I think one of the biggest, is Gratitude.
Gratitude for the many things that have happened after my stroke!
Whether you would refer to them as Luck, Good Fortune, Fortuitous or Miracles that happened (I prefer miracles)
Things I am Grateful For:
My Wife, Dorothy to have such a fierce advocate, Caregiver (used to refer to her as “My Keeper”) and amazingly loyal life, partner.
Living in Canada, as much as we love to complain about our medical system, it performed quite well in my case. Without the $200,000 to $300,000 in medical bills, it would have cost in the US.
The Staff at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. To be admitted there 3 days after my stroke. There just happened to be a bed available, It is the top Rehabilitation Centre in BC! Google says there are 83 beds on three floors. The 3rd floor is for brain Injuries and strokes. So what are the odds (Might be one of those miracles)? The care was not just to rehab my body & speech. The team included talented staff in different fields to help make sure financial and other needs were taken care of, which allowed me to go home after 2 months. Knowing I could safely navigate the next stages of my recovery.
The community of business networkers that were cheering me on!
Getting back to business interactions so quickly helped.
For my loyal friends and family that helped me in their own ways.
Things I have learned along the way:
I learned to pace my self. One of the gifts my stroke left me was My Getup and Go
Got Up And Went! After the visible signs of my Disability were not needed: Walker, Canes (I still carry a foldable cane for those bad days), a lot of people would look at me and say you are looking Great you must be cured! I say to myself “Really” and just smile sweetly. I need to remind myself that is what an Invisible Disability “is-Invisible”.
To deal with cognitive fatigue.
If I am in a room with a lot going on, to this day it can take a lot out of me. Recovery time is getting better.
To deal with inner turmoil.
Sometimes people say things to me, a lot very innocently (this would have been like water off a duck’s back before) it can cause a lot of inner turmoil until I am able to think it out.
Learning to say “No” sometimes which means going back and restructuring things so they work for me.
Remembering to get enough sleep. Learning to listen to my body. If it says it’s time for a nap do it and not feel guilty. It is the only way I can recover!
One of the things I miss – giving an answer off the “top of my head”. I was that guy not so much anymore. I find myself remembering what I should have said later
and do a pretty good job of beating myself up for it.
My health goal for this year is to get into better shape I have gotten back to the gym. First thing is working on strengthening my legs. I have a lot of issues with balance & working on the legs is helping. (I have friends that would tell you I have been Imbalanced for years! ……..LOL)
My weight goal is to be to 180 by the new year! (yes, you are allowed to ask me how it is going.)
I am feeling blessed with the gift of one more year on this side of the grass!