TRAPPED WITHIN ~ Jo Ann Glim’s Stroke Story & $10 Amazon GC giveaway

Please welcome Jo Ann Glim, stroke survivor. 

Ivy, I am so happy to meet you and your readers. I look forward to introducing myself and my new book, “Trapped Within” (release date Tuesday, Sep 24th).

Writing became a passion when I was very young. It was born from my love for reading. I loved to read stories about adventure like settling the Wild West as told in the children’s book “Little Britches,” or crossing the Rockies with Annie Oakley. You couldn’t keep my head out of the clouds nor my eyes off the view from the classroom window as I flew around the world with Amelia Earhart, and Charles Lindbergh. I was ten years old.

Having a grandfather who was a furniture maker, inventor, adventurer, and storyteller infused me with the bug to travel, gave me a curiosity for everything, and unleashed my imagination.

As I matured, I found my interest led to stories that conveyed the human spirit for what it is: courageous, independent, humorous, and loving. Never did I expect a near-death experience to lead to writing a book about surviving a stroke.

Trapped Within is a true story about survival, recovery, love, and hope as told through the eyes of a stroke survivor.

That day started like any other but by lunchtime, I was fighting for my very life. A stroke is like that. You don’t see it coming.

There was nothing to do but let nature take its course—no guarantee I’d live much less return to full health.

This story is written to offer encouragement to stroke survivors, hope to their family members and caregivers, and understanding to medical professionals or anyone interested in knowing what it’s like to be Trapped Within your own body.

So, be prepared to travel through the terror and frustration of paralysis to a place of peace and gratitude where life meets hope.

CHAPTER THREE
Seconds Count

I’ve always been one to remain calm in an emergency. When my mind goes into overdrive, I assess a situation and, within seconds, form contingency plans with safety first, then action. Driving back to Tropicana seemed like the most logical choice at the time. Thirteen blocks—turn right, four more blocks—turn right, a straight run past the wrought-iron gate, down the tree-lined driveway, and stop at the large double doors.

I took a deep cleansing breath. Breathe slowly, I reminded myself, in through the nose, out through the mouth.

Wadda ya think, you’re having a baby? I chided. My inner voice yelled, Just breathe!

“Huh,” I snorted. Seems like a reasonable plan.

I wondered what I would do if I were in dire straits?

Lady, it doesn’t get much worse than this!

Focus, my mind repeated in a calm mantra.

I stayed in the lane closest to the curb. The iconic, twenty-acre Red Barn Flea Market was a huge tourist attraction for Bradenton, Florida, until last week when a catastrophic fire reduced the buildings to rubble. Plan B was to drive onto the open field if I lost control.

Somebody will eventually find me rising from the ruins.

The stoplight was red at Twenty-Sixth Avenue. I slowed, hoping it would turn green before I got into the mix of traffic.

It’s okay, I tried to reassure myself. It’s only seconds.

“Seconds count when having a stroke,” I chanted over and over, moving my lips like a mime so I didn’t have to hear the garble spilling from my mouth.

“Turn green!” I shouted at the light as though that would hasten the action. I couldn’t point at it for drama like a conductor looking for a crescendo. I picked up my right arm with my left hand, turned the right hand to grip the steering wheel, and willed it into place.

“Stay!” I begged and watched in stunned silence as the paralyzed hand bounced off the console and onto the seat, settling next to my side. I could no longer feel my fingers.

People were entering and exiting Tropicana’s headquarters with that corporate stride of purpose. Did you ever notice the higher the position, the longer and slower the gait? That silly thought quickly passed as I realized: I may not be able to walk at all.

Please, God, give me strength.

I opened the trunk, grabbed a couple of boxes, and walked towards the two-story, tinted glass doors. A young man heading for the office stopped to help and carried in the rest.

My eyes turned heavenward and I mouthed a quiet “Thank you.”

Twenty-four steps on the antebellum staircase led from the atrium-styled lobby to the executive suites above. If Ron and the rest are hungry enough, they can come get the boxed lunches themselves.

I really don’t feel well.

Seconds count when having a stroke became the din in my mind over all thoughts and conversations. I picked up the courtesy phone at the far end of the receptionist’s counter and called home.

“Hello?” The sound of Bill’s voice brought an immediate flush of relief. He was my rock.

“Hi, honey,” I slurred. “I’m sick. Meet me at the hospital.” This was the message my mind tried to convey. What Bill heard sounded more like words shredded like confetti.

After an eternity of silence, he responded, “I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong number.”

“Nooo. No! No! No!” I shouted and began to cry.

I turned my back to avert the gaze of those in the lobby who heard the outburst.

I had to say something only he and I would know. What . . . what? WHAT? My jaw tensed as my stomach rolled. THINK!

“October nineteen,” I blurted out.

There was an audible gasp. “What’s the matter with you?” he asked, concern edging his voice.

I took a deep breath and concentrated on forming every vowel and consonant. The words came out thick and slowly. “I’m sick. Meet me at the ER,” I said and hung up. It never occurred to me that our community has two hospitals. I never told Bill which one.

There were two truths at that moment. First, time was of the essence if I hoped to survive. Second, if an ambulance came and people gathered round, it would cause a scene. I hate gawkers! What if I cursed like a sailor who’d dropped an anchor on his foot? I would be embarrassed beyond relief! It never occurred to me they’d never understand what I was saying anyway.

I considered the options:

  • Call 911: I looked at the car parked in front of the building. It was steps away. The engine was still running.
  • CALL 911: People now filled the lobby as lunchtime waned. I liked the employees at Tropicana. I wanted to be asked back, if I survived this crisis. The hospital was less than a mile away. There was plenty of open land.

I decided to go for it.

Trapped Within is available from booksellers everywhere. Just ask for it by “Trapped Within,” or give them the ISBN 978-0-9888129-9-4 (print) or ASIN B07WXKBQB9 (eBook) number. For more information visit: www.JoAnnGlim.com.

Jo Ann is giving away a $10 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter. Winner will be chosen at random, contest ends 9/28/19. Good Luck!

 

That day started like any other but by lunchtime, I was fighting for my very life. A stroke is like that. You don’t see it coming.

There was nothing to do but let nature take its course – no guarantees I’d live much less return to full health. So, be prepared to travel through the terror and frustration of paralysis to a place of peace and gratitude where life meets hope.

This story is written to offer encouragement to stroke survivors, hope to family members and caretakers, understanding to medical professionals, or anyone interested in knowing what it’s like to be Trapped Within your own body.

 

 

 

 

 

Jo Ann Glim was born in Chicago, Illinois to a military family and raised in Anacortes, Washington in the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest in a three-generational household.

After finishing high school, Glim’s career followed three paths: media as a disk jockey/copywriter; communications with a forty-year freelance portfolio; business management working as the Human Resources Manager for a Fortune 500 company. 

Jo Ann now lives in Florida with her husband, Bill, and their Scottish terrier, Lucy. Her passions are writing, photography, and travel. She loves thin-crust, Chicago pizza, and is happiest when traveling with her hubby, playing handbells, or on hiking trails with her camera and dog.

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