Sunday, February 12, 2017

Persistence + Patience = Progress = Small Successes

Chris out for a run with the pup
I titled this blog as Persistence + Patience = Progress = Small Successes because I am continuing to learn that persistence and patience are two of the main things that are aiding in my recovery, especially patience.  Through the month of January, I continued to be persistent in working on my exercises and strength training to continue improving my balance and regain strength.  I had attended physical therapy with Northwest Rehab Assoc through the month of December and into January, then continued with the knowledge I had learned from my very passionate physical therapist Mike Studer (also the clinic's owner) on my own.  I could get into the frustration I had with my insurance not approving my therapy with NWRA, but I won't do that here.  BUT I can't tell you enough how great this clinic is and how passionate they are about helping their patients recover and advocate on behalf of their patients.  Just last week I went back in to test my balance and strength over the last month, and I continue to get stronger.  What's interesting is that when we test my balance after I exert some energy, it improves.  You would think the opposite, but this has has always been consistent each time I have done this.  In a way, this makes sense though as many studies show physical activity improve your focus and energy.  I am more proof :)
Braving it with the pup and kiddo
I increased my running mileage to almost 10 miles in a week a couple weeks ago and was feeling good.  Then a few days after that I began to feel dizzy again and some pain in my head.  I definitely got scared as this wasn't a feeling I had experienced since last June, so I had another CT scan and rested at home.  The scan came back about the same as my scan 3 months post stroke, so that was good.  I still have narrowed flow blood through my right vertebral artery and an occlusion where the dissection occurred, which can explain why I experience the feelings I had, and still will as my brain continues to heal.  I also was coming down with a cold (as everyone else around me) which I believe exacerbated the sensations in my head.  I began to feel better, aside from the cold, and was also reassured by my physical therapist that I was okay, and decided I was ready for a 5k race.
ZaoFit gals!
I was gifted an entry into the Chocoladathon from Olivia...the race was put on by Uberthons, and ran with my friends from ZaoFit (Julie, Jerry, Olivia, and Claudia).  My friends Jerry and Julie are ambassadors for Uberthons, so all the more reason to do a race with them.  We raced at Cook Park in Tigard, OR.  I ran here once for a cross country meet in high school.  I remember liking it 17 years ago and there was going to be chocolate, yum, so at 8 months post stroke, this was going to be the race.  I ran the 5k while most everyone else ran the 10k and longer as they were using this as a training day.  It was a beautiful, but cold morning.  The sun was shining and no rain!!!  After a couple months of snow'usj, ice, and rain, it was a very welcoming morning! I ended up with a 26:55, though I ran a little further due to some poor course management by a volunteer, so I finished at 3.2 miles and averaged 8:25 per mile.  I was happy with my race as this was also the first time I had ran that far without stopping for a break since June.  My arms felt weak and heavy the last mile, but my legs held up and more importantly so did my head!! It was a fun morning with friends and I was blessed to have the ability and opportunity to run at this fun event.  I was especially happy to visit with my friend Monica after the race and her precious 6 week old baby Rae.
First 5K post stroke done
With Julie, a huge supporter
 to me
Some people say I've had a long 8 month recovery, but really it hasn't been that long and I continue to be so thankful and blessed to have recovered relatively could have been so much worse. While there was not much I could have done to prevent the type of stroke I had, being young and healthy has helped tremendously in my recovery.  And while according to my insurance and doctors I am back to "normal", I am still learning to be patient with my body.  I so wish I could run with Chris and my friends every weekend and begin training for an ultra race, but my body will usually remind me to slow down and continue to be patient as my brain continues to do the amazing things it can do.  PERSISTENCE and PATIENCE are key in my recovery as most things in our lives, to help gain progress and success. My friends, family, co-workers and running community (Orange Mud community in particular) continue to support and encourage me in my recovery. Take your blessing every day, and take it day by day!

Taking a break on a run at Minto Brown Park
My 2 loves

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