Cya CVA!

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Massive update



(Originally posted October 12, 2009)


I'm sorry that I'm such a slacker when it comes to this blog lately. It's no excuse, but my whole life is super crazy right now. I'm either working, studying, preparing to teach, messing with the kids, being a stroke wife or feeling guilty that I'm not doing one of the above.


But anyway, here's what's going on...


1. J.J. and I are both staying home from work today, J.J. because his vision is weird and he has a headache (which I assume means his blood pressure is back up) and me because I'm going to be a nervous wreck if I can't keep an eye on him. Like it or not, every time this man so much as sneezes for the next few years, he's going to have me checking on him. But my allergies are acting up (again), so I could probably use the extra rest.


2. Leah is 5! I've got her photo montage done, and I'll try to post it soon. Her birthday was Thursday, which of course is the night I teach so I barely saw her. We did her presents on Wednesday evening and took her to dinner on Friday evening. I think she was pretty impressed that her birthday went on for days!


3. We started the American Heart Association eating plan this morning. Basically, we're trying not to eat as much red meat and processed foods and trying to eat more fruits, veggies and healthy fats (like olive oil and nuts). We'll see how this goes.


4. J.J. and I went to a stroke conference in Chicago last weekend. It was put on by a group called Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other that is essentially a statewide (Illinois) support group. I think we were the people who traveled the furthest to be there. It was nice to be in a room full of people who could relate to some of what we're going through. We heard a great presentation about integrative medicine that has us looking at some new therapies to try for J.J. And at the end of the day, we were asked to tell our story to the group! I did most of the talking (naturally!) I think it went pretty well--there was a woman there who is writing a book about stroke survivors and their families, and she's asked us to include our story. We'll see.


One of the worst things about going to things like this is seeing other stroke survivors' reactions to J.J. J.J. came out of his stroke in very good shape. Even though he has some deficits, they're nothing like what many survivors have to deal with. We sat with a couple at lunch; the wife had almost the same stroke as J.J., but hers was almost a year and a half ago. She's lost most of the use of her right hand (it's all contracted) and her speech is about how J.J.'s was a week or so after his stroke. At one point she laboriously said to J.J., "", meaning, how did you recover like this? You could see the naked envy all over her face. It's hard to watch.


5. I haven't updated about the Start! Heart Walk! We participated as a family, all wearing our shirts to support J.J. We got lost so we didn't get there until right before the walk started, and they tore everything down while we were gone walking so we didn't get to see much of the exhibitors. The walk was nice, though. It was a beautiful day and the kids only had to sit down to rest once while we were walking. At the finish line, we were provided with bottled water and all the fruit we wanted to eat. The kids each had a couple of apples. J.J. ate an apple and a banana. I had two oranges (which were AMAZING--I had forgotten how much I love oranges!). All in all, it was just a great day to celebrate how far J.J. has come. Thanks again to all the people who supported Team Erin and J.J. in the walk!


Alright, I think that's all the noteworthy news I have. Time to check on my man!

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Erin I can relate to the envy. In Ray's stroke group only a handful have had multiple strokes, only two are wheeled in instead of walking in and only a few have ongoing problems. So Ray is much more incapacitated than a lot of the others.


It is as if there are various stages and levels in every room full of stroke survivors and although they all have the stroke in common how each stroke has affected family life, being able to work etc is so different.


Thanks for publishing all of these blogs. I will eventually get to read them all.



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