I was Getting ready to leave the recovery hospital. The family and I were happy. Unsure of what my life would be like worried me because doing the thing once excited me seemed far out of my reach. Getting up, and downstairs in, and out, of cars always took so much of my energy. Felt like I had run miles. Although I was home physical therapy was not over. Depression started to kick it more than ever; finding things to do was essential. Small things were all I could do like doing laundry, folding towels, and running the vacuum across the floor was a challenge, because of the exhaustion I felt after. NEXUS was where I would go outside the hospital to continue my therapy. The strength in my left hand started to get stronger after each session. I was filled with excitement and wanted to start doing hair again. Still had a few of my doll heads from Marinello beauty college in which became apart of my therapy at home. Pulling marbles out of clay was another therapy treatment. It was Painful at the time but I worked through the pain. It strengthened my left hand most importantly my thumb and index finger. When you are a hairstylist, those two fingers are mostly used there your lifeline to doing hair. Slowly I started to gain strength on my left side, I began braiding my dolls hair and continued doing the small things around the house. I started feeling empowered and proud of myself, I was to doing hair again and getting clients. The first client was a young lady from my website on stylseat.com. The fear I felt was like that first feeling you get before getting on your first roller coaster you don’t know what to expect, your palms are sweating, and you’re nervous, thinking of changing your mind. My clientele seemed to be picking back up and I Made lots of progress in physical therapy and did not need physical therapy treatment anymore. I got cleared to drive again. Driving again was exciting and motivated me to want to get out and do more every day. Making small drives was all I felt comfortable with doing, so I would only stay in the local area. CHic-fIL-A, the mall, and whole foods market were the only places I went on my own. This young lady I meet on Facebook she came to the hospital after I had my stroke she invited me to a birthday party. Even though I was self-conscious about my looks and how my scar may be visible, but I put on a happy face an went to have me some fun. In my mind people would be staring and wondering what happen to my head. that night I got several compliments on how good I look with short hair that made me feel great, that night I had lots of fun. You may be thinking ok she was doing real good then we moved, to another part of town still doing good. A few months later something happened. One early morning I woke up feeling nauseous like usual since I had the stroke. Didn’t think anything of it, so I proceeded on with my morning getting ready to take my son to school. We drive to the 711 convenient stores near where we lived. I get coffee, and my son got a juice and some chips. We Had to drive back pass the house, passing the house I started to feel different like my eyes were moving from side to side quickly. It never crossed my mind to pull over. As I was making a left turn My son said mom are you ok I did not respond then the crash happened. Crashing into a parked car, I had no knowledge that I would wake up in the hospital having had a seizure while driving. No one was hurt. Let me not forget I bit the left side of my tongue almost off. After waking up in the hospital, I felt this terrible pain on the left side of my tongue. My boyfriend at the time explained to me that I had bitten the left side of my tongue. But I was more concerned hoping that I didn’t hurt anyone. The last thing I remember, was my son asking if I was okay, everything else was a blur. A few weeks later I walked to 711 this time, for coffee. Walking into the convenient store, this Mexican guy comes up to me and says hi I’m happy to see you are doing well. At this point I’m looking like who the hell is this guy, I asked him have we meet he says you crashed into my car. The embarrassment I felt was that feeling you get when you fall in front of lots of people. There was a moment of silence, I began to apologize, and say did I total your car he replied and said oh please that old thing. You don’t need to apologize he was more concerned about me, and he was happy I was doing well.
I woke up in this dark room I did not know, my mother was near. Waking up in this dark place there wasn’t any noise, sadness or fear, it was all peaceful, I almost wanted to stay. For the first time in my life I felt safe, but somewhere in my conscious mind I knew I could not stay. Love ones were waiting for me on the other side. I stood up to walk, but when I turned around I saw my body rising. I could see I was laying in a hospital bed. I did not understand it, but I was fearless of that dark place. There was a peace I felt that is unexplainable. My mom started to call me by the nickname she gave me, “Netra, Netra, Netra” I began to run chasing the sound of her voice. In front of me, I could see this white robe or dress maybe moving away from me very quickly. I tried to run as fast as possible to catch up to the sound of my mother’s voice. The voice of my mom lead me to a doorway with a bright light. The light was comforting and welcoming. Walking through that bright light, having no idea what was going on, I made it through. Never have I ever witnessed a light so bright!!!! Walking through the doorway, I woke up to my fiance telling me to get up, we have a wedding to plan. Let me say, If I could have jumped out the bed and ran to the altar, I would have married him. The marriage never happened.
