Thursday, January 31, 2013

Embracing The Senses

So tonight, two of my classmates came over from Collaboration class to make dinner. Our assignment was to make a 3 course meal, together. I am not even posting a picture of how awesome it came out because I don't want you to drool on your keyboard but let me just say...totes yum!

Anywho, we were all sitting around the table getting ready to sample what our hard work produced when Johanne and Jenny suggested we say what color or feeling what we tasted reminds us of. I thought this was brilliant on so many levels. I figured that it could also apply to a strokie's recovery. If you can't speak or move very well, you're always looking for an escape no matter how big or small. Taking power of your mind and what you just went through is so important during recovery. Often times, we can lose sight of that and allow ourselves to slip into a sad state. I myself have been guilty of such a thing and know just as well as anyone that you do not want to stay in that kind of a space for very long. So next time you're having a meal, try this:

As you're eating a particular food, it would be a great exercise to just close your eyes and really taste what's in your mouth.

What does it remind you of?
Does it have a color?
Does it remind you of a place?

Sometimes this brings us back to a fond memory we may have forgotten and when that happens, oh the possibilities of your imagination are innumerable. You could sit for hours and just rest on that memory. Re-live it. Taste it. Be it. Escape what ails you just for those fleeting moments. How would that work with your recovery? I bet it would put you in a delightful mood afterwards ready to tackle anything. Try it! You'll be presently surprised at what comes up.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Fruit Ninja Makes Me Happy.

As many strokies can attest, when you are in recovery, chances are one side of your body is a litte slow. Now, I have posted about the benefits of video gaming post stroke but I cannot recall if I did the same for apps.

I recently installed Fruit Ninja on my phone. It's free and great for passing the time while you're waiting for the train. It's also great for re-training your reflexes. You basically just have to slice delicious fruit and avoid bombs using one finger on one hand. I highly recommend it.

Have you guys downloaded any apps that make recovery easier? I'd love to know.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Wow, I am really angry and upset after writing that last post...but I'm going to try and make it into something constructive.

What do you do when you are stressed and angry, so angry that you can practically hear your own heart beat? This is NOT good behavior for us strokies and we all have different ways of coping with stress and anger. Usually, I will take a walk...or do some deep breaths, but today that's not working. Right now I have a very nervous angry twitch happening with my right leg annnnnnd that's not good.

So, today I'm going to try something different. I'm going to call it Dance Therapy. I'm going to take all that anger and upset, throw a song on that I know fairly well and try and shake this off, dance around and sing some lyrics.

I challenge you to do the same when you can't shake off being frustrated. Let's teach each other. Do you have any techniques you want to share?

Brb, off to dance and sing badly.

Stroke Advertisements

Just a warning that this is not a very happy post. Yesterday, when I was walking towards the train station, I was struck by a poster by a bus stop pictured on your left. This reminded me of those stop smoking ads, you know the ones on TV that are kind of obnoxious and meant to scare you into quitting smoking? Most recently, the one with the woman who had umpteenth amputations has been leaving a bad taste in my mouth. While I understand the shock value and necessity of these ads, it's not something that I need to see 50 times a day...actually 10 times a day, yes, once I counted how many times a Network ran the spot in the span of 3 hours.

The ad to the left makes me pretty depressed. While we can learn the warning signs and prevent stroke in different ways, this ad makes me feel guilty and ashamed of what I went through. I'm already very insecure at times over my lack of brain or intelligence due to whatever black spots I have gained through this experience. I don't really want to be reminded of that when I'm having an ok day minding my business walking down the street. I didn't ask for this stroke, I shouldn't feel guilty over having one. I was a relatively healthy young woman. While I can take some responsibility because I was experiencing symptoms for a couple of days prior to going to the doctor, I get angry that ads like this weren't around in 2010. I applaud the Stroke Association for trying to scare straight folks who are experiencing symptoms and just don't recognize them but gosh, I...and I don't think I'm alone here, I feel like it's a jab. Of course I could just be having a down day because who wants to think of their stroke brain as being sub par? I know myself. I know who I was before the stroke. I have adjusted and continue to adjust...but I know that there are black spots on my brain. Cells that aren't coming back...that I am not as smart as I once was and that is something that is EXTREMELY hard for me to admit...and it makes me sad and angry...but I can't get those cells back. I just have to adapt, right? And I am adapting but man do those feelings creep up on you sometimes!

What do you do when you go through periods like this where you just can't shake the anger? Your family and your friends will tell you that you are smart and that you haven't changed but I feel it. It's one of the worst feelings to feel that you aren't as smart as you used to be and that you can't grasp onto things like you did. Being aware of that is kind of indescribable.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Little Small Fun Nidbits On A Monday

Monday Happiness
When you have a hankering for something sweet and you are pretty sure you have nothing in the house but then open up your freezer to see this wonderful face staring back at you. Yerm. Super happy I forgot I had this.

Shortage of Stroke News

I follow some stroke tweeters in the hopes that they most new and encouraging news for strokies but lately I've found that the same news is being recycled. This could be for 2 reasons...

1. There really isn't any news to report.
2. They are repeating themselves for those of us who's memory's aren't up to par because of being a strokie.

I'm tending to lean on 1. We strokies need encouragement, like a kind motivational word of the day. Something to let us know that it can and will get better and if it doesn't, well it's all about learning how to live with our newfound superpowers (scars). Honestly, if I read one more tweet on how I should exercise and how recovery takes years, I'm going to---

So today, I'm offering words of encouragement and motivation for everyone out there who is having a tough time with your recovery or just having a rough day in general.

Listen to your body. We may not like what it is doing for us right now. It rebels, it has a mind of its own but through this entire process, we'll get to know ourselves better. Just think, you're going to have a better relationship with your bod than most people because you know how to listen to your body! Celebrate that. Talk to your body and remember, tomorrow will be better than today.