Why call it The Comeback?

Why call it The Comeback?
Photo by Tonik / Unsplash

Just before noon on December 19th, 2022, while I was mopping my living room floor, I was shot in the head.

I started getting migraines when I turned 40 and since I was a pretty fresh 50, I assumed this was a new fresh hell I could expect.

I determined that I wasn't actually shot, and it just felt like it, so I went to bed for a wee lie down. 45 minutes later, I dragged myself out of bed, but I was a shadow of myself the rest of the day.

I hobbled through the day, and then, about 11 at night, it hit me again but 1000 times as hard. I couldn't breathe or swallow, and I sat up and fought panic for an hour, unable to move. I somehow fell asleep, but the world had changed forever when I woke up and turned on the light.

I developed diagonal binocular diplopia, had a very hard time breathing and swallowing, and couldn't feel anything on my right side. Basically, the world was in a tailspin, and I couldn't see or walk.

Because I'm a guy and I'm a nerd, I covered one eye and Googled the symptoms, and they were consistent with a stroke. Turns out Google was spot on. This started a multi-day ordeal in the hospital and an ordeal that, while easier now, will last the rest of my life.

The next seven months and change were a whirlwind of mostly self-recovery ( the health care in the US.... amirite? ), and I taught myself to walk and see again.

While the docs didn't do much for me, I had help from my friends, and I'll never be able to repay their kindness and patience.

I also went all in on the whole "living" thing since, according to my neurologist, I was "extremely lucky," and I wasn't going to squander my second chance. I took an SBA loan, opened up a podcasting studio, lost almost 50 pounds, got in shape, and was looking great and sober for the first time in 30 years.

Then I had a cocktail, and what followed was five months of me burning my life down to the studs. I lost my studio, went into debt I may never recover from, and lost almost everyone in my life. It started with one drink...

You see, I had that first stroke because I'm an alcoholic who destroyed his body through decades of abuse. I'm not going deep on that topic today, but I'm 428 days sober and spend 3 hours a day on my recovery. The things I've learned in that journey have been quite profound and transformative.

When I had the stroke, I lost a LOT of my memory and cognitive abilities that I took for granted. I look through old photos now, and I can't remember so many people. Also, there are so many things I can't do anymore and probably will never do again, so I have to focus on what I CAN do.

Having multiple strokes means that you may have another one at any moment, and I try to remember that every day. I recently remembered the love of blogging and the blogging revolution, where I cut my chops as a real programmer. The stroke took the ability for me to write code ( a blessing! ), but it left me with a renewed desire to learn.

I learn best by having deep, random thoughts that go all over the place and then writing them down to focus on the outcome, and that, my friend, is what a blog is made for!

I'm writing this for me, but you're more than welcome to hang out.

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