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This personal narrative essay is about my father’s stroke. My father has always been the rock in my family, always supporting my sisters, my mother and I. When my father had a stroke, it was very unexpected and tragic for my family and I because we didn’t know if he was going to survive it. Even if he did survive his stroke than there was a chance that he wasn’t going to be the same person anymore. My father’s stroke has taught me that anyone’s life can change in an instant, I became more grateful for everything in my life.
It was a Saturday morning in May 2018, when I woke up from a phone call from my mother telling me to wake up and go to the living room. Her voice sounded firm and quick, not leaving room for me to ask why so I just rushed to the living room. I was alarmed as to why paramedics were in my house surrounding my dad. I started thinking of possible reasons as to why my father was lying on floor unable to get up and unable to speak. I finally asked the paramedics, “What happened to my dad?” the paramedics responded “Your dad has had a stroke.” Instantly I knew that our lives were never going to be the same after that. My mother and I followed the paramedics to the Emergency Room when we arrived, doctors were surrounding my father and asking my mother and I million of questions like, “Did your father drink anything?”, “what was he doing before you found him on the floor?”, “Did your father complain of any headache prior to his stroke?”, “How long did you wait to call the ambulance?”.
I was in shock the whole time there, I couldn’t believe what had happened to my father. The doctor explained to us what a hemorrhagic stroke was, it’s when a blood vessel ruptures and causes bleeding in the brain. Once they admitted him to the Intensive Care Unit for critical condition, it was clear to me how serious his condition was. Those eight days that he was in critical condition were very tough for me. I was experiencing many feelings like denial and grief. I remember the nurses and doctor telling me that, “Your father’s case is very serious. Be prepared for possibility of him not remembering who you are, or being unable to speak when he wakes up”. Memories of my father and I started running through my mind, like when he would drive me to high school, give me much advice to do good in school, when he tried to teach me to ride a bicycle, the way he taught my sisters, and he would joke about how I would never learn because I was too clumsy. After he finally woke up from coma, I was relieved to find out that he had his memories and thoughts intact and that he was still able to speak the same. Although the stroke did affect him physically, he was unable to move his left leg and arm, I had hope that he was going to recover.
I was glad that my dad was finally released from the Intensive Care Unit after eight days and put to a rehabilitation center for three months where he was going to recover his motor functions back. I constantly went to visit my father so that he will feel supported and motivated to do his therapy. Because he was in the hospital for so long, he was very lonely and depressed. I wanted to make him happy and be there for him 24/7 but realistically I couldn’t. I was finishing my senior year in high school at that time, studying for my finals and preparing for my final presentation. The day of my high school graduation, my father was still recovering in the rehabilitation center, I remember seeing my mother and sister arrive at the ceremony. I started reminiscing about my sister’s graduation, my father was happy to be there and he told me “Graduations are so beautiful, soon is going to be you graduating from high school.” I know that my father would’ve thought my graduation ceremony was beautiful as well, but I was very distraught that he couldn’t be there.
My dad has always been a hardworking man so it was hard for him to be unable to do the hard work, he once used to do easily. Because he had weakness on the left side of his body, he couldn’t lift heavy objects, drive, or do any construction work even if he wanted to. Just a day before his stroke he was doing everything he liked to do. No one knew it would be the last day that he would be able to drive, work or even put his clothes on, and shower by himself. Seeing my father’s condition and how young he was made me realize how important it is to take care of one’s own health. Although my family always told him to watch what he eats and don’t work too hard, he never listened to us.
To conclude this personal narrative paper, I should say my father’s life changed in an instant and unexpectedly. It wasn’t until I experienced all of this that I started to truly cherish every family member in my life, every friend in my life and to value my own health.
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