That was a great account, Doc. I'm glad you're still here to post.
Re giving up smoking, everyone's different. I hope it's easy for you, but if it's not, and you are still getting cravings in a few months time, and
find your legs have carried you to the ciggie counter, don't be too surprised. It can happen.
And if you falter, pat yourself on the back for the time you've managed to stay smoke-free, and start again. Most people who give up have tried a few
times before they succeed.
I had a stroke at 19, alone, pregnant, malnourished, and suffering from toxemia. But I know nothing of the actual stroke. I was living alone in a
little old house on a steep hill, with a long set of stairs to the ground. I have vague memories of crawling around to get oats and water, which was
all I had. Only one side worked, and I was not even wondering what I was doing like that at first.
Eventually I recovered enough to start thinking, and decided my baby would die if I didn't get better, so I pulled myself up and gradually taught
myself to walk again. There were lots of dandelion leaves and wild fennel in the untended garden, and once I could climb down the stairs I started
picking those to eat.
When I could walk a bit further I staggered into town to see a doctor, who didn't manage to work out what had happened, but prescribed a visit to him
for a cup of tea every morning. (He knew I had no money to pay for visits.)
There were beautiful beaches nearby, (this was Manly, Sydney,) and I couldn't go back to work, so rather than stay home alone I spent my days at the
beach. I'd always been shy of revealing myself on the beach, being teased for being a size 14, but now I'd gone to pieces physically and had a belly
like a monster beach ball, I bought the only maternity bathers I could afford, with horizontal orange and purple stripes, and sunbathed.
To my perplexed delight, a local bunch of surfies sort of adopted me as a mascot and taught me to surf. The day my baby was due, (born 2 weeks later,
11lb 2 oz,) I did a hang'n 5.
Perhaps a few brain cells never repaired, but I don't miss them that much. The experience was worth it. I attribute the recovery to exercise, the
kindness of strangers, fresh edible weeds, and having a lot of fun.
Fun is important. Never forget to find a way to enjoy life.