There are clichés using the word, ‘Light’, with which we are all familiar. We might say we, “see the light”, or we are, “in the light”, but how many of us think of ourselves, “giving light” to others? That is my intention, my ‘hope’.
November 18, 2012, was the beginning of a new adventure for me. I do not recall a great deal of that day, or the week that followed. About 3:15 in the afternoon I was aware something was drastically wrong. Something was interfering with my attempts to think, reason and complete a function. The cause of my problem never entered my mind, but I had a stroke.
As an eighty-four-year young, very active woman in good health, a stroke was not something I considered a pending possibility. “Your mother has had a severe, hemorrhagic stroke, and I don’t expect her to live.” That was the diagnosis, and those were the words of the doctor after viewing a CAT scan and MRI records. The right side of my body was completely paralyzed .
At no time during my recovery did I think of myself as a victim, or feel sorry for myself. My only concern was making improvements in my condition, which I viewed as temporary, and sharing my success with others. I have read accounts written by others, about their experiences recovering from a stroke, but none have gone into detail about how they felt, mentally and physically, and what they did about it. For that reason I decided to write a book, documenting everything, and addressing it to the ‘patient’ and to the caregiver. They need to know they are not alone.
My background has been very helpful in the choices I made to enhance my recovery. Masters as a Registered Nurse, Dr. of Medical Massage Therapy, Physical Therapy Assistant, classes and certification in such modalities as, Acupressure, Reiki, Reflexology and Energy Healing, were involved in what I was able to offer my patients, including those I worked with as a Resident Nurse in the retirement center in which I lived at the time of my stroke. Although most of my studies were before the age of fifty, that background was not erased from my memory bank.
Frequently during my recovery, ‘a work in progress’, I have ‘seen the light’, and been divinely guided to understand a sensation, or know to aim for a greater level of accomplishment. In less than two years, among other things, I can walk with a walker, or a quad-cane, unattended, bathe and dress myself, take care of all my personal needs, do a few things with my hand, such as crochet, hold small containers to remove caps, and more.
I believe that with so much time available to me now, I surely can share my knowledge in meaningful ways to enlighten others. For years, as a volunteer, I have taught English to non-native speakers. With a computer, and Skype, that should be a possibility. I like to write and I have written a book about my stroke recovery. My greatest desire is to publish my book, of a little over 50,000 words. In it I have written about how I felt, and what I have done, that will hopefully shed light on the fact, that no matter what your condition, as long as you are conscious, there is hope for you, and a possibility that you can send light and love to others.
– Rowena Nichols
Rowena Nichols, RN, Dr.MMT, PTA. Registered Nurse with BS in Nursing, Dr. of Medical Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy Assistant.(Certification). Beyond the use of her mass credentials, she has had a “full and rewarding life,” including living and teaching in Chile and returning to nursing at age 80. Currently, she is writing articles for several Newsletters and magazines, including problem solving for tutors of English at a Literacy organization in New Mexico.