Thursday, December 31, 2009

#YouAreNotAlone

As mortifying as this is for me and as vulnerable that I feel doing this; I don't think I can call this blog an honest portrayal of life after stroke if I don't share this.  Without the Help to Recover program at Easter Seals I would have no idea how common bladder and muscle control problems really are.  It would be the end of the world.  Even with my new knowledge and daily proof that I'm not alone and dealing with rare effects, it took me much longer than necessary to accept that adult diapers are a part of my journey (for now), and it only effects the way I view myself; not the way anyone else sees me. #Youarenotalone #avmstrokesurvivor. #Strokesurvivor

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Surprise

I still get wonderfully shocked at the amount of love that fills my life. I no longer feel alone without a place to rest; i have a residence filled with souls that miss me when I'm gone and welcome me upon my return. I have an amazing core group of friends who love me in my best and worst moments, who want to be around me in whatever mood and not because of what i can do/get for them but simply because they enjoy me. I also have a man who loves and supports me, cherishes and appreciates me like I'm the best thing that's ever crossed his path. Sounds simple enough; but worth its weight in gold when it's taken 29 years and a miraculous stroke survival to attain. Yesterday I was thrown a surprise birthday party and I find myself so happy I could cry... or hyperventilate. So instead I'll just pay the love forward.

Friday, December 4, 2009

charmed

I believe with my whole heart that I have always led a charmed existence; gifted with a phenomenal family, amazing friends and some unexpected luck.  Truly a blessed life, only now I am the one blemish.  I am the mar on the scenic panorama.  I am across the board the ugly in my life, and those of my loved ones.

This isn't me feeling blue, this is me FINALLY facing facts.  I am blessed in having survived the stroke, to have recovered this much, and I will not give up because I cannot cause more ugly into the lives of those still around.  But on days like this I wonder, really wonder, if I'm doing more damage hanging on than I would if I just removed the blight on their collective radars...

Thank you...

You know who you are, thank you for finally respecting me as a friend enough to hold up your end of things, for holding tight and now letting go. I'll always love you, hold you in my heart as one of my best friends.  But with that last tether cut I can finally let the idea of us go, let go of the hope that you had not taken this final step because you and I were working toward an "us" together.  Thank you. I am free :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

epiphany

I was talking with my love this weekend discussing the fact that he does not give people the benefit of the doubt, he expects the worst and it's up to them to prove him wrong. I on the other hand tend to trust people until they give me a reason not to. I hold people to lower standards than those I set for myself and then the motivation behind that hit me; because I automatically assume that people are not capable of living up to the consideration level I function at. Lesson of the day, I'm the bigger asshole.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Adjusting...

I'm not quite sure why I assumed that once I received my disability and was finally able to be self sufficient again, that.... You know what? No, that's not what's plaguing me right now. Realizing that my window of 100% is (if experts are to be heeded) figuratively closing more and more daily, I'm haunted.  I know that no one (not even me) knows what I am capable of, but if that is going off majorities rule, it is something to keep in mind. Now that being said, I'm terrified.

Fear is not something that's going to slow my efforts but is something that can eat away at you if not channeled correctly.
As a matter of fact, I have been feeling the urge to spend some creative energy but couldn't (and this is new for me), couldn't wrap my head around a medium that didn't give me severe anxiety; as crazy as that sounds.  But Claire has just surprised me with a charcoal sketchbook set... Perfect timing and a testament to how amazing my support system is now.  Hopefully if I taker the time to sketch a bit, I'll be able to sleep tomorrow.

Progress has slowed considerably...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not so sure

I'm not soooooooo sure where this posting will be going tonight... It's 4:23 and I can't sleep.  Again.  My meds have been adjusted and I'm going harder on my workouts so I should be out like my man here; all in all though this is my most pressing agitation so I see no reason to complain. 
My insurance is getting to the final switchover, I'll be on my way to my permanent team of physicians and specialists, and then back on track for my physical, occupational and speech therapies.  My bills get paid on time, and there is money for food and toiletries left over.  I live with two people who care far more about me than I ever thought I deserved.  My family is proud of me and continuing to be more and more proud of me as progress is made.  My friends are supportive, encouraging, respectful and empathetic.  I have an amazing foundation laid now, it's only up from here! 
I think I needed this all this to happen after such a life changing chain of events, only now can I truly recognize and appreciate all that I am blessed to have, to be, and have the potential to become.  I have the opportunity to be so much more than I was before the stroke, soooooooo much better as a person.  This has been and will be at moments some of the hardest times I've ever faced before, and I am so grateful that I get to come through this and eventually add it to the list of shit that didn't break me.  Things that not everyone could handle with a lightness in their heart and still learn the lessons and absorb all the beauty that comes with pain and hardship and tragedy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bamboozled

Every new adjustment we need to implement, devices I need to start using again, all feel like failure.  I know it's not; and miraculously the love of my life knows it's not as well.  I however find myself deeply panicked... I told him I was going to get better, I do not have it in me to quit and I'll fight for 110% EVERYDAY, until my last moment, but am I being unfair to the man that loves me but signed up for a progressing partner?  He tells me that I'm the only one that has a problem with the things I cannot do again (yet), but I can't ignore the fact that since we've been together my mobility has decreased.  The way I was pushing my body would have caused it regardless, but miraculously I have someone willing, more, wanting to be the one who helps me do what I cannot yet.  There are soooooooo many not as fortunate as I find myself, I am more grateful and appreciative than you'll ever know but I need to regain my forward momentum so he can have the love he deserves as well.  I fear my love may have been accidentally bamboozled.

Unbalanced

My prescription has lapsed, due to my mobility issues and unreliable transportation from others I was blessed with prescription delivery.  It is an amazing service but for some reason I have been off my meds since Friday waiting for my refills.  I know actually KNOW that all of this emotional upheaval and dizzy spells stem from my chemical imbalance but do you have any idea what it's like to know why you're feeling crazy but still have to FIGHT OFF doing something rash because you feel that fucking crazy??!?!!? I can't sit up or walk without it being dangerous because of the lightning storms going on through my body and they make me soooooooo dizzy that I fall. At the moment I'm waiting with baited breath for the knock on my door letting me know that sanity through pill has arrived.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

loved...

