(Editor’s Note: The following is the third chapter from Jared’s book It’ll Buff Out.)
Chapter 3: Sirens
Thornton, Colorado September 17, 2006
S-T-R-O-K-E. Using my one good hand, I slowly thumbed the correct letters for what I thought I was experiencing.
Numbness on one side of my body. Check.
Slurred speech. Check and check.
I was having a stroke at thirty years old.
Footsteps thudded behind me.
“Igh habinga stroke,” I mush-mouthed to the footsteps.
“Huh?” came the response from Kevin, my father-in-law.
“Stroke, caw nime-wum-wum,” I said, trying to make the right sounds.
“Holy shit,” Kevin said and pulled out his phone.
I heard him talking, but everything faded. It was like it was happening in slow motion and my vision had the odd, distorted feeling like looking down into the shallows of a murky lake.
The voice in my head continued to chime, “Stay calm.”
Meditation was something I had been trying out prior to my stroke. I fell into a meditation of sorts trying to shut out the pain.
Sirens wailed nearby. Time was of the essence. I knew things were bad, but that little voice told me I had to stay awake and stay calm.
Paramedics rushed in and began asking me questions.
Mushing words around in my mouth, I successfully butchered every part of the English language with ease.
“Can you stand up?” one paramedic asked.
What a ridiculous question! Of course I can stand up was what I wanted to say.
“Law,” I responded instead and went to get up. And just as fast as I went up, I went back down, but not before the medic who asked the question caught me before I fell to the ground like a sack of dildos.
I was hoisted onto the gurney and strapped down.
The entire left side of my body was numb, completely limp. I couldn’t control or feel any of it. And the pain in my head was relentless.
“He’s having a stroke. We need to get him to an ER so we can figure out what kind before we give him any pain meds or a clot buster,” the medic said more to Kevin than to me.
They wheeled me out and put me into an ambulance. Little did I know then, but that was the most expensive cab ride of all time.
Once I was in the ambulance, I thought, I hope this ambulance driver is better than I had been for Utley.
Jared Prewitt is a husband, father, marine, author, carpenter/teacher/coach, and lover of great stories.
Jared was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He participated in the Battle of Ramadi (Iraq) as a Designated Marksman from 2006-2007 and as a Squad Leader in the Battle of Garmsir (Afghanistan) in 2008.
After being honorably discharged in 2009 having served five years, Jared moved to Colorado and married in 2011. He has a Bachelor’s in Business and a Masters in Writing. You can find him bowling, golfing, camping, hunting, or fishing when he’s not around his family.
Check out his other work on Instagram @cold_steel_collective or at www.jareprewittwritesstuff.com.
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Book synopsis for It’ll Buff Out:
Jared Prewitt grew up a sheltered MidWest kid.
Seeking adventure and a taste of what his grandfather endured as a soldier in General Patton’s Third Army during World War II, he joined the Marines in 2004 as Iraq ignited into all-out war.
The Battle of Ramadi would forever change Jared’s life and set him down a path of strife and survival.
From explosions and gun fights to blood clots and panic attacks, nothing is hopeless.
It’ll Buff Out is a story about the revival of a war-torn city and the human spirit.