Surviving a Stroke at 33 (and Blogging About It)

Beautiful story of how writing and community worked together to help someone identify and get treatment for a stroke and then focus on what’s important. My 43-year-old friend and fellow big firm attorney had a stroke — one morning she went to log into her work computer to check email before work and couldn’t type in the password. Her husband got home from dropping off the kids at school and she tried to tell him about her difficulties but she couldn’t form the words. Not being able to write or speak coherently is scary for anyone and I imagine that for her– an attorney who depends on her written and verbal advocacy to support her family — it was especially frightening. She has since recovered, left the big firm to work in-house and all is well. But I hadn’t previously thought of stroke happening to someone so young.

The WordPress.com Blog

Christine Hyung-Oak Lee suffered a stroke when she was 33, and she has written about her experience in an inspiring personal essay for BuzzFeed.

Before that, she was using a pseudonym on WordPress.com to blog about her experiences, share details about her life, and practice her writing. In 2007, shortly after New Year’s Day, Lee wrote the following in a blog post:

something in my brain burped. most of what i want to do is just out of my grasp. i feel like i know how to do them, but then when i go to do them, i just…CAN’T. day by day, i’m regaining my abilities, so i hope this is just temporary.

Lee’s commenters urged her to see a doctor, and the next day, she responded to them from a hospital bed: “I had a stroke! Will be better.”

I spoke with Lee about her experience, and…

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