Bill Eggert

Three months after a stroke and I’m not satisfied with my progress. I know I was told it may take up to a year to recover, but I’m eager to get back to normal.

I want to take this opportunity to thank family and friends for all the cards and words of encouragement that I have received over the past two weeks. You don’t know how grateful I am for the words of encouragement.

I also want to thank fellow columnists George Hancock, a friend of mine since first grade, and Michelle Bender for their kind words and gifts. I also want to thank Editor Chip Minemyer for his ongoing support and good wishes during difficult times.

Last and certainly not least, I want to thank family and friends who have come to visit during this period.

Most of the people in Arbutus Village are elderly. I’m one of the youngest here, with my roommate Don. Many of the people here don’t feel like talking and I certainly understand that, given their ages and health limitations. And I respect that as well. But it makes it hard to relate to the people here.

The staff here, overall, has been nice and professional. The nurses, the nurse’s aides and the doctors have all been considerate and helpful in my transition. My stay has not been easy. 

I’ve had issues with vomiting, nauseousness. They are still trying to figure out what is going on. I was sent to Good Samaritan on Labor Day. I was there for a couple days due to some health issues that proved to be fortunately minor in retrospect. 

The staff there was professional and considerate.

My summer has been a whirlwind of days here at Arbutus, therapy and watching TV. 

I’ve lost interest in the outside world. The weather and politics do not interest me. 

There is nothing I can do about any of those things. I’m resigned to a fate right now of watching TV reruns of Barney Miller and Johnny Carson. 

Sports is about the only thing that holds interest for me.

I am very appreciative of my family and friends who are coming to visit, keeping me company in a convalescent home and joking around and keeping my spirits up, and my friends who offer me words of encouragement. When I had my first stroke 11 years ago, there was a stroke survivor group that was in existence that met up at the East Hills medical center. I went a couple months but ultimately quit going because I felt like since I was back to normal at that time, there was nothing I could add to the conversation about stroke survivors.

I don’t know if this group is still in existence. I’d like to go back because this time is a much more severe stroke. 

The last stroke, I felt like an imposter going there because I was back to normal and these people had much more severe issues with their strokes and symptoms than I did. But now, I feel like I could gain a lot.

I think my eyesight is OK, but it seems to be a little foggy and maybe I’m just not used to the distance from the TV to my bed. It could be my eyesight was affected.

Since my first stroke, I have been going to doctors faithfully, taking my medications religiously. I don’t know what caused this one and am upset that I have had it and that this has occurred again. I don’t know what I could have done differently to have prevented it. I intend to, when I get out to find as many books on strokes as possible, to see what’s going on and educate myself on what causes strokes and why this one came back to me.

I’m scared now because I’m wondering if I had a second stroke, is there a third one down the road waiting for me that may put me in worse shape than I am in now or ultimately take my life? 

I hope not, but you never know.

As I said before, I was following medical instructions religiously, faithfully and I’m not sure what caused this recent stroke because every time I’ve been to a doctor in the past, my blood pressure has been fine, all my vitals have been fine. I don’t know what I could have done to prevent it. 

Hopefully, I will have positive medical updates in future columns as well as getting back to what I have written before.

I can be reached at Arbutus Park Manor: Bill Eggert, Room 339, 207 Ottawa St., Johnstown, Pa. 15904.

Bill Eggert is a Johnstown resident. He can be reached at Eggert2020@live.com. He writes an occasional column.

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