I have what I'd been yearning for, in a package I'd never expected. I have had almost a week without my efexor (anti-depressant) an unfortunate timing accident with my pharmacy and literally reached BAT SHIT CRAZY. Knowing I was being insane, but without any tools to control it, couldn't do a damn thing but try to ride it all out; which was terrifying enough to cause panick attacks.... Whhhaaa I know... gimmie a chance... it was just what I've been needing; to have someone, a love to hold me (physicaly at times and metaphorically) because he wanted/ needed to make what he could, better. Not out of pity, but simply because he loves- me in particular. No judgement, just taking care, with a empathy and gentle touch I'd always run from. Who would've thought that opening up to the right guy ang exposing your vulnerability to someone who loves YOU; not the way you make them feel about themselves, not the way they feel when they're with you;but you just for you; beautiful, damaged,and scary at times. I'm loved by soneone who enjoys my need to unleash all the love I feel for him, and recipriocates in turn without smothering. It's miraculous with just enough gritty to make it the real deal, a game changer. Thank you, my fight does not seem so daungting; to face life while fighting for it seems like an amazing blessed phase of my journey now having completed my support system (fambam and TRUE friends). I was always gratefu, just not so overwhelmed now. The moral of the story? Let people help. No matter how hard it is for you,let people help. No matter how terrifying it is for you, let people help. No matter if you're worried they'll get tired of doing so, let people help. Please try, it's just what you need no matter how unsettling it may feel, it's what you need. Everyove needs help with something; so help and allow yourself to accept help offered freely and with love or respect.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Food for Thought

Sometimes we have to be broken into nothing in order to truly find ourselves; finding strength to ke... - http://pinterest.com/pin/A1MXYQAQgGUDk8MfIm4AAAA/?s=3&m=blogger

Peace With Myself...

I've been lax lately with my work out regimen, yes I am more sore and yes, I'm CONSTANTLY over stimulated but I can push myself more. I just haven't had the "drill Sgt. Bush", grit your teeth and push through EVERYTHING energy or focus. I don't know if I'm recharging myself, or allowing stagnation to consume me like quicksand... How does one find the balance? I can only figure that as long as I can look myself in the mirror and not automatically self chastise, I'm good. Hopefully. It's naive to think I would be able to maintain that pace through everything. In the end I am the only one (other than God and the universe) really paying attention. I had better do what I need to to make peace with myself. At least we know one thing for sure; letting go of the notion that full recovery was recognized- in part by reclaiming the mentality and notions of my pre-stroke self is one of the biggest, most significant of my recent gains. I find my view of myself incessantly shifting. The value ultimately stays the same but perspective, focus and plan of attack are very fluid ideas, I actually think it’s a healthier mind set... more of an acceptance of what is rather than faking the funk until you lose sight of reality and half-ass convince yourself that you've actually done the work to change in the ways you'd like. Cynicism seems to be in the forecast for today so I'd better cut this one short before it leaks onto those that have to deal with me in real life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Distracting Myself

My knee has UUGGGGHHHH given out again and so to thwart any impending irritation and intense pain I am distracting myself by writing this shallow blog about a parallel in my life that I drew from a movie I watched alone last night... Bear with me; I watched Savages and the narrator of the story female lead, O (Ophelia) is in a relationship with two men, two polar opposites; a passionate, peace loving soul and her wounded solider... home after deployment physically amazing and hints of his former deployment self but cold, private and no longer anything but a solider. Peaceful makes sensual, passionate love, and the solider fucks, fucks to reclaim something, to get the dark out of his system... They each give what the other doesn't, allows her to nurture in ways the other can't. Together they are complete, she is the home each of the never had and they were hers and she loved them equally, died and slowly starts to live again.(If you're understandably confused watch the movie, I'm no spoiler!) It dawned on me that I had that in my pre-stroke life, two great loves though I was dating them separately with blurry bouts of juggling. My passionate loving, affectionate man of the earth. The wood to my wounded warriors steal. They had each held my heart completed some parts of me, separately and at times simultaneously when I'd alternate visits. Like O I loved wholly complete in the giving of myself and heart and then I died. That Chisa suffered a severe AVM stroke and a bare bones fixer-upper version survives. I am now leaning to live again all while trying to fight my slowing recovery progress, resolved to getting back to a hundred. I am learning to not only live again but I am learning to truly enjoy my life. I lost all my walls and now cannot pick and choose what parts of myself I show people. They see me 100% all the time, however that may be moment to moment. And through this gut wrenching vulnerability I have found one man that is the counterpart to my symphony of idiosyncrasies and loves as I am now, no pressure to get better but an amazing amount of bolstering and encouragement to reach MY goals of recovery. Most that care have their own idea of what fully recovered Chisa is like, but he only cares about my version, helping me whenever and however I want and, even though it's clearly a battle for him, let's me struggle through it when I want to. All Because I just showed him me with no filters, no editing. I'm living again and love my life. Honestly love my life. I love the challenges I face, the battles I don't know how to fight, the constant intense pain, the long road ahead of me, the lessons I have learned, relearned and will learn. I love my new perception. The new quality in my life, the honesty good and bad, the purge of those I miss and the ones I've forgiven. I love every bit of my slow paced, fixed income, love and laughter overstimulating life. I'm glad I died.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Video post #10

Sorry This Took So Long...

I couldn't figure out why I was having trouble starting this letter... Since my AVM stroke three years ago I have spoken to countless people about my newly found lessons learned and experiences thus far. But then I think that there is the crux of it, 'my experiences thus far'; I was trying to talk to you about an obstacle I had overcome, something I had already worked past but three years later and I don't think I'm halfway there yet; and I am so very grateful. I "surfaced" (first REAL moment of consciousness since being admitted to the hospital, and after brain surgery- where they drained 200ml of blood from my skull cavity) and was presented with the knowledge that I had just survived a severe AVM stroke and lost all function and sensation of my left side head to toe; with lots of hard work I may be able to walk again. My first thought was "Okay, where do we start?" It was daunting but if there was a CHANCE I could earn any of it back I would do all I could to ensure success. There wasn't room for 'why?', 'it's too hard', or acceptance... There isn't room for 'why?', 'it's too hard', or acceptance. This is just another chapter, life does not stop because this happened but now we have the coveted opportunity to take the time to earn back every single blessing that was taken for granted. In one swoop I was taught that I had become very spoiled, caught up in trying to be everything to everyone and collect as many moments as possible. The Lord reminded me that every breath, every pain, every single thing is a gift; a blessing that can be taken as easily as it was given. But in that I was bestowed the greatest gift I'll ever be honored with... the chance to earn it all back. At 26 I got to earn back my privacy, my ability to talk, walk and go to the bathroom alone. Everything is a gift, a blessing. Let me reiterate, EVERY SINGLE THING is a gift; the ability to earn your life, yourself back, all the pain, all the struggle is a gift. Each day you wake up, every day you have breath in your lungs is an opportunity to fight; fight your circumstance, fight your disabilities. No one can recover for you, no one else can get better for you. You are the only one who truly suffers if you do not regain your quality of life. Every task I take on is hard, absolutely exhausting, but the more I do them the easier they become. I am not going to lie, this is the fight of your life, the fight for your life; and I ask you, if this is not worth giving all you've got, what is? What will be? Have I wanted to give up? Yes but for no longer than a moment at any given time. Simply because if I give up than I will for sure not ever get better, than I have already lost. We are being tested, tested by a God that KNOWS we can get through this. It may feel that for every step forward you get knocked back a few but all that matters are those steps forward that you take. Trust me, I am still making progress three years later, I still have the bulk of my recovery ahead of me, three years out. No one can tell me I'm as good as I'm going to get because they are not me, they are not you, they do not know what we can accomplish through faith and sheer determination. The day I stop making progress is the day I give up, the day of my last breath- until then I will fight. Life is all about perspective, I honestly believe happiness is a choice not a destination. You can choose to focus on what you've lost or keep your sights set on the infinite possibilities that lie before you. I know that 90% of people would not trade places with me for all the money in the world... but I'll let you in on a secret... I would not have things any other way, I wouldn't trade places with anyone or avoid this if I could. What I continually gain, what I have learned is so much more valuable than anything I have lost.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Settling in...

