Jill explains that with her stroke, the external world was a painful place. "Sound coming in through my ears was chaos. Light coming in was burning. I couldn't distinguish three dimensions or any kind of definition," she says. "If you were talking to me, I wouldn't be able to pick your voice out from the background noise."
The alternative, she says, was to zone out and stay within her right hemisphere's limited consciousness. "I was experiencing bliss and euphoria. I was happy," she says. "I also lost all my emotional baggage. How's that feel? That was nice. That was freeing. Imagine what it would be like to just be in the present moment. All I had was the wonder and the splendor and the magnificence of the present moment—and it's beautiful."
In order to gain back left hemisphere function, like language, Jill says she had to make a conscious effort. "I would have to work real hard to try to read your lips, to try to listen to your sound," she says. "That was my willingness to try."