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Stroke Survivor - female
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About Shadow55038

  • Rank
    New Member
  • Birthday 06/18/1967

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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  • Interests
    Rollerblading, walking, pets, graphic design, bike riding
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  1. Happy Anniversary Shadow55038!

  2. Happy Anniversary Shadow55038!

  3. Happy Anniversary Shadow55038!

  4. Happy Birthday Shadow55038!

  5. Happy Birthday Shadow55038!

  6. Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday Dear Shadow

    Happy Birthday to you

    Hugs, Jan

    Believe in Miracles and SOAR

  7. Shadow55038

    Hmm. . .I can see both sides of this--caregiving out of love or duty. I agree that it can be both. Although I am a stroke survivor, I'm addressing this as more of a caregiver as my mom and I were caregivers for my dad who'd suffered multiple heart attacks and was a diabetic in denial. My mom was a caregiver for almost 10 years. She did it out of duty, most of the time, because my dad was a mean (and ill) SOB who demanded it of her. It isn't so cut and dry that she gave up on my dad. Unfortunately, he gave up on himself. . .and that made her caregiving situation that much tougher. The stress was so thick you could cut it with a chainsaw. I never saw someone age so quickly as my mom in her caregiver role. My mom (as I'm sure many of you feel) felt very lonely and isolated. Although she sought help from people in her church, it didn't alleviate all the emotions that go along with caregiving--guilt, anger, anxiety, depression, etc. Quite frankly, I think it is tougher to be the caregiver than the survivor, and I know because I've worn both sets of shoes. The demands, both physically and mentally, are always challenging and often burdensome. Sometimes, you don't know if you're doing the right thing for your loved one. Sometimes, you feel like no matter what you do that you can't win. Other times, it's exhilirating to see any smidge of progress. But most of the time, being a caregiver is just terribly exhausting. I applaud all caregivers for their patience and dedication. It would be so easy to cut and run, but you stick it out and it doesn't matter if it's out of love, duty or both. All of you are heroes in my book. Karen
  8. Shadow55038

    The Minnesota Stroke Association is sponsoring its annual Strike Out Stroke at the Dome Event on Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at the HHH Metrodome in DT Minneapolis. All survivors, family, caregivers and friends are invited to partake in this celebration of life at the afternoon Twins vs. Cleveland game. Festivities begin at 10 am outside Gate D with the game beginning at 12:15 pm. If you are interested, please visit the MN Stroke Association's website at www.strokemn.org Thanks and hope to see you there! Karen
  9. Shadow55038

    Hi, Mary: Welcome! Glad you decided to post a message. First, know that crying is a NORMAL and HEALTHY emotional response. I'm a big boo-hooer myself (always was, always will be). Sometimes, it's just the perfect release. It's when you can't stop crying or you're crying for no reason that you might want to discuss this with your doctor. Many here have had much success on anti-depressants while others have visited neuropsychologists. Please, if you feel yourself spinning, go talk to your doctor. I am almost three years post-stroke, and I still sometimes mourn life before stroke. I've also lost my dad, my job and my beloved dog and had a major surgery since then. We all go through ups and downs, and we all understand where you're coming from. Cry when you need to. You've changed since stroke. Surround yourself with people who love you and can keep your spirits up. Like Ringo Starr once said, "I get by with a little help from my friends." We're here for you. Karen
  10. Shadow55038

    Hi, Stessie: I love this question because while, yes, we should be thankful we survived and made it this far, StrokeNet is the perfect (only) forum where everyone understands about stroke and its frustrations. I'm a firm believer that when you have a bad day, feel angry about stroke or need to vent, by all means, get it out! I'm almost three years post. If you looked at me and spoke with me, you would never know I had a stroke. But, stroke robbed me of my self-confidence pretty badly. It replaced a quiet contentment with fear. I hate that I am so fearful of and nervous about everything since that day. We've all experienced a lot of loss with this monster, whether it be our former selves, friends or jobs. Some days are better than others. I was beginning to feel empowered for a while post-stroke until I was laid off my job in August '08. I've been on the roller coaster of emotions since then. Although it may or may not be stroke-related, I can honestly say that going into the very few interviews I've had that I'm nowhere near the confident person I was pre-stroke. And, I do miss that pre-stroke girl with the spitfire attitude. . .but I think that the compassionate and empathetic person I've become post-stroke is a better human being. Sometimes, I'm not sure it's a better trade-off, but it's what I've got. Thanks for posing the question. Karen
  11. Interesting question, Chuck. The current economic state has really changed my life and lifestyle. I was laid-off August 1st from a marketing position at a large health care system here in the Twin Cities (thus, why I've been on this site more often--I've got nothing else to do but surf the net! ha ha). I have had very little luck even getting interviews with the number of jobs lost here and competition for available jobs. Two years ago, I'd have my pick of marketing jobs. Now. . .nada, zilch, nothing. I've looked for PT jobs, but unemployment pays better, if you can believe that. Lots of penny pinching and eating leftovers. At least I was home when gas was over $4/gallon. Thankfully, my husband's job is relatively safe (fingers crossed) and I'm on his insurance plan (which is costly, but after having a stroke, very necessary). It is depressing as hell, and the media's black-cloud forecast only compounds my funk. And, it's not easy to turn off the TV, radio, internet and turn a blind eye to everything when it's constantly in your face AND you're living it. In the 20 years since I've graduated college, I've never had such trouble finding a job. I considered going back to school to learn something new, but again, that costs $ which we don't have. My coumadin generic (warfarin) seems to have gone up in price at the local CVS. Does anyone know if this qualifies under the WalMart's $4 prescriptions? UGH. Hope things turn around soon! Karen
  12. Shadow55038

