Friday, December 4, 2015

Lorrie's stroke recovery journal

As the title of this page suggests, I experienced a stroke on November 8, 2015. Recovering use of my now-numb and extremely weak left arm and leg will likely be a long process, but I am already on my way with daily physical therapy exercises, guided imagery meditation sessions, and a whole new perspective on giving myself permission to not push myself beyond my current limits. My speech and swallowing are only mildly affected, for which I am grateful.

I have been blessed in countless ways by the loving attention of family and friends from the very beginning! From the gal pal who brought me from the hospital to stay at her home for five days until I could handle being alone at my own house part of the time, to my Mom who came bearing an amazing walker and the much-needed power of a mother's presence...from the daily and constant support of my Beloved Scott who lets me vent my bouts of frustration, to the dear friend who brought me coloring materials and sat nearby while I napped so I wouldn't be alone my first day back at home...the list could go on and on.

This journal will be a work in progress. I want to remember not only the clinical details and medical issues, but also the ups and downs and learning curves that have already begun to teach me so much. I want to be thankful, but also I suspect that not every entry here will be enjoyable to read. I want to wring out the irritation and pain of this whole situation, the worry and uncertainty, and extract whatever wisdom may come of it all. I actually have very little idea how to go about that, so I hope you will bear with me as I figure it out along the way.

I do know this for certain: Humans are wrapped around ego. The dictionary defines "ego" as: "the 'I' or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and 
distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought. The part 
of the psychic  apparatus that experiences and reactsto the outside world and thus 
mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and 
physical environment."

Everything about ourselves, all the qualities that make up our personalities and preferences, the intrinsic details that fashion our being and make each of us different from everyone else, we cling to that identity, protect it, keep it safe. In the early evening of November 7, my ego took a hit. As I sit here writing this, my leg seems detached from me and will not hold me up. My hand can type slowly until it spasms and I must stop. I am exhausted all the time, but have difficulty sleeping at night. I can't quite get my left arm and hand to cooperate enough to put my hair into a ponytail...yet. But even so, I know there are other people in the world who fight daily battles far more severe than mine and knowing that gives me perspective. My battles are real, no doubt about it, but every day the world keeps on turning and life presses onward regardless of me.

Maybe these are lessons more humans need to learn: the balance between our seeming insignificance in a world inhabited by billions of people, and the inestimable value of just one single human being. It is a fine line that divides self-centeredness and self-awareness, between wallowing in self-pity when difficulties come and allowing oneself time and space to rest and heal. They are definitely lessons I am learning.

I hope you will follow my journey of recovery as I discover the many facets of stroking my ego. (A play on words, I couldn't resist. Well, I could have. I just didn't! Sometimes all you can do is laugh.)

Thanks for reading,

"The sky is NOT the limit...there are footprints on the moon."


  1. Lorrie, thank you for sharing your journey. You are an amazing, strong woman.

    1. Thanks for sharing the walk with me, Darlene!

  2. Girlie... you've had so much placed on your plate, and you've done a remarkable job! Such a fighter and so strong! You NEVER give up. I wish I had half your strength. You can and will overcome all! I love you, dearly.

    1. Thanks for these words, my dear friend! All these months later, I still gather such courage and stamina from the support of people I love...your thoughts for me give me renewed energy! I love you dearly, too.


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