Sunday, October 4, 2020

Bounce Back


The following is an article originally posted on the now discontinued website called StrokeNet. They published a monthly newsletter. Their articles are still very useful today. With the permission of their then editor, Lin Wisman, I am able to repost them on my site. Moses Cherrington was a member of the StrokeNet staff. This article is Moses's response to a post submitted by "SassyBetty" on the StrokeNet site.
Bounce Back
By Moses Cherrington


We belong to a very exclusive club. We only enter by surviving a stroke.

We go From: being very independent -- running our own lives, having our own timetable, choosing our own options that meet the goals that we have set ourselves To: Thinking that we are helpless, others running our lives now.

We chose the best available options that meet our health needs as we now consider our diet, medication, therapy, marriages – yes many marriages suffer as the spouse cannot take the change in the stroke partner.

Our goals have changed, but we can Bounce Back!!!!

It’s not a bed of roses, but never feel hopeless. You have the privilege of going to therapy three times a week. Many cannot do that. Start keeping a journal about what frustrates you and don’t be shy to be a sour survivor: I sat in the corner of the lounge for three months looking out the window, the visiting of friends coming less and less. Even when they would come, I would go to my bedroom and lie down. Remember, we have survived one of the greatest traumatic experiences one can have!

Build upon your survival. You have changed. You have changed. You have changed. Did I mention that you have changed?

You get tired and irritable!

You cannot use certain parts of your body. I had a hard time adjusting!

Never apologise for not inspiring others. Never apologise!

Learn to know yourself now!!!, not who you were before the stroke. Did I mention that you have changed?

Watch your moods, attitudes, lack of inspiration, and diet. Move to exercise those parts of your body that have changed or are now limited in use. Know the location of most conveniences. People look at you differently, and sometimes that is enough to set off attitudes/moods. Feelings and emotions are now so close to the surface that any little issue will let them run rampant. They can be managed. I am still learning how to manage my emotions. Learn to KNOW your new self.

Did I mention that you have changed?

You say “bed of Roses” that you have “no outlet for my creativity or my intellect…” I disagree!

You managed to share your predicament and “touched” me and would have touched many others, hence you gave me the synergy to assist me to focus on my comments for this month’s column. Thank you for being you. Thank You!

Did I mention that you have changed?

Once you have learned about your new self (keep a diary) you will discover your new strengths I see that you now are building the attribute of perseverance – you go to therapy, PT,OT and speech three times a week Well done.

To “Sassybetty” thank you for sharing yourself, I admire that you are in a Doctoral program, may some of the above observations be profitable to you.

I am now studying (online) Introduction to Financial Accounting, How to Reason and Argue, the Law of Contracts, Evaluating Social Programmes, Introduction to Human Physiology (in which I am discovering how my body works), Forensic accounting and Yes I have put together a timetable to pace myself.

As a result of the above I am learning how to learn, especially after surviving a stroke. Fatigue is still very prominent in my life!

I am now sitting on two community boards, one as a board member, the other as treasurer, and the boards meet once a month for two hours. I can handle that – it took four years to get here! This is light at the end of the tunnel! I represent the community as my new self.

What is my biggest secret? I thank God every day that I can read, think, ponder, and admire a sunrise and that He has created me to “be the best.” I experience His grace on a daily basis! How else can I be where I am now?

Did I mention we have changed…For the Better!

If a ball can bounce back after hitting a hard wall, then we can Bounce Back by knowing ourselves and then building on our strengths for the purpose of building and nurturing others. The Stroke Network has encouraged me by offering me appropriate information given by a group of survivors who belong to a very, very exclusive club.
Copyright ©October 2014
The Stroke Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009
All rights reserved.

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