Saturday, March 28, 2015

Some things I can't do anymore

Early this week, my staff from work went on a team building trip to the Whistler Sliding Centre for an introductory bobsleigh pilot course.  Of course I left apprehensive but excited.  I wasn't sure how I would be able to steer but I thought I would figure something out.  Well unfortunately they wouldn't let me participate as either a pilot or a brakemen because of the poor mobility in my hand.  I guess what hit me hardest was having someone else tell me my body wasn't good enough.  There are many things that I have decided I can no longer do but this is the first time I think since my stroke that someone else has told me I am handicapped.  I've tried hard not to think of myself that way.

I think what I need to do for me is to work harder at what I CAN do.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Birthday Thoughts

Today is my 57th birthday.  There were times right after my stroke that reaching this day was very optimistic.  Early on people had no idea what would happen and even if I would walk again.  Well I am one of those people that has been graced with many blessings in my life including a fabulous life partner who is both beautiful and incredibly patient.  My first thought post stroke was of Kathy and what she would think.  I'm sure that having me in the hospital for 3 months was not what she had bought into.

Kathy has been my partner, my confidant and my motivation.  She inspires me to be a better person and has been by my side through everything important that has happened to me.  One of my strongest memories during my recovery was her asking me not to give up.  How could I possibly after that. Today I thank god for having her in my life and I wish for all of you to be as blessed as I have been.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

Well we finally had a sufficient weather window to get out on the trike yesterday.    I definitely am a fair weather rider.  I have finished many rides in the rain but I just don't seem to have the dedication to voluntarily start one in the rain.  We've had a lot of rain and cold weather - a typical Vancouver winter - and I'm glad to get an opportunity to ride.

I remember now why I love riding my trike so much.  It is the closest I come to being able to train the way I used to before my stroke.  Its hard to get a good cardio workout when you can't physically move fast enough to get your hear rate up.  I can when I'm on my trike.  I haven't set a goal yet for this year but I need to give myself some kind of a target to work towards.  I have a lot of hibernation effects to work off.

Raining again today so it looks like I/m off to the pool.  What will you remember about your accomplishments today?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The inconveniences of being a stroke survivor

One of the results of my stroke has been what is called emotional lability.  Essentially it is a decreased ability to control emotions or the experiencing of emotions that others define as out of proportion to the situation.  I guess that means that when I cry reading a book, I have an excuse.

In an article I read, it says that less than 16% of stroke survivors continue to experience emotional lability more than 2 years post stroke.  Well not only am I more than two years post stroke I guess I am firmly in that 16%.

For some reason, this week has been quite emotionally charged for me.  Certainly hearing the stories of  the children with their new glasses courtesy of the TWECS team in Ecuador has been incredibly uplifting.  The horror stories from the Phillipines  have hit home.  This morning in church we talked about the sacrifices people and families have made in conflicts around the world and part of the service included a very haunting trumpet solo played from the back of the church.  The service had me in tears many times.

During this time of Remembrance I remind myself of how lucky I am to have the family and friends that I have that encouraged me to recover and the health care system that helped me survive so that I am able to feel these things today.  It really is an inconvenience by comparison to the alternative.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Political Will

Having recently taken a job in the social service sector, I am more acutely aware of the government's approach to the "election budget".  The government budget process seems to becoming more about pleasing the electorate and less about the actual cost of social programs.  I believe that funding our social programs needs to be more about satisfying a need and less about how to achieve a balanced budget.  There are always competing needs for tax dollars, however, refusing to provide any increased dollars to the social sector in light of the pending major payout dollars in MLA pensions seems to me to be a travesty.  You see, the biggest disadvantage of voting out the liberals is the number of MLA's that will now qualify for a full pension after their two terms.We the tax payers are caught between a rock and a hard place.  Although all sectors of the economy are struggling, do you think the members of parliament are going to do anything to share our pain by forgoing these large pension payouts.  I would hope they would think that was the honorable thing to do, however, I won't hold my breath.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Challenges of Inner Peace

Last week I listened to our minister talk about balance in life and the importance of inner peace.  She talked about how important it is to have balance in one's life in order to achieve that inner peace.  She also talked about it needing a community to raise a child.  Today I wonder about how someone could be so out of balance in their life as to attack a kindergarten full of children.  How can it be that as a community of caring people that we did sense that this man was falling out of balance before such a tragic event occurred. 

I ask you to pray for the survivors of that horrible event today that they will somehow find a way to not let that evil make a permanent impact and to somehow find something positive from today.  These events today have impacted all of us either directly or indirectly.  The real question is what if anything will we learn about ourselves today.  My calm lake certainly has some waves in it today.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Some people need a little Hope

This is the week in advent where we celebrate hope.  As a stroke survivor, I am truly blessed to have the functionality that I have.  There was a time when I hoped to be able to be able to get out of bed by myself.  To be able to stand up on my own.  Then to be able to walk again.  To me, hope is about opportunity, it is about self-dignity and it is about the future.  However, for some people, the daily struggle watching their plodding footsteps keeps their head too far down to see the horizon, never mind the sunshine that is in the sky overhead.

This is the first week in the Christian calender leading into preparing for Christmas.  Providing hope to someone can be as small a thing as offering a few encouraging words.  So while we are buzzing around in a mad blitz to get Christmas shopping completed, my hope is that we all stop and take a minute to think about providing hope to someone else.  Everyone in our community needs to be able to enjoy the sunshine.

Remember, starting something new requires taking a first step and lean forward, the next step will follow.