[Q]: How does a non-smoking, non-drinking, exercising, healthy-eating, low-stress mid-lifer have a stroke?
Doctors [A]: Dissection. The carotid artery that carries blood to my brain developed a split in its interior wall. A clot formed and a piece of that broke off and blocked a vessel in my motor strip.
Me [A]: In short, a corroded carotid.
[Q]: Why did I have a dissection?
Doctors [A]: Twisted arteries. Neck stress from yoga and chiropractic. Fluctuating blood pressure.
Friends and Strangers [A]: To learn a life lesson. To find my path.
Me [A]: I have gone over and over things I did that may have led to the stroke. In yoga class the night before, I turned my head while in shoulder stand. A few days before that, I self-administered a neck adjustment that emitted a loud crack. Just months before that I was showing off for my three-year-old nephew by doing a headstand, and he toppled me like a tower of blocks. I’ve also pondered what I needed to learn that took something this drastic to get my attention: Patience. Compassion. Balance.
No matter what I think, or what I'm told, I always come back to one truth: None of the answers can change what happened. And so there is only one question that really matters.
How do I go forward from here?