Bill Eggert

To be honest with you, I don’t remember much of what happened this year in review. The year 2019 seems to break down into two parts – the part of the year that was before my stroke, and the part of the year that was after the stroke.

One of the byproducts of the stroke was that it affected my short-term memory; many miniscule things such as what I had for lunch. I’ve not been quite so fortunate with the second stroke, which started on June 11 and still has me incapacitated here in the Arbutus Park Manor.

The world outside Arbutus Park Manor has continued on. The earth keeps spinning on its axis. People go to work. They do their various chores much like before.

If my columns since the stroke may seem a tad unorganized, that’s because the way I have to write my columns now is difficult – having to dictate them into a tape recorder and a friend of mine, Mike, types them up for me and brings them back to me so I can edit the columns to fit the constraints of the newspaper.

I wouldn’t be able to continue my column if not for Mike and his wife Monica, who have patiently let me intrude into their lives for the past several months so that I can get my columns written. While I’m at it, I’d like to thank some other people for making this possible – namely the staff at Arbutus Park Manor, especially Vicky W. I’m eternally grateful to Vicky and Mike and Monica for helping me to do this.

While I’m thanking people, I want to thank the staff at Arbutus Park Manor in their various capacities to help me get through each day that I’m here. I want to thank the doctors, the administrative staff, the nurses, the nurses’ aides, people who prepare the meals each day, and anybody else I may have forgotten or not have included here.

Without the help of these people, I would not be able to get through each day in various capacities. I would imagine it’s a tough job for them, too, and their job may be often thankless – though it is not meant to be so.

I also want to thank my family and friends for their support during this difficult time. Family and friends make it over to visit me during their own busy lives and I very much appreciate that.

They come over and tell jokes and relate stories to me about people who we know. I also want to thank family and friends who can’t come to see me who live in other states, send me emails, letters and phone calls during their own hectic lives.

I mentioned recently that my niece is getting married this month. I’m happy to report that I have got transportation to the wedding though not to the reception, I’m still working on that.

I’ve got some other good news to report as well. This past week, I’ve been walking in the hallways with the aid of a physical therapist.

I want to thank everybody in the therapy department especially Mel, Colleen, Nicole, Brenda, Michelle and Rhianna for their help in this endeavor. It’s not been easy and it’s been actually quite painful trying to walk.

Of course, having not walked since June 11, you can imagine that it’s learning how to walk all over again. But the important thing to remember is, I did walk. It was with the aid of a walker and the physical therapists helping me. For them I am much grateful.

I had to learn to do a lot of things with my left side these days, eating left-handed, signing checks left-handed. It’s not been easy.

Sometimes, I get upset because, prior to this second stroke, I’d been trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle so that first stroke would not come back again.

It doesn’t seem fair at times, and I do become a bit bitter because of that. Like my dad used to tell me, nobody ever said life was supposed to be fair. Dad’s sage advice is of comfort to me and I try to remember it when I get to feeling low.

Finally I want to thank my loyal readers out there who have been supporting me through this ordeal.

I want to thank the readers, friends and family who write me words of encouragement every week on this difficulty I’ve been dealing with. I want to thank especially those readers who don’t know me but only know me through my various columns.

You have taken me into your thoughts and prayers and wished me well with this ordeal. The kind words and thoughts you have showered me with while I have been in here dealing with this have been a balm to my soul as I struggle to regain my walking.

Everybody has their own trials and tribulations that they deal with. I know that. I hope everybody has a support system like I do to get through their trying times as well.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to struggle on, hopefully get better and back to my old life as I know it.

I want to thank everybody for their kind thoughts, prayers and words as I struggle to get back to normal. I want to thank everybody for their continued good words and thoughts and wish everybody a happy, healthy new year.

Bill Eggert is a Johnstown resident and regular community columnist for The Tribune-Democrat.​ He can be reached at

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