Having a stroke changed my brain seems like Im always in pain. Passing people on the street. They don’t know the change and how I feel like a new person maybe even strange. I would rather stay to myself and don’t let people in but doing it that way I will never win. Being a stroke survivor isn’t easy at all. But Im alive to tell about it all. Deal with battles no one understands. Just be patient and try to understand. After you have a stroke you are now someone knew, you no longer see the old you. It feels like personality is gone. The feeling you have from trying to recover from a stroke/brain injury. is like being in the middle of no where with no GPS to guide you back. So now you’re just lost right? so now you start to think. what am I going to do now? and how do I get back home? so you start to walk in whatever direction you think is correct. You start to ask everyone you see how do you get back to your house. its going to take some time and lots of hard work and effort. you have to be willing to walk barefoot at some point. But one way or another you will find your way back right? Dcecember 16, 2018 9:22 PM
Your mind won’t shut up it just won quit it keeps talking and thinking about all sorts of shit. You try to change your thinking, but your brain doesn’t want to listen. It’s always on a mission to nowhere good. Have you ever been on a battlefield with your thoughts? The sad thing is that only you can hear all the talk. The chatter keeps going and going it never stops. Why all this damn chatter won’t give up? Want to scream and say will you shut up. But the mind is a powerful tool an won’t give it. Every day is a fight with you and your mind grab hold of all that chatter inside. Every day it goes a little something like this. Mind be peaceful be steal I’m running the show.
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The best stories are clarity after the storms. Leaving you wondering, “damn, what took so long.” You can’t see clear walking down that frightening road. No time to turn back you have to be bold keep moving ahead takes one step at a time nothing you can do about what’s behind. Make a decision which way to go, make up your mind, but it’s your time to float. Just remember it will all be alright. The good thing about storms they always have an end it’s walking through them seems like a no win. The path will clear you will find your way. Get up tomorrow it’s a brand new day. Follow your heart to the fresh start. What’s ahead you don’t have a clue, but you won’t know until you make it through. What way to go? Keep walking.
Being home from the hospital for a while still having part of my skull off. My depression and low self-esteem were growing stronger as the days and months went by. All I did was sit in the house, felt like I was losing my mind. The only time I left home was to go to the doctors or physical therapy appointments. There was nothing I wanted more than to get back to my normal life. I was starting to feel like a caged bird. Going on Facebook and Instagram all the time was depressing for me. If you are not strong minded social media can become a self -esteem killer. I was not strong enough and should not have been on social media. Remembering looking on my social media accounts, scrolling down my timeline as tears began to fall. Feeling like my life was passing me by, everyone was having fun, living their life. And I’m sitting in the house with staples in my head and feeling sorry for myself. Right then Is when I realized I needed to sign out of all social media accounts. Doing that started to help ease my mind on what my life should be.
Recovering from a brain injury isn’t easy your brain forever changes it will never be the same again. I wasn’t as sharp. It took me a min to process things. Taking care of myself has never been a problem for me. So having to depend on others for help doing the little things like tying my shoes, made me feel down at times. Not being able to do the things that come naturally to you can be very stressful and depressing. Don’t get me wrong I was most definitely blessed to have angels around me. Just was not use to being treated like a weak person. Ok, I was a little, and that’s what frustrated me. Every day until the day I got the right side of my skull cap back on, wearing a helmet, Beanie, or scarf in public or the house became apart of my everyday routine. You are probably thinking to yourself a scarf or beanie indoors all the time. But why? Wearing the veil in the house protected my head from the cold. Any little whiff of cold air gave me the worst brain freeze I have ever had. I did not have a skullcap, so the cold air for me was like having a constant brain freeze but a million times worst.
Everyone had a brain freeze once or twice in their life. Having a stroke clouded my judgment and my thinking. Felt like I was walking around with a huge dark cloud over me that I couldn’t see through. I would often sit in self-pity, you know, that why me crap. Feeling sorry for my self oh I had it bad. If you looked up self-pity, there’s my picture with a sad face. Remember the unhappy faces we drew in school that was me. Thought I was alone others didn’t understand, and they did not because no one in my family knew nothing about strokes, neither did I. So I started going on Facebook joining the stroke survivor groups. I found out there were many people young and old having strokes. I was out one day and seen a young teenage boy with the same helmet on that I had to wear, and It made me wonder if he had a stroke. My personality was different, and I hated it I wanted venetria back. Not this new girl who is known as a stroke survivor. She cried to damn much and was too sensitive.
She waiting for the girl with hopes and dreams. She waiting for the girl with hight self-esteem. She waiting for the girl to break out the daze. She waiting for the girl she’s going to be okay. She waiting for the girl with that calling on her life.She waiting for the girl who fought that hard fight. She waiting for the girl night after night. She waiting for the girl to get it just right. She waiting for the girl to realize she’s great. She waiting for the girl it’s never too late. She waiting for the girl with all that confidence.She waiting for the girl like no one will. She waiting for the girl she is a big deal. She waiting for the girl it’s her time to shine. She waiting for the you girl leave the past behind. She waiting for the girl who’s divine and trueShe waiting for the girl she will make it through. She waiting for the girl that girl who growing her self-esteem tree. She waiting for the girl because she is me.
