Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The ABC's of me

A.- age 26
B-bed size- king
C-chore you dislike the most- laundry
D- dog? Keira she was a gift to me right before my wedding from blake

E-Essential start to your day- way too many pills and soda

F-Favorite color- Pink

G-Gold of silver- white gold or silver

H- height -5'8"

I- Instruments you've played- none

J-Job life, deli, cashier. preschool teacher, nanny

K-Kids- Isabella(4.5)

L-Live- San Diego, CA

M- Mom's name- Sheri
N- Nicknames- never really had one
O- overnight hospital stays, stayed one night when I had Isabella, stayed one month exactly when I had the stroke
P- pet peeves- people who think they know everything about everything
Q- quote from a movie- "I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek"
R- Righty or lefty for politics- Depends on the issue
S- Siblings Katrina- almost 23 Trisha almost 24
T-time you wake up on weekdays Somewhere around eight unless I can get up later
U-Underwear- one of the few items of clothing I like buying. 
V-Vegetable You don't like- Green beans never have liked them
W-What makes you late- over sleeping and Isabella taking forever
X- X-ray you have had- about a million most recent was dental
Y- Yummy food you make- tacos
Z- zoo animal favorite- lion cubs

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the pool

So to embrace steps I'm making and acknowledge progress.  Here is where I am right now.  Bella and I went swimming.  Alone.  I trusted myself to take her to the pool.  It is shallow and I had my cell phone close by.  She loved it and I enjoyed getting to do something with her on my own.  Mama and Bella moments are rare.  She loves the pool.  She doesn't know how to swim yet but that is one of our summer goals. 

Monday, March 7, 2011


It's comforting to know people have the same problems I do.  Maybe not health wise but life wise.  Problems with their husbands or with their children.  I got married young and started dating in high school.  I never had other boyfriends or relationships.  So when the husband and I have problems I sometimes worry that maybe it's not normal.  I know that everyone has problems but to know that things he does that make me crazy other husbands are doing to their wives is comforting.  Same thing with dealing with Isabella.  She is a handful  and each year brings new challenges.  So knowing that other moms are struggling over dinnertime with their four year olds. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I mean to post more but typing is a pain.  I can only type with my right hand because my left doesn't like to do the fine motor skills needed to type.  I try it occasionally but I'm not there yet.  I can type pretty fast with one hand.  It's just a lot slower than I was use to So my thoughts go much faster than the words can get on the screen  So most of the time I don't bother. 

So if I want to be thought of as more than the girl who had the stroke, which is how I see myself and how I feel others view me.  I need to figure out who I am and adjust how I see myself.  This wasn't something I was good at before and I've lost a few titles along recovery which makes it harder.  I can't work so I have no title there. I use to be a nanny and before that a preschool teacher.  I liked working with kids and although I don't think I would do that forever I know it's not a field I would go back to now. My body just can't keep up with so many kids.  I don't know when I can go back to work.  A lot of women can define themselves as either a work out of the home mom which I'm not  or a stay at home mom, which I have trouble defining myself as.  I have to put Bella in school becausse I can't handle her alone five days a week.  I also don't do great my time I'm home alone with her.  I could be a good stay at home mom I believe if things were different, but as it is now I' don't think of myself as one.  So what am I.  I guess unemployed but that doesn't seem a fair description.  I would work if I could.  I'm dissabled.  I get paid for having a dissability and that's my contribution to this family.  But that defines me by my stroke again which is what I'm trying to avoid. 

I'm a wife.  Which I've been for six and a half years.  Blake loves me and I love him but I'm not great at the marriage thing.  I suffer from deppression which makes me difficult to deal with.  I also need Blake to be more of a caretaker than is fair to him.  I need to work on being a wife more.  Putting my marriage as more of a priority and being a nicer person. The problem is also that the stroke has wormed itself into my marriage.  It's a third wheel in this marriage.  Our roles had to shift and change.  Although some of those changes were necessary it hasn't been easy.  We have to plan around my abilities.  There are things we can't do because I'm not able to.  My personality has changed. I've struggled with depression which has affected our relationship. 
The same thing with being a mother.  I've veen a mother since I got a positive on a pregnancy test five years ago this month.  I know in my head that Isabella still loves me the same since the stroke and that she likes having me as a mom but I doubt myself.   I see the things I want to do with her and can't. Yhings like drive to town and get an ice cream, go to the park, visit family and I can't do these things and I feel like I'm letting her down.  My defining characteristic 15 months ago was mother.  Now I don't feel as strong in that role and it's a struggle. 
So now I have to keep working on defining myself with new roles.  Also taking the roles I have and making myself better at them  It's the only way I know to make the role of stroke victim/survivor less important.  What roles are most important in your life?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One year mark!

