Six years later, Roberta Edelheit has come to terms with the stroke that changed her life, with the support of family, friends and Alembika.
Rewind… “Before, I worked hard on myself physically and mentally; I was finally where I wanted to be in the totality of my life. After… I could have never imagined… My son saved my life. ICU for 3-4 weeks, paralyzed, intensive dizziness, and basically sensory deprived. Hospital 3-4 months with intensive therapy daily… Vision compromised, partial paralysis, touch unbearable, still dizzy…
What saved me… Family support, ICU hospital staff, fabulous rapport with doctors, my son’s involvement as a doctor, daily visits with husband, children, grandchildren, son-in-laws, flowers in abundance from friends (as I wouldn’t see anyone but family… and NO pics!). My room was decorated with pics of family and the artwork of grandchildren, who visited me and played in my bed. Insurance forced me out of the hospital due of costs; over $20,000 a day. I still needed daily care and was forced into a nursing facility. Hated it and told my family never to mention it again. Went home after two months with daily care and all-day outpatient therapy. My self-esteem was lost, I felt isolated and lonely. After a few months, I refused help… I wanted my privacy and my life back.
Fast forward to 6 years later, Roberta came to terms with her stroke. Join Roberta with Yael in the next Alembika Zoom Café on Friday, March 10th to hear more about her amazing recovery—and how she “found acceptance of the new me through time and Clothing.”
Roberta says, “Alembika has allowed me to feel feminine and comfortable in my new body… Grateful to Yael for her communication, acceptance and warmth.”
We are so inspired by Roberta’s story! And, her answers to our five #AlembikaWomen questions…
What do you do, or did you do, for work?
I am a teacher… When I started to build a family, I began tutoring, mostly high school. I enjoy the curriculum, the relationships of individuals at that stage of life, meeting needs in a unique way when others can’t… Teaching study skills and time management afforded me the opportunity to be immersed in the content in a manner I hadn’t in my youth. Now I sense someone’s needs creatively… I could be there for my family and myself at the same time. I felt independence and productivity.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
I try to do something that makes me feel good and productive. I enjoy reading and doing for others… I’d organize something or reach out to a friend and connect.
What would you do if you had the whole day for yourself?
Living in Chicago with the seasons, it varies what I like to do when I am alone. Before my stroke, I loved to take walks and be outside, winter, summer, spring, or fall. If I had the whole day to myself, I would go to a plant store and wander around. If the weather was conducive, I would go outside and work on my plants. I would relax in my home with a good book.
What do you love most about being a woman?
The best thing about being a woman is being able to nurture others, especially family. I think of others often, and when I see something they would like I purchase it for them . I love to do for others, especially my husband, my family, my children, and, of course, the grandchildren. It makes me feel happy inside.
What is the one piece of clothing you cannot live without?
I could not live without black pants, of any style. Just changing the top creates a whole new look and personal style.It’s a wonderful backdrop for any color to pop. I have so many styles of black pants, and now I have so many punto pants that are black. It is the palette, backdrop for my personal, artistic expression.