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Being Thankful For What We Got Left



It's one thing to know what we got left after a stroke, but it's another to really be thankful for what we got left in terms of what we can do on our own without any or much assistance's. I think that's the point in our recovery process when we come to grips with what has happened in our lives no matter the age we are.


Some strokes happen in different parts of the brain for different people causing more or less lost of our body parts compared to another person. Then there's the difference in right brain versus left brain and the body functions located in each brain and of course how long we were without blood which carries oxygen to keep our brain functioning in the first place.


I was without oxygen for over 8 hours before getting to a hospital. I consider my self lucky to have survived. I think of it as being blessed by God instead of luck, we all think differently, but as days, months, and years go by and I'm still a survivor, it strengthens my belief the Lord is keeping me here. It's a mighty good feeling to do what we can knowing it could have been much worse to not having been a survivor at all.


Then to pass one year, two years and in my case six years in recovering, I'm so thankful to be among the other survivors. Suffering is part of recovery, again, some suffer more than others but we suffer nevertheless. We have hard days, bad days, hard times and some good times in the process. When we got a friend or two we can call on that's like a bright light in our lives that keeps on shining on us.


We need true friends around us, in our lives and to call upon when we really need to talk, a favor or just to know we are not in this alone. Our members and friends here serves that need in our lives. Especially when it seem as though our nearby friends has departed from us or our new lives as we now know life to be. I feel so good in knowing my life goes on in spite of loosing half of my abilities to function as I knew before my stroke.


Life has always been this way for centuries of wars where the men return home wounded, missing arms, legs and needing a cane, a wheel chair, a walker and these days use of a scooter. It's not just a stroke that can make us dependent upon another person in our lives but everyday activities can lead to dependence on aid from loved ones or mechanical devices. Even to operate a vehicle again when we can no longer manage with the body we were born with.


All of that makes me more thankful daily of how I am and what I can do with what I got left. That's a true blessing. Right here at Fort Hood, Texas I see soldiers returning who can't hold their kids in their arm that they've never seen. My mind goes ahead to those who didn't get to come back but gave their all, their lives. Having served in a war zone myself and returned, then to suffer a stroke makes me so thankful I'm alive and can do a few things on my own.


Second is to have a loved one who cares dearly for your company for life regardless of how you are but for what you are in the relationship. I see it in the young kids eyes daily, that alone makes me thankful I was older when my time came. So, I accept my stroke and I hope my story here can help others accept theirs and realize it's not the end of life. We still got time to live even more. Do we have to be like this the rest of our lives? YES, unless we can recover in the process of getting better in the coming years.


Just remember we are not the first ones like this and we will not be the last ones either. I say now to ALL, be thankful for what you got left. No one will remain on this earth forever! We're just passing through, our reward is in heaven! Years ago a handicapped person stayed indoors even if they had a wheelchair. These days things are much different. People get out on their own when possible and are not afraid or ashamed of their conditions.


Get out everybody and live a little, don't stay shut up indoors, see the world it belongs to all of us.


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Great blog, Fred! I have reminded myself of this daily with cancer. I survived a stroke and I can survive cancer...even if I walk with a limp and am bald. I just keep smiling at folks when we are out and the majority smile back. There is life after stroke and for me, I hope to have many more years.

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