Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Hug

Cgarlotte is almost eight months old and during that entire time I have been unable to hold or hug my first child with two arms,  a torturous experience, as I watch others embrace her with two arms, my arms ache to hold my baby with two arms, that's all I've wanted foe these past 8 months. Today I met with Sue, my OT and I told her my good news about touching my mouth with my left hand, of course when it came time to perform my newest feat, Larry, the Left Arm, chose nt to participate, like the obstinante limb he is (yes, I have named my left arm to give us a more personal relationship). from there we did some streching, I put som balls onto bars withLarry, a surreal experience, it's now so strange to see Larry doing normal things, it's been so long. Then Sue picked Charlotte up and handed her to me. I held with my right arm, as usual, but this time I tried reaching around and pulled my arm in towards my body, hugging my baby for the first time, It was like a flood gate had been opened, my teas of happiness and relief flooded over, I felt so good, so right, Charlotte sunk into me and I could feel her heartbeat against my chest. After 8 months of waiting, it was everything I thought it would be. Now I hopr to use the momentum this event has created to continue improving my relationship with Larry.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The other dayMatt and I were discussing how self- worth is defined by a person, is it measured on somsocietal based standards? Like the size of you 401K? I find this an interesting question, because Christopher Reeve talks a lot about self-worth in his book, "Nothing is Impossible", he said that believing in your self-worth is the keay to successdul recovery, since I read that many months ago, I've been thinking about that alot. Am I worth all of the work I'm putting in?You bet I am! This is a huge statement coming from me, since I tend to struggle with some pretty deep seeded insecurities, so the fact that I am now able to say that I'm worth all of the work I'm putting in is a huge step forward. It shows me that this experience has not only strengthed me physically but emotionally as well anf that's certainly worth it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Small celebrations

If a couple of years ago you told me that touching my nose with my left hand would be a celebratory experience, I would have snikered at you. But today I am telling the world! I think it's been obvious that my left arm has been a huge source of frustration for me, but with these things, recovery tends to work it's way from the head down meaning my fingers, toes, ankles and wrists will probably be the last to show up, for months now I've been trying to get my left hand up to my mouth, but my muscles have been too weak to get it up that far, my arm starts shaking like crazy when I get it to thr apex of the move. But I've been releasing my arm from the sling it normally sits in s few times a day to give it the ability to move around a bit, if you don't use it you lose it, right?So I've been working on bending the arm as I sit watching tv and today when I felt the tip of my knucklre brush my nose, I knew all that bending and bending and frustration had paid off., now back to the sling, my arm sits in a sling because the shoulder muscles are so weak they can't hold up the weight of my arm as it shangs at my side, so my shoulder gets a little sore if my arm hangs free, plus I bang the hand into stuff if I let it blow in the wind, I'm also a little self-conscious about my floppy arm and the sling just makes it look like I hurt myself rather than being paralyzed, but earlier this week Matt pointed out to me that if I leave the arm in the sling all day and don't move it around as a result, I could lose use of it altogether and that I should take the sling off for a few hours a day so I work on moving the arm, I'm also supposed to be putting weight on the aerm by leaning on it to build strength. So that's what I've been doing this week, I hate it when Matt is right! Because he always is! SI guess the next step is to keep bending my arm to my mouth until it's easy, this just proves that with a little hard qork and stubborn determination, anything is possible!

A Way T Explain

For a long time now I've been trying to figure out way to explainwhat happened to me to Charlotte without making her feel like it was her fault. Today I found a way. A local Kalamazoo woman who had a stroke after her son was born wrote a children's book called"Momma, Just Shake It", she had a book gning today at the university clinic, the book clearly explains what a stroke is and how it affects the body, I spoke to her riefly and she said she wrote the book for people like myself and her, because there are books that explain grandparent's stroke but not parent's, I am so thankful to have had te opportunity to speak with her, it is always great to talk to other stroke survivors, there is a comfort and understanding there that I can't find and I am so thankful that I now have a way to tell Charlotte my story in a way that tells her that I still love her and that she is my strength through all of this.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Driving through My Past

