Saturday, June 17, 2017

1 year stroke anniversary

I’ve been a bit hiatus the past few months in the blogging world.  Work from April to June is pretty crazy as we try to work with our students to complete their credits and graduate on time.  But we did it!  I was able to attend the class of 2017 graduation this year and was proud to be a part of all the successes this year.  As we all know, I celebrated my strokeversay on June 11th...last week.  Last year it was the morning of the 2016 graduation that I never made it to.  So this year was extra special.  All spring I kept joking with my seniors saying “don’t put me in the hospital like last year’s seniors did.”  They all laughed, but I also freaked them out a bit :).  All joking aside, my seniors also helped me in moving forward this spring, with staying focused on maintaining my stress levels and looking forward to their big day. 

My awesome co-workers. Couldn't
have survived this year without them
I moved through this school year and paid closer attention to my body and learned a few things along the way.  I learned that patience is a far more difficult thing than I thought before.  Patience for so many reasons.  Patience in allowing myself to just rest and do NOTHING, patience to allow my friends and family help me when I wasn’t able to, patience in allowing myself to recover at it’s own pace and not push my body, and especially patience in knowing that, hey I am alive and I am OKAY!  

I also learned I am a pretty determined individual and I wouldn’t take no for an answer.  This came through while I was engaged in my physical therapy during my recovery.  I was not progressing as much after a few months from my stroke and continued to have sensation issues and weakness on my left side.  I had connected with a colleague at a conference who used to work for an amazing physical therapist, so I called him up.  He is THE BEST.  He is an athlete and has experience working with young stroke patients.  He GOT ME unlike my therapists at Kaiser.  He understood that I needed to get back to being active and not be afraid of falling over.  My therapist and I were both determined to get back to a safety zone that I could feel comfortable performing in running, yoga, and any other activity I wanted to engage in.  We fought hard with Kaiser insurance to get them to approve his therapy since it was out-of-network.  I have never seen a doctor so passionate about his work and go above and beyond like he did to try and get me the care I needed and deserved.  
Chris and I on a long trail
run in Portland

We were not successful in winning the approval from my insurance, but that didn’t stop us from continuing our therapy.  I worked with him for 8 weeks and improved my balance and strength.  I felt more confident in moving forward with a normal workout plan and getting back into some “racing”.  So thank you Mike Studer with Northwest Rehab for helping me get back to being ME!  I so appreciate your hard work and determination that you and your clinic provide to get your clients back to health!  
So far I have ran in two 5k road races and one 10k trail race.  All felt good and I had zero issues, and of course my Orange Mud gear assisted me through my races.  After my 10k, I feel more determined and motivated to sign up for a longer trail race.  So I did!  Chris and I are both signed up for the Condor 25k Trail Run in October and will be representing Orange Mud. They've been such huge supporters in my recovery as well. Time to get back with our running friends with Zao Fit and log more miles with them!
My awesome Zao Fit ladies after
my 1st 5k since my stroke

It's definitely been a roller coaster this past year, but I am so thankful for the continued support from my family, friends, and co-workers. I wouldn't have been so successful in my recovery without everyone!!! I still continue to have some issues with my left leg and can feel lightheaded if I haven't had enough water, food, or am stressed, so I'm still learning that patience thing a bit, but all in all, I've made quite the speedy recovery in one year. I've enjoyed connecting with others around the country and being able to share my story with others in hopes of inspiring others that all things are possible with the right mindset. This Father's Day weekend will be a year that I came home from the hospital. I am so very blessed and thankful for all that has occurred and all I have learned. Everything happens for a reason and we must continue to learn from our experiences and help each other along the way.

Just being silly as usual
Rogue enjoying the beach for the first time

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