Archives for the Month of November, 2014


Snow in Boston / Library of Congress

Snow in Boston / Library of Congress

I am unpleased by the snow we have had in Boston this week. We bought a shovel and some rock salt and unburied ourselves.

Time to think about warmer climates.

More snow stories…


Doll / Wellcome Images

Doll / Wellcome Images

At my rehab hospital, therapists congratulated me on my pregnancy and immediately started getting me physically ready to carry a squirmy kid around.

They had me buy a life sized baby doll, which they promptly sliced open and filled with gym weights, so that my weak stroke side would get stronger. They put me on treadmills with the heavy doll. I became in better shape than I was before my pregnancy.

Similar stories?


Pregnant / Wellcome Images

Pregnant / Wellcome Images

Baby! My husband and I are very excited.

I assumed that because of my stroke history, pregnancy would be horrendous. But no. It has been fine.

The stroke/pregnant crowd is rather small.


Telephone / Library of Congress

Telephone / Library of Congress

After my stroke, I was having trouble remembering ten-digit phone numbers  in my head, in the correct order. I came up with a solution: interrupting sweetly.

Mr. Normal is on the phone. He says, “….my number is 1234567890.”

I cut in before he can finish. Friendly, I deliberately start the number over.

“123,” I say.

Mr. Normal, “….456… pause…

“456,” I repeat, pleasantly.

Mr. Normal: “….7890.”

Parrot: “7890.”

“That’s right,” says Mr. Normal genially.

Works like a charm. Any other tricks?


Bow / Wellcome Images

Bow / Wellcome Images

Outside the rehab hospital, if I bump into another stroke patient I know, I say hello. Naturally. Trickier etiquette is how to comport yourself when you see a stroke stranger. I have an urge to run up to them: “I’m with you!” “I know your pain!” “Keep fighting!” which I squelch.

I once sat across from a stroke stranger on the Boston T (subway). He was older, had a cane as well as the hand that didn’t work. I could tell that he had noticed me. Suddenly, at the top of his lungs he yelled, “She has the same problem that I have!”

Passengers in the car turned to look at him, and then at me, curiously. Oh dear. I made a beatific smiled, but remained silent.

More unlucky than I.

Similar stories?


Sweets / Library of Congress

Sweets / Library of Congress

After my stroke, my manners were slightly off. I was told to ask my friends what was different about me.

At an ice cream store with a friend, they were about to close and were giving away pastries. I went up to the counter and took one. When the clerk tried to engage me in small talk, I just walked away.

“See?” said my friend afterward. “You should have thanked him. And chatted a little. He was giving you a free pastry.”

Oh. Right.

Do you have etiquette stories?