When Matt and I have time to spare between appointments, we like to drive around town. I live in the city I went to college in, the city where our relationship began, so a drive through Kalamazoo is like taking a tour through my life, when we're doing this and we drive by the park we sat in on our first date, it's hard not to look back and think about how much better things were then, but today Matt reminded me that we are better off now. Back then I was pretty (very) self absorbed and insecure, this whole experience has made me into a better person and our relationship is better now, plus we have Charlotte, who makes the sun shine, so as tempted as I am at times to glorify the past it's good to have someone remind me how good the present is, I'll tell ya'll the love story eventually since our anniversary is coming up!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mind Control

"Don't believe everything you think". Seems to be a phrase that keeps creeping into my life lately, It came up in my Free Will Astrology horoscope for the week, and I've seen it a couple of times on Facebook, I also think someone said it to me early in the week, now when something like this starts happening to me, I tend to pay attention, I take it as a wake up call from the universe, "Hey, lady! Everything you think about yourself is not neccesarialy true! S stop believing all of the BS self-doubt that makes it's way into your noggin once in awhile!" I think it's no secret to anyone who knows me or anyone who has been reading this blog consistently, I tend to be pretty hard on myself when I'm not achieving the things I think I should have achieved by now. I hold myself to a pretty high standard and I hold everyone else to that standard as well, my problem is that I tend to look at the other stroke patients that are rehabing with me and compare my progress to theirs, "He can move his affected arm" or "she can walk at a normal pace" But this can be self-defeating and I have to constantly remind myself thay every stroke is different, so everyone heals in different way,  this past week I've done my best to banish these kind of thoughts or any self-defeating mindsets from my concsiouness. I usually counter it by reminding myself how much stronger   I am now compared to how I was a few months ago. I think part of this recovery process is gaining control of what worms its way into my brain, and not allowing any self-foubt, fear or lack of confidence to stand in my way.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Wonderful Work

The last time my work held a full staff meeting, I was recovering in the ICU, I kept begging my family to let me leave so I could go to the meeting, I wanted everyone to see that I was ok and I wanted to show Charlotte off, but, obviously, I was in no shape to attend, but today I was. I am lucky to work at a place where all of my co-workers are friends and family. As we went around the circle doing check-ins, a ritual for every meeting we hold, I was overcome by gratitude for my work and the people I work with, so, I started crying, I was so equisetly happy in that moment to be back in the warm embrace of my work family, I also felt proud, because so many of the people I hired and trained during our expansion process have blossomed into amazing staff members, getting back to work was my#1 goal when all of this started and I am grateful for everymoment I spend there and every task I perform while on the clock, anjobs like that are few and far between

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


One of my earliest and clearest memories from my time in the ICU was the day Matt told me they had to shave half my head for surgery, my hand shot up and I felt the bristly short hair and the "U" shaped line of staples holding my incision shut, I attempted to not be traumatized as I've tried to avoid being one of those redheads who puts way too muvh importance on their hair color. At one point Matt told me we had a bag of the hair they had shaved off, did I want to donate it? Yes, I did, then he asked what I wanted to do about the rest of the hair. He asked if I wanted to shave the rest off, I said, sure, I've always wondered what I'd look like with a shaved head. So I decided to let it be and wait for the short stuff to grow out to my shoulders so I could cut the long stuff to match, but that left me with a lopsided hairdo that made it look like I didn't own a mirror. I am someone who always throws my hair up to get it out of the way, something that is difficult to do one-handedI felt weighed down by my one side of uber-hair, it was always hanging over the left side of my face, blocking my view of the side of my body I tend to forhet about. It was impossible to deal wqith my super long hair in the shower with my one hand, so one day I implored my friend to vut it off for me and she did!It was a litte shocking at first, but now that it's been a day, I feel free from the restraints of my long hair, it no longer gets in the way when I brush my teeth or get dressed and it's not laying on my neck making me hot and showering is a breeze. I feel free, and I feel like I have a bit of closure now that I've evened my hair out, like my hair was holding me back or something I noe feel like I can do anything! That anything is possible, who knew a haircut could be so good for you?