So I'm hours away from the one year mark. It is a big milestone from me. My therapist says what I've gone through is similar to having someone you care about die. I had to grieve and go through many of the same steps dealing with the stroke as I would have to go through if someone died unexpectedly. So the aniversary of that day is hard. My life changed so drastically that day and I'm still trying to process it all. It's getting easier in some areas but not in all areas.

If I could have the body I had a year ago I would take it. I want a fully functional leg and arm and all my sensation back. I want to be able to walk without a brace on or to wear sandals again. I want to be able to lifta pot of noodles of the stove to drain it without being worried its going to fall out of my hand I want to be able to get in the bath without having to first check the temperature with my right hand because I donr want to step in with my left foot and burn it because I can't tell temperature that well. It takes awhile for the heat signals to reach a part of my brain that understands. That delay could lead to a serious burn. I want to be able to feel bella or Blake's touch on my left side. I want to have the option of doing things I haven't done before but would be fun to try. I've never been snowboarding and only skiing oce now I can't. I wan't to help Bella ride her bike but it's to hard for me. Which means she has to be told no she can't ride it until a day her dad is home. I want to not have to be on a bunch of medications which make me tired and sometimes unable to sleep. I complained about my body before. I wanted to lose weight get in shape and although those things would still be nice I don't really care anymore I just want my body to work.

I like some of the changes that have come out of this situation though. I'm more of a fighter. I have been through hell and come out of it so really world what can you throw at me. If something doesn't feel right or makes me uncomfortable I speak up for myself. Something we should all do because we deserve to but I was never very good at it. I don't ever want to get to the level of stress I was dealing with when the stroke happened, in case that is a part of the reason it happened in the first place. so if that means calling people out on things or sticking up for myself then I will do it. Because all though I'm a people pleaser no ones feelings are worth having another stroke. I'm sure I've pissed some people off this year and I'm sorry for that but I would do it again and I wish I had done it more often in the past.

I'm also learning more about myself. What makes me smile and what I care about. When you get married and have children really young. You sometimes skip those years of learning about yourself So I'm doing it now. I haven't had to work or be in school all year which has given me time that you normally would not have as an adult. I couldn't have really told you anything about myself a year ago I just got through each day and did what needed to be done. It isn't a way to live your life. Never really being happy or liking anything. I'm getting better at finding my joy. I want my life to be bigger and fuller and for the first time believe that it can be.

I wouldn't want to give this new outlook back.

I know this blog has been very focused on the stroke and it might get a bit repetitive at times. But this first year I owed it to myself to focus only on my recovery. Now it's time to see where I can go from here. I will still give updates on how my progress is going. But I am going to try to balance school, married life, motherhood and fun with stroke. Thanks for dealing with me this year. To the people in my real life who have been there through this year thank you and U I hope you have seen good changes in me.

(dancing in dress up clothes)

( "drinking" diet coke")

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Almost at a year!

So in one week it will be a year since the stroke. It is hard to explain how that makes me feel. A part of me is grateful for my recovery as well as proud of my progress. But then there is that part of me that is unsure if I've done enough, learned enough, improved enough this year. That's one of the downsides to having so few people my age, in their twenties, having strokes there is no typical timeline. So there is no way to judge where I'm at. It will be a week of reflection that I'm sure. I will have to think back to what happened a year ago. What I went through, how that changed me, I'm hoping it wont be too painful to remember but I need to. I need to look hard at where I was and where I started this journey of recovery. I'm planing to go back to the hospital to the rehab floor where I spent a few weeks. I think I need to force myself to remember the worst of it so that maybe I can see where I am now a little clearer.

I have changed a lot in the past year. I see what I want with more clarity. I am my own person to a stronger degree. I stand up for myself more and have really taken a hard look at myself and my flaws this year. For our lives are made up of defining moments and this year contained one of mine. But this was just the start. The first year post stroke. The start of the rebuild. Year two will be even greater.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

a cause that is close to my heart.

So one of the ways I get myself in a better mood is too follow blogs of people who inspire me. One of my favorites is enjoying the small things by kelle hampton. Her daughter Nella was born in January of last year and has down syndrom. There family has had a trying year with many ups and downs but through it all thry have maintained a positive outlook and been such an inspiration to me. I really recomend this blog if you are looking for an entertaining and inspiring blog to follow. Right now in celebration of Nella's first birthday they are doing a fundraiser. I have donated a little and I encourage you to check it out and donate a little if you are able to. There are a lot of wonderful children who have down syndrom and need a little extra help. This is a hard world when you have a disability and all these children deserve a better future. Its a cause I really believe in. Please at least check it out. If I could I would donate what she needs to reach her goal but I do not have that much to give. So I am doing what I can and spreading the information to those I know that haven't heard of her. Help a mom help her daughter. So many of you are parents and know what it means to want the best for your child.

Kelle has really helped me this year in reminding me to stay positive and not let the negative circumstances in my life get me down. It's been a struggle but reading her uplifting words has really helped. So help me return something good to her.

kellehamptom.com ( there is a link to where you can donate in the first post.