I’m married to Mark Lynn, & I’m a mom of 3: Zachary (born in 1997), Jessica (born in 2000), & Sophia (she was born in 2002, & in older posts, I may refer to her as by her nickname, Fia). I was 30, on March 16, 2004, when I had a brainstem stroke. My discharge papers from Cleveland Clinic state “basilar artery occlusion”, but no one knows why I had a stroke. However, the stroke caused blood flow to stop going to my pons, which “relays messages to the brain, controls arousal and regulates respiration & voluntary movement. I became “locked-in” for several months (I was unable to move for 3 months, or to speak for almost 10 years) & I had a trache, G-tube, & catheter. These are all gone now, & though I have double vision, I’m light sensitive, I have PBA, (no control of my emotions) & I’m in a wheelchair, if I’m held right, I can walk–despite being paralyzed on my left side, I can move my head & right arm, I can write, I can swallow any cut up food (even steak & finely crushed chips), & I can sip through a straw. It is truly a miracle that I do what I do, because according to my MRI, I shouldn’t be doing anything that I’m doing! This website records my progress since my stroke on March 16, 2004.
The first year is such a struggle, as I accepted the way things are now, but my husband was so very optimistic. He pushed & helped me in every way he could, & still does. (At times, he expects things, & I think, “Are u kidding? Do u remember I had a brain injury, & it’s a miracle that I can do anything…yet, u want more?!?”) But through his expectations, mixed w/sheer determination, faith, & prayer, made me find new heights & achieve more than was ever said to be possible.
When I started writing on my blog, I avoided writing during any day that there was a “pity party” or deep depression. However, those days exist just as much, & are important—afterall, I was grieving a loss & struggling w/a dramatic life change! But I chose to silently deal w/those days, & publicly deal with the many other upbeat days! Life doesn’t need to end, just because things get tough!
Before my stroke, I was a singer, dancer, tutor, & taught at a local scrapbook store. I loved to write letters & journal. Now, the website is like my journal! I write sporadically, but I write down about my recovery, & share my thoughts, & any news. I also post pictures & scrapbook pages that I’ve either had help making traditionally, or made on my own digitally. Despite my double vision, I’m a published digital scrapbooker, & despite typing w/only 1 finger, I’ve had an article published in the LDS church magazines, The Ensign & The Liahona. Additionally, because I have been blessed to do more (most people w/a stroke like mine can never do more than blink their eyes), I feel a certain responsibility to “speak out”, & am open to questions about my stroke, & in 2007, with my husband’s help, I “spoke” at an international doctor’s conference. Please feel free to email me anytime, & ask me anything!