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Ever since I scored my first job at The Stamping Grounds, a rubber stamp stor,e at the age of 15 I have excelled at every job I've had since, for example After a month at Starbucks, my first coffee gig, I was promoted to a shift supervisor and that's pretty much how it's gone for me with every job I've had. so I've recently started looking at my recovery as a new job, I'm hoping that this shift in perspective will help me use the same kind of nose to the grindstone ambition I tend to use when learning a new vocation, I thin this new job pays pretty well too, so that'll help! As my OT, Sue said, this is now the most important job I'll ever have so any time I'm feeling worthless or useless, I just have to remind myself of that.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


From the National stroke Association website:"Have you seen your stroke survivor leave food on half of their plate? Forget to put their recovering arm into a shirt sleeve? Bump into the door jam with the left side of their wheelchair? Not turn their head in your direction when you speak? If you have noticed any of these things, you've very likely witnessed one-side neglect." Anyone who saw me early on in my recovery could have answered yes to most of those questions, I have what is referred to s Left Neglect and it has been one of the more challenging things to overcome. At first my doctors told my family and friends to interact with me on my left side, or they would hold Charlotte over there so I'd be forced to look to that side, my left neglect stilll haunts me. Part of my recovery process has been learning how to get around my left neglect, if I am having trouble finding something I have now learned that it's probably on my left side, you can basically hide things from me in plain sight simply by placing them to my left, I literally don't see them! it's like that side has disappeared,hence the title of my blog. Annie pointed out to me that most of my typing mistakes early on in the blog were on the left side of the screen, an excellent example of what I'm coping with. When Annie and I would work on something that was on a sheet of paper, my challenge was to make sure I was always looking all the way to the left side of the sheet, but this gets a little better everyday, I still run my arm into walls and doorways and sometimes I forget to wash the left side of my hair. But I am learning to let my left side shine and as a result it is slowly making itself known to me again.


After Two and  half months of living in a hospital, Matt and I were more than happy to go home, to say the least. For whatever reason, I've been thinking a lot about my first few weeks back at home lately and I have some thoughts, the homecoming wasn't all bluebirds and roses like I thought it would be, my first few weeks back at home were probably some of the most difficult weeks of my recovery. I now have some thoughts about why this was the case and here they are, First of all, when I pictured being home with my new baby for the first time, I pictured myself running up and down the stairs with her, changing her, feeding her, playing with her but what actually happened was I ended up watching a lot of people doing all of those things with her, I was on the sidelines for an event that I thought I was going to be front and center for. I was still very weak when I came home, unable to walk unassisted, in fact Matt made sure to spot me as I walked to and went to the bathroom and he would accompany me as I climbed the stairs, I was still at a high risk for falling, my balance was still pretty poor. My mental state was still cloudy at best, I'm now calling it "checked out", because that's what it felt like. I could barely focus on the narrative of an hour long television program, let alone remember which episode I had watched last. I think home is the hardest place to be because it's the place you are most familiar with, the place where your daily routines are performed, it is here where it becomes painfully obvious how different things now are, all of the routines are gone, this is where the grieving process begins and I was not prepared for that at all. But now home is once again where my routines are, brand new routines, in fact. And I am no longer on the isdelines of my daughter's life, but a very active participant I am happy to say that all that patience I had to learn to use, has paid off and I am perfectly content right where I am now. Home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

5 Years

Yesterday at the university clinic we had a mini group therapy session. It was kind of a way for all of their clients to get to know each other, we are all stroke survivors. It was wonderful, getting to know my fellow recoverers, what we did was roll a ball aound the circle, the ball had questions on it and whatever question our hand landed on was the question we had to answerone of the questions got me thinking: Where do you see yourself in five years?Well, I've been mulling that over since yesterday morning, visualizing, I see myself running around in the backyard with my five and a half year old, I see myself crocheting more, maybe with one had, but I'll be doing it!I see myself running a stroke support group and working full-time again, Anything can happen in five years, but whatever it is, I know I'll be exactly where I'm supposed to be!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Now that things have started to normalize around here and my life feels a bit more mangeable and easier, I've been thinking a lot about what recovery means. Is there an end point where someone walks up to me with a plque and say,"Congratulations! You are now recovered!"?Maybe it's all a state of mind, I'm recovered when Ibelieve I am and I know I have a long way to go and a lot of improvements to make, improvements I WILL make! I am able to do things today that I could barely do five months ago like get my left leg onto the leg rest of my wheelchair without help, I can walk around without my cane. I could, if  didn't know better, declare myself recovered, but I refuse to rest on my laurels at this point whe I know I have so much  more improving to do. Complacency will end this ourney and that's not happening til I do post about the day I go jogging!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


