Monday, July 17, 2006

Today is my 9th ‘Homage to my Hemorrhage’ Anniversary
Pop the champagne! I don’t need much to find cause for
celebration, but this date marked a detour in the course of my
life, and has in many ways, become more celebratory than my
actual birthday--October 17.

On July 17, 1997, my co-worker, Caryn, drove me to the hospital.
I didn’t know it at the time, but every time my blood pulsed it was
releasing blood in my brain. I knew I was dying and told Caryn so.
I was also calmly giving directions how to get to the hospital.
“Turn Left. I’m dying. Turn Right. Call everyone in my
family, I’m not going to make it.” I don’t see Caryn often now.
In fact it is sometimes years. But every July 17, 1997, for nine
years now, I receive flowers delivered on my doorstep from Caryn.
I guess the real-life drama impacted her life as well.

Many folks ask why I would celebrate a date that I should dread
when it represents so much distress, pain, and a disabled body?
It does have all those elements, but it also shows how far I have
come from a day (and for months thereafter) when I thought I was
going to die. Celebrating allows me to take the upper hand over my
stroke (albeit the right hand only—my left hand is still good only for
decorating). This is a day for reflecting or and rejoicing over the gift
of nine more years of life—to be a mother, wife, sister and
daughter. I don’t like how the stroke has left my body, but I do
cherish the gift of knowing my purpose here on earth—to show
others facing difficult times that you can survive by reaching deep and
using the tools God gave each of us—it’s not what happens to us—it’s
how we react to it.


Blogger Humane Medicine Hui said...

Dear Julia,
Congratulations!! Next year, Number Ten!!, I hope you throw a big party. Please give me some notice and I'll come to Boston for the event.
(I just went to your website and found the blog -- I didn't know about it.)
Please invite me to "join" and then I'll get postings automatically. If you don't know how to do this, I'll tell you.

7/24/2006 2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absoulutley loved your book. I laughed and I cried. You have a terrific outlook on life. I for once forgot about my problems and prayed for your recovery. God is Good. God Bless you.

8/18/2006 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, I think! I can't help wondering what happened to the lady who had no friends or family and was having her kids taken away. Reading your book I always thought that one of your changes would be to find a way to help her? What about the women who couldn't speak?

You were/are blessed mostly because of your network of family and friends, which I think all evolves from the family.

9/05/2006 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


loved your book & happy anniversary and pray to many many more to come. I too like to celebrate my anniversary not because what was taken away from me, but mostly for what is still left behind. I love that I am able to makr grandest lemonade out of my lemons. big thanks goes to my family.


8/18/2008 12:12 PM  
Blogger Barb Polan said...

I recently endured the first anniversary of the stroke I had - While I do focus on my progress and the good things that were made evident by the stroke, I cannot muster any gratitude for having the stroke happen to me. How do you do it after 10 years?

Your book was the first survivor book I read after I was released from Spaulding and it helped me enormously.
Thank you so much.

11/18/2010 10:39 AM  

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