Friday, March 29, 2013

Stroke recovery: Good, Good Friday

Our Georgia crew will be arriving about 5:30 p.m. today for Easter weekend. Daughter-in-law Sarah said she will bring everything Easter and for us not to worry. So I’m not worrying. Husband Walter, AKA Baboo and cook in our household, kicked into grandpa mode early this morning, though, restocking pantry and refrigerator with some of his usual kid- and grandkid-pleasing items.

A visit from grown children, their spouses and, of course, grands will pile up even more to be joyful about and thankful for this Easter.

Today is also one of two days that mark the anniversary of my stroke. The burst blood vessel in my brain did a number on sensory receptors and mobility on my left side. The life-changing event occurred on Good Friday almost two years ago. Good Friday in 2011 was on April 22, the other stroke anniversary day.

Although I have to expand on that “life-changing” description of my stroke. The reality is that I have to be thankful that the multitude of life-changing events in my past are a source of joy: meeting my Savoir when I was eight years old, marrying my best friend, the birth of our children, the marriage of our kids AND . . . ta da . . . grandkids!

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Looking back
I am short on computer time lately, so I am cheating on the look back I wanted to post about my stroke recovery. Instead I am cleaning up a draft of impressions I had recorded on September 15, 2012 but never posted. That is, I don’t think I posted this before:

Stroke recovery: 9/15/2012
The last few weeks I have been experiencing days (September 2012) of really low energy. A walk with Husband Walter around our neighborhood yesterday gave me confidence that I will be able to recharge and boost energy levels. Since I passed the one-year anniversary of my April 2011 stroke, I have gained stamina. Usually a brief rest will ready me to go again.

I don’t nap, but I usually follow periods of physical activity by spending a little time with my feet, legs and hips on the same plane, preferably sitting up in bed reading, with my left arm stretched out on a squishy pillow.

Wednesday had included strenuous therapy, a bit of housework, and an evening date with another couple at our favorite coffee shop.  When Hubby and I took a walk the next morning, the rapid evaporation of my energy unnerved me a bit.

By Friday, though, I woke up feeling energized. By the time Hubby returned from running his three early morning school bus routes, I had laundry well under control. That was a significant accomplishment on my personal feel-good scale. We have unruly laundry. Without daily attention it tends to reproduce in the dark and erupt into what affects me as overwhelming, paralyzing proportions.

A neighborhood walk met my goal of walking at least 0.6 miles and pushing a bit beyond. We had measured from our home to a busy intersection as 0.3 miles. Going north across that intersection would take us over railroad tracks and to a shopping center that includes Coffee Fusion, one of our favorite gathering places.

Unfortunately, that route is extremely unfriendly for pedestrians and especially for a stroke survivor with challenges in maintaining balance. There are no sidewalks in that direction and the shoulders on either side slope almost steeply away from the street.

So we stopped at the corner of the intersection where I did a fist pump, celebrating that we made it safely 0.3 miles. Rather than immediately retracing our steps, we turned left onto a sidewalk and the next safest direction. Then I picked out new goals—the next utility pole and after that a decorative streetlight. On the way back no smokers occupied the two benches outside a neighborhood  laundromat. I took advantage of the benches for a brief rest then easily made the trip home.

And that was the way it was September 2012.

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Easter greetings
For those celebrating Easter, may your Easter be filled with meaning and joy. For those of different beliefs, have a glorious weekend.


  1. Gosh, no naps. I'm impressed. I have to take naps unless I sleep well past noon. How wonderful that your family will be there and all you have to do is enjoy them! Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

  2. Come to think of it, it is kind of like your own personal Easter as well!

  3. How wonderful that you and Walter will be celebrating Easter weekend with family. Can't get any better than that. As for exercise, your progress has been remarkable.

  4. Recounting your many blessings is the perfect way to commemorate your live-changing stroke. You are an amazing woman, Linda.

  5. you are such a fantastic lady, your sense of humor has stayed with you, your love of family has kept you going and going and going, just like the ever-ready bunny does. have a wonderful Easter with your family. you have much to thank Him for

  6. One of the things I appreciate here in Arlington is the "pedestrian-friendly" atmosphere. Pedestrians have right of way everywhere. busses carry bikes on the front should you prefer to use our vast set of bike trails (where pedestrians have right-of-way).

    Good for you walking, walking, walking. You are inspiring me every day as it is so easy to give into arthritis pains. Dianne