About once a month Matt and I go to the anti-coagulation clinic at Bronson Hospital to manage my blood thinner therapy. I developed a DVT in my leg while in rehab due to the fact that I was bedridden, so now my blood thinner dosage has to managed carefully ensure the clot doesn't get bigger, everytime Matt and I go we have a little coffee date in the cafeteria of the hospital.I know that sounds kinda weird but the environment at Bronson is quite pleasant and the coffee in their cafe is actually quite good and that's coming from a self-proclaimed coffee snob. It's nice to reconnect this way once in awhile and we usually end up rehashing the events of that faithfull night and discussing my time in the ICU, I'm sure Matt is more than tired of answering my many questions about my time in Bronson, Bronson is the hospital I was in when I had my stroke, where I had brain surgery where I recovered in the ICU befor I was transferred to rehab at Borgess Mrthodist Hospital.My memory of my time in the ICU is dodgy at best, but the more people tell me the more I remember. It is just so strange to have huge chunks of my life that have totally disappeared. The moment before the stroke to the moment after I woke up from surgery is like a quick scene change in a movie in my mind. One second I was breathing through my contrctions, wanting to push and the next moment, Matt had a baby, but in that moment I had a strange understanding that I'd been through a lot because Matt asked me what we should name her and I knew I was ina position where I could get my way. But I have no memory of being told what had happened, no memory of the first time I saw Charlotte, so going to Bronson is strange it's a place that is so sifnificant to me, they saved my life, and took amazing care of me there, but I have barely any memory of my time there.But Some days I gt little flashes of stuff and that's always fun. I guess some things don't need to be remembered to be significant.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bended Knee

I read an article awhile ago that said yoga is beneficial to people recovering from stroke and my OT in rehab, thought it would be a great thing for me to do to build strength, improve balance and gain peace of mind, so I've been doing a little yoga routine at home with a program I stream on Netflix, I adapt as needed along the way, doward dog is kinda tough when you've only got one arm! Today I was working on a pose, lying on my stomach, not an easy or comfortable thing to do, the pose had me lifting my chest off the floor and raising my legs, at one point I am asked to bend my legs in and grab them with my hands. Now my hamstrings onthe left are verrrry weak so bending that knee has been close to impossible, but today I gave it a shot, when I looked back to see if I had done it, I still can't feel my left leg enough to tell, lo and behold, it was bent! I don't know if I was just so in the zone or if my hamstrings are finally catching up to the rest of my lrg muscles, but I think I should declare this progress, it makes sense since I've been working on bending my knee when I walk instead of just swinging my leg forward at the hip, the hamstring must be getting stronger!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Today I woke myself up, got in the shower, got dressed and made myself breakfast, once I was done eating I took my morning medication, changed and fed the baby an went to work. At qork I answered phones, wandered arounf the store, cleaning and chatting with customers and answering questions, Why are all of these things noteworthy? Let me explain. When I first came home from the hospital Matt lierally had to do everything for me, wake me up, help me bathe, get me dressed, make sure I ate and took my meds, this made mornings when we had to be somwhere slightly stressful, since Matt had two people to prepare for departure. Now I can accomplish all of those things on my own, today is one of the first days I've had that has felt normal, so either things are getting easier or I've gotten used to my new routine. I've been waiting for a day like this for a long time. I didn't feel like a freak or completely helpless and clueless not once today. I'm ginding I'm feeling more like myself these days and that helps me when talking to people I don't know, since I'm sure they could pick up on my insecurity, so nowI'm starting to behave like myself again and that, myfriends, is a welcome change!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Body Image

