My name is Veronica, mother of 4 children Licensed Practical Nurse and Stroke survivor going on 10 years. First I want to say” Blessed be the one who has endured the agony of losing their mobility or integrity has been compromised and still has the courage to face each day. Second blessed be the caregivers that have sacrificed their lives to care for ours. Lastly, these strokes we had are not ours, and we should never be found saying, “ I had my ______ on such in such day”. Words have power and are a creative force. We should be mindful to speak words of healing and see ourselves well no matter what condition our bodies are in.
July 25th was the day I woke up without the activity of my limbs. Hurt and frustrated, I mourned the lost of the mobility I was accustomed to. It wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about what I was missing, like being able to button pants, tie shoes, do hair, bathe myself. All these little things people take for granted. It was a time, I woke up mourning and went to sleep mourning, the lost of my stuff. This went on for years. Even after out got revelations of getting better and seeing and feeling myself get better. Through this process of regaining strength to face a new day was matched with the challenges of that day. Having 4 small children at that time. I felt like a child myself. I felt like life wasn’t worth living without being able to use my hand correctly or walk without the potential of falling. There, were times when I felt I can take on whatever challenge I had to endure that day. Then there were days when I wanted to crawl under a rock. I prayed and prayed that one day I would wake up in the morning and not have to think about the things I couldn’t do for myself. But get up and be happy I was alive. That day finally came. The exact day I don’t know. But I came through, by the renewing of my mind. I would practice, training my mind to think on good things. And be thankful for the things that I can do for myself. The off and on tears dried up and I began to deal with the lasting symptom of my precious left hand is making gains every day to move correctly again.
My sister early on quits her 10-year job at Bank of America to become my full-time caregiver, I probably was the worst sister/patient that gave her a hard time with the mood swings that occurred daily if not hourly. Her patients and unconditional love are what helped get us both through some real tough times. I know it was times she wanted to leave. But she stuck it out with me.
I want to add a few tips that caregivers should be aware off.
- You did nothing wrong, some patients emotions are severely damaged and might take some time to go back to normal. Don’t take anything we say personally we will change our mind once we come to our senses
- Join a support group, and learn more about stroke survivors and their temperaments, the part of the brain that was affected
- Practice self-care for yourself, take good care of yourself, the worst thing that can happen is you get sick caring for an ill relative.
Sometimes we form a habit of calling the stroke ours. I learned quickly not to take ownership of this stroke. I refuse to claim it. To each it’s own. But as a survivor of one of the most debilitating brain strokes a person can have. An SAH (subarachnoid Hemorrhage ) sent me to the ER. With the worst headache of my life ( classic Symptom), an emergency craniotomy was performed to release the pressure off my brain. My ICP ( intracanal presser) was noted being 45. It was a race to save my life. Several surgeries later 3 years of intense therapy and learning how to walk, talk and think straight again. Having an issue of epilepsy after the last major surgery ( Cranioplasty). It is safe to say this is not my stroke. I will not take ownership of this so it can ever happen to me again. I call it the stroke I had. Past tense, I feel like if I say it is mine I will be taking care of it for the rest of my life. I don’t want to nurture something like this. I want it gone. Thank you stroke for the humbling experience and I will never take life for granted again. This is my opinion. Just want to share my take on being a Stroke Survivor going on 10 years.
Veronica Coney ~December 12, 2016.
Healthy Inspirational Living
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