Hello – I am Brent Calhoun. I am a veterinarian. I had 2 strokes in 2010. Since I had the strokes, I am nervous about sneezing. You wonder why? If you have not had a stroke, you question if I’m weird or goofy. If you did have a stroke, you understand my fear.
Thankfully, I got my driver’s license back 10 months after the strokes. A couple years later, I was driving down the road going about 40 miles per hour. If you use the metric system, that’s approximately 65 kilometers per hour. It is a medium speed when driving.
Since the strokes, I am weak on the right side of my body. I was exercising my affected hand by using it on the steering wheel with my non-affected hand. The 10 and 2 positions. Another way to say this is that I had my right hand on the wheel while I was really steering with my left hand. I don’t remember why, but I dropped off my left hand to do something. My right hand only was steering. I imagine I would do that move when I would think I was driving “safe.”
Out of the blue, I sneezed. Bad idea when my right hand was “in control.” Often, when you had a stroke, a sneeze will be followed by unpredictable motion in the muscles affected by the stroke. I swerved into the other lane, the other direction of traffic, very fast. Luckily, there were NOT any cars coming in the other lane. I was out of harm’s way and nobody else was involved.
I quickly recovered my senses and got control of my steering wheel with my left hand. Whew! I took a couple of deep breaths and my fast pounding heart began to slow down. I swore on a pile of Bibles to never do that stunt ever again. I don’t think I’ve done it again. Lesson learned!
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