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PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION


AZ Leah

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Hi fellow bloggers: I haven’t blogged in quite a while and realize blogging encourages me to look at changes and/or progress I have made in my stroke recovery. Sometimes they are so small I don’t notice until someone points it out to me. My husband, trainer, primary care physician and close friends are good gauges for me.

 

There are physical, emotional and spiritual changes which I like to look at and which I think are moving me to a deeper level of acceptance. One big improvement I have made is that I don’t live my life in a perpetual state of “before stroke” and “after” as much anymore. I am better living in the NOW, although I still think I can do more than my body will allow. Obviously my stroke changed my life, but I don’t let it define me anymore. My strong type “A” personality is starting to soften.

 

Like Asha says, every day we have a choice of being discouraged or to have hope and do something good or helpful. A positive attitude encourages this hope and courage and God gives me the ability to practice it. I ask for His help daily. Without this spiritual connection which I didn’t think was possible, I don’t believe I would have improved as much as I have.

 

My arm weights are increased to 3 lbs, 3 reps, and I did l7 minutes on the recumbent bike, facts of progress. I’m more independent and can drive again for short distances as long as I know I can get back home! I drove to our stroke support group 2 weeks ago, took the rollator walker out of the car and reversed the process 1 ½ hours later. I’ve gone for work-outs, hair style, nails and plan on going solo to a couple dr. appts soon. This gives Jerry a lot more freedom although he’ll drive me if I feel too tired. I even re-upholstered a cedar chest cushion – one step at a time** This month the Stroke Book Club discussed “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold Kushner. Unfortunately I went to that chat on the wrong day! I loved the book and believe wholeheartedly that God does not cause bad things to happen, but He will give us what we need to help us get through them. I spend time reading, meditating, making CDs from ITunes, knitting and doing our home office finances. I give away CDs and knitting to relatives, friends and the humane society (small animal blankets). I feel all this is a type of therapy and I am so thankful for what I can do. Amazingly, my brain still works!!

 

My main complaint, besides left leg and knee spasticity, is fatigue. I don’t think it will change and I don't want to try any more meds for it. I’m trying to adjust my day and limit my “to do’s”. Little by little I’m learning how to do things in a new way and throw away my perfectionism. Our spring has been wonderful and even though I can’t work in the garden, I can look at all the colors and flowers from the porch. I can handle planting flowers for our screened porch and I hope to get some done tomorrow.

 

I enjoy Strokenet chat and the blogs and forums; you all have taught me so much and I am thankful I found you.

Till later…Hugs from Leah :giggle:

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Leah, wow, you have learned so much from your stroke experience and done so well in stepping forward in faith. I am humbled by your "can do" attitude.

 

It is good you now have some independence and the driving you do must make a big difference to Jerry. I can imagine no more driving Ray to doctors appointments! And not making trips to therapy!

 

I so mourn Ray losing his licence in 1999, I know even having a local licence (no more than 25 miles from home) would have made so much difference to me. And is was such a loss to him too.I am grateful for what Ray did get back and he is still here with me as a companion.

 

(((hugs))) for you from Sue.

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Leah:

 

I was so happy to read your blog, you are on right path. focusing on what you can still do & having gratitude for that, is recipe for happy life. I am glad you are slowly creating new normal for you. & enjoying the life the way it is.

 

Asha

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Leah, I am so happy you are now living in the "now." I think it comes with time and realizing there are some changes and improvements we can make but there are some that cannot be undone. When you take each day at a time and get out as much as you are able, you interact with others and this is so important. I am so proud of you for getting out to get your nails done, going to your stylist, and etc. This is independence any way you look at it. I enjoy your blogs!

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