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Ralph E.


My Stroke Story

Eight years I ago I suffered a massive stroke. I'm paralyzed on the right side, I wear a brace on my right leg and my right hand does not work. I have brain damage in the language area obviously problems with short-term memory.

I was working as a college professor in San Diego. I was struck on the drive up to my mother's in Oxnard for Thanksgiving. This was in 2003. Thanksgiving went wonderful but the next day my Mother and I went out to a Japanese restaurant for dinner and I told her after dinner I felt funny. One of those clinics was close by but it was closed so I just said let's go back to your place I'll go to bed. She heard me fall against the wall. I didn't remember that I just went to bed. The next morning I tried to stand up and I couldn't I fell down on the floor. I finally got up, but then kept falling. My Mother called her sister that lives close by. The three of us drove to the hospital. I fell out of the car at the emergency department so the attendants picked me up and took me in. This started a six week stay in the hospital. My career was over. Two weeks into my hospital stay they discovered a clot in my lung-- so this kind of put a damper on my therapy.

My mom and my brother and sister looked into alternatives places for me after the hospital but my brother finally decided to have me go back to my apartment in San Diego and have caregivers. I had to have a caregiver living in my living room. Because I could easily fall. Which I did several times.

For the next several years I paid for therapy out-of-pocket. When my mom's health got worse I decided to move up to the Ventura Oxnard area. I have cousins up here also. I ended up staying up here. They take a wonderful handicap weightlifting class at Ventura College. I walk a lot. I had to learn to read again starting with children's books. I'm reading around a senior in college level now.

I've been writing my memoirs for the last three years. I have to use Dragon software because I can no longer spell. The stroke damaged my language area although I speak fine.

I also have a wonderful woman that does Thai massage. I'm down to just two days a week of help. I live alone in an apartment complex in Ventura.

I'm paralyzed on the right side. My right hand does not work. My brain has gotten much better much faster than my body. Luckily I do walk with a cane.

On the weekends I go out to dinner and to a movie with my cousins, sometimes I get together with a friend.

I've been working very hard at my recovery for the past eight years. I'm doing pretty well.


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