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12 Days of TAP: Day 8

12 Days of TAP: Day 8

Yvonne Creekmore

The day before Thanksgiving of 2020, my husband and I, and my daughter and her family went to Old Fort, North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law.  That morning at the hotel, I couldn’t get out of bed. My right leg and my arm were not working, and little did I know that I had a stroke. My husband did all the right things right away. He called the ambulance and away I went to the hospital.

I stayed in the hospital about a month and during that time I went to occupational, physical, and speech therapy. I didn’t know much about strokes or why they were doing OT and PT, except that it was supposed to help me walk and regain use of my hand. Boy, was I not prepared for the recovery journey, which I thought would be fast.  After I left the hospital in a wheelchair, I still could barely walk. I could not use my right hand. My speech was pretty good but I learned I had aphasia. I knew what I wanted to say, but the words just didn’t make it out.  The speech therapist told me about TAP as I was leaving the hospital.

There are a lot of groups in TAP that you can join. Something for everyone, no matter where your interest lies. To be around people who have had a stroke or a brain injury when you are going through the same thing is something I can’t describe. People know what you’re going through and it’s OK. We learn a lot through Maura, the other group facilitators, and each other.

It’s now 2 years later. I walk with a cane, and I am still limited with my right hand but I can drive, enjoy being independent, and I still smile.

I have this quote that I look at every day:

“When your head hits the pillow tonight,
Remind yourself that you’ll be alright.
You’re doing a great job, and be patient with yourself.
Remember that big things are achieved not all at once,
But one day at a time.”