Pre-stroke I was extremely uncomfortable getting settled anywhere. That always seemed to be the goal,to find somewhere that felt like home, or at least felt like I could cultivate one there... but I'd inevitably get twitchy,too overcommitted, too attached; and eventually panic that they'd find their limit of how much 'me' they could handle. So I always cut out way before to a new setting. Always feeling the compulsion to leave before they wanted me gone. I know now, right now,- tonight I realized that I do not regret anyhing, do not begrudge any one thing at all because led me here. It's true though, what they say; it never happens when you're looking and sometimes where you'd never guess you'd look. But,...No I woudn't change anything. It brought me to here; and here... in this Love, in this life... with these people... I am finally home.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Little Reminder...

I said "When I met you it felt like I had been treading water for so long, it was no longer possible for me to keep my head above water... I was frantically just trying to keep water from rushing up my nose." He replied simply and without pause; "That's funny because when I met you, you were walking on water. It's all a matter of perspective." Sometimes we all need a little reminder.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wow

I had likened my neuropathy and spasticity (common, painful stroke after-effects) to a healing injury; assuming that as time went on the severity would decrease. I'm finding that while my cognitive and motor functions continue to improve with work and time passed by, my overall (or baseline)pain level increases and conversely my energy or endurance levels are dropping radically. Is it stress? Is it still my body getting used to my seizure medicine? Is it a combination of things? Is this a sign of something bigger? Should I be concerened? Oh, yeah you're right I SHOULD ask my doctors. I have,and no one can give me an answer. Every brain, brain injury, path to recovery are akin to snowflakes. Completely unique, no two alike... wow, getting this out in a way that makes some kind of sense made my head hurt. Naptime lol

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

anniversary

Today marks my two year anniversary with the love of my life. He fell ill with flu, and so on our two year marker I got to spend a great day relaxing and taking care of the one person who has taken the best care of me since he first set eyes on me. I do feel guilty for reaping any benefits while he runs a fever, but it feels almost full circle to have our roles switched on a poignant day... Seems a bit, hmmm poetic. I hit my four year anniversary of the stroke I survived- and that blindsided me with a downward emotional spiral; one the likes of which I was not at all prepared for or even understood fully until I took an objective step back on February 24,2014. Bottom line, I may not be where I hoped I'd be by now, or look at all as I had ever imagined but I am also happier, more challenged, and more loved than I ever thought was possible. I am truly blessed. Even more than you know because that love,support and care come not only from Josh but my friends and famly as well. I worry though, I worry about any I hurt in the past, those that didn't make it this far in my journey of recovery, and mostly the ones who I couldn't articulate rule changes to before it was too late. I know now, and am- I think, finally making peace with the 'harder than you'd think it'd be to accept' reality that the fully recovered Chisa will not be the same as pre-stroke Chisa... not just physicaly, but on every aspect of who I am. Maybe not all big changes, changes none the less and sometimes the most seemingly innocuous variation causes the most effect to the 'big picture'.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hiding Out

I haven't written in a while because, well with my baseline pain level STILL on the rise, my primary care physician treating me like a drug seeker, my insurance taking ridiculously long to approve or what they seem to be doing over and over- rejecting referals to pain management specialists, and nuerologist, needing to use my cane around the house again and wheelchair when out and about, feeling like a burden to the best man I've ever loved, just off the tip of my tounge- not a whole lot of positive to say. I hide out, not wanting to spread my negativitty or let my pity party have an auidience, but I hate when my friends struggle through something alone because they didn't want to bother me; and how is this blog supposed to help anyone really if I only show the positive days? So here it is... I cannot find anything while looking into the mirror that I honestly like about myself anymore. This stroke has blessed me with a honest and consistently improving inner-self, something that I am more grateful for than I can ever explain. The outside, oh the outside though; while I've never been particularly happy with all of me I could at least fake it. I could at least pick out features I liked. When I took the time to get dolled up I felt put together, not like Quasimodo on parade. Nothing feels natural when I move, talk, anything, anymore which is kind of expected once you fall down the rabbit hole; but I didn't think I wouldn't ever feel attractive ever again. Josh tells me, shows me how beautiful he thinks I am ALL THE TIME, I am sixty pounds lighter,and yet I can't look in the mirror to get ready without feeling 'why bother', without feeling like 'you can put all the lipstick you want to on apig but...', without sometimes catching fleeting glance of myself and feeling so overcome with frustration that I wanna tear my face off. Here's the thing though, I don't thinnk it's 100% vanity, I mean sure there's a healthy dose of that in there, but there's also a loss of mojo. A loss of that twinkle in the eye, the ease of self, the individual quality we each have that our personal brand of charm, of allure comes from. I kept thinking it would like everything else improve with time,with work, with prayer... I fear though that like my pain it will just continue to get worse. Oh lord if that happens all I'll have working for me will be my personality...(knock on wood) I'd really be in trouble then. Lol.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the point?

I know it's not my job to understand or justify Gods plan for me but I for the life of me CANNOT see the FUCKING POINT in having me learn to sit up, speak to be understood and walk again if the work to get it back actually takes the skill away again? Haha guess the joke's on me. I know how to keep everything in perspective when the cause and effect make sense; but I do not know how to be this person. This woman back in her wheelchair for Lord knows how long, and dirty truth, cannot really navigate a productive day completely on her own yet. Yeah yeah yeah it's just a bad day, things will get better once your MRIs are done, once you start the TBI program, look at the upside... TRUST I GET IT. I'm doing my best, I just don't look into the mirror and see anything familiar anymore. Besides my friends and family, besides my love and two fur babies I can no longer find anything I like when I look in the mirror.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Even being warned that every brain injury is different making every journey to recovery is absolutely unique. That in an of itself can be exceptionally overstimulating if you think on it too long.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You can...

It just goes to show that you can get through it. We are stronger and more resilient than most will know. Just when we think we've found our limits,we are presented more soul strengthening opportunities and lessons to learn. Know that you can learn the lesson, you are enough to beat this. Get through today,cause the only thing you can do is the best you can do, and you are stronger than this moment.

Friday, October 16, 2009

building up....

