Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Heart Attacks, Strokes, Recovery and More: My Perspective

with 3 comments


Two years ago today I started a journey that not only changed my life, but also the lives of my family and friends. Looking back, it seems hardly possible that two years have passed since that eventful day.  When I woke up in December after spending 20 days in ICU, I could not walk, use my left hand, or stay awake for more than a few hours.

Days, weeks, and months went by and I although some days the steps seemed very small I continued to progress . My amazing friends and family have stuck by me the whole way.The staff at MetroHealth everyone included still tell me at every opportunity that if anyone was going to pull through they thought it would be me because of the wonderful support group that called, visited, and sat by my side during my recovery.

And, that brings me to the perspective  of my post today—friends. Before going further, I want to explain that family are friends and friends are family.  The two have been interchangeable all my life.  My mother fostered that mindset from the time I was small. Since I was an only child, she made sure that I was surrounded by cousins and friends on weekends and in the summer so that I would not become bored and the handful that I could sometimes be.  Ask Tim, he can tell you a few of m “brat” stories as he call them.

When facing a health crisis, I cannot stress enough how important a support system becomes and is.  I am not going to chronicle those important people in this post because I wouldn’t do anyone justice, but I am sure that through the coming years I will write about many of them and those i don’t will know that the reason I do not write  a vignette about them is probably because the connection is cherished in my heart and I feel I do not have the words to properly express the encounter.

Being a friend to someone who is facing a chronic illness can be a challenge, but not if we each realize that one in three of us will face such an illness or be a bystander to someone we love faces the challenges of a health crisis.  Dropping a card in the mail, stopping for a visit at the hospital, taking a meal for everyone to share when the patient comes home , many, many things that take a lot of time or just a smidgen of time can make someone’s day brighter and sunnier.  I know because my days have been much fuller and richer by the random acts of kindness that I have received from friends.

Two years later, they are still supporting me with words of encouragement, conversations over coffee, and including me in projects and decisions they are making so that I can forget my limitations and focus on the possibilities of my life.    

Written by Gloria Ferris

November 17th, 2010 at 9:31 am

3 Responses to 'Heart Attacks, Strokes, Recovery and More: My Perspective'

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  1. Beautifully said

    George Nemeth

    17 Nov 10 at 2:56 PM

  2. Gloria:

    I cannot believe it has been 2 years. I remember the day I learned that you were ill and in the hospital and how shocked and saddened I was. And cried after I hung up with Tim who told me your prognosis was not good.

    You have been through so much but have come out on the other side of it beautifully and with such dignity. You are a role model for anyone having a crises in his or her life. You are truly an amazing woman. I am so happy to be your friend, and if I have helped in some small way to your recovery along the way, I am so glad that I could do that.

    I wish you, Tim and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving – we all have so much to be thankful for.

    Love, Susan

    Susan Altshuler

    18 Nov 10 at 1:57 PM

  3. Gloria, glad you’re here, as I tell you fairly often. Susan, you were such a help during the transitional days–Betsey, too. George, I had no idea you would wind up in similar straits–glad you’re around, too. We need to do some more podcasting, all of us, just to keep things balanced.

    Tim Ferris

    20 Nov 10 at 10:38 AM

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