When she couldn’t get back up on her own she called her husband for help. He got her back into bed. He looked worried, but didn’t say anything. He called an ambulance.
In hospital it was confirmed Maria had had a stroke. Neither she, nor her husband, did know anything about it. Except: there was a distant uncle in the family, who had had one. But he was old. It was to be expected. Old people do get strokes, right?
Maria was only 42.
On her ward was a little boy who has had one at age seven. She was surprised when she was told that even babies can have a stroke at birth.
This was not the only thing that surprised her. Over the next couple of weeks she learned a lot about strokes. So much news, in fact, that it was a bit overwhelming.
The meeting with the rehabilitation team went smoothly. She had even agreed when they told her they wanted her husband in the meeting, even though she thought this was not necessary. After all it was her who has had the stroke. However, afterwards she was happy he had been in the meeting.
Finally she was released from hospital. She couldn’t wait to get back into it. But first there was further rehabilitation. Outpatient physiotherapy before she could go back to work.
She was a supervisor in a textile company. She overlooked 20 women who sowed mainly shirts. Part of her job was to prepare the patterns, control the timing, the output, and everything to do with the work place. Above all making sure everyone had work, organizing the rosters – that kind of thing.
Maria loved her job and her boss loved her work. He had offered to keep her job open until she was fit enough to return to work. Of course, she didn’t want to disappoint him.
Maria enjoyed the first few days at home. She’s never has had so much spare time in her life. She quite enjoyed it, but, at the same time, she was eager to get back to work. She couldn’t wait.
She used this time to call her many girlfriends. Most of them she hadn’t seen for a while. In fact, there was only one that had surprised her with regular visits. This friend popped in for a cup of tea, took her to the movies, or simply for a drive. She didn’t even know her that well, either. Anyway, Maria appreciated this very much because the doctor had told her not to drive for three months.
When she phoned her other girlfriends she noticed that she often got a wrong person. At first she didn’t think much of it; it was simply annoying. Then she wrote the number down in her address book before she dialed it. Occasionally she got the numbers not in the right order, she noticed. An oversight, surely; this had not happened to her before. It just didn’t make sense. When she finally got one of her girlfriends on the line, they often couldn’t find the time till maybe later. They never came.
There were other things she noticed. Sometimes she picked up the phone, opened her address book, and after a few minutes she caught herself just standing there and staring at it. ‘So what’s next, Silly?’, she asked herself. ‘Of course, you dial the number.’
…….to be continued.