Loving the small victories over things like bra's, doors and showers:o) In life there are major and minor victories. Sometimes which one you get depends only on your perspective, sometimes it depends on your history, especially your recent history. My daily victories used to be over things like stroke because it was my job and something i did regularly to pull a clot out of the blood vessel it was blocking so blood flow could be reastored hopefully preventing the person on my table from having a massive strokeor dying. At the end of those day's I'd drive home , call my mom and say." hey mom, I really helped somebody today." I'd drive in the warm glow of a good day and a good victory. Then as the weirdness that is life would have it i had a stroke and my victories changed drastically. I remember my first victories after the stroke were things like putting on a bra one-handed which if you imagine trying to do, you'll quickly see is no easy task. well I got my bra on after much ado. I sat on my bed in my underwearand sent my om a text message saying, " Mom! I did it! i put on my bra all by myself!" and yes there were that many exclamation marks, it was a victory afterall; Why whisper success? :o)Now i'm moving through my life and the world with persistent left sided weakness and a left arm and hand that I can't use yet<br /> so, my victories are different, smaller, more personal as i can't help people the way I used to yet. Now opening my own door is a victory that I have to fight to keep. /you see, people in their kindness and eager desire to be of help will often race me to any door handle i'm approacjhing. I always stealthily scan around to see if there's anybody near the door I'm about to pass through I even walk as though I'm not goingto the door at all, element of surprise HA! not only am I going through that door, I'm going to open and close it after! When your vixctories are so much smaller, you cling to them and cherish each one, if you're the right kind of person that is. Some people don't see or claim any victories' it's no wonder they get depressed and think of themselves as useless.I get upset when the opportunity to be victorious over a door is taken from me are taken from you so now I sneak up to doors so no one is the wiser. You see 'normal ' peopl are being kind and trying to behelpful but they also stealing from me and the fact that they are unaware does nothing to make me whole from the victory they just took from me. i vow everytime I approach a doorthat when I'm well I will always ask a disabled person if I can help rather than assume they need it because as the disabled person in the equation when people race to do things for me it sends the message that I look like I can't do these things for myself and true i'm notthe fleet footed woman I once was but I can do a bunch of stuff for myself. Once you get sivk and are in a place where you can't do anything for yourself like hold your head up , sit in a chair or walk you appreciate any recovered ability to be ibdependant These days when I open a door and walk through the threshold I have a moment of quiet joy :o) I stand there on the other side of the barrier that was trying to blovk my way as the victor in that matchup because I conquered the door. Therer's no moment when the door s opened for me there's just me walking which is great but not as great as me walking and opening my door or better still holdfing the door open for someone behind me... oh the joy I walk througmy day rejoicing in these smnall victories because untilI'm well enough to have the bigone's again, they're all I have and I'm grateful for each and every one I talk to doors now. not that I'm crazy becuse of the stroke or any crazier than I was before it I talk to them not expecting or reciving a reply. It's s very onwe-sided conversation that'd brief and goes like the: me" you thought you were going to blovvk my weay huh?" " well I guess you know better now :o)" I put the smiley face in becauser that's where I smile to myself for talking to a door who's A$$ I judt kicked but I'm happy so I smile I smile a lot so smiley faces litter much of my text messages and emails . the people that know me realize they're meant to show thatr I'd be smiling iff we were face to face. So while I appreciate the sentiment pleae think twice as opening a door for a disabled person without their sking for help might be you stealing someone's victory and what if that's the best, hardest thing they do? than you will have inadvertantly stolen something of great value rom that person. I alway say," no thank uou I've got it but I appreciate your offer to heklp it's very kindof youm thanx" then I kick the doors A$$ and smile :o) Doors nand my brawere among my early life after stroke victories now I dress myself fuully with no help and even showewr alone Showering alone doesn't sound so impressive but trust mwe when you've been institutionalized and not allowed to do such things because if the risk oyou'd fall and get impled on the tub spigot you begin to believe that such things asre beyond your ability to do spo when you regain that small piece of independence trust me you smile and kich the shower's ass :o) Doors, showers abd even driving I've slowly relerned to conquer them all Sure I'm not saving anybody's life yet but that's coming and how much sweeter will it be after having to rejoice in my minor victories to have a major one again .that's what I'mlooking forwad to. The ig one it's coming I don't know when but I can feel it it's coming :o)


a struggling stroke survivor but a survivor nonetheless

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