When business man Dan Gilbert experienced stroke like symptoms it hit close to home.
I wondered what those symptoms were and how he felt at the time. I experienced similar symptoms nearly three years ago when my blood pressure hit the ceiling and I suffered what was considered a mild stroke. Although I lost my voice for a while and could not step or type I feel close to normal now.
I don’t feel like the old guy that used to dance around and act a fool. That guy died and was replaced by a calmer, less aggressive and not quite as sharp version of the old guy.
I am still Terry Foster. But perhaps it would be more accurate to call me Terry Foster lite.
I am not the same old guy, but at least my family can still hug and love a version of me. I can still love and feel love. And that’s not all bad.
Every time somebody I know of gets a stroke I relive the anguish of my two strokes. It troubled me to learn of the death of film maker John Sngleton who died in April at age 51 of a stroke. I cried when my childhood friend Lamont died of a stroke about four months after mine.
I feel fortunate that I am still here to kick it with friends, watch my children grow and to bug and hug my wife. I can still do a lot of things, but at a slower pace and in more moderation.
One of my doctors said that I have done a wonderful job in eating correctly and working the body. But he said I needed to exercise the brain more. He recommended that I do similar things that I loved prior to the stroke. So I blogged more and did podcasts and posted videos on face book and twitter.
I did too much. My blood pressure shot up again and I began feeling sluggish and feeble. I had plans to go out with friends for the holidays. But I called everybody up to post pone our dates and hoped they understood.
I must do something to keep the brain sharp or doctors feel that depression could set in. I must still live my life, but not at break neck speed.
When I go out with my pals Melissa, Trevor, Wojo and my new pals at the gym I do it for more than having a good time. It is part of my new therapy to engage and keep sharp. My first inclination most days is to stay to myself and not interact with society.
That is not good for me.
Dan Gilbert is a very important man with a plate full of projects and ideas. Here is my advice to him. Do not do too much, but you still must remain active and keep moving Detroit forward at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Take your blood pressure daily and monitor your numbers like never before.
A stroke is a deadly disease, but there is life after stroke for some of us. There is a second chance and a second life for some of us.
Let’s take advantage of it.