    Hey, Honda: I would check the local hospitals to see if they have any support groups exclusively for young survivors, especially since you live in a larger metropolitan area. (Around here, most of our groups are geared toward seniors and always seem to be held during work hours. I'm a young survivor, too, and really only found StrokeNet to be the best support system for younger survivors.) You may also want to look for a grief support group (that's what I ended up doing because it was geared toward younger people dealing with losses of all kinds) or just a plain survivors' support group. Sorry to hear about your work stress. The doctors sure don't prepare you for dealing with work issues, do they? Do you and your boss get along well enough or have a decent enough relationship to sit and talk about your feelings and your work performance? Would it even help your situation? Is there an HR person who might be able to mediate? If you don't think it will get better, maybe SSDI is the way to go, at least for a little while. I'm sure others here could offer some good advice on SSDI and maybe even how to deal with workplace disability discrimination. Wish I could be of more help. My thoughts are with you, Karen
  13. Shadow55038

    Hello! I have been reading this thread with mild amusement and thought I'd add my two pennies' worth. First, how awesome is it that a fellow survivor has turned stroke into a full-time business?! Wish I could do it! We really need to be celebrating this man's successes. Second, as a small business owner, he probably is either managing his website himself or has a friend building/managing the site (professionally-built websites cost in the tens of thousands). As someone who's developed/administrated websites as a living for the past eight years, I can tell you that it is NOT unusual for websites to be "under construction" while live on the internet. It is the way to check to see if links work, copy flows, photos are placed correctly, etc. Please remember that he is a small-time business owner, and he is probably trying to show that he is not a "one trick pony" and has other offerings forthcoming to entice people back to the website. Websites are always "a work in progress." So, I think it's great that someone is taking a negative and turning it into his life's work! Thanks for sharing that with us, TooLate! Peace on earth, good will toward men, Karen
  14. Hi, Karen: I've not had the closure (due to issues with the location of my PFO), but everyone I've encountered who's had it done said it was a very easy procedure. I'd do it in a minute if I could. I'm sick of Coumadin--losing handfuls of hair and bruising all the time. The catheterization method is simple and non-invasive. Please don't be afraid! You'll be in good hands at Methodist, and you'll probably feel better than you have in a long, long time. Being brave is half the battle, but I think you can do it! Here's something to think about. Which is worse: the fear of the surgery or the fear of having another stroke(s)? I hope others will share their success stories with you as well. The other Karen from Minnesota
  15. Shadow55038

    Hi, Zak! I had a similar experience as you, only mine was with the hospitalist on the neuro ward. He kept telling me I'd need open heart surgery (two cardiologists disagreed), then said I lesions on my liver on a CT scan (which turned out to be dye from the scan), then said I couldn't go home for an additional two days (after my neuro said it was time to get me home), and finally told me I'd never be able to rollerblade, ice skate or ride my bike again (being on Coumadin, it would be "too much of a risk"). . .we started calling him "Dr. Doom." I finally said, ENOUGH and got the patient advocate involved. It's bad enough to have a stroke, but the negativity and doomsaying did nothing to help in my recovery--it only filled me with anger, anxiety and fear. (I'm sure St. Joe's in St. Paul would be happy never to see me again with my raking the doc over the coals for his communication style, or lack thereof, but you need to be your own advocate. Nobody else will do it for you.) Once I was cleared by the neuro to go back to work, I thumbed my nose at Doctor Doom and went rollerblading. That was over two years ago, and I still ice skate, bike ride and rollerblade! Get yourself a new therapist. . .pronto. You're only limited as to what limits you set on yourself. Good luck and hope you're skiing again soon! Karen