and she hated that. Every time she got up it was in a wheelchair. It seems she would never walk normally again. She didn’t want anybody doing anything for her. She Wanted to do it all for herself.

“Only you can do this for yourself.” Those are words she heard herself tell others too often. It began with taking care of herself. She called all the doctors she could think of. Some were informational, some were in it just to see another patient and some were necessary. The Doctor asked if she was feeling sorry for herself, and did she cry all the time? These were normal she said, the crying is inevitable. It will go away little by little. She scheduled her therapy where she went religiously. The nurses wondered what is wrong with her. Repeating exercises 5 more times, 10 more if it was easy. She never used a cane. She was like a busy body. Everyday she walked until she was tired. She was set to do it all, if it will make her well.

This was going to be a very slow rehabilitation. The improvements came little by little. The entire right side of her body was dead. Now she could move her right leg, her right arm and her right hand is showing progress. In New York it is no small task to decide you’re going out without a destination. Especially when it’s freezing outside, you can’t even get the kids to go out with you. She felt empowered. She was going to do more with her life. After almost drowning in Mexico, after seeing the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti and after going through a transient ischemic attack (TIA) she felt it isn’t time yet she was probably, saved for a reason. She feels empowered to find out what that reason was. She keeps busy and works every day teaching children.

It is not a joke. Her life has changed completely. She is working on driving again and takes her medication religiously. She got in touch with family and friends. She has even gotten back on social media. Those who knew about her attack said welcome back. Those who didn’t know did not need to know. They were welcoming her back anyway because she was a good writer. She is remembering everything. People she was not too kind to, those to whom she owed some gratitude. She was going to make it all ok. In her mind everything is coming back. Life is a series of challenges it gives you a problem, so you can find a solution. You keep doing this until you die, which for her will be no time soon.

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