April 06, 2010

little victories...

for the past three years i've been slowly, but diligently (most of the time;) rehabilitating from my second stroke that knocked out my left side completely. i wasn't able to walk or move any part of my left side. cognitively, i was fine, but in the physical sense and emotional side of my brain, i was all twisted around. i've fought incredibly hard over the past three years, with a wonderful support group, to get to this point in my life where i'm feeling pretty whole again and in an even better mental/emotional state than i was before the stroke.

this week marked a huge turning point for me. because i finally feel strong and balanced enough to do so, i graduated myself from simple stretching and moving exercises to a full blown work out routine including core strengthening pilates, cardio and various strength exercises.

what has gotten me to this point is appreciating AND celebrating all the little victories that have gotten me here. here are some of the little things i reflect on and celebrate achieving that brought me here...

  • dragging my seemingly disconnected left leg along with the rest of my body the 3rd day in the hospital
  • forcing my crabbiness into raising my middle-left finger in rehab
  • visualizing my muscles working in my arm allowing me to put the peg in the whole
  • walking a straight line
  • walking up and down a step without a walker
  • riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes
  • eating without flinging food anywhere (though reared its ugliness one more time in the middle of a restaurant with an avacado)
  • matching the grip strength of my left hand with my right hand
  • not feeling embarrassed
  • watching fireworks on my friend's deck the day i got "sprung"
  • DRIVING!!! all by myself! while at the same time truly missing my mom as a chauffeur (but now i can drive her around)
  • giving roy a hug with both arms :)
  • sleeping without a brace
  • sleeping in the same bed with my hubby (as long as my insomnia isn't kickin)
  • cutting my own food
  • hanging my clothes
  • breathing and taking a break if i can't do something instead of getting pissed off
  • pulling up my pants with both hands
  • tying my shoes
  • taking a bath by myself
  • typing with both hands
  • taking a shower
  • loving myself a bit more each day
  • not using a scooter at my tradeshows (though it was fun, i prefer to walk tall)
  • wearing heels again!
  • lifting my hip
  • baking
  • grocery shopping
  • going a full week, month, year (knock on wood) without injuring myself or falling down
  • working a full week AT the office
  • taking a breath and not over-reacting
  • finally being diagnosed
  • getting ready in less than 2.5 hours
  • walking my dog, vegas
  • doing my hair
  • understanding my diagnosis and what i can do to avoid further issues
  • walking heel toe with my left foot ALL day
  • not being afraid
  • and the list goes on and on and on & will continue to grow

the inspiration i ask you to take with you today though is understanding that accomplishing something is all about the little victories you achieved to get you there. it's almost like making sure you take time to smell the flowers... be present and aware of all that you overcome, even if it's as simple as not spilling coffee or being able to get to work 5 minutes earlier than usual, or making dinner - it's all the little things that are the most important in life.

love you all and thank you all for helping me get to this huge point in my life!

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