The First 24 Hours Of The Stroke

They were on the way to Madelyn’s fourth birthday party. Mom stopped talking while they were in a conversation. At first dad thought maybe mom was upset but quickly realized she could not speak. He called me, telling me where they were at, on a backroad, half-way between our two communities. We talked about the wisdom of him waiting on the side of the road so I could reach them as well as an ambulance. But, as we talked, it was apparent this was an emergency; dad was willing and wanting to turn around to get to Salem Hospital. It seemed most wise.

Tiffany and I jumped in the car, leaving our family and friends at the party, retracing the roads dad took in case something changed. We called and alerted the hospital. Within 30 minutes, we were all together in the emergency room. It was hard to see my mom suddenly disabled, unable to talk or move.

We need a miracle. Mom had a stroke seven years ago in the early morning on a cold February day. She had to push against giant obstacles created by the clot that burrowed into the right side of her brain, taking her left side, head control, and walking, It took years to regain some of her loss. The MRI showed where the previous clot had left it’s mark and where another clot had lodged in the left side of the brain, in a place which dictates speech, swallowing, understanding, and the mobility of her right side; however, miraculously her understanding seems to be present. We’re distressed when we realize she’s unable to take the drugs which reduce the impact of a stroke because of taking medication to prevent clots the past seven years. Even so, we’re aware dad’s quick action is part of a miracle.

I tell my mom she will be okay, willing it to be so. The clot is my personal enemy.

We’re told the outcome is unknown. My mother is considered high risk. There’s a question mark about another clot being released from the heart to the brain. We ask anyone and everyone to pray. They do. People let me know on Facebook, through email, and texting they’re praying. I’m encouraged and comforted, feeling like an army is storming against the enemy.

I watch my mother strain and stress over words dwelling within her, quiet because of the clot attacking her brain. The words are there; however, she’s unable to push them out of her mouth. Our family stands around her, trying to communicate the words she wants doctors and nurses to know. When I first arrived, she and I were alone for a moment, she wanted me to say something, I listed categories, looking for her to nod, hoping she could understand.

“Is it something to do with how you feel, pain, your medical history, family, or phone calls?” I go through many more lists until I get to the word, “prayer.”

I say the word, looking at her for confirmation. “Mom, are you saying prayer?” She answers with nods, trying to speak and move.

I dutifully pray. As I prayed, duty changed to belief, asking God for a miracle.

You tell us that we do not have to do this on our own. So. We thank You for being with us.
You tell us not by might or power, but by your Spirit. So. We thank You for the divine power.
You tell us that nothing is impossible with you. So. We thank You for the impossible being made possible.
You tell us mountains will move with only a little faith. So. We thank You for moving the mountain.
You tell us our hearts do not need to be troubled. So. We thank You for Your peace.
You tell us You will guide us through the darkest valley. So. We thank You for walking us through this dark valley.
You tell us Your name is the power and authority on earth. So. We pray in Your name, asking for a miracle for mom. Amen.

We are believing: The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has said this to Zerubbabel: “Your strength and prowess will not be enough to finish My temple, but My Spirit will be.” And He says this to those thwarting Zerubbabel’s efforts: 7 “Who are you, O mighty mountain of opposition? Before Zerubbabel, you will become nothing more than a smooth plain, and he will quarry the capstone and bring it out to the sound of people shouting, ‘God, grant it Your grace! God bless it!’” (Zechariah 4:6-7 The Voice).

Prayer is our weapon and comfort. These twenty-four hours have been difficult and amazing. Mom has begun to regain some speech, swallowing, and even was able to take a few steps with a physical therapist and walker.

We wait, grateful so many are willing to pray; it’s my mother’s word.

Learning to Kickstart the day with God,


From my journal, February 16-17, 2013.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

My mom and the Carlisle family January 2013.

My mom and the Carlisle family January 2013.

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