never enough

i feel better everyday. i guess that’s the benefit of youth when it comes to stroke. i still cannot write creatively, and cannot write read more than a couple pages of creative work before i bonk out, but i’m still getting better everyday. of course, it’s not as fast as i’d like. i’m trying to spend my days somehow NOT staring at the wall, and NOT being “bored.” you know, thats hard to do when your days before a stroke were spent: reading, writing, doing cerebral activities, or doing heavy physical activity. now? i can barely read, write, and can’t do extreme physical activity.

now i’m redefining myself. will i be a different person once this thing passes? (for it will pass, i know). my brain is healing and making new paths around the dead parts of my brain (it’s really hard to imagine and accept that a part of my brain is DEAD, oxygen-starved and all). what kind of person will i be? i don’t feel all that different. but then when i go to do certain things, i’m hit with the reality that i *am* different.

i try to go out, but i can’t go outside with anyone other than my husband and have yet to venture out of my house without him. it’s bizarre. i’m going to try to hang out with friends, but i know that will be a strenuous first step.

many of you friends have sent me emails of encouragement–and i read all of them, some of them several times. one of my friends has advised me to think of something standard to say for those times i don’t feel like sharing, but still need to reply. “a tagline to recite,” she says, for those times when i just don’t feel like talking. that’s a big tool.

so now i’m trying to think of what to say as a standard line. “i had a stroke, they’ve figured out a potential cause. my musculature and speech are fine, my short term memory is heavily screwed–thanks for asking and bearing with me…” hrm.

survival skills. picking up some more of those these days.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “never enough

  1. mel

    A good tagline and survival skills are good…surviving is good.

    I knew this dance teacher who’d badly injured her hamstring – she was also a gymnast and had fallen off the balance beam with one foot still on it. “It was like doing the splits and having someone yank your foot above your head,” she said. Eeeek! But she still went on to do more gymnastics and ballet. She didn’t stop dancing.

    “You have to baby your injury,” she told me. “I stretch a little bit, get comfortable with it, then try and stretch a little bit more.”

    I know this is hard for you, you’re used to doing 20 things at once. I’m glad you’re feeling better every day. Patience and kindness are powerful things, especially when you give them to yourself.

  2. ChaEsq

    “survival skills. picking up some more of those these days.” — that sounds like a good tagline/reply. i am praying for you to pick up more and more each day, and to enjoy the new ways that you grow and learn and relearn.

  3. I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better and that you’re taking the time to recover at your own pace. You will be back to writing creatively and reading more soon, I know it. I have a feeling that your very many friends will understand how you might be different and wait for the time when you’re ready to talk.

    I’m sending good thoughts your way every day.

  4. Partner of Wordpress Blogger

    As someone who had a stroke at 30, I know how you feel. It is something else to now be 39 and partnered to a writer, glancing in now and again at your process.

    In many ways we are the lucky ones. Seeing first-hand, serious aphasia up close is no picnic, and my mild, baby aphasia is easier to live with. (Also, the feeling loss on one side of my body can only be felt with very sharp poky things if someone wanted to go back and forth from one foot to another; blase … ouch! blase … ouch!)

    In other ways, not so lucky. Folks don’t understand the invisible changes, and that can make it unbearable sometimes. I remember doing crosswords for months, trying to get the words back where they belonged.

    It changed my life irrevocably, and I hope you come through this ‘brain event’ well. With several years of healing, I can assure you that it gets better, and your brain comes back … like Ali after a roundhouse from Liston. It returns.

    But what a drag, huh? People look at you almost as if you have betrayed them with this malady. Exposing their own mortality and vulnerability, as it were. Oh well.

    Best to you.

  5. chaesq, melanie, and nova: thank you for your kind words.

    partner of wordpress blogger: thank you for your enlightening words that say “you get it” and also that you understand! i wish you the best of luck in YOUR life, too.

  6. w

    A writer friend of mine at 40 had a mild heart attack recently. When people ask her what’s been up with her, she very cheerfully replies, “I had a friggin heart attack! What’s been up with you?” She’s hates having to take things slow, but there’s no choice. Anyway, when she first got very down about being ill, I told her I’d reread Virginia Woolf’s On Being Ill with her. There’s some good writerly inspiration in there, even if it’s about being not so well, and she’s reading and writing again. Not as quickly as she’d like, but there’s progress.

    I’m so glad that it sounds like there will be major progress with you as well. I am sending you major creativity vibes. Read well, take your time and let the words sink in, and when your brain is ready, it’ll show you what it’s been learning from all that sinking-in reading.

  7. Thank you, W. I love the phrase “sinking-in reading.”

  8. SanFranciscoJim

    Take up computer gaming! It will sharpen your relexes and is a great way to waste an hour or ten.

  9. lucy

    Jade, you are so talented and touch so many lives with your work that it seems pretty inevitable that you bounce back and have this incident inform your future work in a positive way.

    You have the prayers and well-wishes of so many people (myself definitely included) and we are all heartened to read about your quick progress.

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