Monday, October 29, 2012

A Freak Out

“There are no failures. Just experiences and your reactions to them.” ~ Tom Krause

My reactions can be the pits at times! I am a reactor and even though I have been practicing not to react so quickly  I am not good at the practice.  

I am pretty good at not reacting to my daughter's tantrums, but I react to quickly to my significant other and parents  in a negative way. 

I do believe that there are no failures and everything is a learning experience, but I tend to stand up for my feelings without listening.

I am throwing this out to the masses to show that I know I need to stop, listen and think before reacting.  I can do it.

Friday, October 26, 2012


It's Friday, I should be digging today... I have off tomorrow and going to my son's football game at the University of Ashland, but I am here in my cubical putting my training's data together.

I really struggle with math and am a loss to find any kind of cheat or formula to help me with it.  It usually takes an hour to but these together, but I worked on them from 8:45 - 11-30. This is easy math, counting... ugggg, but I got it done and did not let anyone help me.  I need to do this for myself.

It is crazy when I now try to pull information from my memory, there is nothing or little there! I will get there with practice!

Now that I am done, a huge weight is lifted from my shoulders.

Tired + Long Day = Aphasia

I have noticed my aphasia comes on strong in the evening when I am tried from working.  With aphasia, it is not so much as a stutter, but a stoppage of my speech or a pause... which is annoying because my thought process goes on normally and my words are having a problem keeping up. I also read at a very slow pace when I am tired, to read and understand what I have read... I need to reread a page most of the time. I read to me daughter at night before bed and I struggle some nights, this is when I have her read to me.

I am 40 and read at a middle school youth's level... woot, woot! Sounds silly... but I can read and have went from not being able to read my name to reading the first two Hunger Games books!

I have had two evening trainings over the past 2 months and I notice my speech the most during these teaching sessions... then I get frustrated because others are listening to me. I tend to sound like Porky Pig.

I am learning to talk slower, which helps, but those of know me... I talk fast... this is so new and it is taking practice to learn.

Stroke rehab is unlike breaking a limb or having the flu... I am still in daily rehab in my way for almost two years. I am so thankful, yet I can get frustrated with myself.  Others can hear my speech, but they don't always know what a slow reader I am. I have learned to not read at higher levels that I can, which can be challenging at times, especially during this presidential race.

One day at a time, that is all I can do and will take each of these days as a gift.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Accepting Myself!

I love this photo! It took my awhile to realize I had reboot my life in a new way... But I have done it! It is a constant test, but I work really hard to stay true to me and my recovery!


I have always been a hyper, slightly immature, loud personality, with a limited filter. Since the strokes, I have lost my filter completely and I know have to touch everything.

Who knows what may come out of my mouth... if it is thought in my mind, it just pops out my mouth and I am a huge interrupter! I need to say what I am thinking or I will forget it! It is a huge nuisance in meetings, church, social or sporting events or family dinner. I can write down what I want to say, but it is never the same, so I have been working on this self control for about 2 years... my co-workers will say they see a bit of improvement!

Now my tactile senses are a different story. I have never been a tactile person. I never fancied a certain fabric or had a security blanket with the satin edges... but now... I need to tough everything and consumes me! If someone has an applique on their shirt, blouse, dress... I need to touch it... if someone is wearing some funky jewelry, I need to touch it and can't move on until I do! Everyone at my work have learned to come to my desk in the morning and get the ritual out of the way! Now it is not as bad as I am making this out to be... I am poking fun at my self... but I have been at an restaurant and just need to touch a woman's earrings... that goodness I have boundaries I remind myself or or have loved ones to keep me from these people!

I am a mess in stores, I touch everything... fabrics, jewelry, tassels, felt, glass, beads, toys, shoes... it is sad! And I teach my six year old not to touch in stores! Well, I know how nutty I am and I am trying to keep my hands in my pockets and never lift anything breakable with my gimpy left hand! I am happy to still be here on this awesome planet to be able to bother co-works and my family and touch everything in the store... my glass is half full!

The best thing to come from me and my touchiness is that I leave other's food alone!!!! But I love fun food more than ever... But I will never dip my finger in your spaghetti!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


This may be a little silly... but I had a big triumph last week... I correctly, on the first try spelled pistachio!

Can I remember why I needed to spell pistachio, NO... but I did it!!! 

