When Yvonne had her stroke in January of 2006, she was at work. When it happened, she thought she just fell out of her office chair. She got up, dusted herself off and went back to work. There was nothing out of the ordinary, other than a sore hip from the fall. She drove home and all was fine. The next morning, her hip still hurt, but she went to work. Her balance was a bit off and her boss noticed. He drove her to the doctor and by that time, her balance was totally lost and she couldn’t stand up. She was hospitalized and treated with several types of medicines. And only after months of therapy was she able to regain some independence. She’s traveling and quite active, despite some limitations. She credits her positive attitude, her faith and her determination as factors in her recovery…which continues to this day.
Here’s Yvonne Lewis with her essay for KUHF’s This I Believe.
“Almost three years ago I woke up in the hospital from a stroke with a left side paralysis of my entire body. My whole life’s journey changed, and I became completely absorbed in a continuing struggle to regain strength, balance and health.
There have been many times I have not seen progress but I forge on regardless, counting each blessing as it comes. I believe that perseverance, faith and hope are the ingredients that comprise my positive attitude to stay focused on my goal.
While learning to walk again, I must navigate the bumps, ridges and elevations in my path. The surface is not always flat. From point A to point B is seldom a straight line. Without the proper strength in my left leg I wobble around and stop often, as my brain seems puzzled as what to do. The process of walking to me is much like life itself. There are lots of bumps, ups and downs and zig-zags, but I forge ahead with a positive attitude as my best weapon.
Eight months after my stroke I went to Prague on a tour that had been planned with friends the year before. I saw most of the sights from a wheelchair, and family and friends helped me along. I feel enriched by the experience and I am encouraged to keep traveling. Somehow the travel distracts me from my compromised condition, but it is a reminder of the struggle. Still, I feel getting on and off subways, trains and buses, as well as coping with airports are all part of the recovery.
There is a long way to go with my recovery. Improvement is slow yet a positive attitude, a mindset of perseverance, faith and hope keep me going in the right direction.
This I believe.”