TODAY IS MY STROKE-AVERSARY

    “THAT WHICH DOESN’T KILL US, MAKES US STRONGER.”
    —STEEL MAGNOLIAS

TODAY IS MY STROKE-AVERSARY–8 YEARS AGO I HAD A MASSIVE STROKE W/SEVERE DAMAGE 2 MY BRAINSTEM. I BELIEVE DOCTORS ARE TRAINED TO POSE U W/A “WORST-CASE SENARIO,” & MY FAMILY WAS TOLD THAT I HAD 24 HRS. TO LIVE, & IF I LIVED, I WOULDN’T MOVE, JUST BLINK.

HOW WRONG THE DOCTORS WERE! THEY COULDN’T HAVE FANTHOMED WHAT THE FUTURE HELD FOR ME, BUT MY FAMILY HAD 2 SERIOUSLY CONSIDER IF THEY COULD DEAL WITH THE WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME & THE PICTURE THAT THE DOCTOR’S PAINTED FOR ME. & WHILE I AM IN A WHEELCHAIR W/DOUBLE VISION, AN INABILITY 2 TALK OR MOVE MY LEFT SIDE, THERE ARE ALSO MANY THINGS I HAVE REGAINED, THAT SUPPOSEDLY I WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN.

    HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LAST 8 POST-STROKE YEARS

1. I’M ALIVE, AFTER A NEARLY FATAL STROKE IN MARCH 2004.

2. IN SEPT. 2004 & IN OCT. 2008, THE LDS PROPHET, PRESIDENT MONSON WROTE TO ME.

3. BY DEC,2004, I HAD GOTTEN RID OF MY TRACHE, FEEDING TUBE, & CATHETER.

4. IN NOV. 2005, I MADE AN APPLE, ICE CREAM, & PUMPKIN PIE FROM SCRATH!

5. IN MAY 2007, I MET THE HOPEFUL PRESIDENTIAL CANIDATE, MITT ROMNEY.

6. IN OCT. 2007, I “SPOKE” OUT AT AN INTERNATIONAL DOCTOR CONFERENCE IN CLEVELAND, OH.

7. IN THE WINTER OF 2007, I WAS PUBLISHED IN THE ENSIGN, A CHURCH MAGAZINE.

8. IN SEPT. 2008, I WAS PUBLISHED IN A DIGITAL SCRAPBOOK MAGAZINE BY SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKS.

9. IN DEC. 2008 & IN DEC. 2010, I PERFORMED IN A CHURCH PLAY, AS THE ANGEL WHO ANNOUNCES CHRIST’S BIRTH.

10. IN NOV. 2009, I WAS ASKED TO MONTHLY TEACH THE 12-18 YEAR OLD GIRLS AT CHURCH, & IN JUNE 2010, I SPOKE TO THE 12-18 YEAR OLD GIRLS AT THE LDS CHURCH GIRLS’ CAMP.

11. IN DEC. 2010, AT DISNEY WORLD, RIDING THE AEROSMITH ROCKIN’ ROLLERCOASTER.

12. IN DEC. 2010, AT DISNEY WORLD, RIDING THE TOWER OF TERROR.

13. STARTING IN JAN. 2011, I STARTED SPEAKING MORE INTELLIGIBLE SENTENCES! I CAN NOW SAY MOST OF THE ALPHABET, MANY WORDS, & SEVERAL PHRASES.

14. IN FEB. 2011, WHILE CASUALLY READING AN EMAIL FROM MY YAHOO STROKE GROUP, I FIND THAT I WAS PUBLISHED IN A BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL! ( I WAS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW ATTITUDE CAN AFFECT US, & THAT THERE IS LIFE AFTER STROKE)

15. IN AUG. 2011, I WENT IN THE OCEAN ON A FAMILY VACATION TO DESTIN, FLORIDA.

16. IN OCT. 2011, I WAS WRITTEN ABOUT IN AN OBSERVATION BY A MAN I GREATLY ADMIRE. (http://www.observationsbyjack.blogspot.com/)

17. IN 2011, I HAVE STARTED FEEDING MYSELF MOST MEALS (I CAN MAKE A MESS, BUT I DO IT!) I PREFER MY FINGERS, BUT I CAN USE UTENSILS, CHEW & BITE SOME FOODS THAT I FEED MYSELF!

18. SOMEWHERE IN THERE, I STARTED SMILING WITH THE MUSCLES ON THE LEFT SIDE OF MY MOUTH!

“THE ONLY THING IMPOSSIBLE, IS IMPOSSIBILTY. “ –PHINEUS & FERB

NOW, A MINUTE TO BRAG ON MY FAMILY:

I RECENTLY READ A BOOK WHERE A MOM WAS ON BEDREST FOR 2 MONTHS. SHE WROTE:

“When I was 1st put on bed rest, I used the intercom button on our phone to beep them if I needed something. Each time I did it, someone would come running: “Are you okay?” “Do you need anything?” Two weeks later, I would beep, and if there was no response, I’d beep again. Still, nobody would show up. Then I’d beep continuously. No matter how many times I beeped, nobody would come and check on me! NOBODY! They got tired of helping me with all the little things I could no longer do.” –Brenda Warner, One Call Away

I COULD TOTALLY RELATE TO THIS! I USE A WIRELESS DOORBELL & THE # OF RINGS CALLS CERTAIN PEOPLE:

1 RING IS THE KIDS,

2 RINGS IS MK, &

3 RINGS IS FOR MY “HELPER”/PERSONAL ASISSTANT)/CAREGIVER. (BTW, THIS WEEK ALSO MARKS THE END OF A CAREGIVER, WHO HAS HELPED ME SINCE I MOVED HERE IN 2005, FROM INDIANA (REALLY, SHE WAS A PERSONAL ASISSTANT, WITH SOME CAREGIVER DUTIES ON 2 DAYS OF THE WEEK…BECUZ MK REALLY IS MY CAREGIVER).

ANYWAY, AT 1ST, IF I RANG, PEOPLE CAME HURRIDLY 2 MY SIDE, & MY FRIENDS COMMENTED HOW THEY NEEDED 1 OF THOSE! BUT NOW, IF I RING FOR MY KIDS, I TOO CAN HAVE DAYS WHERE I CONSTANTLY RING B4 I GET AN ANSWER…BUT THEY DO COME! & 8 YEARS IS A LOT LONGER THAN 2 WEEKS!

BUT KUDOS TO MY HUSBAND MK…HE ALWAYS COMES, & IF I HAVE TOO WAIT, HE TELLS ME. MORE THAN ONCE, I HAVE GOTTEN NO ANSWER FROM THE KIDS, SO I’VE RUNG 4 MK, OR I JUST GET SUPER DETERMINED 2 FIND A WAY 2 DO IT MYSELF, IF IT’S NOT SOMETHING HEAVY OR BREAKABLE.

SO THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT & BLESSING HAS BEEN HAVING A SUPPORTIVE FAMILY. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’D DO W/O THEM!

One comment

  1. JENNY, I LOVE THIS LIST!!! AND THERE R SO MANY MORE THINGS THAT COULD GO ON IT! U R, AS I HAVE SAID B4, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! AND THIS RETIRING PERSONAL ASSISTANT/CAREGIVER MISSES U! HAPPY STROKE-AVERSARY!! (A LITTLE LATE, BUT STILL HEARTFELT!) LOVE, CARA

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