Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Writing It Down

I saw a coworker feverishly writing into a notebook the other day. She said that she has been writing down every movie she's ever seen with her own little critiques carefully labeled for years. Just a quirk she has that she has been doing over the years to keep her writing skills sharp and memory keen.

I started my own document last year, not of movies, but of memories. I know the day is going to come, as it will for all of us, when our memories will fade; the time on the beach when I picked pink shells, or the party where I lost my favorite scarf because I was a dancing butterfly. I'm not ready to accept this and neither should you. In order to combat my fear, and perhaps revisit my happy memories, I've started a document detailing whatever memory comes to mind I don't want to forget. I am so meticulous with it down to colors of things, smells, you name it, it's written down. They've become happy little short stories I cherish when I have days that aren't so bright. I mean, hello, look at this blog! Talk about writing your story down!

It's comforting knowing that your story is written down. It warms me to read through my memories, including this blog. Call it validation of I was here or simply, just a hug from your mind to let you know, hey, look at what you've done! Either way, I'm happy I am doing it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Honesty

I recently decided that it might be time for me to write something on my stroke. I tried to do this a few years ago but what came out was not something I was proud of. It wasn't completely honest and didn't ring true to my experience even though I was the one writing it! I don't think I was ready to delve into it, 100% honestly until now.
When I spoke about my idea, I did it in a way I hadn't done in the past. There was no shyness. There was decisiveness. This would be based on me. I wouldn't be pulling a story out of thin air. That took a lot for me to say because even though it has been 7 years since my stroke, I still am embarrassed about it to an extent. I don't know why. There are parts of me that still think I could have prevented it and many what ifs that will never be answered. After I spoke my idea into existence, I was initially PUMPED but then after walking down the street and letting it settle, I definitely broke down. I ugly cried. I know that this wasn't because of anything bad but because I finally got the strength to be able to put forth an idea that was 100% honest and I hope to remain true to that in my journey of writing down my idea.
Above all I have to remember, I'm not only writing this for me. I'm writing it for those out there who like me, didn't know there were others who experienced what I did at a young age. I have to remember, in times of block and doubt, that I was put here to do many things, and one of those things is to write this. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Strokie Glove!

How COOL is this?? A man named Hoyoung Ban developed a "robotic hand" to help strokies regain control of their hands! This is amazing! It is operated through an app and uses games to help work the muscles in your hands and arms out and you can rent it for as little as $99 a month.
I am so thrilled of what this can mean for people who have lost control of their hands. Rehab is difficult on its own but now having a glove as an added source of strength training...well this will make physical therapy so much more supportive. I see you 2017! You can read all about this incredible invention here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What Illness Can Reveal

I just read something truly inspiring this morning and had to share it with you all.

“Cancer has changed my life for the better. It’s made me a better human being. It stripped away all of the walls and the barriers...It exposes any lie in your life whatsoever. It exposes who’s not really there for you and who really is there for you,” - Shannen Doherty

This is 1000000000% true and hits home in more ways than one.  It exposes any lie in your life whatsoever is so striking to me. One of the things I will never forget (stroke joke) is how so called friends just disappeared when I was sick. I don't know what it is about sickness or change that scares people. It was incredibly painful to have to come to the realization that those who I would have immediately run to if they were sick, wouldn't do the same for me. In some ways, that was one of the worst parts of my recovery but I am thankful for it. It has made the circle I do have, tighter and stronger.

I'm often reminded of someone I was friends with in college who was suffering from MS. During my senior year, she took a turn for the worse and went from walking as any healthy person to using a cane, to being in a wheelchair.  We were in a class together. I noticed how hard things became for her and immediately jumped in to help her. No one else did. I was shocked that none of her peers would even ask how she was. It was as though MS was an elephant in the room. When we graduated, we lost touch but I still think about her. I think about what she taught me.

Remember, your illness can also be your blessing. Pay attention to all it can show you.

“It’s this brilliant thing where you just look around and think, ‘Oh my God, this person is amazing, they’re showing up for me in a way I never expected.’” - Shannen Doherty

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Struggles Of The Supermarket

I have to laugh...
I treat a trip to the supermarket like I'm going to the mall. I don't know why. I just love going to the supermarket. Is it the music? The way I'm fascinated by new labels and things stacked perfectly and in size order? I don't know. I usually make a list of what I need. I don't take more than I can carry. I usually use my dominant arm to carry heavy things but also use this as an exercise to put a little more weight on my strokie side.
I have an obsession with canned beans. I like to be prepared. I always buy a can when I shop. The thought process behind this can only be attributed to when Hurricane Sandy rendered so many of us without access to food for a few days because all the supermarkets in the area lost power. Since then, I always make sure I am stocked on beans, rice, pasta and pasta sauce.
The past few trips I've gone to the supermarket, I've forgotten that I already have rice. Let me say that again. I already have rice. Like a lot of rice. Like maybe 3lbs of rice. Maybe I should stop buying rice. Eljon, stop buying rice BUT every time I go to the supermarket, I somehow have temporary memory loss and think, "Huh, I think I need rice." Now I have about 7lbs of rice in my kitchen cabinet. I have to laugh...Sometimes, we have to just giggle. Our memory banks are wired differently now yes, and that can be sad...but sometimes, when you look into your kitchen cabinet and see a little something extra, you have to laugh. Embrace the little quirks that are you, that are NOW you. It makes it a little easier when getting to know the new strokie you.
Be well.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summertime And The Living Is Easy

I love Summer. LOVE. One of my favorite things in the world is to just lay out and let my skin drink up as much of the sun. I'm a firm believer that Vitamin D heals (as long as you don't get burned!). Of course I have no medical evidence to back this up. All I know is that when I am being touched by the sun, I feel like I'm getting a hug. My winter's cure is holding a cup of tea.
Sometimes we all need something to encourage and heal us. It can come from something as simple as being sunkissed or having a really good piece of chocolate. I would encourage everyone to find their "little piece of something" for when days aren't so great. It truly is the little things that can make all the difference.
Be well.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Beautiful Broken Brain Doc

Happy 2016 strokies! I hope you're all doing well and thriving. My friend sent me a link to a documentary on a young woman's journey to recovery from her hemorrhagic stroke.  It debuts on Netflix on Marth 18th. I am SO EXCITED to see it. It is another way to further drive home that young people have strokes. I have always said, awareness is key and this is a powerful way to help bring that to the masses.
As soon as I heard about this, I shared the trailer with fellow strokie and friend, Carrington. My excitement can only be compared to hearing about a new Star Wars film. Yes, that's how excited I am to see this doc. I won't say too much more except check out the trailer here 
Yay!