How can I explain?
Dorcas A. Sutton is a stroke survivor and poet from Kansas who shares this poem that shares her experience.
A stroke is a terrifying and cruel thing
It takes your past, it compromises your future It changes how you are treated, it changes how you react. It takes the best of everything you were leaving you vulnerable, scarred, uncertain.
A stroke takes what was normal and contorts life into unrecognizable
Stealing what was good and promising
Leaving in its' wake the shell of the person you used to be
With constant reminders of how it should be.
A stroke leaves you with scars, some physical, some hidden within
Impairing neuro anatomy people can't see
Making neurotransmitters work diligently,
Exploring new pathways for lost memories.
How can I explain when it seems I stumble
When my mind isn't quick to respond to your instructions
When my mind becomes full so easily with words
With noises, with distractions, with complaints about me.
How can I explain that it takes every ounce of courage
To make myself do the routine? The mundane?
How can I explain that my once successful past
Is the one I grieve every single day?
How can I explain that I lost so much with my brain hemorrhage
Things that people can't see
Like my ability to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a good employee
All these things were taken from me.
They say it's because of my CVA , this thing that took my life away
Leaving me with remnants of my past,
With only snapshots and framed accomplishments
That remind me of the person I used to be.
How can I explain of the nights when sleep eludes me
But exhaustion consumes me?
When my thoughts race to find a memory that can connect Me to this person, this place, this situation, the loneliness I cannot flee.
How can I explain I don't need to be reminded I'm a failure
That my coma, neurosurgeries weren't such a big deal
How can I have the courage to find
Energy, fortitude, grace to persevere?
How can I explain I just want you to understand
Life can sometimes change your plans?
And when it does strength and courage is daily required But just knowing someone cares, reaches out, can change your can't into cans.