Now if I can only remember that I live at South Point and not on South Park!

Life, Triumphs and Heartbreak

I have been a bad blogger! I have been busy in recovery, parenting and at work.  I have wonder news and not so wonderful news to share.  My son graduating from high school and now attends the University of Findlay in Ohio as an education major... he also plays football, GO OILERS! I love going to the games and I am learning to socialize with the families, which I struggle a bit, I still stutter when talking to strangers, but I am taking baby steps to get to know the Oiler parents, I have 4 more years to get to know them all.

My step-daughter, Emma has moved west... very far west to Oregon, to work and attend the University of Oregon next year once she obtains residency. I miss my oldest children so much, they make me laugh when we are all together and I love to laugh.

Eloise is in the 1st grade, where does the time go, she is our baby! She does not have a love for reading, I think I may have pushed her too hard when she was younger and I was re-learning to read... I have talked to her teacher and we both know she will be OK, I guess I have working parent guilt. Eloise makes me so happy to see her passion for life, family and her friends.  She is our tom-boy and loves riding her
moto-cross bike with her dad!

I am doing well, I am a talking superstar, my speech has come so far... I only stutter if I get tired or I feel socially uncomfortable.  My hand is still stiff and does not like to cooperate, yet... I have a right hand it is great and holding grocery bags. The right side of my face is still numb, but I use a straw still when drinking or a water bottle. I read at the 5-6th grade level, which I am so proud of! My spelling still stinks, but my new friend "spell check" always has my back.

I am fully back to work.  I am holding my own weight and doing a lot of trainings.  I have figured out to balance rest and work while at work and have learned to slow down and the most difficult thing I have to learn is to say NO to others... I can no longer help others, since I know am still learning how to organize my schedule and work load.  I love training... it took me a bit to get into the swing of it, but I love to teach others new and fun ways to educate themselves and the youth in their after school programs.  Learning to say NO to others took some practice, but I can do it and do it well.

My heart break is that my friend Becky has had a hemorrhagic stroke on her left side and has been unconscious since October 12! Becky is in her mid-40s... why are all these young people having strokes! Are we working too much, trying to balance work, relationships and parenting too much... we never take breaks or vacations anymore... people come to work and school sick... I don't know, but this has to stop! Becky needs to wake up and start her rehab!  She is wonderful person who was there for me 100% during my time of need and rehab... so I will be there for her 110% She is responding to stimuli and breathing on her own, but she just needs to open her eyes! Please pray for her!

Friends have started a website through Facebook for updates on Becky, I really appreciate all of this, because she just needs to wake up and start healing!

Becky's Brigade


Monday, August 27, 2012

Busy Bee

I have been a slacker lately and I have so much to share on my recovery, my son playing in the Big 33 football classic, my son leaving and starting college at the University of Findlay, Eloise starting 1st grade and a fun summer with my family and friends.

I am creating jewelry and getting really good at it, it is a great skill for my lacking fine motor skills!  I still have not shed this extra weight, but feel pretty good and I am speaking so fluently... hard work works wonders!

I will write more than the school year has started and I am not outdoors so frequently!

Peace, Love, Recovery & Happiness!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caine's Arcade

My career is an Afterschool Specialist, I work with afterschool programs in schools and private programs to had quality and educational programs.  One of my passions is STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math... or informal science to sum it up.

As a stroke survivor, I love informal science... it is all about giving students materials and seeing what they can do with them, this is now what I do on a daily basis!

I have trainings with teachers and show them how to do STEM activities with their youth, such as Balloon-powered cars, Balls and Tracks (or making roller-coasters), Straw Rockets and Cake Chemistry to name a few.

Well, I fell upon this video about a boy name Caine and as an educator I see it as a STEM video, it is fabulous and I share this with my trainees... but, as a stroke survivor, I see it very inspiring, this young boy from East LA takes the materials he has and makes an awesome arcade, it did not go above his means and triumphed using his own skills.  I am moved my Caine, his imagination, passion and ability to try new things.

I hope you are moved by the Caine's Arcade video also! I love it and glad this film maker found Caine and his cardboard arcade.

Go Caine!

Mid morning tea break!

Rock on my fellow survivors!


Powerful words from such a small guy!

I love this song, Bob with the cigarette is a bad choice though, but Bob is awesome!


 I love this and it helps me on days where I am struggling.