Getting released from hospital three weeks after my stroke and brain surgery, I was not happy. Part of my skullcap was gone, so I would have to walk around with this big ugly uncomfortable helmet — thirty-eight staples on the side of my head. Going outside was not an option unless I had a doctor appointment. And even then I just wanted to curl under a dark bed and stay there. Felt all alone no one could understand my hurt. Falling to sleep was always very difficult. My fiance and daughter took lots of time and energy getting me comfortable. Sleeping on my left side was uncomfortable, so was the right side due to the surgery. I would always have this fear of choking, sleeping on my back. Being home from the hospital family made sure I did not want for anything. All that I wished I had it. Getting out of bed was a hard task to do every morning. To sit up on the side of the bed felt like I had worked out. The lack of energy felt was like never before.
There are times where I knew for sure I would pass out. Could not go outside, take walks, or any of those things I did before without a helmet. The only things I could do were stay in bed and research a healthier way to live through water and the foods we eat. That’s when I came across a man by the name of Dr. Sebi on youtube. Taking notes, I began to study everything I could about healthy eating. With nothing else to do this became a new hobby of mines that I had become good doing. After being home for a little over three weeks without the right side of my skullcap, it was time to see the doctor. By this time the left side of my head had already sunk in like an inflated ball on one side. But I was recovering so well that the doctor couldn’t believe his eyes and he wanted to show other doctors that dealt with stroke survivors the progress I had made in such a short amount of time. Recovering was such a big deal being that I only survived with a two percent chance. Making a video for my doctor, I felt embarrassed and defeated my speech was slurred and, I was not confident and sure of myself. For the next three months, I would only go out of the house to do the essential things like doctors and physical therapy appointments. Being that half of my skull was off. Seems like I had personal bodyguards around all the time, but at times had the feeling of being treated like a child. The family would frequently come to visit bringing me food and whatever I asked. Being treated like a queen having all that you wanted at your feet is the greatest joy.
When a butterfly passes. I think of you, and Your presence with all the good things too. I miss your laughs. I miss your smiles. Can I just hug, and kiss you once more for a while. I’m not crying for you, just the memories we shared. But I know your happy and dancing in heaven where all the angels dwell. Hold a spot for me but it won’t be too soon, I’m not ready yet I still have so much to do. Your baby girl misses you like crazy, I’m going to grow an old lady and still miss you like crazy. You showed me how to love and I’m blessed for that. You were a rare soul and would give the clothes off your back. You just don’t meet too many people like that. Sometimes I feel lost and don’t know what to do, why aren’t you here to help me see this life through. There’s so much to tell you I want you to know. so why did you go? we build a bond that I will always remember. You were the only one who celebrated my birthday in December. You would dance and clap all night, it drove me crazy, but I never put up a fight. I miss those moments I want them back. sometimes I can still hear your claps. You were my butterfly and only God knew that’s why he sent you. You lead me to that light from that peaceful dark room. I thought you were coming back too. Its ok ill see you again. That was not the end. You always said it’s never goodbye but I’ll see you later.
The firstT time I seen this photo I was overwhelmed with hurt. It took me several months to build the courage to look at this picture without crying. Looking at this picture brought back flash backs of seeing my mother in the hospital dying from a stroke in 2014. As I’m writing this blog my eyes are filling up with tears. This photo was taking right after my first brain surgery, in the hospital to remove the right side of my skull cap. To release the swelling of my brain. After surgery was completed I remember being wheeled to my room. Hearing the doctor saying Ms Tolbert very loudly you need to wake up. At the same time I heard and felt something that sound and felt like a staple gun. Later I learned after my second surgery the doctor did add a few more staples in my head after the surgery was complete. From what I was told I was in so much pain. Doctors had to put me in a medically induced coma (a practice of purposefully putting a patient into a prolonged state of unconsciousness using a controlled dose of sedative medications). At some point, I kept waking up trying to pull the tubes out; so nurses had to strap me down. You can actually see the straps in the picture. Two of my good female friends came To see me in the hospital. I can remember clearly hearing one of them crying, and the other sister saying girl… you can’t be crying she can hear you. But she’s also saying venter I need you to get up who’s going to do my hair? I love doing hair, so I kept trying to get up. Nurses and doctors kept coming in yelling my name. I was getting upset because I just wanted to sleep. It seemed like every five minutes someone nurses, and doctors, was calling my name wanted me to wake up. My surgery took place on august 30,2015. And took about four to six hours. I stayed in ICU for three days. when I finally woke up from the medically induced coma the tubes in my mouth, and the straps were gone. But I still had a tube in my head to drain all the extra fluids off my brain before I can go home. Along with the bandages around my head. With this feeding tube in my noise, because Nurses wasn’t sure if I can’t swallow or eat. my left side was still weak. After nurses felt confident enough that I can swallow they would give me a little apple juice at times. Two nurses would stand near my bed one nurse on each side. Incase I chocked. When I opened my eyes all I felt was pure love surrounding me, from all my family and a few friends. There were so many faces I couldn’t remember who everyone was. There were so many family members waiting for the doctor to come and tell everyone how the surgery went. My doctor made a comment to all the family that were there saying what y’all do come in a bus loads. After he seen all the people in the waiting room. After surgery I was in the hospital for three more weeks. Moving on to rehab was happy but it was also a challenge.