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)
Your best friend calls you and tells you he/she's really sick? How do you show you care? So I almost lot it this morning...<br/> I don&#39;t even know why exactky. I mean, I know the trigger but why it triggered me.. . no clue. I&#39;m driving to work this morning. It&#39;s raining and a pale bright white gray that reaches from the heavens and touches my car. EEVERYTHING IS BLEACHED WHITE/GRAY AND IT&#39;S NIPPY and wet. I&#39;m praying as I drive and somewhere deep inside I can feel it. Sadness is there, waiting to get out. I decided long ago to not cry while driving. It&#39;s just too much of a distraction. So I focus in on NPR TO DISTRACT MYSELF AND i CONTINUE TO PRAY. fIRST THANKING gOD FOR ALL THE MANY WONDERFUL THINGS IN MY LIFE BUT i FEEL MYSELF SLIPPING... I think, I&#39;ll be at my office soon where I will e able to kneel by one of the windows and pray again, like I do every morning and I&#39;m satisfied for a moment but then something pulls at my ankle... despair. &quot;God, Father if I could just have my arm and hand back now I will patiently wait for my hand and arm. And by the way, thanlks for the great therapy sessions I had yesterday. I manage to get to work without crying on the highway and I pray once I get t my office. there&#39;s something about kneeling as I pray that feels really right and is a great comfort to me so I kneel and I pray but it&#39;s stil lhere I&#39;m sad and I&#39;m tired and this bleak weather isn&#39;t helping. I&#39;m grateful for the rin because it literally gives us life but the gray is making me evem more sad. Oh wait, forgot to tell you about the near flip out moment. I take the garage elevator to the first floor which will enable me to stay dry as I walk underground fromn the garage to my office building. I&#39;m approaching te first door and I swipe my id card to unlock it. now I have to reposition quickly o I can grab the door, pull it open but before I get the chance I hear some lady on the phone saying &quot;oh hang on a sec, I&#39;ve go t to help this lady with something.&#39; I thought what lady?&quot; &quot; You don;t mean me do you...?&quot; I&#39;m rushing now no no it;s ok Ive got it but thank you very much inside Im boiling and I knoew that response is unreasonable she was just trying to help. I contain myself and walk through. So now we&#39;tre inside the first door and I have to swipe my ID to unlock the second door. what do you want, we&#39;re in Newark.. there&#39;s security. She&#39;s racing too. Im thinking cruel things and I stop myself,&quot;Ory, she has no idea. She&#39;s just trying to be hekpful.&quot; Inside Im thinking look lady I work here which neans I come here everydsay and we&#39;ve never met before so you think maybe I camn h ande two doors on my own. Im angry that I still look so helpless to people. Im angry that I still care and mostly Im angry Im not healed yet. I know people that are worse off than me and I know people that recovered almost immediately after ther strokes.I&#39;m still here. still typing oe-handed and Im still the pitied and I hate it I thought about getting a shirt that says I can oprn my own doo! Now fuck Off but I of course would never wear it if it even existed. I know she meant well and she couldn&#39;t know how her actions made me feel so I woudn&#39;t bring myself to saying something so hurtful to someone who was really trying to br kind. I guess the road to hell is really paved with... So after I almost verbally abused the lady. I come up to my office, pray and adk God to forgive me for my cruel thought. I explain,&quot;Im just really tired. Im tired of being unwell. Im tired of peple staring at me. Im tired of people asking me if I need something when I walk by. Im tired of feeling like a grumpy old lady. I&#39;m tired of being unwell AAnd most important of all I am frickin sick and tired of stroke and recovery. Im sick of thinking about it Im sick of talking about t. Im sick of crying about it. I just want to be delivered I don&#39;t wanrt to worry anymore. I worry about everything. Am I going to have a job in 2 onths?Am I goin g to hAVE HEALTH INSIURANCE FROM SAID JOB...? NO IDEA. Im so sick and tired of waiting. I wait and pray and wait then I pray some more and my life has some existential&#39;hold&#39; button pressed on it. I just ewat my life back. I don&#39;t want to be this person anymore I just want to work and do what I love and help people. Sounds cliche but its true. Us service industry folk really feel crummy when we can&#39;t work I met a fire ffighter on a support website. All he wanted in this whole world is to be able to go back to work. Doing a job that one values that much really impacts one&#39;s self perception. he said he felt like a loser because he wasn&#39;t helping NYBODY ANYMORE AND ITS ONLY COMPOUNDED WHEN PEOPLE FORCE HELP ON HIM... I can totally relate to that guyIt&#39;s hard and its not getting aNY EASIER AND iM FEELING DONE. iM JUST SO DONE... i DONT KNOW WHAT TO PRAY FOR ANYMORE. iN SO MUCH gOD HAS GIVEN ME EVERYTHING iVE REALLY DEEPLY ASKED FOR OR NEEDED BUT MY HEALING IS STUCK IN TRANSIT SOMEWHERE. i WONT BE MAD THOUGH I YOU WOUD UST HEAL ME NOW. i WILL SAY THANK YOU AND CONTINUE TO BE GRATEFUL i&#39;M HERE AND i&#39;LL BE ON THE RADIO LATER THIS MORING BUT i DON;T KNOW HOW GREAT ITS GONNA BE AS TODAY IS A HEAVY TEAR DAY...iTS ONE OF THOSE DAYS WHERE I CANT SEEM TO CRY HARD ENOUGH TO GET IT ALL OUT. iLL HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM nd try there because so far it&#39;s not happening here in my office. I just want to curl up an cru until I feel better....


a struggling stroke survivor but a survivor nonetheless

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