Helping Myself By Helping Others

Yesterday when I woke up, I was in a crappy mood!  Not to go into it all, but the previous couple days had our family in major turmoil.

Today was my volunteer day at the thrift store and I was to work from 1:00-5:00,  but I just did not want to go.  I knew deep down that I had made the commitment and that it would probably be good for me as well.

The people I work with are wonderful!  They are fun, supportive of each-other, and just plain great to be around.
peanutsdancingSo when I arrived close to tears, ready to turn around & go back home, I got exactly what I needed:  Support, several hugs, a lot of “I’m here for you’s” , and I could feel my mood shift!  I knew I needed to be there.  No sense hanging around the house upset.

So I worked my shift.  And you know what?  My problems didn’t go away, but being able to step away from them by working with such wonderful people and helping others worked wonders!

What Was Your Favorite Victory Over Stroke?

When I was in the hospital after my stroke, I heard a lot of comments like, “Don’t expect to be able to walk like you did before.”  And, “Things will always be harder to do now”.  Wonderful things like that!  So it’s no wonder my morale was so low.  But with my wonderful husbands support, I tried my best to not listen to that crap!

Now it’s been just over 19 months since my stroke.  Have I lost some abilities?  Yes.  But am I as bad off as they said in the hospital?  No way!  Not by a long shot.  And I truly believe it’s because I didn’t listen to that crap!!

When I got home the one thing that had me upset, was the thought that I couldn’t crochet anymore.  I had taught my left-handed brain to crochet right-handed years ago so I wouldn’t have to do the “mirror-image thing” all the time.

So one of the first things I did was pick up a crochet hook and yarn and fought my brain every step of the way until I re-leaned how to crochet!  I am a little slower.  And there are days when even a pattern I’ve done many times just doesn’t make sense.  But that’s ok with me because I know I can still do it……………….Because I didn’t give up!

So I want to know.  What has been your own personal victory over your stroke??? Or what do you PLAN on your victory being?

Celebrate World Stroke Day by Knowing the Signs!!!

Today, October 29, 2013, is World Stroke Day!  Please, even if stroke has not effected your life, or the life of someone you know, I ask that you at least be aware of the signs of stroke so you are better able to help yourself or someone else!  Stroke can sneak up at any time, any place, any day!


Anyone gone Vegetarian to Help Recovery?

I have always been a meat & potatoes type gal.  I grew up with a father who loved to hunt & fish.  My husband loves nothing more than a good steak, but in moderation.

I have had this “thought” planted in my brain for several weeks now about possibly leaning towards a vegetarian lifestyle.  I know there are several “levels” of vegetarianism, but it still intrigues me.

My husband is extremely supportive in that he agrees our meals could be more 25% meat & 75% veggies.  I don’t think I could give up meat entirely or eggs for that matter.  But at the age of 49, I am wondering if a mostly veggie based diet would help with my energy, recovery, memory, etc.. since fresh veggies have no chemicals or preservatives added to them like some much processed food, and the even meat we buy.

So, I am wondering?  Has anyone tried going vegetarian?  Did you notice a difference?  How do I even start?  What the heck are all the so-called “levels” of vegetarianism out there?  Can I get by on just cutting my red meat intake to say two nights a week and reap benefits?




Getting Away & Relearning a Routine!

My husband & and I haven’t had any type of get-a-way since before my stroke in March 2012.  We needed to get away from all the bills, the teenagers, and just the everyday crap!

So when we saw a Groupon a couple of weeks ago for a cheap two-nighter in a cabin, up in the mountains of Pinetop, we jumped at it!  We were originally hoping for that coming weekend as it was my birthday.  But when we called, we were told they were full.  So we booked this last weekend.

The first thing I must tell you is that I realized how much of a “stroke related routine” I had gotten into.  What do I mean by that?  Easy.  I am talking about how I have everything in a certain spot, to be used in a certain order, at a certain time, in a certain place!  So when it ahhhcame time to pack for said weekend, my brain just kinda freaked out.  This was when I realized that I had a very regimented routine that was helping my recovery.

My husband was kind enough to “talk me down” from my freak out, and help me remember, organize, & pack everything I needed.

We got up to the cabin and loved it!  While most of the trees had lost their leaves, enough of them still were putting on a beautiful Fall color show for us to enjoy.  If there is one thing I miss about living in Colorado, it’s the Fall season!