Well let's see, today in an order to pull myself up from under the crashing sea raging around and above my head; I made a thank you video for my first intensive speech therapist. I reminded her of the timeframe that I was her patient and reminded her that I revealed my most disheartening and petrifying post stroke hurdle discovered. While on an instinct trying to calm myself by singing (as I have done since I learned to use my vocal chords as a baby)but discovered that there was nothing melodic coming out. It was as though I was reading the lyrics of an unfamiliar song for the first time, robotic,and something I have not been able to recreate since. Without dance and now singing i was at a loss, my cathartic outlets no longer available was imposing and a wall I could not work around or ignore, or simply find a replacement for. I would not, could not attempt to sing for her because what would come out sent me into panic attacks and a spiral into the dark that I was not sure I would know how to navigate back from. She didn't pressure me to sing, instead picked a course of therapy targeting that part of my brain where it not only houses our rhyming, lyrical, and melodic properties but was also as it happens the epicenter, the origin of the weakend blood vessel that burst. She would walk next to me in my new wheelchair and together we would take slow laps around the rehab gym rhyming together, firing words back and forth. I continued that after I was discharged and slowly, awkwardly, painfully (for the eardrums of those within hearing range)I started to sound a little more harmonious, a little more like a human singing. Everyday I sang, I would stand for as many hours as I could standing and singing with all the emotions and fears, insecurities and anger that fill my long all encompassing road of recovery. I recently received a minor concussion in a fender bender on 8/22/2014 and today was the first day since that I could handle music- without it prompting nausea or a migraine. Because if this is new to you as it was for me, you learn that with brain damage still healing from a very traumatic event will not react to a minor concussion like a minor concussion; more like your brain scrambled like eggs yet to be fried or beef so tenderized that it is no longer recognizeable. So I jumped at the opportunity to shed my shyness and insecurities about how I sound singing and recorded a video of me singing her a song that has become my inner mantra. I wanted to shed the pretense of 'oh hey look at how much better I am' and show her just how intimately and magically she gave me back an integral part of myself that if had not been addressed when and how it was, would most likely have died with my emotional boundaries and defense mechanisms that died with the stroke. I have no words to express my gratitude for the staff at The Sutter Roseville Acute TBI Rehab Institution, I will come back and pay it forward if that would be appropriate. The eight or so minute video I recorded is sadly too large to share with her through Facebook and I'm not yet brave enough to load it to youtube so I could post it here.... I wish I was,It was HARD for me to record it without crying, because the parts of me that she helped me find again are the parts that will see me through the rest of my recovery journey willing and excited to educate, inspire and motivate as many as I can along the way. Hopefully I can figure out a way to get her to see it, or grow brave enough to load it here, then maybe she could access it.... Well, after the sharing of the cathartic video has hit a reef I was under water before I knew it and like clockwork my best buddy my twin brotha from another motha called me and with perfect love and support brought me not only above the surface but dragged my exhausted ass up onto the dock. They will never know how much they mean to me. Still want to get my video to Allison...any suggestions?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Similar Situation

This link
http://www.sciencealert.com/watch-neuroscientist-completes-full-subdural-haematoma-surgical-procedure

leads you to a video of a neurosurgeon repairing a bleed the same size as mine, only mine was located down DEEP in my right hemisphere (where your musicality, rhyming and melodic functions are housed).  I've now watched this quite a few times now with a better understanding of what my family and closest friends went through...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This has so many interesting ramifications...

I'll post the link for the article I'm talking about then come back and get into my personal take on all of it.... http://www.businessinsider.com/new-process-heals-brain-after-stroke-2014-10

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ohhhh...

I think I finally figured out why I get so bent out of shape every time a new acquaintance is COMPLETELY shocked and utterly amazed by the fact that Josh and I not only met but fell in love two years into my stroke recovery... The strongest reactions always come from other men. They seem astonished, appalled or stunned; eventually coming to "That's a GREEAAT man you have." With the bewildered head shake. (Don't get me wrong I KNOW I'm THE LUCKIEST bitch on the planet.  I pray with gratitude in my heart multiple times daily for our love alone) What I take away from this -and the fact that this is always the reaction I get- is that they don't believe that they nor any of the men they currently know would have ever considered a relationship with someone like me even an option.  Maybe I interpret it that way because that's what I believed before, and somewhere deep it's still terrifying me.  The thought that (knock on wood) if anything should happen between my incredible Josh and I, that'd be it... No more chances at reciprocated love, I mean after all I couldn't find that pre-stroke, what are the odds it would happen twice post stroke?

Then I realized that all of the people making the daily difference, the ones actively participating in my life and have me as a part of theirs are nearly all people I have bonded with after I had my stroke.  You have something valuable, that's why you're still here, people are out there that love you, miss you and want to be a part of your journey... Stay strong, they will find you.
#caregiver #blessed #heseesme #hesmymiracle #perfectforme #loveafterstroke #lifeafterstroke #lovehasnolabels #lovehasnocolor #lovehasnorace #lovehasnodisability #iaminlove

Monday, October 12, 2009

Promises, promises

This is a late update from February 12, 2015... My love has given me a promise ring, YAY with the next sentence being "you know this means I need your Dad and Mom's contact info now right?" Lol, I am beyond blessed and full of gratitude.

Don't need a reason to...

My smile may be crooked now, but it is more frequent then it's ever been, full of love and gratitude, and for anyone who may need one. #happygirl #happinessisachoice #itsallaboutperspective #youchooseyourday #lifeiswhatyoumakeit #lifedoesnotstopforyourstruggle #lifeafterstroke

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Be brave

Be brave enough to share the embarrassing, the failings, the frustrations the ugly, the honest... It's these named truths that will help someone else.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Only you...

#TBIaffectedme I remember after my crainiotomy in 2010 my older sister told me that I had a stroke, the doctor drained 200ml of blood from my skull, and because I waited so long I had lost all function and sensation of my left side head to toe, but if I worked quickly and really really hard I may get some of it back.  I responded with "How do I start?" Our doctors and therapists can point us in the right direction, our family, friends and caregivers can assist us with logistics, support, and those obstacles we have yet to reclaim again; but NO ONE can recover for you. No one else can make you better. No one else can tell you how to make new neurological connections so you can move your finger, smile, wiggle toes.  No one can teach you how to deal with the overstimulation, find your left hand again, normalize the sound of your laugh again, unslur your speech, communicate your COMPLETELY DIFFERENT perspective on EVERYTHING. I relearned how to walk, talk effectively, sing and enjoy life again with an army of loving supporters at my side, I met and hooked the love of my life and even with all that help I can confidently say that I saved myself, with help. #happygirl #happinessisachoice #strengthcomesinallforms #strokesurvivor #avmstrokesurvivor #loveafterstroke #lifeiswhatyoumakeit #lifeafterstroke #blessed #beautyinthepain #givingupisnotanoption #begrateful #Kindcampaign #takenothingforgranted #tbiaffectedme #loveafterstroke #lovehasnodisability #lovehasnorace #lovehasnolabels

Friday, October 9, 2009

Paying It Forward...

