If I knew how many people would touch my legs over the following two weeks I would have shaved them before going to bed the night before my stroke
I was in great health (or so I thought) and I had just completed a very happy two days processing and canning 300 lbs of tomatoes from the Okanagan Valley in BC and also pickling beets with a group of friends. Actually truth be told I just hosted the event at our house in Fernie, BC and my friends and their families did all the work. Dan was Project Manager and kept everyone in a line around the kitchen island busy – boiling, skinning, de-seeding,slicing and jarring what would be 318 pints of tomato sauce and pickled beets. Of course there was wine involved in the festivities
And then it was time for bed I had a headache on and off all day on top of driving 3 hours from Calgary to Fernie earlier that day coupled with working my job on the line as dictated by Dan and lots of red wine … I was exhausted . I went to bed with my little pug (Roop, the awesome mountain pug)and fell into a deep sleep I woke at some point in the night to make a trip to the bathroom Sat up, stood up and fell backward onto my bed. Got up again (I’m determined) and headed towards the bathroom, fell forward and lay there until Roop’s barks woke Fred, Dan and Lorraine . Fortunately for me, Lorraine is a retired nurse and all three friends had decided to stay the night at my house or I would have woke up alone or not at all. She has had a stroke and I said Lorraine I’m not persuaded that’s the case I said as if by sheer force of will + concentration and sustained disbelief I could ignore the reality of my situation.
They called 911 and the fire department arrived along with the first of what would be many people to touch my left leg, feel the stubbly multi-day growth and ask me if I had any feeling . Beyond embarrassment, I felt nothing and so it began. My mind still active and churning with possibilities yet completely disconnected to the very real fact of my left side paralysis. Having not reached my ultimate nocturnal goal of reaching the washroom I peed now in the clear light of a new day. My satisfaction was short-lived as Loraine would not let me change so there I lay in a puddle of pee with my stubbly. unshaven legs, my awesome mountain pug , my friends and soon a succession of first responders and later hospital personnel waiting to rub my stubbly legs.