Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unexpected Family

As we were driving to therapy this morning, Iwas musing over how many of my former college classmates have wished me well, that is the inspiration behind this post.
    I had no idea when I entered the theatre department at Western Michigan University in 1996 Tthat I was joining a family and meeting people who would continue to impact my life decades later. Some of the best and most meaningful friendships I have had werweforged in the Gilmore theater complex Also some of the deepest and most passionate relationships of my life happened because of my decision to attend WMU, in fsct, Inever would have met my husband if Ihad accepted Northern Michigan's offer. I look back upon my time in college with great fondness, Imrt some of the best, most interesting and most talented people during my time in the theatre deprtment Life was simple back then, you know, before real life stepped in and started kicking my ass. All Ihad to worry about was getting to class and passing Joan's Theatre Development mid-term, ehihch Idid with flying colors, still one of the proudest moments of my life,The people I met at Western still play a pivitol role in my life, so thank you all for all of the love you have shiwn me since this has happened, I'm lucky to have met such crazy bunch of kooks

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ability v. Dis-

I have been reading a book on of my OTs(occupational therapist) in the hospital gave me called "My Stroke Of Insight", wrtten by Dr, Jill Bolte taylor, Dr. Taylor is a brain scientist and in this book she talks about her experiences when she had a massive stroke, this book is helpful to me for multiplrereasons, it helps me keep things in perspective as her stroke and the after effects of it were much more severe than mine, she lost the ability to speak and understand language.In discussing her recovery she talks about how she and her caregiver focused on her abilities, rather than her disabilities, so that is what I've been doing for the past couple of days, as you can imagine, it is very easy to focus on my disabilities as it is so apparent to me what they are .but it certainly hlifts my spirits to think of the thins Ican do oday that I couldn't do a month ago:A month ago it had been about two months since I'd used the bathroom without someone standing over me, waiting for me to finish, not the most dignified experience of my life, now I get be alone when I do my business and today I am still waddling around the house without my cane, it's not a pretty walk, or anywhere close to being graceful, but I'm doing it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Ater a lot of convincing my husband and brother- In-Law have coaxed my cane away from e, helping me see that   I don't need it as much as It hink I do. So I've spent the whole day wandering around the house without it. It feels so good, I can pick things up and carry them to where I am sitting, something that is difficult with a cane, so this makes a lot me feel so much more capable, my bro-In-Law even helped me hold Charlotte while standing and walking, so good. I needed this today, I've had a rough couple of days lately and this morning I had dug myself into a depression that I thought I wasn't going to get out of, thank goodness for those boys!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Slow And Steady

Whever Ienter into the darkness of depression, feeling I'm getting nowhere an that nothing is changing or getting better, I like ti sit an focus on the small bits if progess I've made over the last three and a half months Iwas actually justhinking about thid the other night, when I was first admitted to neuro rehab, it too three nurses to help me transfer from the bed to the wheel chair and onto the toilet. I am now able to go to the bathroom whenever I damn well please, which helps me feel so much more independent, than I did when I had to wait for someone to take me in there. my latest accomplishment which helps me feel so much more independent and normal is that I can now get myself in and out of the bathtub so I can take a shower when Iwant and how Iwant to, before Ihad to wait for my husband to be ready to help me and he would run the show, helping me wash and dry off, now, I like to linger in a hot shower and I haven' been able to do that whenever I wanted since this happened. My OT in the hospital would help me and we usually were rushing so, no lingering hot showers for me in the hospital My speech is apparently getting better according to others, my ST has noticed more inflection to it, and my "Rs" are becoming easier to pronounce. my Mother In Law also thinks I'm starting to sound more like myself, all of these things bolster me up e\when Iam feeling down and frustrated, but then It hink abou the strides that Iwill have made three and a half months from now and feel better

