Friday, I experienced some very mixed feelings that came from being a stroke survivor, mother, & wife, & I never thought I’d have 2 decide between them:
1. as a stroke survivor, I was proud of myself & cheering at my accomplishment.
2. as a parent, I was upset & slightly disappointed, because my accomplishment came from cleaning up after a disobedient child who left a mess, after several requests to clean (so i did it).
3. as a wife, i couldn’t be upset, but instead embarrassed that i didn’t follow through on my earlier request to make sure it was done, so i felt partially responsible (hence, why i attempted to clean).

In other news, my family recently went on a trip to Utah. My dad was receiving an award at his old college, so we went with a bunch of family & made a ski trip out of it.

Due to poor blood circulation (from my lack of movt.), I am always cold! (Seriously, I freeze at 70 degrees, & I’ve just become accustom to having a cold left hand!). So, I have always vetoed trips where it is cold (the entire family has asked b4 to go skiing). But i figured that my family is always making sacrifices for me, so it was my turn to make a sacrifice for them, & they’ve begged to be in snow. (Poor Soph was only 2 1/2 years old when she had her last winter w/a lot of snow, since I had my stroke & we moved to a warm climate…& while it has snowed here, it is more like a dusting, & Soph has been longing to build a snowman, & make snow angels!)

While we were gone, I didn’t do a very good job practicing my therapy! Sure, it’s vacation, but even on vacation u exercise, etc., & therapy is my exercise! But what I did a lot was talk. My therapist has said the best therapy practice I can do is talk/have conversations & luckily, that week was when I usually have my best speaking week of the month, so I enjoyed talking to my sister-in-law, her friend & friend’s daughter, who were there tending my baby neice & nephews as my family & extended family skied. We just talked a whole lot, & it was cool, cuz they got so good at understanding me, which just seemed to encourage me to talk! I actually looked forward to it (I don’t recall the last time I looked forward 2 something that way), &I felt relaxed, comfortable, & confident in my speaking skills. by not feeling pressured, I didn’t face the problems I get by “thinking or trying too hard!”

Also, I can’t explain it, but the new torso strength I already have built up (thxs 2 horse therapy) helped so much in so many ways on our trip–it was exciting! not only did it physically help, but it also eased my anxiety about my limitations!

Overall, even though I never felt “warm” (unless I sweat from the insane bedshets!), I enjoyed the trip. I rarely get to see the benefits of sacrifice, & while I know sacrifice increases your love for another person, seeing how happy every1 was, made a trip in the cold worth it.


  1. I came across your story in LDS Living. Your story hit me close to home. My husband suffered an aortic dissection in 2012. It was unknown to us he had this problem. After his surgeries he had severe complications such as cardiac arrest and deadly infections. He was only 36 at the time. I have struggled over the last 2 years caring for him and my three boys. I have never lost hope that things would work out the way they should. I’m grateful to see that you and your husband have come out on the other side of your severe trial. It gives hope to me. I commend your spirit and your will. Your will to live and to look on the bright side of things and the blessings you have been given remind me a lot of my husband and his will. I just wanted to thank you and to share my story with you too. Below is a video I made for him last year at our one year anniversary of survival.

    1. what a special video! my husband made me one too (“jenny’s story” on you-tube. it was for a party 9 months after my stroke, when my feeding tube was removed–he threw parties everytime i had big accomplishments during that 1st year!

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