While being treated at the Sutter Roseville In-patient Rehab facility I was asked if I would be willing to take part in their new ad campaign to help show that stroke or TBI's are not geriatric specific and that they can (and do) treat people of all ages. Most 26 year old women with a shaved head for the first time, trying to find their left side again would not ever allow the public to see them this vulnerable let alone have it documented and used for advertising purposes... I however was gifted this second chance. My social worker at the hospital, neurosurgeon and trauma nurses went to bat for me, advocating for me to be accepted as a charity case...in February. At the beginning of a very long year they fought to have the hundreds of thousands that my crainiotomy and rehab would cost, written off. I had no health insurance which is why I waited so long to go to the hospital in the first place, ultimately making my bleed that much more dangerous and life threatening. How do you payback a miraculous second chance at the life you were barreling through and taking for ganted?... You say yes to the photos, you pay it forward any and every way you can. I found my first photo on their site today... (I'm at the very bottom of the page) http://www.sutterroseville.org/rehab/experience/expect/

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beauty in the pain

I NEED to make a giant print of this... It is true though- it is our scars, our triumphs and our lessons that make us unique. It's all that gives us our true beauty, the ability to live and love more passionately and more freely because of all the hard.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First poem since...

I lie here breathing you in, trying not to disrupt time or the fates... If I can keep this under the radar no one will see the mistake. No one will see that I'm not good enough for you, and that I do not deserve any part of this healthy, nurturing family we've created.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

#Unpretty

This is what #smilingthroughthepain actually looks like when it's off the charts, not very pretty, I know. This is however more often than not the reality of those suffering from #chronicpain; in my case it's #neuropathy which gets worse with heightened emotions, happy or sad, physical activity, any kind of intense focus (like filling out forms, reading, brain games or socializing). It's hard dealing with an #invisibleillness because people often don't understand or because there are no tangible signs, no visible cues there's nothing other than your grimace to show them what you are going through moment to moment.  I'm blessed to have a caregiver who worked in hospitals for over a decade before we met, he often sees my limit of stimulation for the day coming before I process just how fragmented my thinking has become. Before him I would push until I dropped, which would leave me bedridden for about a week on average.  One day of full steam for a week of suffering, not a very productive trade off and not conducive for healing an extremely injured brain. I'm still trying to learn my base line- what I can expect to bee able to do everyday without any kind of crash- but you'd be surprised how hard it is to slow to a pace that can allow you to stay conscious of your weaning mental energy... Or it could be that I'm having a rough time recognizing and deferring to the signs my body gives me when I'm pushing it. Food for thought...I'll keep you posted 😉

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reset

Funny, I used to say this EXACT thing for years and the universe answered. After becoming an‪#‎avmstrokesurvivor‬ and the reality of how much my ‪#‎tbiaffectedme‬ I realized that I had indeed been given a second chance, reset had been pushed for me and now I am ‪#‎grateful‬ to be so ‪#‎blessed‬ to use my recovery to‪#‎spreadlove‬ ‪#‎spreadkindness‬‪#‎spreadknowledge‬ and hopefully clarify some gray areas or common misconceptions about‪#‎chronicpain‬ ‪#‎invisibleillness‬ and become a‪#‎strokeembassador‬ and hopefully one day‪#‎motivationalspeaking‬. If I can show one person that ‪#‎happinessisachoice‬ and‪#‎itsallaboutperspective‬ while making you aware that ‪#‎youarenotalone‬‪#‎youareincredible‬‪#‎youwillgetthroughthis‬ and ‪#‎givingupisnotanoption‬ I will consider my journey successful.‪#‎lifedoesnotstopforyourstruggle‬ but‪#‎strengthcomesinallforms‬. If you ever feel like there's no one to turn to, please don't hesitate to ‪#‎callonme

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Is true, we are not ever given more than we can handle. When things seem at their most overwhelming or desperate I challenge you to change your location, listen to a song, do something to take you out of that mindset and shift your perspective back to a direction that's productive for you. ‪#‎youwillgetthroughthis‬ #‎youareincredible‬ ‪#‎youarenotalone‬ #‎youchooseyourday‬ ‪#‎youteachothershowtotreatyou‬‪ #‎bebrave‬ know that there will always be‪#‎beautyinthepain‬ as long as you ‪#‎staytruetoyourself‬,‪ #‎strengthcomesinallforms‬ and anyone suffering‪#‎chronicpain‬ and/or an ‪#‎invisibleillness‬. I know it can be especially hard trying to show gratitude for the help you get but what about when the 'help' is only making them more at ease and it's only adding to your symptoms..‪#‎begrateful‬ and ‪#‎bekind‬ but overall know that you are the only one that can get you better. You are the one learning how to deal with how‪#‎tbiaffectedme‬ and they honestly cannot fathom just how much your life has changed so please try to‪#‎practicepatience‬ with your ‪#‎caregiver‬ they're doing their best. ‪#‎weareinthistogether‬ #‎imhereifyouneedtotalk‬ ‪#‎givingupisnotanoption‬ #‎giveeachday100‬ #‎motivation‬ ‪ #‎inspiration‬ #‎iamawarrior‬ ‪ #‎naali‬ ‪ #‎nomorestroke‬‪ #‎strokeembassador‬ ‪ #‎strokeawarenessmonth‬‪#‎strokesurvivor‬ ‪#‎AVMstrokesurvivor‬ ‪#‎blessed‬#payingitforward #youhavehelpifyoubutask.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Influence

In all seriousness looking back on pre-stroke Chisa, I often wonder why people hung out with me, I was a mess; always manic had to be something to everyone. I gave a lot at first and then focused on you so you wouldn't think to try to dig deeper. I was so insecure that if we were out, I was the out of hand drunk. Funny, but out of hand because if I didn't direct their attention to what I'm comfortable with, they may get a look at something supposed to be hidden. The deeper I look the more I can see that #tbiaffectedme and #survivinganAVMstroke‬ was the best thing that ever happened to me. It really is a ‪#‎blessing‬ I got a much needed shift in perspective, and saw how EVERYTHING was being taken for granted. Humbled me, I know now it's about the quality of moments and bonds, not the quantity. I'm no longer afraid of missing anything, because I now know I'm always ‪#‎exactlywhereimsupposedtobe‬  ‪#‎yourvibeattractsyourtribe‬‪ #‎youchooseyourday‬  ‪#‎youteachothershowtotreatyou‬  ‪#‎bettruetoyourself‬ ‪#‎bekind‬ #‎bekindtoyourself‬ ‪#‎dontsettleforless‬ #‎knowyourworth‬ ‪#‎loveyourselffirst‬ #begrateful #learnyourlesson&move4ward #bethechange #beingthechangeIwanttosee

Friday, October 2, 2009

My first attempt at poetry since the stroke

I got tagged in an IG writers challenge what you see is my very first creative writing attempt since having my stroke. My brain feels tired and fuzzy from the effort, and I LOVE it!

