Spot a Stroke
Do you know the signs of a stroke?
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
pt. 1 -- The Walls Are Crumbling
No one ever expects it to happen to them. It’s always somebody else that the tragedy happens to.
From what I remember prior to my own accident, it was actually kind of nice waking up every morning and believing I was immune to the hazards of life. This sort of ignorant armor I wore, granting a thought process that justified the ongoing reckless behaviour of my youth.
I’ve always subscribed to the mentality of race car drivers: the closer you ride to the edge of death, the more alive you feel, the more alive you are. People can sense that danger in someone who lives like that. The awareness of adrenaline is seductive and mysterious.
Drag racing, skydiving, running a marathon, it becomes addicting the more you push yourself. Testing the limits, chasing that next rush; you need to keep going.
It’s truly remarkable the way the human body can be bent and stretched to achieve those unfathomable feats, if the right mind controlling it holds a strong enough will.
Those who have prevailed from a crippling tragedy, whether it be a car accident like myself, cancer treatment, depression etc., know very well how the initial realization of the situation causes the walls of your believe system to crumble and how your filled with doubt and question everything you thought you knew about life.
The sudden shock of waking up in a hospital bed is hard to swallow. Your mind begins racing, trying to solve the puzzle of missteps you took preceding your current incapacitated state.
What did I do wrong? How did this happen?
Then, noticing that your body is laced with tubes, adding to the confusion you already feel is an instant recipe for self-pity and blame.
Why me? What did I do to deserve this?
It’s in this moment, brief and as subtle as it is that a choice is made – fight or flight.
In times like these you’re forced to dig deep within yourself, searching for answers to question you may not be ready to ask.
What is your driving life force? What do you love? How deep do those passions go?
The easier choice when making this decision is to just blame everything and anything external for the bad that has just turned your world inside out and upside down, while subconsciously accepting your fate.
But that’s not what human beings do.
When you’re touch and go with the other side and somehow manage to regain consciousness, you bring back a little something extra with you. This weight you will forever carry on your shoulders. There’s a sense of knowing, understanding something you can’t quite explain but fills you with determination.
When Glen McCarthy woke up, lying immobile on his back, staring at the ceiling of his hospital room, he was filled with that same determination.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll share the amazing story of how Glen, an avid cyclist in prime physical condition was rushed to hospital just in time to receive treatment for his second stroke, leaving him immobile at 56 years old and how his determination to recover from the paralyzing damage saw him get back on his bike, ride the Tour de France route, and now the upcoming Ride For Health.