Just like most women I've been struggling with my body image since I passed through the hellish gates of puberty and entered the gloomy world of adolescence. For years I disparaged my body for not being thin enough, my stomach for no being flar enough, you know the drill..Then I got pregnant, I had no idea how soon my body would start changing or how it would, I went up an entire cup size within weeks of learning I was baking my little Charlotte muffin, I started "showing" soon after that, but I was only showing the extra weight I was putting on as a result of having to constantly eat to fend off nausea, and Charlotte demanded I eat cookies round the clock, and  I reluctantly(not really) gave in to her requests for cookies, I was terrified of gaining too much weight, but I tried to not worry too much about it, after all I was supporting new life and I'd be able to lose the weight once she was born.Pregnancy was an interesting time for me, I am not one of those women who love it, I hated being physically limited, but once that little girl started squirming around I loved it, feeling her and knowing that my body was doing this amazng thing was the most empowering thing I've ever experienced. Every week I'd get an email updating me on what was occuring in my womb, it amazed me that my body just knew that it was time to start making fingernails all on it's own, I think this was the first time I ever felt any respect for my body, then I went into labor and had a stroke that paralyzed one side of my body, so much for all of the exercise I was going to do once the baby was born...The firdt couple months after the birth I as bedridden and stuck eating incredibly unhealthy hospital food, so I put on a littlt weight.Now I'm back trying to accept my body for what it is post stroke and post baby. Theother day as I got ou of the shower I caught a glimpse of my silouette in the foggy mirror and I stopped for a second, I was looking at a woman with a perfect hour glass figure, a woman whose body survived a tramatic event and whose body carried her unborn baby through safely, this woman's body is getting stronger everyday and gets her through her punising therapy sessions, now I am proud of my body, it's just fine thanks too bad it took a stroke and a baby to love my body.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Perking Up

Afew thing happened yesterday that have improved my mood a bit.
First and most importantly was Charlotte's first big milestone: crawling! Matt and I have to take her to therapy with us, she is always the most popular person there, now that she's learning to move her body around she refuses to sit still so Matt usually sets her on the ground or on whichever mat table I'm working on. Yesterday as my OT Susan was streching my hand and wrist out, Matt put Charlotte down in the OT room she started looking like she was ready to take off so one of the other OTs put a ball down in front of her and she crawled to it! It was such a great moment, I instantly started crying, when Matt asked me why I was crying I told him it was because I was so happy to be here to switness that event and said it was really cool to watch herevolve as she learns different skills and his response was, "that's what it's been like watching you." That made my day, because Matt is not some one who hands out compliments for free. Fior the rest of the day Matt was out in the garage with his brother working on his car, so it was ju Charlotte and I in the house together. I haven't spent much time in Chsrlotte's nursery. Th boys painted it, a chore we didn't feel was a good thing for me because of my hypertendsion, I actually didn't do much nesting at all, other than washing all of her clothes and attempting to organize them in her dresser, I say attempting because I am not a skilled organizer, at all. Modt of the fancy frills and details in Charlottes nursery were added while I was in rehab and since I was done breast feeding by the time I got home from rehab, I just haven' spent any time in there. but yesterday, I spent most of the day in her room with her, changing her diapers, singing to her reading her books feeling like a real mom, a good mom.As I was changing her, I had a revelation. How am I supposed to raise an intelligent, confident and independent young woman if I'm not acting like one myself? S I should cut out the Debbir Downer bullshit before she picks up on it, just because I'm a little diffrent from other moms that doesn't have tp be a bad thing, as far as she's concerned I'm her momand this is just who I am and that's ok, I shouldn't be so scared of it as a good friend of mine always says, every family is different. The final thing that perked me up was a new TV show I discovered on the Sundance channel called Push Girls. This is a reality show about for women who are paralegic, I know, that's not my issue, but still...the women on this show are so confident and accepting of who they are, they don' appologize for themselves they just are who they are, with wheelchairs and watching them go about their daily activities in the way they have to, hrlped me see just because I have to do things a bit differently now, that's not a bad thing, in fact this morning as I was showering and getting my breakfast ready I was noticing how much easier everything is becoming, it's as big of a pain to take a shoewer and getting in and out of the tub is no big deal anymore as opposed to the challenge it used to be