While my husband enjoyed the freedom of being able to “just sit around” and read, I took full advantage of the huge jetted tub in the master bath of our “cabin”!

We took drives thru the forest and dreamed of one day owning a cabin of our own to escape to during the Summer’s in Phoenix.  We stopped several times to just enjoy the “absolute quiet”.  No buzzing of electricity.  No dishwasher running.  No kids playing video games.  Etc, etc, etc…..

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves.  I do have to figure out a way to work around my routine, but I’d be willing to bet that’s just one other thing I need to learn! Pinetop

What!???? Seriously?

I grew up in Southern California with a family that was used to having a father that liked to hunt and fish on his days off as a firefighter.  I grew up learning to have a very healthy respect for firearms (and those damn tiny fishhooks, for that matter).

That being said, I saw something last night at the market that had me literally laughing out loud at its stupidity.  My husband and I went over to the cooler section of the market so my husband could get some beer (I myself am a wine gal), and he pointed this out:

beerhuntingSorry its blurry.  My phone camera is not the best.  But if you look closely, you will see that this coupon,  that was on the beer case, is offering $5 off a hunting license when you purchase beer!  Am I the only one that would put this in the “You know you are a redneck when” file?  Or how about the “Not a good idea” file?

Letter To My Stroke

Dear Stroke,

I had to sit down and write this letter to help myself over feelings I don’t want to feel anymore and you are responsible!

You see, before you came around, my life was going along just fine thank you.  I had gone back to work after staying home with the boys, and was finally starting a life where people called me Marie again, not just “mom”.  I was enjoying feeling production out in the real world and meeting other people.  I was also enjoying bringing home that paycheck, no matter how small, that came made out to me every other week.

Then you entered my life without even a “Pardon me.  Do you mind?  In one sudden moment, you changed EVERYTHING.  The physical, the mental, and probably most important……………my dreams!!  You made me aware about all I lost just because you forced your way into my life.

For God’s sake, wipe that damn grin off your face!  It wasn’t just my life you played around with, but everyone I know.  My family’s lives have been totally thrown for a loop, and dreams I had for our boys have flown out the window because, along with your forced entry, came so many damn medical bills that just keep coming, we had to pull the plug on helping with college expenses and football sign ups.

I won’t go into all the crap I am forced to take you to regarding rehab, my muscles, spasticity, medications, pain, etc. etc. etc. because you are probably sitting there smiling knowing full well what I am talking about.

Travel is out (like we can afford it now), because places we wanted to go aren’t “wonky walking” accessible and I don’t want to take you with me!

I lost my job because of my unknowing return date.  You see, they only wanted me back.  Not you!

My friends and extended family have been affected by your presence in my life.  I see a hesitancy there that I never saw before when they talk to me.  They seem “cautious” when asking how I am, or when explaining something to me.  They just don’t know how to act with you around, and it totally pisses me off!

I have tried yelling and screaming at you to go away, but you don’t listen.  I have cried my eyes out as I feel my heart breaking over things I know I will never be able to do, but you have no heart to feel my pain.

And it’s all your fault!  You are a selfish, crappy, son of a bitch, who shouldn’t be allowed to exist.

One day I truly hope I am in a position to tell people of the story of when you came to visit and I never thought I could get you to leave, but did!

For now, just know that I hate you being here.  You are an unwanted house guest.  You are not welcome and I will do everything in my power to kick you out!

Your Pissed Off Temporary Host,


Getting Brave or Saying to Hell With It?

“Since my stroke, I have let myself go!”  There, I said it.  Whew, feels better, kind of.  The last time I got my hair cut was before my stroke, 1 1/2 years ago!  I have spent all that time just “putting it up”.  After the stroke, I didn’t have the coordination to blow it dry properly, but worked hard to figure out the ponytail holder.  From there I figured out how to use the massive claw clip to put my hair up………………….and there it stayed!

Until yesterday!  As the title of this post suggests, I am wondering if I got brave, or just decided to say “To hell with it!”  Either way, this morning I awoke with a much shorter hairstyle that had me doing a double take in the mirror.  I’m still not sure, but as I discovered at the salon yesterday, my body & mind weren’t the only things affected by my stroke.  My hair had become brittle, with absolutely no shine or “life” to it.

So, I went shorter than I originally wanted, knowing that “it will grow out”, but liking it all the same.  So I present to you……………ME!