One year ago today at approximately 8:00 pm I was declared brain dead. I spent New Years fighting for my life. January 1 at around 7:00 a.m. I woke up. I had won the fight for survival and was now starting on the road to recovery.
Here are my observations after my first year after the stroke.
I look at the world from a different perspective now. Everything I do I do differently than from before the stroke. First time doing anything can be a challenge but after I figure out how to do it, the more I do it the easier it becomes.
The leg is coming along. There is a lot more to do, but it is making headway. I have a great team behind me and that makes all the difference. I think 2015 is going to see a lot of improvement in this area. I think the leg brace may be there the rest of my life but I have been surprised a few times already.
The right arm is just starting to respond to therapy. The last two months have shown positive results and we are trying to get enough movement so I can get on the SaeboFlex program. I’m not yet there but I’m trying.
My communication problems are probably my biggest concern. I seem to have hit a wall here. Verbally I can carry on conversations but they take a lot out of me, are usually muddled, and as the topics get deeper I have trouble getting the words out. Usually I know what I want to say (at least I think I do), but somewhere between my brain and my mouth things get garbled. I can’t print or write. I type but not well unless speed is not required. This document is about 290 words to this point. Is has taken about 8 hours so far to write. I think it makes sense (with some help from Microsoft Word) but I’ll let you decide. It just takes a long time to get it from my brain to the computer. I make a lot of mistakes that I have to correct on the way. I also forget what I am saying mid-sentence, meaning I have to erase what I was saying and say something else, or stop until I remember. Reading isn’t too bad in brief spurts, but only brief.
There are also other problems of varying severity but the ones listed above are the ones that were worked on the most in 2014 and will be the ones I start on in 2015. Where I am at this time next year is anyone’s guess. What I can guarantee is that I am going to put 150% into getting better and it will show.