Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Vans Down by the River



 It is with a heavy heart that I pronounce my beloved Yo Gabba Gabba Slip-On Vans officially…*sniffle*…DEAD.  They have suffered the woes of wear and finally cannot go on.

The carnage. My cat, Selina looks away, blinking away his tears.
  
Of course I'm being dramatic.  But I really am quite upset over this. These shoes have served me in ways that nothing else has. These shoes have been with me through a lot, and always came through when I needed them.
Not kidding.
I bought these shoes 4 years ago, just 3 weeks before my stroke.  We had been out shopping for a new pair of shoes for my son when I noticed these on sale.  Why on earth would I look at shoes at Journeys Kidz? Because I stand 4 feet 10 ¾ inches  tall, and my shoe size is 3 in Little Kids.  Finding shoes is a nightmare.  I avoid shoe shopping because it invokes in me a passionate fury.  When I saw these, I thought “oh they’re so cute! I wonder if they’ll fit!” And they did. *cue angels singing*  I worked in a corporate office back then.  I already had a reputation for being a little eccentric so of course I wore them to work.  I mean, of course.   How could I not show these off? 


My beloved Vans, brand spankin' new.
I wore them to work on June 8, 2011.  I remember that day because that was the last day I ever went to work.  That day, I had an ischemic stroke in my left brain stem.  I didn’t understand what was happening but I knew something was wrong.  My co-worker urged me to call my husband to come pick me up.  While we didn’t know it was a stroke, it was clear I shouldn’t attempt to drive home.  I ended up in an ambulance later that day headed for the ER.  Over the next 3 days I lost all use of the right side of my body.  The Neurologist explained it was an evolving stroke.  It didn’t just strike and leave; it struck and didn’t stop.  By the third day I had total paralysis on the right side, save for my face.  I didn’t get to wear shoes much for the next week while I remained in the ICU, so my Vans – my fun, colorful, conversation-starting Vans – stayed tucked away in that big plastic hospital bag marked “PATIENT BELONGINGS.”  Those stupid bags.  I hate them.  I’ve never been to prison but I imagine that’s what it feels like.  Forced to strip naked and all of your possessions reduced to a damn plastic bag.  I couldn’t even keep my bra on!  Holy mom boobs, Batman have you people no mercy?

Whole world. Right here. And they NEVER write your name on it. Fascists!

After 8 days or so they shipped me and my bulging plastic bag of all that remained of civilization to inpatient rehab.  At this point, I was wheelchair-bound but not able to push myself or get in or out of it in my own.  This is where I would learn to do that, and eventually to walk again.  So I got to wear my Vans. 

Me, wheelin' to the cafeteria, desperately hoping they'll let us have salt today.


Four years later, I still suffer from “drop foot.”  This means that even though I can walk with a walker or a cane, my right ankle still hasn’t learned to move again.  My foot just hangs there.  Try putting on a pair of shoes without using your ankle.  Try it.  HA!  It sucks balls, doesn’t it?  Not only can I not put on certain shoes, very few shoes will even stay on while I walk.  I’m a California native.  I’m fairly certain there’s a state law declaring flip-flops our state shoe.  I mourned the day I threw my collection (yes, collection) away because I could no longer wear them.  I did try wearing Converse and other lace-up sneakers but my right hand and fingers have a hell of a time getting those on.  If I’m in a hurry or already too fatigued for the day, that’s just not a fight I’m up for.


My Vans were slip-ons.  Masterfully designed to stretch and conform to the foot and not need any stupid laces.  And they stayed on.  And…AND they were a perfect SIZE 3.  Oh sure there are other Vans out there.  But they’re not MY Vans.  They didn’t hold me in place when I rose from my hospital bed for the very first time to try to stand.  They didn’t help my good foot push my wheelchair all around the rehab place fighting to reclaim some independence, or help me hold my toddler’s hand to take a walk around our building for the first time.  These filthy broken shoes look like they should be tossed in the river and forgotten.  But I can’t let them go yet.  These Vans, the ones broken in to my tiny swollen feet, walked this road to recovery with me.  

6 comments:

  1. i forgot about your freakishly small feet, and that you were corporate.

    and your tags are great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awwwww, I'm sorry about your Vans. Selfishly, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from stroke , i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of stroke and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he had difficult speaking , and he always complain of muscle weakness and balance disorder . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to stroke . I never imagine stroke has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. stroke has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was saved from stroke , So i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    I was diagnosed of stroke and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because my family had spend all money they had, the symptoms were terrible, I had difficult speaking , and he always complain of muscle weakness and balance disorder . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to stroke . I never imagine stroke has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and I used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment Am so full of life. stroke has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drjohnson958@gmail.com or Whatsapp him on +1(518) 675-6082 on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony

    ReplyDelete
  5. ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE GREAT DEED HE HAVE DON FOR MY FAMILY.This information will be useful for Epilepsy and stroke patients who is willing to use herbal medicine. My daughter had temporal lobe epilepsy, She had seizure and had a grand mal with rage episode. Our daughter's seizure is constant throughout the day. We had used several medicine which include: Epilim and Keppra, experience seizure control at the cost of serious debilitating side effects. It was during a casual conversation with a friend that I learned about herbal Dr. William on how he help her cure his son from stroke and so many others with different illness,his medicine does not have any side effect.after my daughter have finish taking dr williams medicine I am glad to say that he has been seizure-free since July 2015 after taking William medicine. this a miracle cure?contact him for more detail (drwilliams098675@gmail.com) .
    thanks once again admin for such an informative blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from stroke , i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of stroke and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he had difficult speaking , and he always complain of muscle weakness and balance disorder . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to stroke . I never imagine stroke has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. stroke has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony

    ReplyDelete