Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Early Sunday morning on April 28, 2013 (Lag BaOmer) a week before I was scheduled to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I had a stroke. My grandson Ushy (five years old) was the first of God's emissaries to save my life. My wife, Marsha, normally sleeps in late Sunday mornings. Ushy called Marsha on her cell phone and woke her up. I was staggering into our bedroom, determined to take a shower, so I could get ready for work. I started to strip down. Marsha looked at me. It was like a stroke commercial. "You're having a stroke! I'm calling 911." I gestured with my hand, Get out! I'm a bodybuilder fitness freak, we don't get strokes! I wasn't fully aware that I couldn't talk. Wow, I really needed a shower. Needed to wake up and get ready for work. I finished stripping down and headed for the bathroom. "I mean it! I'm calling 911." I locked myself in the bathroom, turned the water on in the shower and stepped in. I started shampooing my hair. The shampoo dripped into my eyes so I couldn't see. I was feeling fatigued and weak. I don't know why I feel so tired, got a lot of sleep on Shabbos. I heard a knock on the door. "Paramedics." I'm taking a shower! Since I couldn't talk they couldn't hear me. So I shouted louder inside my head. I'M TAKING A SHOWER! GO AWAY! They still didn't hear me. Then I heard my wife. "Rick, open up the door!" I'M TAKING A SHOWER! I heard my wife trying to unlock the door. The door opened and these 2 big guys who looked like police officers were coming into the bathroom. That's enough! I stepped out of the tub dripping wet, with shampoo dripping down my head and into my eyes. I lunged at the door and slammed it shut against some resistance from the big police guys. I'm very strong and teach self defense. These guys are lucky I'm naked and taking a shower.  "Rick, open the door." I heard Marsha twisting a key in the door. I shut off the water, stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel. The big police guys were right there, with my wife behind them. I pushed them to the side and headed for my underwear drawer. This is embarrassing! I put on my underwear and sweat pants. Wow, I'm really feeling tired and weak. The big guys grabbed me under my armpits and helped me down the stairs and into an ambulance. I had no more fight in me.

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