Every been so scared, your heart jumped?

Welcome to one of the after-effects of my stroke. If someone abruptly coughs, or puts plate on the bench, or there’s an unexpected bang on the TV, like a T-bone car crash, or a dog bark, or a dropped plate, I literally jump through the roof. No joke, my heart jumps so much, this condition kindly bestowed on me post-stroke, will not just make me jump one day, it will trigger a heart attack.

They’ll write ‘died of fright’ on my tombstone.

I’m sure there’s a medical term for this, but a term doesn’t describe what it’s like to live with this.

For example, I cringe anytime someone drives a car in TV or movies. T-bone car crashes are such cliches, any car shot, I anticipate a crash, no matter the genre. And I certainly make sure I don’t drink. If I jump while holding a drink … well, it’s not pretty. My hand violently jerks, water spills from my cup –  taking on a life of its own – and leaps into the air. Water splatters my clothes and drips over my wheelchair. Then it hits the floor like thrown paint – a Pro Hart masterpiece. I’m surprised water hasn’t ended up in my hair yet. My husband laughs at me, but gets just desert – he has to clean it up. Ah, there is sweet justice.

And my wonderful kids take pleasure in seeing me jump. They laugh and laugh and laugh. Soon, they’ll start scoring who makes me jump the most. Lucky for me, it’s too ‘cringe-worthy’ for them to read my blog, or I would’ve just given them a new game.

On the weekend, I binge-watched a show on Netflix. I won’t say which one and give spoilers. They happened to walk on the ledge of, say, a ten story building. It was obviously fake. Did that matter? No siree. Even typing about it days later, recalling the image, I’m woozy. Thankfully, with Netflix, I can just jump forward. Not so with a movie.

Going to the movies is a real fun time for me. I know Hollywood uses a green screen, but you try and convince my brain of that. Movies with heights? I end up watching the ‘Exit’ sign or my shoes. Any height, no matter how fake, makes me jump so much I nearly fall out of my wheelchair. As if being in a wheelchair didn’t come without enough challenges.

I’ve been startled in the movies, and I wear choc tops, slurpies and popcorn. In truth, movies are’t the greatest choice for me. I should start wearing an apron. Imagine the looks that’d earn!

The earth-type shots of End Game (or was it Captain Marvel?), those taken above the atmosphere, are just too much for me. I try to look, but even they overwhelm me. Of course, I’m a movie-goer at heart, so I’ll just grin and bear the dizzying heights. It is what it is. I have this ‘perk’ for life.

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