Me vs me

The more I dissect who I was before my stroke, the more and more grateful I become that it happened. I have grown and blossomed into a person that I didn't know I could be. I am proud of who I am now and the perspective I have gained as a survivor.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Endurance

Plum tuckered after a wonderful afternoon catching up with some quality (really close) friends, trying not get disappointed that I couldn't even last till the end of the game. What's worse is that my amazing love @jpeuker made a special trip to bring me home, help me get settled, assured me that he's happy to be the one who sees this, who I show all that I am, think and feel. It's a comfort I never knew I needed, so now I'm going to research how to quickly regain the ability to filter out unnecessary distractions, with an ultimate goal of putting together a plan of action to regain control over my mental endurance. However this is a long month of #brainfog #overstimulation #chronic pain #insurance referral issues and most devastating, the passing of my beloved AuntyP... So this shot, this picture is not a cry out for help or fishing for compliments, I promised to document all aspects of my recovery process; the triumphant, bad, and pathetically burnt out. I can't even really keep myself on topic as I write this, hopefully I won't need to edit too much later on. When you have survived a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) one of the first things you notice is just how much you used to subconsciously filter out 90% of distracting things going on around you so you don't go crazy with all that inundated stimulation coming at you in every possible direction.  It in all seriousness, feels like a full on attack.  Best part is that overstimulation exacerbates #brainfog #mushybrain #spasticity #neuropathy and any other #chronicpain.  This is a bitter sweet moment caught here, I'm grateful that I got some much needed time with some of my faves, but try as I might, I still had to have my love bring me home early. Learning to listen to my body, but how long until it's unfair for those that love me and are putting in more effort than I can....I'm always doing my best to keep in touch as often as possible. I'm just scared that you all will have gotten sick of the lopsided scale. But if you can, please try to remember that I love and care for you, and am honestly doing the best I can. As the pic shows I'm exhausted. Love you, have sweet dreams loves! #longdaysmakemybrainfuzzy

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Accepting limitations

Definitely need the Sandman to break some traffic laws to get here, after this last loooong stretch of traveling, family heartbreak, and increasing seizure activity. Seizure activity breaking through my new higher dosage of meds really drives home the fact that I need to pay attention to how much my environment and company impact my endurance for the day, which in turn effects the rest of my week. #tbiaffectedme and still does daily. Due to my TBI any emotion I feel good or bad worsen my #chronicpain and #brainfuzz so does any kind of game or physical activity. Seriously. Tomorrow we are going to a conference for motivational speakers, which is great for @jpeuker and I. We both have separate plans in motion to educate, motivate, help, support and inspire as many as possessible. So being this tuckered I'm shutting everything down early. Goodnight my loves, I wish you all an amazing night and sweet dreams. #longdaysmakemybrainfuzzy #avmstrokesurvivor #strengthcomesinallforms #strokeembassador #lifeafterstroke #blessed #greatful #loveafterstroke #givingupisnotanoption #brainfeelslikemush #bettruetoyourself #bekindtoyourself #iamawarrior #beingkindisfree #beingthechangeIwanttosee

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thought of the day...

I'm thinking that once you stop picturing of old lovers while belting out breakup songs and love ballads; and start singing to the negative voice in your head, you're really starting a to win the battle of true self confidence.
I find that the most stirring and emotional vocals I attempt now have the negative self talk voice and old me in the fore front, shrinking in shame and maybe shying away from my sub par vocals as well lol! 😘

Have a wonderful day lovies!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Aunty's Eulogy...

"Love her. Love her, but leave her wild." I believe that was the only way to properly love Aunty P. Her fiercely independent spirit was perfectly matched with her disregard for approval and following the pack. Because of her charisma she is still the only woman I know that would make friends just sitting on the porch or driveway. I know that she's wondering what all the fuss is about, but grateful and moved by the love for her; and impact she may not have fully believed she made. Now is the time for celebration, Aunty is free of pain and probably already playing some jokes on a few of us! I will miss you always Aunty P, and will continue to enhance and pay attention...
to the gifts you talked to me about. I'll practice singing on my back to strengthen my vocal chords like you taught me, but mostly I will do my best to emulate the light you were for all who knew or needed you. Aloha, Aunty!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Am Not Done, I Have Greatness Inside Me

This definitely isn't what or who I thought I would be at 32, but I'm damned proud of who I am now.  The hospital uses my images in their rehab facility and I'm their marketing. On top of that I have major advocacy groups on social media wanting to collaborate soon, I'm getting my message out, I'm paying my lessons forward, and I'm bridging the gaps of communication or misconceptions between survivors and their care givers, or doctors, even friends and family.  I'm helping people articulate what they couldn't alone.I'm helping them get through another day, and soon I will be saving millions with my best selling book (well you know-once I write it, get published and God willing a big reception of the finished product)! I've got a big future, I am not going to fail. I love you. Thank you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trainwreck

Part of living with or recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), is the gift of self analysis. While it can often spiral into obsessesively beating yourself over every single mistake or embarrassing moment, it also provides a clear picture of who you were before. The closer I inspect, the deeper I dig, the more cringe-worthy moments I find. That famous "Keep looking for things to be upset over, and you'll keep finding things" is so profoundly succinct. I really was a trainwreck though, actually I think it's more that I was a unmanned free coasting train gaining speed, and now from the wreckage I've emerged anew. Well, if I am truly not my past or not my mistakes; then neither are you. Though I drop all this behind me and will no longer remain a martyr, I really am so sincerely sorry and regretful for all the damage left in my wake. My shoulders slouch with the weight from all that I wish I'd not ever done and/or said, but that serves no one. From now, I'll focus on growth and putting out as much positive and healing into the world as I can.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shedding sizes

Lots of ups and downs, hills and valleys while #sheddingsizes but thanks to Joshua James of @metamorphic_consulting and my hypnolapband sessions. This is honestly the most in charge of my weight I've felt since 9 years old. I will admit that it's hard not to get impatient and frustrated with my #shreddedknee #chronicpain #invisibleillness #brainfuzz #brainfeelslikemush that can sometimes force me to be positive about being able to make it to the bathroom and back on my own. It's so imperative to celebrate every single victory, laugh at everything you can, and most importantly #choosehappinesseverysingleday while you #giveeachday100 remember #yougetwhatyougive #youchooseyourday #begreatful #strengthcomesinallforms #blessed #beautyinthepain #avmstrokesurvivor #strokeembassador #youarenotalone #youcanleanonme

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Deep Breath...

