We thought Larry was having a stroke

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It started out like a regular Monday as I got ready to leave for my water aerobics class. Of course, I had no idea what the rest of the day would look like and that we would have an opportunity to practice choosing love and peace instead of fear.

When Larry returned home from his walk with Kobi, he said, “My arm and fingers are tingling and numb.” I thought, “That doesn’t sound good.” He immediately took his blood pressure, which was normal.

He assured me that he was fine and off I went to my class. After my class, I visited my friend, Margie. As soon as I arrived at her house, I called Larry to see how he was feeling. He said, “I have had the same episode 2 more times since you left.”

I encouraged him to call his doctor to let him know what was going on. He called me back a few minutes later informing me that the doctor wanted to see him immediately. We felt grateful that we didn’t have to wait to get an appointment.

Margie lives 10 minutes away from our home. When I arrived home, Larry was already waiting at the bottom of our driveway, and off we went to the doctor. We were both silent in the car not knowing if he was having a stroke or not.

When the doctor initially checked his vitals, he said, “I can’t tell you what to do.” By the time he finished examining Larry, he said, “I think you need to go to the ER NOW and get an MRI. Don’t take the time to check out here. We could call an ambulance but it would be faster to drive your car to the hospital. When you get to the ER tell them you are having a stroke.”   

Yikes. This was serious. Of course, we were both scared and didn’t say a word to one another on the drive to the hospital. I kept taking deep breaths and focused on getting us there safely. When we arrived at the ER, I dropped him off and parked the car. He did what his doctor told him to say, “I’m having a stroke.”

A nurse brought him into her office to take his vitals and ask him some questions. Apparently, she didn’t think he was having a stroke as she sent us back into the waiting room to wait for the ER doctor to see him. She said, “If it gets worse, raise your hand and YELL.”

There were quite a few sick people already in the waiting room. Being in the ER was Larry’s worse nightmare as he is at high risk for COVID with lung problems. We have both been diligent and stayed out of crowds, escaping COVID.  Here we were in the middle of it all. If we were ever going to get COVID it would be here.  

We sat there for 3 hours before a doctor even checked him. He scheduled him for an MRI to see if he had a stroke or had any blockages in his brain or neck. We waited another 2 hours before they took him for the MRI. When the MRI was finished, he said to the nurse, “That was quite a challenging experience and I kept choosing love instead of fear through the whole procedure.”As he was being wheeled back to the cubicle where I was waiting for him, he said to the nurse, “Remember to keep choosing love, instead of fear.” She smiled and said, “I will do that.”

For the entire time in the waiting room, I kept repeating the mantra, “I choose love. I choose love, I choose peace.” I repeated my daily affirmation. “I am peaceful, safe, and protected from everything and everyone that doesn’t serve my highest good.” I kept visualizing a golden bubble around us.   

Whenever Larry started to feel concerned or fearful, especially with people coughing, gagging, and vomiting all around us, he kept choosing love instead of fear. We were both able to send love to all the people who were sick around us.

We waited another 2 hours before we found out the results of the MRI. We were relieved and grateful when the doctor said, “No stroke or blockages.” Rather than it being a stroke or blockage in his brain, it was a neck issue that caused the numbness in his arm from the pillow he had been sleeping on for months. He changed the pillows and the numbness is gone completely.

Everything happens for a reason and we are protected and guided always. Perhaps Spirit gave us the opportunity to pray for others who were suffering and to practice choosing love and peace instead of fear in a very difficult situation. The best news is we didn’t get COVID.  

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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