August 31, 2013 will mark my second stroke anniversary. This past stroke year brought on numerous changes.
I switched rehab facilities. I went from Pate to Achieve. I attended Pate 5 days a week. At Achieve, I only go twice a week. I’ve been pleased with my experience at Achieve.
When I had my stroke, we had to make numerous financial changes. One of them included getting rid of my vehicle. Knowing that I would need to travel to rehab, we took some cash from my 401k to get back on our feet. As a result, we got another vehicle. I went through two cars; the first one was a lemon. I had a Corrolla that died on us when driving in a parking lot and had other issues. As a result of my Corrolla being a lemon, I got a Rav4 which I love. I travel quite a bit now.
Over the past two years, I’ve learned many things. I’ve learned that there are going to be more doubters than supporters. I’m doing things that people made me feel like weren’t possible.
Losing my job was a major heartbreak. Being discharged from rehab two weeks after getting my hearing aids was another heartbreak. Losing the ability to start a family due to financial constraints of being on disability is another heartbreak. Dealing with fraud in my name was another heartbreak.
People in my Corner
Through all these trials, I have had a few people in my corner.
- Probably the biggest one would be my PCP, Dr. Maul. I feel so bad for Dr. Maul. I know that my case has been a huge burden to him. He helps me complete my LTD paperwork which I have to do frequently. He’s given my husband support.
- One of my audiologists, Dr. Mainord, that recognized that hearing aids would help me. He told me that he is rooting for me.
- In the beginning of my stroke, my neurologist, Dr. Hansen, told my husband that I will be able to work again even though it will take some time. One neurologist told my husband that I would never work again. This has driven me to prove people wrong.
- Achieve Rehab has always been respectable to my husband and I. Being respectable to your patients is important.
I continue to make progress in my recovery through hard work and blood and sweat and tears. Am I 100% No. However, I went from not being able to understand speech at all to holding conversations with my mom on my cell phone; granted it has to be quiet. In the beginning of my stroke, everything sounded like noise. Check out this pic of how I used to communicate:
My dad was so funny in the beginning of my stroke. He worked so hard to help. We wrote back and forth in spiral notebooks because I couldn’t speak or understand language. I couldn’t count the number of spiral notebooks we went through. He would point to part of my body and make me repeat it. He would point to my foot and he would say repeat “foot”. Eventually, I got good at it.
We finally got to take a vacation. We celebrated my stroke anniversary. It’s been about three years since we’ve had a vacation. It was well deserved. We ate too much. We drank too much. We went to Excellence Playa Mujeres. It was awesome. Here are some pics.