Friday, June 8, 2012

Finding My Voice

I think I've brought up the fact that I'm talker multiple times now, so when I woke up after surgery unable to speak well, imagine my chagrin. I could barely get my words out and people had to put their faces next to mine just to make out what I was saying, normally my boistrous voice can be heard from across a room, I also had a hard time finding what words I wanted to say and I found myself having to chose words carefully to ensure I used the ones I could pronounce, so my ability to express myself, something I am VERY skilled at, was suddenly limited and I felt frustrated. after 30 years of life, I had a well developed sense of self, but between the fog that the stroke left me in and my limited capacity to express myself, I felt I lost that person, so I basically got dent back to square one, trying to find myself all over again. And what I found was unexpected, I found strength I didn't realize I had,  resiliency and optimism that I thought might have died from disuse, but throughout it all, I've had this blog. I really started the blog so people would be able to know how I was doing, the outpouring support I recieved was so intense, I thought some one out there might be interested in what I thought, I didn't realize how many people(especially from high school) liked me!But this has been a great place for me to sort through and process my emotions in healthy way, but most of all when I read through the old posts I can hear my voice as it used to sound saying the words thexact way I would have said them, so this blog is really helping reconnect with the person I was and am, so now when I speak to old friends and family members, I no longer feel like a stranger to myself, but I'm becoming accustomed to the new me, and she's pretty cool!
On s separate note:
Some members of my family read this article so I've applied to take part in the study, so please cross fingers nd toes for me! Also Charlotte crawled for the first time today while we were in therapy! I cried and felt lucky that I am here to see that wonderful moment, I cried tears of pride for my amazing and super intelligent baby

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I think it's been pretty obvious that this has been a tough week for me, I think my frustration over my altered memory bubbled over and I believe that is why.

I've always had a good short-term memory, A skill I think I picked up due to the fact that I've been memorizing scripts since the age of nine. So the fact that I can barely remember something I did two minutes ago, let alone remember to shut a door behind me is distressing. Today my OT at the University clinic worked on some memory stuff with me at the beginning of the session she had me hide three items, a cup a spoon and a Hershey's Kiss around the room and I was going to have to find them again at the end of the session, I know this sounds easy, but for me not so much, this is difficult because I wouldn't be able to continue thinking about where I hid said objects while I was doing other things, so basically it was a true memory exercise and I found everything on my own. We also played a memory matching game, which I did ok, and I did a round on a Simon Says, yes the 80's toy! It a remarkably good tool to have when trying to improve memory, let me tell you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On A Bender

Today I went on a pity party bender while I was working with my OT, Sue, I don't really know what brought it on, we were working on my arm, a constant source of frustration and from there I began bigeing on the liquor of despair calling myself stupid multiple times and declaring myself a retarded cripple whose daughter will eventually be embarrased of some day due to my retardation. Now that I'm sleeping off the effects of said bender, I feel silly, because I am neither stupid nor retarded and Charlotte will be embarrased of me someday, but for all the right reasons, because I am using my right as a parent to embarrass my teenage daughter.As I walked out of therapy I instituted a new rule for myself: no more negative self-talk period. If I sart going there, I am to remind myself of how much headway I've made and of all of the important lessons I've learned.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

pep Talk

Needless to say, I have good days and bad ones. I don't really know what came over me last night, but once I posted that entry I immediatly felt bad about. I don't want the tone of the blog to be self-pity and that's what it was, so I got in the shower and as I let the water rinse off the bad attitude, I gave myself a little pep talk. I reminded myself that I had worked my butt off to get to the good place I was in before my stroke and Itold myself that I fully intend to do the same again.I said to myself, "Self, I thought we decided that even though we're different now that the changes are good ones." "Yeah, Iguess." I sullenly responded"So what's the problem?" "I asked myself"I dunno" I responded, shuffling my feet on the ground. I think what it comes down to is this, I feel like such a different person, I feel like I don't fit  in my own skin anymore, I even sound different, but this isn't the first time in my life that I've felt that way, so I know I can feel comfortable with myself again, just like everything else, it's just gonna take some time, luckily I'm stubborn enough to not let this stop me from doing what I want to do. So, sorry, 'bout the pity oparty, guys

Monday, June 4, 2012


The thing that has taken the biggest beating due to the stroke is most certainly my self-confidence. I no longer feel as smart, witty or attractivre as I used to. I try to remind myself of everything I've accomplished thus far when I'm feeling this way. but everytime I misplace something important because I wasn't paying close attention to what I was doing I feel like an even bigger dolt. I try to hold my head up high when I'm out in public because I have nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, I think I've handled this thing a whole thing lot better than I think a lot of people would, but all I have to do every night is think about all of the things I did today that seven months ago I didn't think I would ever do again; Work, stand for 40 minutes, continue working on my training project at work, hold my baby while standing and walking, coirrectly answer a customer's question, remember a frequent customer's name. So all in all, I'm not doing badly at all, I just feel so disconnected from the headstrong, smart, intelligent and important person I used to be, I have to constantly remind myself that I will be all of those things again.