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I Had a Stroke When I Was 26

I am a quirky young woman whose Mind went Pop. Mindpop. My stroke took away my limbs and speech for a while. Here are some chronicles…

I. Red, Red Wine

Problem: Recently I was in my apartment trying to open a bottle of wine. I took out a wine opener but realized it doesn’t really work when you have only one working hand. As I don’t drink wine alone, when I want to open a bottle of wine, there’s usually somebody else there to help. Frustrating. It wasn’t even for me, this wine. It was for a recipe that I was taking to a party.

Solution: I finally carried the damn bottle and its opener a block and a half away to a café. The cashier, a skinny guy with tattoos and piercings, said he would normally open my bottle, but he was under 21 and he didn’t want to get anyone in trouble. I looked at him. I waited. He said he would call his manager. The boss, clearly older than 21, without tattoos and piercings, arrived. She opened my bottle. I thanked them.

As I was leaving, I asked them if this was their weirdest request. “No,” said the tattooed guy. “Once, a customer wanted us to stop the sun so it wouldn’t get in his eyes.”

II. Personality

Do you think personality is permanent?


Have a stroke and you will know that you are wrong.

III. Fake Type

I wrote this post using voice-activated software. If you have only one usable hand, talking to your computer is better than poking at it with a finger. The software takes a while to recognize your voice, but after a while it does the job.

Sometimes, though, it makes silly mistakes. I told my computer “existential crisis” and it heard “Texas dental crisis.”

IV. Strokewatching

Stroke victims tend to have certain patterns of movement. For instance, patients often walk with a raised hip on the bad side, to let a messed-up leg go through. Normals keep their hips even. Once you have noticed the stroke walk, you can spot us easily. Then you will realize that we are everywhere. Six million people in the US are living with a stroke. Stroke is a top cause of long-term disability in the US.

You can strokewatch. If you use binoculars, you are weirder than we are.

PreviouslyOther Mindpop Posts.

Nina Mitchell had a stroke when she was 26. More chronicles are at Mindpop or Facebook.

© 2011 by Nina Mitchell, The material in this article is protected by copyright and may not be copied or published or otherwise distributed without the Author’s permission. All Rights Reserved.


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