Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog Views!

11, 671 VIEWS!
That's how many views this blog has gotten so far. Thank you for coming with me on my journey! I'm still looking for young stroke victims to share their stories! Please pass along this blog to anyone you know who has gone through something similar.

Thank you again!

Knowledge is power!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Blessing In Disguise

Many times when things happen, we have to ask ourselves, "What could I have done differently?" or "What now?". Today I was faced with this and it's only now that I am seeing through the events of today and making sense of it all.

My job let me go today because they are moving my position to an out of state office. Granted, at first I was heartbroken but now I am seeing things a little more clearly. This is a blessing in disguise. I no longer have to go to a job where I am constantly reminded of my stroke. This is a new beginning. I should embrace it. Yes, not having a job is scary right now but I can't let it get to me too much because, what's not good for strokies? You got it, stress! 

I'm looking at this as just another facet of recovery. The final piece of the more stroke job, no more reminder of said stroke, minimized stress. Of course, this leads to the elephant in the care! Luckily, I am covered until the end of July but what about after that? What do I do? Cobra is quite expensive as some of you know. And how does this take a toll on strokies? Do persons with pre-existing conditions have to pay a higher premium? Hmm, things to think about...tomorrow. For now, I'm going to sleep in tomorrow morning and enjoy the forced vacation. :)

What a wonderful way to end Stroke Awareness Month! 

Monday, May 21, 2012


During my speeches at CHS, many of the students asked me if I was mad at my Primary Care Physician for missing the warning signs of my stroke and I had to really think about it. I said no but nowadays, I realize that wasn't the truth.

I am mad. I'm still mad. Not the best feeling in the world.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Stroke Speech At My Alma Mater, Cathedral High School

On Friday May 11th, I went back to Cathedral High School to speak to students on my experience of having a stroke. I was so nervous on the days leading up to this awesome event! This was the first time I had spoken publicly to anyone in a large group about this! When I get nervous, I tend to fumble over my words and I didn't want to sound stupid! Learning how to control my speech during times like this is a process :)

I took the same route I did when I was a student which brought back so many fun memories. Walking through the halls immediately took me back to my days as a backpack toting uniform wearing band nerd. I only wish I could have brought some of the grads from my class with me but they were there in a sense. I sent them pictures at every turn so they could see what I was seeing.

I was immediately back in my teenage mindset unaware that I had 15 years on some of these kids! CHS grads, your girl was treated like a VIP. I got to take the elevator everywhere! (Class of '99, you know exactly what this means)The four classes I spoke to were filled with amazing talented young women interested in the medical field. I have to say, it was a bit intimidating to stand in front of these students. I didn't know how I would be received. In fact, I was so amped during my first speech I flew through my presentation in no time! Eek. Haha. All in all, they had all sorts of questions about strokes. I tried to answer them to the best of my ability. I hope each of them walked away with new knowledge on prevention.

One student asked what I was thankful for every day and what I took away from it. Being at the school definitely gave me something else to be thankful for. As I left Cathedral, I couldn't help but be so happy for the incredible opportunity I was given which is yet another reason why I am thankful for this stroke. Knowledge is power and I shared everything I could. You never know who you will touch just by sharing your experiences in life.

Everyone was so lovely. I'd like to send a big thank you to Alice D'Orazi for being so accommodating! I look forward to many more opportunities like this. Anything I can do to help others and prevent strokes is what Stroke Awareness Month is all about!

Thank you Cathedral High School!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Be Grateful For Today

So I went to the Hematologist (Hema what? :) to get my blood checked. My every 6 month checkup now, whoo hoo! Once again, I was the youngest in the waiting room.  There was a family there with the matriarch of the family who had clearly undergone some kind of trauma...stroke or something. I was trying hard not to look but couldn't help but observe her movements. She was trying to unwrap a piece of candy but was having some difficulty with her left arm and hand. Her family didn't help her. They just watched.

At first, I didn't understand this and got kind of annoyed that they weren't helping her with her candy situation but after about 2 minutes, she was successful and got it out of its wrapper and into her mouth with her right hand. Her family members kind of looked at each other. I guess they wanted her to do it herself to get her used to not having her left hand/arm as strong as her right. Of course, I'm just speculating but it's what I saw.  She kind of reminded me of myself when I was trying to get the strength back into my right arm. It was very humbling.

I got my blood taken in the same small room I always do and this time I had some company, an elderly man who was quite talkative. He complimented me on my hair and then started cracking jokes. We laughed as both of us were in the chairs for some time since the vampires were taking several vials of blood. He then broke out into what was wrong with him...The list kind of floored me. Since he was in such good spirits, I kind of didn't believe him. Pancreatic Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Skin Cancer and finally to top it all off, Shingles. Whoa. He joked around a bit more with me and told me to have a good summer. I automatically said "You too" not realizing he may not have another summer.

Yes, this is awful but reminded me still that you should be grateful for today. This dude was a walking dead body and he didn't let it get him down. Bless him. You have today! Small victories!