I have been re-reading my old journals, & recently, I read that we moved into our 1st home in Indy on March 16, 1996. To me, our life alone finally started that day. Ironically, 8 years later, I had my stroke on that same day (March 16, 2004), & our life “began” again! What is it with March 16? J Hopefully, that day will no longer mark any kind of “new” beginning! (no pun intended!)
13 years ago, the doctors said that I’d never speak again w/o the aid of a machine, or computer–the doctors would see a hopeless case, so that is what they presented: a hopeless case. I could have given up right there: I had a “get out of jail free card”, but there was NO WAY I was resorting to that kind of life! I believe I have mentioned before, how there was NO WAY I’d spend my life talking through a machine, like the doctors said I would, & I was determined to prove them wrong! I believe that my abilities now, reflect on the attitude I had: I had hope, & eventually I saw potential, so God has blessed me to “tap in” & find that potential that I hoped was there… For 10 years or more, I saw very slow progress, but I’m OCPD (OCD-personality), so if I am faced with a problem, I can’t stop until it’s fixed! Ha! Ha! So, I kept pushing–I wouldn’t give up…& when I finally saw more results, I actually tried harder! I eventually became confident enough to talk to strangers, & even bring up new topics & ask odd questions, THROUGH MY SPEECH! I never thought I took for granted the ability to call to someone down the hall…but I get SOOOO excited now when I am in my craft room, & can call down to one of the girls in the kitchen, & they not only hear me, but understand me, as well!!! It is SO awesome! I can appreciate it more, now…but, I could not appreciate it, if I had not ever experienced being w/o it!
However I know that now, while it is tempting to “take a break” & get lazy, I can’t, & must remain vigilant! When I 1st had my stroke, my left arm seemed to have a little more movement back then , but I got lazy, & when my left arm was showing progress in my shoulder, what did I do? I strapped it down & reverted to the bare minimum of therapy that I needed for it…
But if I give in & get lazy, I’ve learned that God ALWAYS finds a way to make something negative turn positive. (Though it’s better & easier if I don’t get lazy!) In this case, the movement my left arm gained in my shoulder is still there, but weaker. It’s up to me to get it back to where it was. However, I’d never unstrap my arm! It is essential to keeping me in my chair when I laugh/sneeze, it helps me to balance, & it offers me so much independence (like when I reach far down to grab something, I stay in my chair). All the independence I am discovering couldn’t happen unless: a. both hands worked, or b. my hand was strapped down. I could have tried for a (& with hard work, I like to think it’s still a possibility), but I got lazy, & chose b. B wasn’t necessarily the best choice. (When God gives u a break, the better choice is to work hard so u don’t let go!) But if u “let go,” God will let u repent, & make the most of what is left. I hope I don’t “get lazy” this time, & I look forward to what the next year brings, as I continue on this journey in my life.