Thursday, February 23, 2012

ALetter for the future

Dear Charlotte,

                If you are reading this then you have stumbled across this blog on your own and I am happy you have found it, or I have directed you to it, to answer some questions you may have about the circumstances surrounding your birth. It is important to me that you know what I experienced during the first months of your life. It is also important that you know that even though I was unable tobreastfeed you for as long as Iwould have liked and cannot remember the moment of your birth or can't remember the first time I saw youIstill feel remarkably connected to you, every time I look into your blueberry blue eyes I can see the kind, bright, compassionate person I believe you are and I'm filled with a love more intense than I've ever felt before. Your presence here has made the last four months worthwhile. You are the reason I get out of bed every morning and fight the good fight and try my best to beat down my impulse to focus on the negative. My greatest hope is that someday you will be able to say to someone, "You know, my mom Enjoyed her life regardless of the shitty hand she was dealt. I hope Ican make you proud to be my daughter, I know I am proud to be your mom.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


my family came to visit me this weekend and now that they are gone I am experiencing a pretty intense feeling of loss, that is not normal when a visit with them ends, you see, once I turned 14  I was ready to move outo f my parents' home and since I graduated from college I've moved all over the country, maintaining a comfortable distance between them and myself, I now live closer to them than I have in years, onl ya six hour drive as opposed to a 14 hour one. normally when visit ends, I am happy to get back to my routine. but this time is different, the house just feels empty an quie, t, ver the weekend, it was nice to know that I had people who were looking forward tioseeing me as soon as I managed to get myself together and downstairs, there is nothing like the comfort of being with your mom and dad, who accept an dlove you regardless of what is going on in your life, whether you're a good host or not. but I think my saddness at theireparture oils down to one simple thing: sometimes you jus treally need your mom and dad. And Ido, more than Iever have, Ithink


my left arm and I have been in a very serious, committed, long-term relationship since I started picking things up ehich is why the recent break-up between my left srm and I has been so traumatizing for me, I am very dominantly left handed, needless to say my right hand is having to play a lot of catch up! Maybe when this is all over I'll be ambidexterous! The thing about recovering limbs after a brain injury is that the big muscles come back first and the small ones take longer.When I started rehab I could barely move my leg, but now, it's easy to move, my ankle and toes, not so much (small muscles), so,the rational part of my brain tells me that it is possible to get my arm back, since I got my leg back, that involves smaller muscles so I just have to attempt to be patient, a difficult task for me,today I started myself on new exercise program to start getting my arm back into to game, let's see how that goes,anything is better than doing nothing wiht the  arm.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


This past weekend,my parents and sister paid me a visit, it was great to see hem, especially my sister, who hadn't seen me since I was in the ICU and still pretty comatose, so it was nice to hear her take on how I've progrssedsince then.Living with myself everyday makes it difficult to see all of the progress I've made, Idon't see the tiny changes that others do, so it'always nice to see what someone who hasn't seen me in awhile thinks. While having them here kinda knocked my routine out of whack, something that made me feel funky all weekend, it was wonderful to be around the familiar company of my family. his past week I've been fearful of losing my personality behind the cloud of the brain injury I sustained, and my family reassured me that there were glimpses peeking through every so ofte. We layed Scatergories, something my speech therapist recommended I play to vuild cognition, Idid well, although that level of brain usage wore me out, but it felt goog to know my mind still functions well and quickly, if not as quickly as before

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I can't even begin to express how I am feeling today but I'm so ecstatic, I feel compelled to share,  I feel like I crossed some sort of threshold today, like I woke up on the super right side of the bed!I feel like I just came out on the bright side of a dark tunnel and seeing the sunlight and breathing fresh air for the first time in long time. Whatever darkness that has been consuming me is gone today and I am now able to face my future, whatever it holds. I know there is no reason why I can't function independently as I am now. If I never get my arm back, Ican live with that, but today I bent my left arm and raised my left wrist, so recovery is on the horizon, I can feelit, I know the rest of my life will be rich and that I will raise an exceptional younglady as a result of this experience, I have learned so much from this about gratitude, the power of positive thinking and patience. My story is no yet over, but just beginning, thank you all for reading along and cheering me on!

On My Way

tiday was a great day! I woke up in good mood, was feeling pretty positive about my situation as I headed into physical therapy, what could have been my last PT you see, medicaid would only cover 12 visits with my PT n my O(occupstional herapistT, but  I found out today that  I get 12 more! such a relief as I feel I am on the verge of a break through of some kind, also my OT told me that if I feel up to it, she thinks it would be fine for me to go back to work!, but now I'm not feeling so sure about that, Iwas supposed to go to a support group tomorrow for stroke survivors, but just the thought of having to get up early and getting ready wears me out after today, so I think I'll be baby stepping my way back into my work and not push myself too hard, I wouldn't want to shock my system before it's fully recovered, but today I feel like the clouds are staring to part and someI'm ginsally feeling hopefullpe. It feels great!