There's a lot of basic functions that get affected when you have hemi-paresis or paralysis, especially if it's an entire side of your body. In my case I've found it to be ruthless and thorough. From vocal chords to using the bathroom. Five and a half years after my stroke I've found my words, relearned to write, memorize, walk, stand, sit up, laugh, sing, and tie my shoes, dress myself, wiggle my digits, lift my arm...
Yet try as I might I still can't seem to master the art of starting a urine stream. Sure, it's all laughs when you're popping a squat on the side of some obscure highway laughing hysterically with your friend cause it's been 20 mins that you've had an emergent need to go but can't remember how. This is a whole other beast we're dealing with here. This,....  this is FIVE YEARS LATER and I've just spent an hour trying to relive the "I'm about to burst!!" feeling. There's a silver lining, I eventually figure it out. But it's not exactly something you get a pamphlet or therapy session to work on. So when you're having a rough day feel free to use this information to get the laughs you need for a fresh perspective on things. If you can't laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at anyone else.
I named the post what I did because despite common lore, and my innate pull towards the dramatic; I am not comfortable sharing this information with people. I'm a 32 year old woman, I didn't even consider that my best decade would include disposable underwear. I pray with gratitude daily for finding a love that is not unfamiliar with what goes along with surviving a TBI. It's not pretty, quiet, inspiring, easy, neat, quick no. In fact it's humbling, improvised, humiliating, exposing, painful, and can seem never ending. But you're not alone. You are not your ailments. I wish someone could have painted THAT picture for me.
All this being said... My thirties really are proving to be my best decade so far!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No one's Ambassador

No one is strong all the time. I'm no one's ambassador today. I've been fighting every aspect of life, jumping through their hoops with a grace and gratefulness I thought I'd lost, but there are too many minefields and today my battle is too much for me to bear.

https://instagram.com/p/8Tlu3QBFnX/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just what I needed

Long love filled productive day, including getting to binge hangout with @morgizzle101 and @jpeuker , and then even had some quick sweet convoys with my loves, too far, incredibly loved @jenni_fun666 @theheartofhumboldt @brittorais and my ohana!! I'm pooped and about down for the count, but today was needed and COMPLETELY worth the #brainfog #brainfuzz and #spasticityflare that are rolling in.... #iminlovewithmylife #couldntbehappier #sweetdreams

Sunday, September 20, 2009

#brainfog #brainfuzz #lowmentalendurance

It's not just the mental fatigue which is even more debilitating than you could know, but if you're also battling physical effects that will greatly reduce mental endurance and it makes it almost not possible to find my actual baseline...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gaining Traction

Five and a half years into this and here are a few tidbits; when they tell you to 'protect the noggin', respect that advice. August 2014 I sustained a minor cocussion among other injuries when we were rear ended. With a still healing brain- recovering from a devastating TBI, I can honestly tell you that nothing about that concussion felt minor. I had rebound migraines for 6 or so monnths, my mental endurance went right back to zero; working it back up or gaining it back again is proving glacial. My memory has changed again as have my focusing abilities, and I'm still trying to understand my new settings. Oh and those weak and fledging filtering connections are void and new ones have yet to be put into play. These are the kinds of effects that you the survivor may not necessarily have control in the rehabilitaion of, I won't ever stop trying though. I believe that this is one of the main proving points for defense of my control freak innate nature. Everything cycles, the highs and lows; not a whole lot about your body and health are permanent or substantially long lasting when the main injury occured to the brain. Breathe, you'll get through this, one slow day at a time. Use the uncontrollable or heightened emotions to your benefit by taking an obscene amount of joy from EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING that lights you up inside. Express gratitude everytime, to everyone, for everything; you are not the only one effected by and struggling through this recovery.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Enough for You?

If my best is not good enough for you, maybe you need to adjust your expectations. I give everything I have daily, if that's still not enough for you I can no longer carry it as my burden. I give it back to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What is brave?

Is fighting the constant nagging voice telling me my loved ones would be better off without me brave? Is fighting the uphill battle of a stroke survivor brave? Is having surgery on my ailing body brave? There are the loudest voices telling me that having to help me in every way is selfish. And less than they deserve. Heaping financial and emotional burdens on my mom seems the most cowardly. I honestly believe that I'm being selfish, not just by finally putting myself and my health first, but by making those in my life compensate for my short comings just by virtue of staying close to me. Everyday I feel a mounting, a growing desperation to let them off the hook and just stop fighting. I feel like my life is only punishing my loved ones, they have to do so much more just to hang out or spend time with me. What is brave? Is brave letting everyone off the hook? Is brave doing the only thing I really know how to do (fight my current reality and earn back my independence)? Is brave faking strength? Is it in lowering the quality of life of those closest to me? It feels like my survival, my fight, my journey is doing the opposite of all that I've ever wanted to do; help and make everyone's life a little brighter, a little more love filled daily.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

;

I'm posting this because a lot of you don't know that I struggled with borderline personality disorder (this diagnosis is being reevaluated), depression, anxiety, insomnia and PTSD since before I turned 10 (except insomnia that came in my teens). In 2006 I was hospitalized on a 51/50 and got to experience what Alice felt like discovering Wonderland.
Of course the brain injury has completely exacerbated my mental illness and even through survival and working extensively to get as recovered as I am; I still have suicidal days. Some days I can't see the sense in surviving and working so hard, when I constantly feel I'm draining the energy and resources of my support system. Who am I to make those closest to me stress or suffer so I can get through? Today has been one of my worst recently, it's a combination of stress, med changes and financial worry. Most days I think I know my purpose for still being here and can force myself to focus on that and change my perspective through altruism, some days like today I just can't. There's no more positivity in reserve, I'm tapped out. However, if you can get through, so can I. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yesterday

So obviously yesterday was... challenging to say the least, but as advertised I got through it. Today started out hard, but has since gotten better with communication and raw honesty. Day by day can seem monumental at times, so in those instances I beg you to take everything minute by minute. Cry, yell, scream, walk, run, sing, do whatever you need to inn order to carry on. I share my ups and downs openly so you can know, really know that you are not alone. Together we can make it through all the challenges and lessons life has for us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Post Op

On December 9, 2015 I finally got knee surgery to stabilize it more and get back out of the wheelchair I injured myself back into while relearning how to walk again. Now I MUST listen to the recovery timeline, I must go at my body's pace. If I rush this or don't let the graphs heal properly and take hold, I'm pretty sure they're not gonna do this for me again lol. This time just gutting it out, working through the pain, and pushing to my very limit daily; will not be my approach. I've got to do this right and be patient with myself and body.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thank you again Cristen!

Thank you again @ceedub7676 for this reminder. "Ho'omau is the Hawaiian value of perseverance and persistence. In practicing this value, we become more tenacious and resilient, and thus, more courageous. Ho'omau also means to perpetuate, and to continue in a way that causes good to be long-lasting."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Great Start

Not even 10 am yet and I'm journaling again! It took a couple of years but I'm so much more bolstered emotionally and confident in myself today... Instead of fighting to go back to sleep I took advantage of the early morning with some am social networking (done to help others that are fighting), breakfast made for myself, and now the realization that journaling is an integral part of me and taking that moment of realization to climb back on the mountain and start climbing!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

6th Anniversary...

I have to take comfort in the fact that my 6 year stroke anniversary passed without me crumbling. This was the first year that the anniversary of my stroke (2/21/2010) did not tear me down. It passed without notice, I'm so far from where I was that I really am learning how to just enjoy everyday, and I'm amazed with the quality of life that I have now. It's only getting better.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

For all the girls labeled "just one of the guys"

I know what you're going through. Trust me. I have been overweight since I was 9; the ongoing battle of the bulge didn't help my plight I'm sure, but I was always the one they talked to about the girls they actually wanted to date. I was the one always hanging out when no females were invited or expected. The one who was kept at arms length by most of the other girls, but called when they needed to track down the guys. I grew up with the most beautiful women (girls then) that Hawaii and California ever produced. There was always someone the boys were interested in, asking about, fantasizing aloud about at nausea and I was there for most of it. Through elementary to college this was my story with a few friends with benefits or one night stands here and there. With all that time spent around guys not ever being looked at like an actual pretty girl, I developed a very young, immature view on dating. I became what I thought guys wanted; the no commitment, leave before they wake up, keep it casual, smart ass. While some of that was also natural defense mechanisms, I mostly thought I was just playing to my strengths, keeping within my wheelhouse so as to not set myself up for heartbreak. I was convinced I was just not the kind of girl a man could fall in love with. Then I had my stroke and with it all my walls and defense mechanisms of the past got swept away completely and forever. I no longer knew how or had the inclination to play the games. There is no more holding back, pretending not to care or settling for less than what I want or deserve. I am brain damaged stroke survivor who walks like lurch and has a left arm and hand that works like the arcade claw machine, with all my old bad habits and still my own brand of crazy. Once I stopped the games and focused on getting myself better I met a man that not only sees all of me but loves it all. If I can find my person, you will too. Be yourself, love yourself and go forward with honesty. Be honest with yourself about what you really want, how you want to be treated, focus and WHO you want to be; be the best version of you that you can and stop worrying about your relationship status. Once you learn to love all of you, someone else will too. I wish you all the love the world has to offer, but please remember... It starts with you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Josh's 35th

I'm a bit disappointed in myself today. I had big plans of cleaning and productivity, but after a sleepless night I'm sore and useless. Grrr.

Always Remember

You are the only one of you there will ever be. It'll be a terrible shame if the world never gets to experience all you are capable of, because of your insecurities. There is no one more important in the world to focus on projecting than yourself. No one else can do that. Whatever I am insecure about, I am currently focusing on improving. If it's something permanent, I've leavened to find the humor in it. Taking yourself too seriously robs you of at least a few years of enjoyment throughout the course of your life. Please let us in on who you are and what is inside of you; I for one am looking forward to meeting you.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ending the night worth positivity

After my earlier post, just getting that off my chest freed me and I had a pretty productive day. I'm resetting my focus and as always ending my day with gratitude.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's all about perspective

Short But Sweet

I've realized today that there is NO reason that I should not be confident. I survived something 90 percent of people don't and fought my way back through staggering odds. I am better in every aspect of my personality than I was before the stroke. I am proud to be me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Birthday

I have always been blessed with people in my life that go out of their way to make me feel extra special and loved on my birthday. This birthday, my 34th, my first birthday on Big Island has had to have been the most surprising and humbling. People that have only known me for seven months went out of their way to combine the Fourth of July celebration with my bday to give me a very special time. My amazing friends that facilitated the relocation to paradise came through like they always do, going above and beyond to show me they really value my friendship. But him, he took my breath away. I have never had the feeling of being spoiled, pampered and completely attended to before. He made me feel like I was the only thing on his mind, and the only person in the world. He gave me creative and thoughtful gifts, which are my favorite. Knowing what a cuddle bug I am, he was super affectionate and gave me warm fuzzies. Even made me my favorite cake from scratch. Other than the absence of my family I think this was my best birthday yet. There was even a staggering amount of online posts from lovely people who took a moment to drop a line. I am blessed.

What was

Love blooms, changes and sometimes ends.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Choosing Wisely

It's only taken 6 years but I'm finally starting to be able to take the days off I need (whether or not that means cancelling plans) without torturing myself, or mentally beating myself up for it. I know some of that is Josh and my loved ones supporting me and loving me so well, but think the other part is the ability to keep up with our new place. It gives me back so much confidence. I love being able to give my family a clean place to relax everyday.

Another for today.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Choosing Wisely

It's only taken 6 years but I'm finally starting to be able to take the days off I need (whether or not that means cancelling plans) without torturing myself, or mentally beating myself up for it. I know some of that is Josh and my loved ones supporting me and loving me so well, but think the other part is the ability to keep up with our new place. It gives me back so much confidence. I love being able to give my family a clean place to relax everyday.

Another Big Step

Thanks to a persistent buddy who never fails to push me when I have no energy to do it myself; I have taken another great step forward. After being cleared by my neurologist, I went to the DMV to get my learners permit. This is the first time I've been behind the wheel since having my license revoked due to seizure activity. I'm feeling a bit anxious for my road test on August 1st and what that means for me going forward. How will this change the outings with my friends? Will there now be pressure to get a vehicle I cannot afford? Am I the only TBI or stroke survivor that finds it hard to resist any kind of peer pressure now? I find it frustrating, embarrassing and unacceptable. Back to the topic at hand though, I cannot believe how fast life is still progressing for me. Everything looks COMPLETELY different than it did seven months ago, myself included. There is still that one battle that I still can't quite get a handle on... my weight. But that's a post for another day. We are going to keep this one upbeat, yay for progress!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

hrmmm...

Am I listening to myself or just sitting on my ass? Am I allowing my brain to recoup or wallowing in stagnancy? I'm not sure if I'm allowing myself to process my stressors or just being plain lazy. So far today all I've managed to do is order food, make a couple of calls and...this. Yesterday was good and productive and the day before I was at my boyfriends, so in retrospect I'm not doing all that badly. If you don't count all the shit I didn't get done today lol.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Confidence frees you

Now that I've had over a month, in our new place being be able to keep it clean and keep after it I now have the confidence to learn my speech to text program and start my book… I didn't know what I was lacking was confidence. Confidence can help you reach your dreams take you anywhere you've dreamed of going, and the lack of it can cause stagnancy, depression and worse. What we need to remember, is that confidence is just like lipstick, like putting on pants all you have to do is put it on and the more you wear it the more comfortable it becomes; the more natural becomes to you, the more the confidence emboldens you. Don't forget that just because you don't feel confident doesn't mean you can't be, it doesn't mean that you can't reach her dreams while still finding your confidence… The universe appreciates the effort. This was my first post using the Dragon speech to text program. I love this program, I really believe it's couldn't frame me to be able to be my authentic self as I tell my story… The raw, the real, the inspiring, and the disgusting. I'm so grateful, so blessed, my heart is full and now all I must do is find a way to make my as a real physical recovery have the same breakthrough.

Okay

I had another appointment with my psychologist and was talking to her about all the great things happening. Everything is going phenomenally and I should still be happier than I've ever been. Things are just continually getting better; only I don't feel it anymore. I'm content but not HAPPY like I was or thought I should be. She went on to explain that big changes positive or negative are stressors. More over, I'm probably just starting to really process all that is going on. She led me to finally understand that maybe I just need to try to be okay with where I am and how I feel right now; that I shouldn't put more pressure on myself trying to be or connect with certain emotions just because I think I should. So that's what I'm passing on to you today; feel however you feel. Stop trying to put on the face of what you think you should be or how you think you should be feeling. Every emotion is valid, work your way through them for actual progress.